13th September 1906

Soldier is killed picking flowers from a train

Flowers frequently grow alongside train lines, but few are picked because they’re kept safely out of harm’s way thanks to locking doors, sealed windows and fencing along the trackside. That wasn’t always the case and, in 1906, The Leeds Mercury reported that a soldier had been killed in Jersey while attempting to pick flowers from a moving train.

“The feat can be performed with safety on certain English lines,” it explained. However, “the more usual method… is to stroll ahead of the train and, having gathered a bouquet, either to walk back to meet it or wait for it to come up.”

One can only imagine how the timetables would have accommodated the need for trains to pick up such amateur horticulturalists as and when they appeared.

The soldier’s death came four years after a bishop’s daughter had lost her life on Jersey’s tracks.


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