Elizabeth Hunter Wilson, d1871

I’m always happy to look at history and ancestry for free for anybody all over the world, if there’s a Blantyre connection.


Locomotive of the era, for Illustration only (not Blantyre)

James Wilson recently contacted me saying, “I am from Toronto, ON and I am looking for any information about my Great-Great Grandmother’s death at Blantyre Station in November 1871. Her name was Elizabeth Hunter Wilson. I believe she was with her children. I have searched for any information concerning her death and all I have is her death registry. Any help would be appreciated.”

I was able to reply with:
“Hi James. I can provide a little more detail from my notes. The Glasgow Herald on the Friday after Elizabeth’s death revealed some more details. The sad accident did indeed take place at Blantyre Station and I now post this reply at exactly to the minute 148 years later.

On the evening of Wednesday 15th November 1871, the 7.20pm train from Glasgow was nearing the platform at Low Blantyre Station, pulling in as it headed east. Elizabeth Hunter or Wilson, the wife of a plasterer who lived at Annsfield, High Blantyre was on board. She had been in Glasgow and seeing her stop, approached the door of the steam locomotive, pulling it open to signal her intention to alight.

The platform dimly lit on that winter evening, the train had not quite stopped and, perhaps “jumping the gun” somewhat, the forty two year old stepped down on what she clearly thought was the hard paving of the platform. However, she actually stepped into the space between the carriage and the platform itself, which surely would have been horrifying to all passengers on board and watching from the platform.

Sadly, she was dragged about 10 foot by the train, along the tracks. Falling amongst the wheels. When her body was recovered, it was discovered that she had two broken arms and had such severe injuries, that death would have been instantaneous. There was no mention if her children were with her at the time.

It is interesting that the Herald describes her as ‘elderly’ despite her being only 42. Perhaps a sign of how short life expectancy was in Victorian times.”

Tonight we remember…..Rest in Peace Elizabeth Hunter Wilson.

Screenshot 2020-04-13 at 19.08.19

Register of corrected entry is ScotlandsPeople_RCE1871_624_00_001_0045Z

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Anne Mackie what a sad story
Margaret Duncan Poor woman – what a tragic end
Marian Maguire May she rest in peace


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