Mary Sneddon, 15

Low Blantyre Station certainly appears to have been a dangerous place at one time! I’ve recently posted stories about Elizabeth Hunter Wilson and William Smith falling between the platform and train and dying from injuries they received.

On the morning of Tuesday 29th May 1917 (the actual day President John F Kennedy was born), 15 year old Mary Napier Stewart Sneddon lost her life at the platform boarding a train to Glasgow. Mary, the daughter of James and Jessie Sneddon of Glasgow Road had been staying with her grandfather John B Stewart of Benvue, 3 John Street, Blantyre. As she boarded the 8:28am Glasgow bound train that wartime summer morning, she missed her footing and fell in the gap between the train and the platform, losing her life, death being instantaneous.

Dr Cowan Wilson examined her body immediately afterwards, the death certificate being particularly ‘descriptive’.

Mary was described as a bright and cheery girl who had been attending Skerry’s College in Glasgow and had almost completed her course there, her whole life ahead. Her funeral, the following Thursday was well attended by family and friends.

We remember Mary whose life was cut so short here in this article.

I suspect like many people in those days, there was an urgency to get on board or off trains even whilst they hadn’t fully stopped. Hopping up on the moving train may have been commonplace, especially with those younger and more agile to do so. Is it any wonder that the phrase “mind the gap” came into existence in UK railways.

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

Margaret Duncan This must have been a shocking thing to see – poor girl – her parents must have been totally devastated
Marian Maguire So sad, may she rest in peace
Margaret Mary OSullivan So tragic
Robert Stewart Mary was interred in lair I 595 on the 31st. May 1917

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