Impromtu Surgery on the Barking Road deals with casualties of the Silvertown Explosion at the Brunner Mond factory January 19th 1917.
On the evening of 8 April, 1953, signal failures led to delays on the Central line, with drivers again following 'stop and proceed' rules. However, a train heading eastbound towards Epping ploughed into the back of a stationary train waiting in the tunnel between Stratford and Leyton just before 7pm, leaving twelve passengers dead and many wounded.
The driver was hurt but survived and was later charged with having ignored the 'stop and proceed' rules by a Public Inquiry.
It was the 6.55 Epping train which run into the back of a Hainaught bound train.
Seem the driver passed a signal at Red, and because the tunnel curves round he did not see the other train which was standing still until it was too late.
There are various reports on the incident which states 12 killed, but the British Pathe News states 8 adults and one child.
Amongst the 42 who were injured was the driver of the Epping Train who had to have his leg Amputated
Medals awarded to Mr J.J. Betts. He was one of the Firemen who attended the Silvertown Explosion on 19th January 1917 and miraculously survived.
West Ham Corporation Medal Presented for Bravery. Engraved to Fireman James J Betts on a shield, with a Fireman's helmet and an axe with the head to the left. 19th January 1917 engraved on the edge. This was the day of the Silvertown Explosion at the Brunner Mond factory. On the reverse of the medal is the West Ham Corporation coat of arms.
West Ham Corporation Medal Devotion To Duty Air-Raids 1915-18. Engraved to Fireman J J Betts on a shield, with a Fireman's helmet and an axe with the head to the right. On the reverse of the medal is the West Ham Corporation coat of arms.
The Kings Medal for Police and Fire Services (1940s) King George V Head. James Joseph Betts engraved on the edge. On the reverse of the medal is is a figure with a large sword and a shield with the words 'To Guard My People'
L.C.C., M.F.B. Edward VII Coronation Medal 1902. King Edward VII head. James J Betts engraved on the edge. On the reverse of the medal are the words 'Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII' 1902, and the king's crown above a cluster of leaves.
(see file attachment for reverse of medals)
MEMORIES OF THE 1953 FLOODS BY MS. M. YATES OF MORGAN STREET, CANNING TOWN
The Silvertown Explosion at the Munitions Plant of the Brunner Mond factory, on 19th January 1917.
Medal awarded to Mr J.J. Betts. He was one of the Firemen who attended the Silvertown Explosion on 19th January 1917 and miraculously survived. This long service Medal inscribed J.J. Betts 1919 on the edge, has the image of a fireman being crowned with a wreath by a draped figure and an old fire engine in the background on the front. On the reverse (attached file) a border of leaves around the words, Association of Professional Fire Brigade Officers For Long Service.
From the Newham Heritage & Archives collection
ROLL OF HONOUR: A list of names of those killed in the Silvertown Explosion, 19th January 1917.
Recollections of the Silvertown Explosion by Ex-Supernumerary Fireman T. R. Betts, Silvertown Fire Station.
In 1890 a fire caused great loss of life at the Forest Gate Industrial School in Forest Lane. This is from a newspaper report of the disaster.
The remains of number 2 Fort Street following the Brunner Mond explosion on 23rd January 1917.
(Image: Newham Arts & Heritage)