NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
KINGSLAND, AUCKLAND TRAM ACCIDENT
THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER 1903
On Christmas Eve, 1903 a fatal tram accident occurred on the Kingsland line at about 8pm. A double deck and a combination car collided with three deaths and up to 60 injured.
According to various newspaper reports - The double-decker [Car No. 39] was going up Eden Terrace, and passed into a loop [about three quarters of a mile from the Kingsland terminus] to await another car. The current was shut off and the brake applied. The brake, howeveer, refused to act and the car began to go back. Finding the car unmanageable, the motorman called to the conductor to apply the rear brakes, and ran himself to the back of the car, but the brake failed to stop the car which gathered an awful speed [at the rate of 30 to 40 miles an hour] back down the incline being carried down the hill by its own weight. The car was almost full of passengers on both decks.
Soon the trolley pole doubled back and left the wire, and frequently as it struck against a cross wire or some other obstacle it lashed down with great force, striking the passengers sitting near.
Immediately the contact with the overhead wire was broken the lights inside went out, the car rushing on in darkness. This threw the passengers on board into a state of frenzy. The motorman did his utmost to minimise what was practically beyond the power of man to prevent.
As the car rounded a bend near George Street another car was seen coming up from Kingsland, not more than 100 yards away. The double-decker was almost in darkness as only the oil lamps were burning. The motorman on the second car, [a combination car No. 32] had barely time to reverse the current, when with a deafening crash, the two cars telescoped. This was followed by piercing shrieks, and instantly all was in utter darkness. Lights were fetched and the work of rescue proceeded.
The site of the accident was later noted as past the Charlotte Street loop - the collision being at Glenmore.
THOSE KILLED WERE
Miss Ann Young HOGARTH, a resident of John Street, Mount Eden, aged 23 years, who had her neck broken and died immediately. She was the daughter of John Young HOGARTH, clerk employed by the Northern SSCo.
Benjamin Morrison LINDSAY, gardener of Mercer road, Kingsland, aged 73, was jammed between the two cars and had both legs broken. He died subsequently.
William CALEY, aged 49, an accountant of Rocky Nook [New North Road] died of his injuries. His father was Alfred CALEY, saddler of Waihi.
Miss Cissie HILL, resident of Kingsland injuries to head.
Hazel BLUNDELL, aged 17 months, parents live at Morningside concussion.
Joseph James CAMPLIN [CAMPLEN], Reston road, Mount Roskill; scalp wound and collar bone broken.
Miss Sophie CALEY - broken leg.
Mr Alfred CALEY - Waihi, injured foot and bruises.
Mrs Alfred CALEY - legs crushed.
Miss EASTGATE - Mount Eden, wrist, broken and leg injured.
Mrs C H PAGE - Kingsland store, nose broken.
Mrs HILL - Kingsland, cuts on the head.
Miss Lizzie MORROW - Kingsland, teeth knocked out and lip cut.
Mr John CLARK [CLARKE]- Railway Department, Wanganui, visiting his parents at Kingsland, concussion of brain.
Mrs John CLARK [CLARKE]- Wanganui, lip and face cut and badly bruised.
Mr William HEWLETT - head and face injured, teeth knocked out and general shock[cousin to Ann Young HOGARTH].
Mrs McBRIDE (nee Miss BEEDEL)- injured in the legs and head.
Mr Ernest COLSON - land agent, broken jaw, gash on cheek and bruises [with Lily EDWARDS].
Mrs DAVIS - Kingsland, dislocated thigh.
Miss Emmie HILL - Kingsland, nose broken.
Mrs John COYLE - Mount Albert, broken rib, very bruised and shaken.
Mr Cyril HOOKER - View Avenue, Mount Eden, concussion of the brain.
Mr W A EASTGATE - Mount Eden, bruise on eye.
Mr William MORROW - Kingsland, bruises.
Mrs William MORROW - injured back.
Miss MORROW - cuts on head and bruises.
Miss Emily MORROW - bruises.
Mr Alfred WILLIAMS - Onslow road, Kingsland, sinews of leg injured.
Mr and Mrs Joseph KAYES and Miss KAYES - Kingsland, bruises. [Mrs KAYES, a sister to Mrs CLARK/CLARKE of Wanganui.
Miss M KAYES and Miss G KAYES - cuts and bruises.
Mr Charles PAGE - Kingsland, bruises.
Stanley ANDREWS - View road, scalp wound and shock.
Mr Charles MORRIS, wife and child - Kingsland[Mr G C MORRIS] - bruises.
Mr E DRUMM - Mount Roskill Road, Morningside, several minor injuries. Stonemason of Kingsland, but late of Waihi.
Mrs DRUMM - Morningside, injury to back.
Mr DRUMM's children - small injuries.
Master Clement BILLINGS - Eden Terrace, bruise over eye.
Miss Lily EDWARDS - Mount Roskill [with Mr COLSON].
Mr Arthur GOLDSTONE - Ponsonby.
Mr W F GOLDSTONE - c.o. Dr. Cox. A.M.P. buildings.
Mr S JACKA - Mount Roskill, cut on forehead.
Mr YOUNG - Morningside, cut on head.
Mr T HOARE - Kingsland, shock.
Mr S HOARE - Symonds street, shock.
Mr Thomas JENKINS - Edendale, hand cut.
Mr and Mrs BLUNDELL - Morningside, cut and badly shaken.
Mr Alfred HOUGH - Rocky Nook, cuts on face and head.
Mr LYSNAR - Margaret street, Mount Roskill.
Mr LEICESTER - Cromwell street, Bellwood, injury to back.
Mr BRIDGFORD - Kingsland, bruises on legs.
Mrs BRIDGFORD - bruises on hip,leg and shoulder.
Master Ernest BRIDGEFORD - ear cut and head bruised.
Master Percy BRIDGEFORD - bruises.
Miss Violet BRIDGFORD - slight injuries to back and head.
Mr F BOWDEN [?] - Valley road, shock, ankle badly sprained and head cut.
Mr W BILLINGS - Kingsland, bruises.
Mrs W BILLINGS - Kingsland.
Mrs CUNDALL [?] - Eden Terrace, bruises.
Mr M FRENEY - Kingsland, shock and bruises.
Mrs M FRENEY and child - shock and bruises.
Miss A FRENEY - injured jaw.
Miss P FRENEY - shock and bruises.
Master Harry GRAHAM - Kingsland, sprained ankle.
Mrs JANSEN [?] - Kingsland, shock.
Mrs J KING - ?mure, back hurt.
Mrs LIPSCOMBE - Mount Albert, bruises.
Miss Margaret McQUOID - Kingsland, leg slightly injured, aged 14.
Mrs John NIXON and three small children [Frank (9), Louis (6) and Ethel - Commercial road, Kingsland, head cut and bruises.
Masters Frank and Lewis NIXON - slight injuries.
Miss Ethel NIXON, leg and mouth cut.
Miss Ruby SINCLAIR - Rocky Nook: face cut.
Mrs STOREY and two children - Eden Terrace, bruises aud cuts.
Mr KILDUFF - Eden Terrace, injuries to head and face.
Miss May KILDUFF - Eden Terrace, cut face.
Silvia KILDUFF - Eden Terrace, severely shaken.
Ethel KILDUFF - Eden Terrace, severely shaken.
Harry KILDUFF jun., - Eden Terrace, severely shaken.
Miss COYLE - Mount Albert, bruised and shaken.
Miss M SINCLAIR - Edwin-street, Mount Eden, bruises.
Mr and Mrs McILWAIN [McELWAIN] - Charles Street, Rocky Nook or Mount Roskill. Mr McELWAIN severe bruises, Mrs McELWAIN uninjured.
Mr and Mrs George POLLARD - Mount Roskill.
Mr George HEALD - Victoria Avenue, Mount Eden.
Mr Arthur HULME.
Mr J REGAN and family - of Kingsland.
Mrs Alfred WILLIAMS - uninjured.
Dr Albert Harding PORTER - Mt Roskill Road and the New North Road.
Mr HASLETT - nearby chemist.
Mr Edward FREEMAN - Mount Roskill Road - witness
Frederick HUMPHREY - Car No 39 - motorman of Jervois Road, Ponsonby.
Cuthbert Downie CARSON - Car No 39 - conductor.
Hans Peter HANSEN - Car No 39 - conductor.
Ernest THOMPSON - Car No 32 - motorman of Codrington Street, Arch Hill
Colin STICHBURY - Car No 32 - Conductor.
Mr W B LYSAGHT - Tram Company's traffic manager - came very quickly.
Mr M CAREY - Tram Company's Chief Electrical Engineer
The inquest found that the cause of the collision was through the ratchet brake failing to act, causing the motorman to lose his head, and through his want of knowledge he did not use the other brakes under his command. The following rider was added "That in consequence of the steep grades in and around Auckland the use of double-decker cars be discontinued. We also recommend that the company's mode of teaching motormen and conductors is inadequate. More stringent measures should be adopted, and lifeguards should be attached to the cars with as little delay as possible. We agree tbat the brake power on the cars is quite satisfactory when in proper order and in the hand of persons who understand the brakes. We also agree that motormen and conductors should be subject to medical examinations as to their fitness. We are also of opinion that the speed on the down grades should be reduced."
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