Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets Robin Bell, whose father Major Ian Bell survived the rail crash. Source: @ScotGovFM

Commemoration event held to mark the Quintinshill rail disaster

Posted on on 23 May 2015
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The centenary of the Quintinshill rail disaster was commemorated today in Gretna in Scotland at an event attended by Princess Anne, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and descendents of some of those who died.

The programme of events included the unveiling of the Roll of Honour at Gretna Old Parish Church and an act of remembrance and wreath laying at Quintinshill Bridge.

Local council leader Ronnie Nicholson said: "As we commemorate the events in World War One, it's important that we take time to respectfully mark the centenary of this momentous event, which took place in our region."

Background (issued by the WW100Scotland):

At 6.49am on 22 May 1915 a troop-train, carrying 498 members of the 1st/7th (Leith) Battalion, The Royal Scots, en route to Liverpool to embark for Gallipoli, crashed into a local train which was parked on the wrong line at Quintinshill, just north of Gretna. A minute later a Glasgow-bound express ploughed into the wreckage. 216 men from the Battalion died and a further 220 were injured in the crash and ensuing fire. Nearly all came from Leith, Musselburgh or Portobello. It is still by far the worst accident for casualties in the history of railways in Britain. Most of those killed were buried in a communal grave in Rosebank Cemetery, Pilrig Street, where a Memorial Cross and Plaques commemorate all 216 who died.

See 100 Years Ago Today

Photo soure: @ScotGovFM