Quintinshill Rail Disaster

Quintinshill Rail Disaster

22nd May 1915

Killed in a rail crash at Quintinshill, near Gretna Green. At 6.49 am on Saturday 22 May 1915 a Liverpool-bound troop-train carrying half of the 7th (Leith) Battalion The Royal Scots en route to Gallipoli collided head on with a local passenger train, which had been ‘parked', facing north, on the south-bound main line at Quintinshill, to allow a following express to overtake it. Normally the local train would have been held in one of the loops at Quintinshill but both of these were already occupied by goods trains. The troop train overturned, mostly onto the neighbouring north-bound mainline track and, a minute later, the Glasgow-bound express ploughed into the wreckage causing it to burst into flame. The ferocity of the fire, and consequent difficulty of rescuing those trapped in the overturned and mangled carriages, was compounded by the fact that most of the carriages were very old, made of wood and lit by gas contained in a tank beneath them. Between the crash and the fire a total of 216 men of the 7th Royal Scots and 12 others (mostly from the express but including the driver and fireman on the troop-train), died in, or as an immediate result of what was, and remains, Britain's worst railway disaster.

Created by: Yvonne27542

  • Profile picture for John Monfries Mitchell

    Born 1882

    Died 1915

    British Army Captain Royal Scots 7th Battalion