British Empire Medal awarded 1951 to Harold George Upton
Silver Award Medal, British Empire medal awarded to Harold George Upton for gallantry & life-saving in Weedon disaster of 1951, Dimensions: 36mm dia.
Weedon, on the West Coast Main Line, has been the site of two major accidents in the 20th century.
On 21st September 1951, a passenger service hauled by a Princess class Stanier Pacific and travelling at 65mph derailed. The train crashed, killing 15 people and injuring 35. Miraculously, the footplate crew survived and were able to protect the train.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The derailment had begun on the right leading bogie wheels as the locomotive was going through a curve in the track. When it finally crashed, the engine careered down the 12ft embankment onto soft ground. The wreckage at the front of the train was devastating and it was here that the fatalities occurred.
In the subsequent investigation into the accident the track was found to be in good condition and the train had not been travelling excessively fast. The locomotive in question, No. 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught, had had its bogie wheelsets recently swapped round and it was concluded that these had been fitted imperfectly.