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Thursday's Tragic Event: The Death of Edward Pierse

Edward Joseph Pierse, my second great grand uncle died a terrible death as a result of an incident involving a train.  Born in 1873 to John Pierse and his wife Mary (nee Quirk). Edward (Ned)  married Ellen Jane Flynn in 1909, with the marriage registered at Gundagai, New South Wales.  Together they had five known children, two of whom died prior to Edwards death.  Edward died in 1924 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Section of the Harden-Murrumburrah Cemetery.


 
 
 

Source: MR EDWARD PIERSE. (1924, February 25). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 2. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130350328

Transcript:

MR. EDWARD PIERSE.

A Gundagai district native, Mr Edward Pierse, met with a shocking death of Thursday last, being cut to pieces by a train at Nubba.
He was working with four other fettlers at the time, and the fatality happened at 5 past 7 on Thursday morning.  What is known as the 62 goods ex Temora was going to Harden.  Deceased stepped out to let it pass, & did not notice the 53 goods from Harden in front of which he then stepped.  It was most unusual for the trains to meet there.  Deceased was stranger to this particular road, having come to relieve a man on holidays.
Born at Darbalara 45 years ago, deceased was the fourth son of the late Mr John Pierse, of 'Shadybrook,' Darbalara.  He lived on the land for many years, and had a holding out at Tomorroma.  He came to reside in Gundagai about 10 years ago, and later went to Harden, where he was employed by the railway department.  Mr Pierse was married to a daughter of Mr and Mrs John Flynn, one-time residents of these parts, and leaves a widow and three children.  He was a brother of Messrs Michael, David, and Robt. Pierse, of Darbalara, and Mrs Geo. Last (Tumblong), Mrs W. Sullivan, Mrs Battye, and Mrs J. Reardon Gundagai; Mrs D. Morris, Junee: & Mrs E Carberry, Stockiinbingal.
Further details to hand concerning the terrible fatality to Mr Pierse show that deceased. who was a fettler, resided with his family at Harden, and at the time of his death was working on the railway at Nubba.  It appears that deceased was working with a man named Jeffs. and the later hearing No. 62 from Cootamundra, sang out, "Look out for the up train." and he replied, "I'll watch that, son." No. 53 from Harden was nearing the men at the time, and deceased worked until it was close to him, when he stepped back and allowed it to pass.  He then walked from behind it right in front of No. 62. and was killed instantly the body being cut beyond recognition.  The remains were brought to Harden by the midday train, and a coroner's inquest was held.
A Harden correspondent writes:- "Although the late Mr. Pierse's stay here had been short, few had more friends than he, for his pleasant disposition made him a general favorite.  He was a prominent member of the R.C. Church, and a staunch supporter of the local Labor League.  Prior to entering the railway service he was employed by Mr Ratcliff carrier, and in that capacity he came in contact with most people in the town, all of whom speak highly of his sterling qualities as a man and a citizen.  A devoted husband and loving parent, his loss will be keenly felt by the bereaved widow and three little sons (Ossie, Terrie and Greig), whose ages range from 7 to 14 years.
The funeral on Saturday was very largely attended, the scene at the graveside being very pathetic.





Source: The Nubba Tragedy. (1924, February 22). Daily Witness (Young, NSW : 1913 -1923), p. 1. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128248073


Transcript:

The Nubba Tragedy.
FATE OF EDWARD PIERSE.
FURTHER DETAILS.

Further details are to hand concerning the terrible fatality which occurred at Nubba yesterday morning, when Edward Pierse lost his life.  Deceased, who was a fettler, resided with his family in Clark-street, Harden, and at the time of his death was working on the railway at Nubba.  From particulars to hand it appears that deceased was working with a man Jeffs. and the latter hearing No. 62 from Cootamundra coming said:- "Look out, for the up train," and he replied "I'll watch that, son." No. 53 from Harden was nearing the men at the time and deceased worked until it was close to him when he stepped back and allowed it to pass, he then walked from behind it right in front of No. 62 and was killed instantly, the body being cut beyond recognition.
The remains were brought to Harden by the mid-day train and a coroner's inquest was held.
Mr. Pierse was 45 years of age, and a native of Gundagai, in which place he has resided the whole of his life until coming to Harden some three years ago.  Although his stay here ha been short, few had more friends than he, for his pleasant disposition made him a general favorite.  He was a prominent member of the R.C. Church, and a staunch supporter of the local labor league.  Prior to entering the railway service he was employed by Mr. Ratcliff, carrier, and in that capacity he came in contact with most people in the town all of whom speak highly of his sterling qualities as a man and citizen.  A devoted husband and loving parent his loss will be keenly felt by the bereaved widow and three young sons (Ossie, Terrie and Greig) whose ages range from 7 to 14 years.  He was s son of Mrs. and the late Mr. Pierce, of Darbalara, Gundagai.  He is survived by his mother, six sisters, Mesdames D. Morris, Last, Carberry, Morris, Sullivan and Reardon) and four brothers (John, Michael, David, and Robert) all of whom reside in the Gundagai district.  The funeral took place this afternoon in the R.C. cemetery, Murrumburrah.







Source: HOW MR E. PIERSE DIED Coroner's Inquest. (1924, March 3). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 3. Retrieved October 18, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130350012


Transcript:


HOW MR. E. PIERSE DIEDCoroner's Inquest

An inquest was held at Harden (before Coroner Foley, J.P.) concerning the death of Edward Jno. Pierse (formerly of Gundagai). Who was accidentally killed on the railway, near Nubba on 24th ult.
Constable W. James. Wallendbeen, deposed: As a result of a telephone communication I proceeded to Nubba railway station and about a quarter of a mile south of Nubba I saw the mutilated body of a man.  There were marks of blood and portions of the man's body strewn along the railway for about 25 yards.  Had the body placed in a box and taken to Harden.  I found no property amongst the deceased's clothes.
Timothy O'Keefe, fitter's laborer at Harden deposed I am a brother-in-law of deceased and lived near him at Harden.  Knew him since he was a child.  He was born on 31st July, 1878, and was 48 years of age.  He had no property.  He leaves a wife and 3 children.  He was very sober & steady, and was quite happy in his home life, and had no troubles, I saw the body, but I could not recognise it - it was unrecognisable.  The widow has no relatives that could come to her assistance.
Richard Roy Jeffs, fettler, deposed: I went to work this morning at the usual time, in company with Ganger Kennedy and Fettler Pierse.  We were working on the up line at mileage 250. or thereabouts, driving dog spikes.  I was about 40 yards from Pierse, in a southerly direction.  I saw the accident happen to Pierse.  He was working about 40 yards ahead of me. and he said. "There is a train on the down."  I said "Watch yourself, there is one coming up the hill on the up side."  He replied. " I'll look out for that, son."  We kept on working.  I heard the up train approaching - it was then about 60 yards from me. and about 25 yards from Pierse.  I jumped off the up line on to the cess. and just as I looked up the line I saw the engine strike deceased.  I waived to the driver to stop from the six foot, but the train continued on to Nubba, a distance of about a quarter of a mle.  I ran down to the station and informed the night officer and the driver what had happened.  I then went back with Fettler Jones and waited until Ganger Kennedy came down.  We found that the body was lying on the up road, and that another train was approaching on that road.  We then picked the body up and placed it on the cess. I had known Edward Pierse for about 14 days.  He was working in my gang.  He had told me that he had a wife and family in Harden.  He was quite sober. and as far as I knew, he was a sober man.  Pierse could have seen the train approaching, as I could see it from where I was working.  A down train was passing at the same moment as Pierse was struck by the up train. 12 minutes would elapse from the time I warned Pierse until the time he was struck, as near as I can judge.  Pierse was killed about 7 a.m. As far as I could see, the occurrence was purely accidental.  Pierse was in good mood when commencing work, and did not have any worry that I know of.  He was satisfied with the result of his examination for permanency.  I was advised by the ganger that No. 62 was running before leaving Nubba station, Pierse was also told.
Patrick J. O'Sullivan acting engine driver, deposed: I was driving No. 62 goods train this morning, and when approaching Nubba, just inside the district signal, I felt a bump, as if I had struck some ballast.  I looked out and saw nothing, and almost immediately after my mate said that we had run over something.  I replied that I thought it was only a piece of ballast.  My mate looked back and said he thought we hit a tricycle.  I again looked back, and prepared to stop the train.  I stopped it at about the platform of Nubba station.  I then got down off the engine and saw traces of blood about.  I made the train secure, and went back to the platform. On arrival therem I met a fettler and the station master.  The fettler informed me that the train had run over his mate, and that he was cut to pieces.  I told the stationmaster to inform Harden and the police authorities and then proceeded on to Harden.  The train would not stop at Nubba under ordinary circumstance.  When I felt the bump we were on a curve.  It was about 7.2 a.m. and was broad daylight.  We were travelling about 25 miles an hour.  It was a down grade - about 1 in 60.  I did not see any signals to stop after I felt the bump.  I did not see the 2 men on the line at any time.  We ? right hand curve at ? I do not consider this part of the track dangerous.
? E.G. Jones. fireman. deposed: I was fireman on No. 62 up goods train this morning.  On approaching Nubba I saw No. 53 coming along.  When passing this train at about mile 250, and when about half of train No. 53 had passed, I felt a jerk and thought that we had struck a railway tricycle.  I asked the driver if he had noticed anything on the road.  He replied that he did not know, as he was on a right hand curve.  I again said that I fancied we had run over something.  I requested him to pull up the train.  This was done, and we both got down and examined the engine.  We found traces of blood.  I went back to the engine, while the driver went to the stationmaster.  Then Fettler Jeffs came to me and said that we had run over his mate.  The train was running at about 20 miles per hour.  After the driver returned we went on to Harden.  I was on the six-ft. side of the engine, and did not see Jeffs waving to me, as I was looking at the approaching train. 
The coroners finding was that Edward J. Pierse net his death through being accidentally run over by a train whilst engaged in his duties as a fettler.

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1942 about Edward Joseph Pierse

Name: Edward Joseph Pierse
Inquest Date: 21 Feb 1924
Inquest Location: Harden
Death Place: Nubba
Age: 46
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1878
Birth Place: Darbalara Near Gundagai

'Verdict: Injuries accidentally received through having been run over by a train whilst engaged in his duties as a fettler.'

Source: Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners' Inquests, 1796-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.


NSW BDM Birth Indexes

11575/1873 PIERSE EDWARD JOHN MARY GUNDAGAI 
31001/1909 PIERSE AUSTIN E EDWARD J ELLEN J TUMUT  
4514/1911 PIERSE TERENCE J EDWARD J ELLEN J GUNDAGAI 

NSW BDM Marriage Indexes

1447/1909 PIERSE EDWARD J FLYNN ELLEN J GUNDAGAI

NSW BDM Death Indexes

4441/1919 PIERSE MARY E EDWARD J ELLEN J GUNDAGAI
9594/1920 PIERSE REGINALD F EDWARD J ELLEN J GUNDAGAI  
2739/1924 PIERSE EDWARD J JOHN   MURRUMBURRAH 
24364/1950 PIERSE ELLEN JANE JOHN SUSAN MARRICKVILLE  
4018/1962 PIERSE RICHARD GREGORY UNKNOWN ELLEN JANE COFFS HARBOUR
101448/1982 PIERSE AUSTIN EDWARD EDWARD EVELYN JANE

Source: NSW BDM Indexes. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.  Retrieved from  http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/

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