Frederick William Haigh (1860-1917)

Frederick William Haigh was an engine driver who was involved in the fatal railway collision near Huddersfield Railway Station on Good Friday 1905.


He was born on 25 September 1860, the son of police officer Joseph Haigh and his wife Caroline, and was baptised on Christmas Day 1860 at Huddersfield Parish Church.

He married Susannah Mortley of Hillhouse, daughter of labourer John Mortley (deceased), on 22 July 1882 at St. John's Church, Birkby. The couple had five children:

  • James William Haigh (1883-1926)[1]
  • Henry Haigh (1885-1950)[2]
  • Caroline Haigh (1887-1902)[3]
  • Alice Haigh (1890-1893)[4]
  • Lily Haigh (1895-1957)[5]

By 1881, he was working for the London and North Western Railway Company as an engine fireman and then an engine driver.

On the afternoon of Good Friday 1905, he was shunting carriages at Huddersfield Railway Station. After apparently misreading a danger signal, his engine reversed into the path of an oncoming Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company passenger train, causing the death of two passengers. At the subsequent inquest, the jury's verdict was that the accident was caused by Haigh's carelessness but that he was not guilty of manslaughter.[6] He was fired from his job and, by 1911, had found work at the Huddersfield Corporation Gas Works.

Frederick William Haigh died in 1917, aged 56.

Notes and References

  1. Born 4 June 1883 in Boston, Lincolnshire. Married Eleanor Whiteley on 25 September 1909 at St. Stephen's Church, Rashcliffe. Died aged 42 and buried at Christ Church, Helme, on 27 March 1926.
  2. Born 7 April 1885 and baptised 11 September 1889 at St. Andrew's Church on Leeds Road. Married Eliza Ann Grange circa 1920 at Hendon, Middlesex. Died aged 65 at Harrow, Middlesex.
  3. Born Huddersfield and baptised on 11 September 1889 at St. Andrew's Church on Leeds Road. Died aged 14.
  4. Born 31 December 1890 and baptised 12 March 1891 at St. Mark's, Huddersfield. Died aged 2.
  5. Born Huddersfield. Married Frank Halstead in 1915 but he was killed the following year. Married William Holland on 24 May 1920. Died 22 September 1957.
  6. "Huddersfield Railway Collision" in Leeds Mercury (05/May/1905).