A tribute to Michael Christian Daly & Eileen Gertrude Green,to their descendents and to their ancestors and to the many cousins

St John Joseph Daly - born 5 December 1888, died 15 December 1944. St John was the third son of Daniel Daly and Mary Agnes Burgess.

I found the article below about St John's death in a rail accident at Marrawing. See the adjacent map. Marrawing was a small centre about 20 kilometers south of the regional town of Gladstone and about 500 kilometers north of Brisbane, the capital of the Australian state of Queensland. I wrote to my cousin who responded below............  MWJ Daly

"This is my grandfather John Joseph Daly (first name really St John). I have a newspaper report from the Saturday Courier Mail dated 16 December 1944.

I also have a photo my Aunty Molly gave me of the actual train engine grandfather was driving. He died of a hearth attack beside the line having jumped clear before the coal carriage rammed into the driver compartment of the engine. No one would have survived if they had not jumped clear.

Aunty Molly and my mum used to tell the story that at the time of the accident they were staying with some relative down towards Brisbane and they were sent word of the accident and of Molly's father's death and were called home. They travelled together by rail home to Bundaberg.

Of course it was at the time of the war as well and all along the journey home on the train and at stops at railway stations the soldiers and others were all talking about the crash and how the driver was killed. There was Molly hearing all this. It was terribly upsetting for both Molly and mum who would have been in the late twenties at the time."

Brian supplied this photo. He says "This photo was given to me by St John' daughter, Mary (Molly) Saint, many years ago. She told me her father jumped from the engine before the collision but unfortunately suffered the heart attack on the ground."

Here is an article about the accident transcribed from:

QUEENSLANDRAILWAYDISASTERS.htm Marrawing, Queensland. 15 December 1944
An engine driver died from a heart attack shortly after jumping for his life from the cab of his locomotive when two trains collided at Marrawing, 29 kilometers south of Gladstone, in this accident during the Second World War.

The head-on collision, involving a goods train and a ballast train, occurred at 6.20am on the crest of a hill, 8 kilometers on the Gladstone side of Marrawing.

The ballast train being hauled by a B18¼ class engine was travelling south with 19 wagons while the Beyer Garrett hauled goods, with a load of 527 tonnes gross, was travelling north.

The two trains met with a combined impact velocity of between 80 kmh and 100 kmh resulting in the Beyer Garrett being driven halfway into the boiler of the B18¼, which was lifted several feet off the rails. Moments before the impact, the crews of both locomotives had leapt from their cabs.

Both engines were written off and the total cost of the damage was estimated at £100,000.

The tender of the B18¼ telescoped into the engine's cab with the following ballast trucks piling into one another. The first wagon on the goods train- which wagon contained furniture- was rammed halfway along the Beyer Garrett, the roof of the van ending up on top of the locomotive's tender.

Other wagons at the front end of the goods train were piled up against the weight of the ballast train, with several wagons in the middle of the train derailing and rolling down an embankment.

The crew of the ballast train was Driver Daly, Fireman King, and their guard Mr. A. Coulson. The crew of the goods train were Driver Stonely, Fireman Gibbs, and their guard, Mr. J. Tracey. All the men were from Gladstone.

When guard Tracey reached the scene of the collision, he saw Stonely "staggering about," and went to his aid; however, he then noticed Daly on the other side of the railway line clearly having difficulty breathing. Daly was given a drink of water, and Tracey turned his attention to assisting Gibbs out of some debris from the crash.

Guard Coulson walked the 2.4 kilometers to Bernaby for help, while Tracey went to Marrawing. A Gladstone doctor, ambulance and police officer arrived shortly afterwards, but Daly was dead when they reached the accident scene.

Breakdown gangs from Gladstone and Rockhampton were sent to the crash site with their first task being to construct a loop line around the accident by 10.00 am on 16 December.

The smash held up two divisions of the Townsville Mail and the Rockhampton Mail passenger trains, which left Brisbane on December 14, with all three trains being held at Bundaberg. Both Townsville divisions had reached Rosedale when news of the collision was heard. The Townsville trains were returned to Bundaberg due to lack of accommodation for passengers at Rosedale.

The collision prevented the normal Rockhampton Mail leaving form Brisbane on the night of December 15, but a special train for Bundaberg left from Roma Street at 9.20 pm.

The Queensland Railway Commissioner, Mr. Wills, announced on 18 December that a departmental inquiry into the collision would be held. Expectant media representatives who turned up for the inquiry the next day were disappointed when the chief railways engineer, Mr. N. J. Amos, who was conducting the inquiry, announced that the Press would not be admitted, nor would any statement be made until the matter had been placed before Mr. Wills.

Copyright material is acknowledged and is used for research and study purposes to the extent permitted by law and may not distributed nor commercially exploited without written permission
Map - Lonely Planet;
The accident is also on record at the following website: