This Bugle belonged to John Malone who died in the train crash at Quintinshill in 1915
At only 16, he was too young to go into active service at Gallipoli (the age limit was 17) but he was travelling as part of the regimental band which would play a musical farewell to the troops at Liverpool.
We have a display within The Devil’s Porridge Museum of objects and information relating to the Quintinshill rail disaster and in December (when the Museum was closed), we added two new objects to it. One is a seven foot long sign which formally stood at Gretna Green station and the other is a Signal Box showing the route of the trains involved in the fatal collision at Quintinshill at 6.49am on May 22nd 1915.
On that fateful day, a troop train carrying Royal Scots soldiers destined for Gallipoli collided with a stationary train at Quintinshill, near Gretna Green. Shortly after the crash the wreckage was struck by an express train from Carlisle, which sparked a catastrophic fire. This horrific accident killed at least 227 people and injured over 200; only seven officers and 57 soldiers survived the crash, of whom five went on to Gallipoli to face the machine guns of the entrenched Turks. This is still the worst rail disaster in British history.
The Museum has several objects of significance connected to the Quintinshill rail disaster including a rifle which was bent out of shape by the heat of the fire. There are heart wrenching accounts of trapped soldiers in the train begging to be shot because of the excruciating pain caused by the flames.
We also have a nurse’s uniform from the time of the crash. Patients were taken to Dumfries and Carlisle Infirmaries and doctors came to the scene to help if they could. There are dozens of photographs in the Museum’s collection showing the wreckage and the crowds that came to help and gaze at the spectacle. Many of these were turned into postcards within days of the event such was the interest in it.
Another object we have is a bugle which belonged to John Malone. He was aged just 16 when he died in the train crash at Quintinshill. He was too young to go into active service but he was travelling on the train with the regimental band to play a musical farewell to the troops when they boarded their ship in Liverpool.