News / Customer’s connection to the Tay Bridge train disaster

Customer’s connection to the Tay Bridge train disaster

One of our customers got in touch to tell us about her personal connection to the Tay Bridge train disaster of 1879. Here is Linda Richart’s story:

‘I read with interest the article about the genealogy series Find My Past the TV show. My interest is with the Tay Bridge disaster episode.

My great grandfather, Francis James Chitty, was a commercial traveller and he was aboard the ill-fated train on that day, bound for a station beyond the Tay Bridge. At a station stop before the train crossed the Tay, however, he alighted to refill his flask. He emerged to see the train pulling out of the station, so he was spared from death. My grandmother was born in 1884 so I would not have been born if he had not refilled his flask!

We looked at one of the websites covering the disaster and noted that although 75 people were aboard the train, only 60 bodies were accounted for. We are left wondering whether the authorities ever established that my great grandfather was not on the train at the fateful moment, or whether they assumed he was one of the 15 missing bodies.’

Have any of you also discovered links to the Tay Bridge disaster?