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Centenary of Britain's worst rail disaster is marked

By AP Reporters

Published 23/05/2015

The Princess Royal lays a wreath at Gretna Old Parish Church
The Princess Royal lays a wreath at Gretna Old Parish Church

Royalty politicians, military veterans and relatives of the victims have marked the 100th anniversary of Britain's worst rail disaster.

The Princess Royal and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended a special service in Gretna on the Scottish-English border on the centenary of the Quintinshill rail crash.

At 6.50am on May 22 1915, a train packed with First World War troops travelling from Larbert, Stirlingshire, collided with a passenger service.

Straight afterwards, a Glasgow-bound express train smashed into the wreckage at the Quintinshill signal box, setting off a devastating fire which engulfed the troop train, packed with nearly 500 members of the Leith Battalion of the Royal Scots.

More than 200 soldiers and 12 civilians were killed and a further 246 people were injured. The troops were on their way to Liverpool, where they were due to sail to the front line of the war in Gallipoli.

Events yesterday included the unveiling of a roll of honour and a commemorative tree planting.

Belfast Telegraph

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