Catherine McAllister, Assistant Matron at Kingston Infirmary, killed in the Irish Mail Disaster, 14 August 1915


Catherine McAllister’s memorial is at St Agatha’s Roman Catholic Church, Kingston upon Thames.   She was a respected and much loved assistant matron at Kingston Infirmary, now Kingston Hospital.  Her promising career was cut short when, on 15 August 1915, she travelled home to Co. Down via the London and North Western Railway’s Irish Mail train which suffered a catastrophic derailment near Weedon, Northamptonshire.  Although she was rescued from the wrecked train, she had severe injuries and died shortly after admission to hospital.  An official railway accident report concluded that the derailment was caused because the track was put out of alignment by a detached coupling rod of a locomotive hauling a train that had travelled in the opposite direction. An analysis of the Irish Mail disaster which led to Catherine McAllister’s premature death can be found in the Appendix.

Download the Full Paper

The Author

David A. Kennedy, PhD

About 20 years ago, I accompanied my late wife to some talks on the use of computers in historical research and began to help her with her genealogical studies. Later, I took part in a project, organised by the Centre for Local History Studies at Kingston University, to digitise the Enumerators’ Books for the Kingston Census of 1851-1891. This rekindled my interest in history, especially that of Kingston upon Thames, where I live. This website has been set up so that I can share my research findings, some based on digitised material, with others who may be interested in them.

Share this Post

More To Explore