W246571 Pte Vera Barbara MARTIN, Auxiliary Territorial Service

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by Jennie Scott, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    I’m researching Vera Barbara Martin who died on the 16 August 1944, aged 19, at the Railway Bridge, Oak Lane, Upchurch, Kent. Her death certificate gives the information that she was in the 27th Battalion AckAck Division and that her death was due to war operations. She is buried as SS. Peter and Paul Churchyard, Shoreham.
    Casualty Details | CWGC

    I’ve search the newspapers but can only find one incident at that location; V2 rocket came down, landing just underneath the bridge and an oncoming train failed to stop in time, causing many deaths and injuries.

    My query is, would Vera have been an unlucky passenger on the train and is there any way that I can find out more?

  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    "Vera was killed instantly when the train hit an obstruction on the rails and crashed where the track crosses a single span bridge over a deep sunken road. The train was travelling at 60 mph."

    Altogether 9 lives lost, Vera was travelling with her sister, L/Cpl Gwen Martin, ATS, Gwen survived with shock and bruises. The report does not mention a rocket, just an obstruction, but I wonder, was not unusual to fail to mention enemy action in newspapers.
    Jennie Scott and 4jonboy like this.
  3. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    Thank you so much for that, it’s just what I needed to know, I can tell her niece exactly what happened now.
    Many thanks.
  4. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    Ps) the locals called the temporary replacement bridge “Doodlebug Bridge” according to the newspapers.
  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
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  6. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    Crikey! The pilot managed to flip it over, that is amazing; such skill and bravery. The photo says it all, doesn’t it. Thank you very much indeed.
  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  8. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    Oh my gosh! Photographs!! Absolutely marvellous! Wow. Blown away with that, thank,you so much. I’m still a novice searching the newspaper archives, I was pleased at finding a mention of the bridge.

    Thank you so very much for your time, everyone, Brilliant result, so glad I asked.
    4jonboy and Tony56 like this.
  9. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

  10. Jennie Scott

    Jennie Scott Member

    Thank you Tony, I now have the names of her family too!

    Really appreciate it, thank you.

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