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Commemorating the Abbots Ripton Rail Crash 1876

Photo credit: National Railway Museum

Huntingdon Town Council are pleased to invite residents to the unveiling of a new interpretation board in Priory Road Cemetery to commemorate those lost in the Abbots Ripton Rail Disaster.

The disaster occurred on 21 January 1876 where 13 passengers died, and 53 passengers and 6 traincrew members were injured. A number of those who died were buried at Priory Road Cemetery in Huntingdon. One victim buried at the cemetery was Dion William Boucicault, the son of the famous Irish actor and playwright Dion Boucicault, who funded the restoration of what is now the Cromwell Museum in 1878 in memory of his son.

The Boucicault Grave in Priory Road Cemetery has recently been restored by a local resident, Charles Saunders, assisted by Kevin Rayner & Sam Carter from Merchant Steel Solutions who were responsible for the removal and refixing of the railings whilst on site. Charles manually carried out all the restoration work on the railings, urn and the base from his own premises at his own personal cost.

Huntingdon Town Council are holding a small ceremony adjacent to the restored grave to unveil an interpretation board which has been installed to tell the story of the disaster and those who lost their lives. Members of the public who wish to attend the unveiling are welcome to join us at 10am on Monday 22nd January 2024, at Priory Road Cemetery in Huntingdon.

There are plans for further commemorations to mark the 150th anniversary of the disaster in 2026. For those interested in exploring the heritage of Priory Road Cemetery, including details on notable figures and Commonwealth War Graves, please visit the heritage page on the Huntingdon Crematorium Website. A link can be found here: https://huntingdoncrematorium.co.uk/heritage-page/

Source:  Huntingdon Town Council press release 12th Jan 2024