Adam/ June 16, 2018/ World War II/ 0 comments

This plaque commemorates James bravery and heroism in the Soham Railway Disaster.

The Soham Railway Disaster is a terrible sad disaster that occurred on June 2, 1944. The story goes as driver Benjamin Gimbert and his fireman James Nightall. They were in charge of transporting bombs to the USAF in White Colne, Essex, UK.

As they were coming up on the village of Soham which resides in Cambridgeshire. Driver Benjamin noticed that the wagon connection directly behind the locomotive was on fire. That is not a good thing anytime but to make matters worse this train was carrying tons of explosives and bombs.

So then Benjamin hurried up and promptly stopped the train. Then James came down from the footplate to unhook the engulfed wagon. Only being 128 meters (420 feet) from the station in Soham they attempted to ditch the wagon in the open countryside before the b0mbs could explode.

They, unfortunately, failed to do that and just seven minutes after Benjamin noticed the fire the wagon exploded. It absolutely destroyed and flattened the station damaging 600 others, threw Benjamin 200 meters (about 600 feet) away and somehow he miraculously survived.

The explosion also, unfortunately, killed two railroad workers who had stayed behind to try and stop another train from barreling towards the wagons path of destruction it left in its wake. Despite the magnitude of the explosion and the 6 meter (20 feet) deep crater.

This plaque commemorates Benjamin and James.

The track was up and running again the same day in the evening. For Benjamins and James bravery and heroism in the face of death and injury, they received the George Cross which is the highest award for non-combat bravery in the British and the Commonwealth. To commemorate and honor their heroism they were honored with two plaques showing their actions in Sohan.

Works Cited

“10 Amazing Untold Stories From World War II.” Listverse, Listverse, 21 June 2014,

By Tiger, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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