The Smash on Lavington Hill

What do people expect under that heading? It would almost certainly not be what the postcard below shows.

The smash on Lavington Hill

The smash on Lavington Hill

It looks like a bunch of soldiers sitting around and waiting, which is probably just what they were doing. Actually, there’s quite a fearsome scene in the background, with a traction engine at a dizzy angle and trailers it was hauling all over the place with luggage scattered everywhere.

The traction engine with driver, believed to be Jimmy Oram

The traction engine with driver, believed to be Jimmy Oram

There we see the engine with a civilian engine man standing by, looking rather forlorn.

We have different stories about this card. Some say it was in 1907. Others say it was hauling Canadian officer luggage in 1914.

Somebody in the know will surely recognise if those men are Canadians?

Sitting and waiting - but who are they and when?

Sitting and waiting – but who are they and when?

Peggy Gye, who purchased a similar image, captioned it.


There’ll be no memories now, but maybe somebody could help with identification.

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4 Responses to “The Smash on Lavington Hill”

  1. John Young Says:

    I can’t throw any light on when the incident was or what nationality the soldiers were but it would be interesting to see Peggy’s photograph as from her notes it appears that it shows more of the engine.
    I agree with her that as the Brickworks engine had belly tanks this one is unlikely to be it as the water lifter hose is on the rear of the coal bunker where it would fill the tank underneath. With belly tanks under the boiler as on the Brickworks engine the hose would usually be on the side of one of the belly tanks.

  2. Kenny Green Says:

    Hi Rog,

    The soldiers in attendance at the Lavington Hill crash are Canadians – and members of the 8th battery field artillery. As you probably know, members of the artillery where billeted in the village as well as other nearby settlements after serious rainfall made their Pond Farm camp totally unsuitable.

    I have double checked with a Canadian genealogist friend and he concurs with the view that although quite blurred, the soldiers are Canadians. The field artillery wore cap badges (and uniforms) that were similar to the British army, but there is one chap (sat second from the left at the front) which allows for close examination and 99% proof of identification.

    What you may not know is that the Canadian army not only commandeered our home at No. 2 Stobberts Road they made significant alterations putting in an extra storey of accommodation (along with No. 1) making them four storey properties with cellars – and we’ll capable of billeting 8 maybe more officers…

    All the best,

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