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DEATHS FROM THE TANGIWAI RAIL DISASTER
24 DECEMBER 1953
MAIN TRUNK RAILWAY, TANGIWAI, NEW ZEALAND

At approximately 10.21pm on Christmas Eve 1953, the Wellington to Auckland Express plunged into the Whangaehu River at Tangiwai (Maori for Weeping Waters) killing 151 men, women and children.

Minutes before the train arrived, a lahar had burst from the crater of Mount Ruapehu and sent thousands of tons of water and rocks down the river weakening the bridge supports. The weight of the locomotive collapsed the bridge sending six carriages into the raging waters.

To this day, each Christmas Eve, a wreath is thrown from a train into the river as the train crosses the new bridge at Tangiwai. For further information on the Tangiwai disaster see TANGAWAI DISASTER

On the 18 March 2007 the lahar that had been expected from the crater at Mount Ruapehu finally happened. Flood warning devices in place on both the road and rail bridges at Tangiwai and also on the flood plain on the Desert Road (State Highway One) between Waiouru and Turangi worked and no lives were lost. For further information see RUAPEHU LAHAR.

This list is dedicated to those who lost their lives on Christmas Eve 1953.
You are not forgotten.

ADIN Henry 66 Married Labourer Purcell St, Foxton
ADIN Queenie (Mrs) 55 Married - Purcell St, Foxton
ANDERSON Margaret Jean 38 - - 39 Bristol Sq, Lower Hutt
ANGEL Johannes Petrus 23 Single Mechanic Post and Telegraph Dept Hostel, Wellington
ATTREE Trevor Crawford 21 Single Apprentice 7 Michael St, Masterton
BACON William Trevor 25 Single Clerk 6 Maida Vale Road, Roseneath, Wellington
BAGLEY Ann Victoria (Mrs) 58 Married - 33 Adams Terrace, Wellington
BAILLIE Hilda Mary Grace 36 - Typist 126 Rutherford St, Nelson
BENGE Colleen Frances 21 Single Machinist 18 Green St, Newtown, Wellington
BENTON Beverley 6 Single - Ahura Street, Marton
BENTON Edward Roslyn 42 Married - Ahura Street, Marton
BENTON Florence Ann (Mrs) 37 Married - Ahura Street, Marton
BENTON Glennis 9 Single - Ahura Street, Marton
BENTON Roslyn 3 Single - Ahura Street, Marton
BOOKER Murray Robert Grey (Murray Robert Craig) 7 1/2 Single - 13 Roy Street, Newtown, Wellington
BOUCHER John White 31 - Civil servant Weka Street, Taihape
BRADLEY Thomas John 23 - Railway Employee Manunui, Taumaranui
BRENNAN Bettina Melody 29 Single Typist 43 Bristol Sq, Lower Hutt (Levin and Co Ltd, Wellington)
BRETT Wilfred Lee 53 - Bank officer C/o BNZ, Taihape
BRIGGS John Hammond 23 - Civil engineer Maxwell Road, Tauranga
BYARS John Fleming 29 - Engineer Victoria Heights, Nelson (Levin and Co Ltd, Nelson)
CAPPER Desmond James 22 - Accountant 1 Drummond St, Newtown, Wellington
CASLON Patricia 24 - - 48 Seatoun Rd, Kilbirnie, Wellington
CLARK Trevor Charles 21 - Clerk Public Service Hostel, Wellington
COCHRANE Georgina Maitland (Mrs) 62 Married - 226 Tremaine Avenue, Palmerston North
COCKBURN Douglas Robertson 12 Single - 43 Te Ore Ore Road, Masterton
COCKBURN John Harold 17 Single - 43 Te Ore Ore Road, Masterton
COOK Edith Monica 23 (24) - - C/o YWCA, Brougham St, Wellington
CORMACK David Avery 60 Married Clerk 13 Meeanee Quay, Napier
CORMACK Violet Olive (Mrs) 58 Married - 13 Meeanee Quay, Napier
COX John Morrison 23 - - 11 Mills Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington
COX Mae Morrison 47 - - 11 Mills Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington
CRANCH Jean Mary 19 - - C/o Public Service Hostel, Oriental Parade, Wellington
CROUCHER Eric William 24 - Electrician 56 Calabar Rd, Mirimar, Wellington
CROWLEY Joan May 30 Single - 45 Coromadel Street, Wellington
DAVIES Gordon Leonard 28 Single - 27 Bridge St, Lower Hutt
DIGGLE Janice 4 mnths Single - 51 Bamber St, Wanganui
DIGGLE Norman Cyril 33 Married Painter 51 Bamber St, Wanganui (H/o Mrs Gladys Phoebe Diggle)
DIGGLE Valerie Joyce 2 Single - 51 Bamber St, Wanganui
DOOLE Elizabeth Graham 26 - - C/o Baptist Youth Hostel, Boulcott St, Wellington
DROWN Alan Maxwell 18 - Clerk 29 Hamilton Road, Hataitai, Wellington
EDGECUMBE Patricia Margarita 22 - Clerk 24 Osier Rd, Greenmeadows, Hastings
EILERS Ngaire Joyce 27 - - 46 Buckle St, Wellington
ELFORD Dianne Laurel 12 (10) Single - 9 Hungerford Road, Wellington
ELFORD Evelyn May (Mrs) 49 Married - 31 Cave Road, Houghton Bay, Wellington (or 9 Hungerford Rd, Wellington)
ELFORD Robert Charles 59 Married Carpenter 32 Cave Road, Houghton Bay, Wellington (or 9 Hungerford Rd, Wellington)
ELSLEY Cecilie Lily 29 Single Typist 8 Fitzherbert Terrace, Wellington
ENSOR Mabel Lay (Mabs) 23 Single Clerk 12 Anzac Avenue, Morrinsville
EVES Roberta Elizabeth (Elizabeth Roberta) 23 - - 48 Seatoun Rd, Kilbirnie, Wellington
FITZGERALD Geraldine 6 Single - 269 Riverside Drive, Lower Hutt
FITZGERALD Ian Gerald 23 - Tailor's cutter 15 Ariki St, Lower Hutt
FITZGERALD John Edward 12 (13) Single - 269 Riverside Drive, Lower Hutt
FITZGERALD Veronica Mary Margaret (Mrs) 40 Married - 269 Riverside Drive, Lower Hutt
FLAVELL Sydney Walter 59 - Labourer 14 Mudie St, Lower Hutt
FOOTE Harold Victor 27 - Hatter 11 Brookside Terrace, Christchurch
FOOTE Ian 7 Single - 11 Brookside Terrace, Christchurch
GOLDING Heather Edna 29 - - 1 Marsden Ave, Karori, Wellington
GOODHUE Frederick Gordon 24 - Clerk Waihou, Waikato (or 48 Waipapa Rd, Wellington)
GRAY Te Wheturere James - - - -
GRIGOR Sheila 18 Single Typist Fairview Guest House, Church Street, Wellington
HALE Eileen Frances (Mrs) 35 Married - 69 Marsden Street, Lower Hutt
HALE Robert Joseph 14 Single - 69 Marsden Street, Lower Hutt
HALLAM Kathleen Florence 24 - - C/o YWCA, Brougham St, Wellington
HAMMOND Ronald Charles 25 - - RNZAF, Shelly Bay, Wellington
HANLEY Christina Marie (Mrs) 25 Married - 6 Hyde St, Wainuiomata
HANLEY Evelyn 18mnths Single - 6 Hyde St, Wainuiomata
HANLEY Robert 29 Married - 6 Hyde St, Wainuiomata
HAYLER (HAVLER) John Herbert 27 Single Storeman 89 Jackson Street, Petone
HOLLOWAY Frederick Walter 26 - Clerk 34 Garden Road, Wellington
HYLANDS Arthur 53 Married Railway Employee 32 Rosewarne St, Christchurch
HYLANDS Elizabeth (Mrs) 53 Married - 32 Rosewarne St, Christchurch
JOSEPH (JOSEPHS) Stanley Victor 18 Single Labourer 65 Paice Avenue, Sandringham, Auckland
KARAM Madeline Bernadette (Madaline Bernadette) 26 (28) Single Clerk 24 Lincoln Road, Springvale, Wellington (or Wanganui?) (17 Beach St, Petone)
KEMP Reongaro 35 (23) Single WAAF RNZAF, Shelly Bay, Wellington
KENNEDY Suzanne Katherine 26 Single Clerk 19 Ellice St, Wellington
KENT Frederick Shipley 65 Married Storeman 24 Seddon Street, Naenae, Wellington
KENT Jessie Elizabeth (Mrs) 62 Married - 24 Seddon Street, Naenae, Wellington
KUKURUZSNYAK (KUKURUZRNYAK) Balazs (Balaz S) 26 Single Railway Employee 16 Hobson Crescent, Wellington (Railway Settlement, Aotea Quay, Wellington)
KURA % Mere - - - -
LIGHTFOOT Una Constance 18 Single Railway Employee Girls Hostel, 16 Tinakori Road, Wellington (46 Tinakori Rd, Wellington)
LLOYD Barbara Anne 16 Single - 338 College St, Palmerston North
LOVE Nerissa Ann 19 Single Typist 57 Compton Crescent, Lower Hutt
McFADGEN Gwendoline Dorothy (Mrs) 34 Married - 24 Adelaide St, Petone
McGINLEY (McGILNEY) Rae Marie 26 Single Typist 9 Carnot Street, Rotorua
McLEOD Gordon Alexander 21 Single Clerk H M Customs, Wellington
McMANN Royal Josephine 17 Single - Amesbury House, Palmerston North
MILLER Edwina Hilda 27 - Civil servant 26 Tinakori Road, Wellington
MILLER Jeanette (Jeanette Neil Johnstone) 32 Single Librarian 81 Kelburn Parade, Wellington
MILLER June Mary Mabel 29 Single Typist 81 Kelburn Parade, Wellington
MOIR Thomas Rowe Scott 19 Single - 177 Queenwood Rd, Levin
MOLEN Phillip James Vander 19 Single Civil servant -
MONTEITH Michael Thomas 25 - - C/o State Forest Service, Wellington
MOODY Melanie Carol Anne 5 Single - Nursery Road, Masterton
MOORE Carol May 18 - Domestic Reservoir Rd, Dunedin
MORGAN * Horace Royston 26 - Clerk 34 Garden Road, Wellington
MORGAN * John Henry - - - -
MURRAY Walter Edward 54 (53) Married - 39 Royal Tce, Dunedin
NICHOLLS Eva (Eve) (Lottie Mrs) 45 Married - 117 Russell Street, Palmerston North
NICHOLLS Herbert James (James) 13 Single - 9 Hungerford Road, Wellington (117 Russell St, Palmerston North)
NICHOLLS Jack Raymond 11 Single - 117 Russell Street, Palmerston North
NICHOLLS Paul Alan 9 Single - 117 Russell Street, Palmerston North
NICHOLLS Raymond Herbert 45 (50) Married - 117 Russell Street, Palmerston North
NIDDRIE Irene Patricia Christine (Mrs) 29 Married - 54 Hill St, Wellington
OLIVER Betty 26 (27) Single Student 22 Belle Vue Ave, Northcote, Auckland
OLSON Olaf Patrick 33 Married Civil servant Lewis Rd, Lynmore, Rotorua (C/o DSIR Wellington)
OSBORN Margaret Elizabeth 18 Single Clerk 3 Bond St, Marton
PAPARIKI (RAWERI) Linda 16 Single Factory Worker 31 Randwick Cres, Lower Hutt
PARKER Charles John Henry 52 Married Engine Driver 22 Eagle Street, Taihape
PARRY Herbert Staveley (Herbert Stanley) 70 Widower - 37 Thorndon Quay, Wellington
PERRY Margaret Jean 18 Single Machinist 63 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington
POLGAR John 25 - Cargo worker 16 Hobson Crescent, Wellington
PORTER Elizabeth Mary (Elizabeth May) 25 - - Boulcott St, Wellington
POWICK Josephine Margaret Ellen (Josephine) 20 Single Dressmaker Grove Rd, Blenheim (NOK Mr Charles Thomas Clarence Powick (father), Scotland St, Picton)
REARDON Pamela Waveney 20 Single Civil servant Hill View Cres, Taumaranui
REDMAN Lancelot (Lance) 33 Married Railway Fireman Robin St, Taihape
RHODES Joseph Henry 21 - - C/o Post and Telegraph Hostel, Wellington
ROBERTS Shirley Anne 18 Single - 105 Sefton Street, Highland Park, Wellington
RUSSELL Jim Leslie 19 Single Carpenter 21 Ashridge Rd, Napier
RYAN Leonard Arthur Vivian 24 - Labourer Kaitieke
SANDERS Margaret 21 - Telephone operator 31 Hobson St, Wellington
SCOTLAND Alexander 53 - Shepherd Flock House, Bulls
SCOTT Robert Aitchison 23 - - 290 Church St, Palmerston North
SHANDLEY Richard 23 Single Carpenter 290 Devonport Road, Tauranga (10 Edward St, Timaru)
SHARP Donald William 25 Single Dispenser 7 Wilson Street, Hawera
SQUIRE Pearl Jessie 41 - - 85 King St, Sydenham, Christchurch
STEAD Daphne Lily 32 Single Clerk Sydney, Australia (Grafton North, NSW, Australia)
STEVENS John Edward Lee 29 (20) Single Mail Room Attendant Post and Telegraph Department Hostel, Johnsonville, Wellington
STOKES Audrey Mavis 25 - - 36 Huia Street, Pahiatua
STOKES Joseph Charles 67 Married Joiner 36 Huia Street, Pahiatua
TER HUPPEN Gerrit Willem (Mr) (Gerrit William) 26 Married Optician 3 Fairview Cres, Kelburn, Wellington (15 Upper Lewisville Tce, Wellington)
TER HUPPEN Janna Manna (Mrs) 27 Married - 3 Fairview Cres, Kelburn, Wellington (15 Upper Lewisville Tce, Wellington)
THOMASS Neil Lewis 18 Single Motor mechanic Hopelands, Woodville
THOMASS Paul Garry 13 Single - Hopelands, Woodville
THONISSEN (THONNISSEN) Adrianus Hubertus 27 - Railway Employee Gracefield Camp, Lower Hutt
TORREY Joyce Ellen 26 - Civil servant 24 Lincoln Road, Wanganui
TREVELYAN Janet Mary 21 - Typist 55 Compton Cres, Lower Hutt
VAKALALA Aisea Sevutia (Mr) 20 - Student Palmerston North Boys High School
WALE Arthur John (Arthur) 32 - - 13 Roy St, Newtown, Wellington
WALKER Evelyn Joy 18 Single Dressmaker Comely Bank, Sawyers Bay, Dunedin
WALKER Mereana 22 Single Clerk Herd Street Post Office, Wellington
WARRILOW Dorothy Alice Eleanor (Mrs) 21 Married - 102 Church St, Masterton
WARRILOW Douglas Claude 31 Married Clerk 102 Church St, Masterton
WELLINGTON Gordon William 35 - Labourer 19 Perry St, Masterton
WELLINGTON Lillian Beatrice (Mrs) 71 Widow - 19 (90) Perry Street, Masterton
WHITE Margaret Rose 21 - - C/o Immigration Hostel, Trentham, Wellington
WILSON Betty Amy 24 Single Telegraphist 26 Tinakori Road, Wellington
WILTON Melva Doreen 16 Single - 12 Matai Street, Masterton
WOOD Amelia Agnes (Mrs) 65 Married - 58 Awarua St, Ngaio, Wellington
WOOD James 65 Married Sailmaker 58 Awarua St, Ngaio, Wellington
WOOD James (Junior) 15 Single - 58 Awarua St, Ngaio, Wellington
WORKMAN Doris Edith 41 - - -

* The following was listed in the deaths in the Bay of Plenty Times but does not appear on the Tangiwai Memorial.

MORGAN * Ronald (Donald) 26 - North Lane, Wellington

% Alternative entry for Mere KURA

HARU Kura 19 - Civil Servant 22 Oriental Tce, Wellington

The following are some of the survivors from the Tangiwai disaster. There was thought to be 278 passengers on the train, plus five rail staff and two postal officials.

ALAWAY William E - Car Attendant
BAIL F Mr Wellington -
BARLTROP Clifton Taumaranui -
BEARSLEY S R Mr Matamata -
BELL A N Miss Wellington -
BELL Arthur - -
BLAIR J A Mr Christchurch -
BOLGER Mr Paekakariki -
BREEN Mr Taita, Wellington -
BREEN Mrs Taita, Wellington -
CASSIDY Master Waiouru -
CHAMBERLAIN T S Mr Mangatoki -
CLIFFORD C C Mr Wellington -
COVENY R E Mr Christchurch -
DAVIES Mervyn (son of W Mr) Mosgiel -
DAVIES Mrs (Wife of W Mr) Mosgiel -
DAVIES W Mr Mosgiel -
DEAN Minnie Miss Dargaville -
DIGGLE A Mr Wellington -
FALLOON Glenis Miss (16 yrs) Christchurch -
FALLOON John C Mr Christchurch -
FALLOON John C Mrs Christchurch -
FITZGERALD Jim 269 Riverside Drive, Lower Hutt -
GREEN Louis - -
HARTNELL E J Mr Wanganui -
HAYMAN Mr Palmerston North -
HAYMAN Mrs Palmerston North -
HOLMAN John Mr Wellington -
HOLMAN John Mrs Wellington -
INGLIS William Ian Wellington Railway Guard
JEFFERRIES M H Mr Wellington -
KYLE R Mr - -
KYLE R Mrs - -
MAHY Barbara Miss (17 years) Whakatane -
MAHY John (15 years) Whakatane -
McGREGOR Beverley Miss Rotorua -
McLEAN D Mr and Mrs and 2 children Mt Cargill, Dunedin -
MORGAN Colin Lower Hutt -
RANSFIELD Hemi Matiaha - Assistant Guard
SEDURIALATA ?? Paul Mr Paekakariki -
SIATAGA Billy Mr Paekakariki -
SIMM P Mr and son Wellington -
SMITH J Miss Stokes Valley -
SMITH R Mr and Mrs and son Wellington -
SULENTA Charles D Auckland -
SUTHERLAND D Miss Palmerston North -
TIETJENS R Miss Paekakariki -
WASLEY Len - Railway Employee

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