Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: TURNER, Reginald Bertram (Sergeant)

Birth Date: 1878 Exbourne, Devon

Death Date: 2.12.1901 - mile 547, Muhoroni, rail accident

First Date: 1898

Last Date: 1900

Profession: Telegraph signaller

Area: Nairobi

Book Reference: North, Globe, Gazette, Genesis, Gillett

War Service: Royal Engineers seconded to Uganda Railway

General Information:

North - Uganda Railway - From Plymouth; Telegraph Signaller RE; UK appt. as Telegraph Signaller 6/12/1898; Nairobi mid 1899; d. 1/12/1901 killed in train crash at mile 547, Muhoroni
The Globe Trotter - 6/3/07 - Article by J.T. Oulton entitled 'The Wanandi and the Wire' about the early days of the telegraph line. " ……. Toward the end of 1901 one of our men, R.B. Turner was unfortunately killed in an accident on the Railway and the poor fellow lies buried at Kibigori."
Gazette - 15/2/1902 - Probate - Cause No 9 of 1902 - Estate of the late R.B. Turner deceased, who died on the Uganda Railway line on the 2nd day of December 1901.
Genesis - 'I had two white men camped with me at Kibigori. One a signaller, Mr Turner, who was awaiting the arrival of the telegraph line and another Mr Nesbitt, a bridge foreman, who had finished his work and was simply waiting for the rails to reach the lake so that he might get back again to his wife in England. Many a time when I was prostrated with fever would these two obliging souls carry instructions from me to my workmen so that our progress might not be delayed. ......
One evening Mr Turner, the signaller, said he would like to go to Muhoroni and return early next morning, as he wanted to see what progress the telegraph party were making, and Nesbitt seeing me down with the fever, and anxious not to be left alone in the camp, elected to accompany Turner. Their train had not left rail-head more than a few hours, and I was lying in my tent, when to my surprise, I heard it returning in the dark, and bad as I was with fever I got up and went to meet it, to be informed by an official on the arrival of the train that a collision had occurred. ........
My first thoughts were for Nesbitt and Turner, so I asked to see them. Poor Turner was so badly mangled as to be almost unrecognisable. He and Nesbitt had been seated in front of the leading truck, and had received the full impact of the onrushing train, and Nesbitt - he had just sufficient life to remark that he had built his last bridge, and to devoutly consign his wife to the keeping of the Almighty. In the fever-laden swamp, close to the railway line, two humble slabs were erected, and stand to this day [1950s].

Back to search results