Serious accident at dockyard

Susan Ann Moody, left, standing by the grave of her husband William

Susan Ann Moody, left, standing by the grave of her husband William

A picture believed to show the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Denis Daly, visiting Marchants Hill, 1940

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Mark and Angela Newman dropped me a line about a fatal accident in the Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth in 1909.

Such was the speed with which events were reported in the Evening News of the time, the accident occurred in the morning and was reported in the final edition of the paper. In fact the family of the man killed, William John Moody, found out about his demise by reading the paper.

Very few people had telephones at the time, so the family were not officially informed until later.

It appears that a large sheet of steel measuring 16ft x 5ft and weighing a ton fell on him when a strop broke from the overhanging travelling crane in No.3 shipbuilding shop.

William, who originated from Ireland, was married to Susan Ann and they had 15 children. How on earth she managed after William’s death we will never know.

In the photograph we see Susan, left, and her daughter, Florence Manning, standing by William’s grave some time after the burial. The boy is not known.

An odd feature of the grave is the flowers in glass domes. Also, bottom left is an advert for the stonemason carved into the marble. Very odd I thought.

William was Angela Newman’s great-grandfather.

I know it was a long time ago, but does anyone know anything about this incident?

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