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Level Crossing Accident 1943Print Page Print this page

15-May-2016
15-May-2016

Photographs supplied by Tom Bird

The memorial shelter and cairn commemorate the level crossing accident which occured in May 1943.

On 8 May 1943, a bus carrying Australian Army personnel from Bonegilla to Albury for a Saturday night recreation leave was hit by Steam locomotive A2 863 at the level crossing on the Tallangatta Road to Wodonga. The driver, twenty-three servicemen and a member of the Australian Army Medical Womens Service (AAMWS) were killed. Nine other service people were injured. This tragic accident was Australia’s worst rail-road smash at that time.

Location

Address:Thomas Mitchell Drive & Wigg Street, Wodonga , 3690
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.129386
Long: 146.896281
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Land Transport
Actual Event STart Date:08-May-1943
Actual Event End Date:08-May-1943

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th May, 1993
Front Inscription

Site Of Australia's Worst Level
Crossing Accident
8th May 1943

Those killed were
[ Names ]

This memorial cairn was unveiled by the Chief of the General Staff LtGen J. C. Grey, AO on the 8th May 1993

At this site, on the 8th May 1943 a bus which was carrying 28 servicemen and 5 servicewomen collided with a steam train on the Tallangatta Road Rail Crossing.  As a result of the accident 23 servicemen, 1 servicewoman and the civilian bus driver were killed.  The bus was travelling from nearby Bonegilla to Albury with soldiers who had been released on local leave.

A military funeral was held on 11th May 1943.  Four military trucks bore the 24 military caskets, ahead of a mile-long cortege of 130 vehicles from Bandiana.  The cortege travelled through the crossing adjacent to this cairn, proceeding through Wodonga and Albury, to the Albury War Cemetery.  The civilian bus driver was buried at Williamstown, Victoria.

In June 1943 a coroners inquest was held to uncover the cause of the Wodonga tragedy.  A finding of misadventure was recorded.

This memorial cairn was erected by the members of the units of the Albury Wodonga Military Area, the Rural City of Wodonga and the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.  It serves to remind us of the contribution that these fine young men and women were making at a time of great threat to our national sovereignity.

Plaque :

This Memorial Shelter Was
Designed And Fabricated By
Sgt Tony Monagle Along With
The Appreciated Assistance
From WO2 Paddy Keenan.

Bandiana Logistic Group
April 1993

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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