George Geer & William LyonsPrint Page Print this page

09-January-2014 (Bryan Hardy)
09-January-2014 (Bryan Hardy)

Photographs supplied by Father Ted Doncaster / Bryan Hardy

The fountain commemorates George Geer, engine driver and William J Lyons, fireman.

The fountain was originally situated at the corner of Helena Street and Newcastle Road (now Great Northern Highway). In about the 1930s it was moved to Helena Street and Railway Parade  (which then had the Trades' Hall situated opposite) although it was re-erected without its fountain function. The memorial was restored, rededicated and relocated back as close possible to its original position in 1995 to commemorate the centenary of Midland.

George Geer and William Lyons were killed in August 1904, when their railway engine overturned after the bridge was washed away at Poison Gully, on the Midland Junction/Pickering Brook Canning timber line. A committee of local citizens was formed after the accident which raised funds for the erection of the memorial by holding benefit sporting events, concerts and dances and by subscription lists sent to railway unions throughout the State. This was the first major railway accident in Western Australia.

To facilitate street improvements near the Carnegie Library, Midland Junction, the Midland Junction Municipal Council has moved the Geer and Lyons memorial fountain from the library corner to a more suitable site opposite the Midland Junction Trades Hall, at the corner of Railway-parade and Helena street, where it is now being re-erected. The fountain is in memory of George Geer (driver) and William Lyons (fireman) who were killed in an accident at Poison Gully, on the Kalamunda line, on August 1, 1904. Early on the morning of that day they left Midland Junction with a train of empty trucks and a brake-van and proceeded along the Kalamunda line. When they reached Poison Gully the train was derailed because of a washaway of a culvert and bank caused by an abnormally heavy flood. Where the culvert had been was a gap about 15ft. to 20ft. wide and 7ft. deep, and the rails and sleepers there were hanging without their proper foundations. The engine dived into this opening and both the men were killed.
The West Australian (Perth), 23 March 1935.


Address:Helena Street & Old Great Northern Highway, Midland, 6056
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.888775
Long: 116.00271
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Land Transport
Actual Event Start Date:01-August-1904
Actual Event End Date:01-August-1904
Designer:Minchin & Cook


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 8th November, 1905
Front Inscription

Erected to the memory of Driver G. Geer and Fireman W. Lyons who were killed in the Poison Gully railway accident

August 1st 1904

Plaque :

The restoration and relocation of the Geer - Lyons "Dolphin" Memorial was made possible by the generous donations of time,
labour. materials and expertise of the following :
Swan Shire Council and staff
Midland Centennial Committee
Descendants of the Geer family
Granite Construction Co.
Midland Brick
All Type Engraving & Signs
Barbara Dundas : Historian
Bruce Callow & Associates Pty. Ltd : Architects
Simon Ambrose : Centennial Co-ordinator

Right Side Inscription

This memorial was restored and relocated to this site on 10th November 1995 by the Shire of Swan to commemorate the Centenary of Midland.

The Geer - Lyons Memorial was originally located close to this position, adjacent to the now demolished Carnegie Library. In the 1930`s the lower section of the memorial, without its light, column or drinking fountain, was relocated onto the railway reserve at the corner of Helena Street and Railway Road.  The memorial was classified by the National Trust in 1988 and its restoration and relocation, back as close as possible to its original position, was a commemorative project by the Midland Centennial Committee.


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