The Weatheralls Primary School

Gimbert

History

The Soham rail disaster occurred on 2nd June 1944, during the Second World War, when a fire developed on the leading wagon of a heavy ammunition train. The wagon contained a quantity of high explosive bombs. The train crew had detached the wagon from the rest of the train and were drawing it away when the cargo exploded. The fireman of the train and the signalman at Soham signal box were killed and several other people were injured. The driver, Benjamin Gimbert, and fireman, James Nightall, were both awarded the George Cross for preventing further damage which would have occurred if the rest of the train had exploded.