William Bradley was a Platelayer employed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. He was aged 28 when he was knocked down and killed by a train.
The Salford City Reporter of 22nd October 1904 recorded the Inquest into the death of William Bradley of 25 Marple Street, Salford, held on Monday 17th October 1904. The first witness was William's widow Sarah Ann Bradley. She said that William had been employed as a platelayer for 2 years. He went to work at 5.45 am on Friday morning He never made any complaint about his work.
John Buckley of 2, Villiers Street, Pendleton, Foreman Platelayer, said that there were seven men in the gang. On Friday morning, they were working on a line near Oldfield cabin No.1. He had positioned a flagman and it was his duty to look out for approaching trains. At 10.15 am a train due out of Manchester exchange to Southport was approaching. The witness was not with his gang at the time as he had gone to see the Station Master at Ordsall Lane Station to get some flags and fog signals. He wanted the flags in case of emergency. He was about 50 yards away from his workplace (The Coroner criticised him for not being at his workplace). The gang called him and found the deceased was quite dead. His body was near No.2 cabin, 50 yards away from where he was working. The witness said that William had no business to go there.
Joseph Proctor of 9, Strawberry Street, Pendleton said that he was a flagger. He saw the signal drop and he knew which lane the train was coming on. He blew his whistle and the gang all got clear including the deceased. He didn't see the deceased walk toward cabin No.2. He did not know whether a train came up in the opposite direction. One of the men named Sullivan shouted that Billy had been knocked down.
James Royle of 69 Hankinson Street, Pendleton, platelayer, said that he heard the flagman whistle and got off the track. He went to the deceased after the accident and found him on the sleeper ends of the six feet. He was dead and his head was smashed. The body was removed to the mortuary. The deceased was going to the place where his jacket was and he said he was going to fetch some tobacco.
James Hall said that he was driving the Southport bound express train on the morning in question. He saw the gang of platelayers and whistled. He saw them all stand clear with the exception of one man who was walking toward No.2 cabin. When the train got close to him he stepped on the edge of the sleepers and was caught in the back by the extreme end of the buffer. The train was travelling at 30 mph.
The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
The funeral of William Bradley was held on Wednesday 19th October 1904 at Weaste Cemetery, where he was interred in plot G of the Church of England portion. Reverend T. Shinwell officiated.