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A small rural community in Western Australia pauses to mark the 100th anniversary of the state's deadliest train crash, which killed nine people and injured two.
On November 6, 1920, a timber train known as the Jubilee had been carrying railway sleepers and mill workers from the Mornington Mill when it careered off the tracks.
The train crashed near the town of Wokalup, just south of Harvey in the south-west of WA.
Wendy Dickinson, the president of Harvey History Online, said the disaster was a big story at the time.
"I can remember growing up and hearing about it from my mother who was from Harvey," she said.
"Nothing like this had ever happened and this was not long after people had returned from the First World War.
"To have something like this, it had a big impact on the young men at the time."
Media reports from 1921 show an inquest heard the crash was due to insufficient brakes being applied before the train began a decent, but blame was not attached to anyone.
The train crash scene in 1920.(Supplied: Rail Heritage WA)The man who raised the alarmLocal timber worker Joe Flynn was one of several men who had hitched a ride on the timber train.
"He was able to scramble onto the last bogie," said Flynn's great-nephew, Norm Flynn.
"He was sitting up there with another one or two men and that was the only bogie that stayed on the line when the derailment occurred."
Norm Flynn began to research the crash after first hearing about it from his grandfather.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)Mr Flynn first heard about his family connection to the crash from his grandfather in the 1960s.
He was told his great-uncle rushed to Wokalup to raise the alarm.
"The story in the paper is that he ran into the hotel and yelled, 'The Jubilee, the Jubilee is off the line!' but no one could understand what he was saying," Mr Flynn said.
"So, they sat him down and gave him a drink and he said, 'The Jubilee is off the line and all hands are dead'."
After Flynn raised the alarm, a rescue team went to the crash site and managed to pull survivors, which included the driver, from the rubble.
"He was seen as a bit of a hero in the family's eyes," Mr Flynn said.
Remembering for the next generationTo acknowledge the crash, the Shire of Harvey will erect a sign at the Wokalup Tavern, the site where the news of the crash first broke.
Wendy Dickinson says it is important the local community remembers the tragic crash.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)Ms Dickinson is also a Harvey Shire councillor and says it is important the community remembers the story for generations to come.
"Once the people that currently know the story pass away, this could very easily get lost," she said.
"It was a very significant disaster so it is very important for us to remember and acknowledge it."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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