On This Day – February 4, 1875

An interesting train accident happened on the 4th of February 1875, which almost took the life of Victoria’s most famous judge, Sir Redmond Barry. Barry known as the hanging Judge and the man who sentenced bushranger Ned Kelly to be executed, was travelling by train from Toowoomba to Warwick in Queensland. The train, which consisted of a saloon car, two composite carriages, a break van, two horse boxes, two sheep vans, and an open wagon was speeding along, about three miles past the Cambooya station when it was struck by a blast of wind of hurricane force. A storm of wind, rain and hail was raging, and such was its strength the wind the whole train was lifted of the line. The saloon carriage in which Sir Redmond Barry was travelling, next to the engine, and the composite carriage, which followed it, turned over on their side, and the next carriage smashed into the end of the saloon, smashing the woodwork and projecting a number of formidable splinters where a moment before the distinguished traveller had been seated. Sir Redmond had but a moment before the accident risen to close the windows against the increasing storm, and by a happy chance reseated himself at the opposite end of the carriage. The carriage next in order settled at an angle of about sixty five degrees, while the remaining wagons, came to a stop in all sorts of positions. Amazingly no one was serious injury. This poses the question if Sir Redmond Barry had of been killed in this accident, would Ned Kelly have be sentenced to be executed?