In 1876 John died while saving the express train, the Flying Dutchman, from disaster. It was a split second decision that would, not only change the lives of his friends and family, but also bring up questions in Parliament.
I wasn't able to include this in the show but here's a poem written about John Chiddy at the time.
MEMORY OF JOHN CHIDDY.
With roar of whirlwind wheels
The flashing train flies by
No shock the traveller feels
He hears cry
Nor starts, nor holds his breath,
Nor wonders, nor looks back ;
He saw not what dire Death
Couched iv his track.
But one man saw and stayed not,
One man sprang forth to save,
And for their lives who prayed not
His own life gave.
The train bore on In thunder
The travellers on their way:
Beneath them, clov'n asunder,
Their saviour lay. more his life-drops wet
The iron pathway's side :
The iron folk forget
For whom he died.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams - Thursday 07 December 1876
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