George Kembery (also called Kimbery by the newspapers) was an off-duty engine driver who fell asleep on the railway tracks at the Bogantungan Railway station.
This obviously wasn’t a clever place to sleep, especially at 3am on a Sunday morning when the goods train from Emerald was due.
The first anyone knew of his presence was when the driver, shunting into the station, heard a shriek. Kembery had been caught by the train’s cowcatcher.
Although he was able to crawl out himself, his injuries were serious enough that he was taken by special train to Springsure hospital (165k by road today but probably shorter by train in those days).
Kembery left a wife and children.
In 1960 Bogantungan became the site of Queensland’s worst train disaster when the Midlander passenger service crossed the flooded Medway Creek. Water had weakened the pylons and the train came crashing down, killing seven and injuring 43. The accident happened at 2.30am, eerily close to the time Kembery was killed.
Kembery’s sinking headstone is found at the Springsure cemetery.
Sources: Morning Bulletin, Tuesday 29 April, 1890, p6
The Queenslander, Saturday 3 May 1890, p821
Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser, Tuesday 29 April 1890
The Capricornian, Saturday 3 May 1890 – Page 15
Medway Creek Rail Disaster, viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medway_Creek_rail_disaster on July 30, 2022.