Public Art: Geer-Lyons Memorial
Also Known As : Poison Gully Memorial
Description: The Geer-Lyons Memorial commemorates the
first major railway accident in Western Australia and the death of two rail workers, George Geer and William "Jack"
Funded: The memorial was funded by the people of
Date Unveiled: The Geer- Lyons memorial was unveiled
at 3 pm on 8th of November, 1905 .
Location: The Geer-Lyons memorial was originally
located in front of the Public Hall at the junction of Helena and Newcastle Streets in Midland but has been moved
several times since then.
Erected to the memory of
who were killed in the
August 1st 1904
Background to The Poison Gully Accident of 1904 : The
Posion Gully accident happened on a wet and windy night near a wooden bridge crossing at Posion Gully just outside
of Midland on the 1st of August 1904. The train, a G class Locomotive G134, was on its way to Pickering Brook,
about 15 miles away, to pick up passengers and produce. Rain had been pouring heavily for two days and the driver
was cautioned to go "steady" around a well known curve along the track.
Unfortunately on that fateful night the engine was hauling the tender first (a special rail vehicle
containing the locomotive's fuel wood, coal, or oil and water) making it impossible to use its headlight. The
driver had no idea that the persistent rain had washed away the culvert and bank near the bridge crossing and that
he was heading towards disaster. When the locomotive neared the creek, the sleepers and rails, which were literally
suspended in air , collapsed and sent the locomotive nose first into the water.
Fireman, William "Jack" Lyons was sent hurtling into the creek with the tender landing on top of
him and the driver, George Geer, was crushed by the concertina-ing carriages and lay dying on the bank of the
creek. When the guard, Adam Anderson (who was at the back of the carriages) realised that neither of his work mates
could be saved, he hobbled back to Midland with a broken leg to raise the alarm.
This incident would mark the first major railway accident in Western Australia.