Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 9:48 PM
Subject: Monday Morning Photo. 26/01/09.
G'day all, I've had the attached photo of Ballarat C Box for ages and I've no recollection of how I came by it except that it was in the family.
I didn't attach any particular importance to it other than as a record of the early 20th century on the Victorian Railways.
But.....not so long ago I found out that my paternal Grandma's younger brother, Bill Howard, met eternity right here, at Ballarat C Box on or about May 9th, 1915.
He was hit and run down by a locomotive and died shortly afterward in hospital. His brother-in-law quoted him as saying,
" I was a fool to go for the staff, I completely forgot about the other train".
Presumably he was the signalman on duty.
So maybe he is the sportin' looking chap posing on the steps of C Box.
P.S. I just realised that I'm assuming a level of knowledge. The staff is a token which entitles a train to occupy a section of the line, only one can be issued at a time so only one train can be in that section at that time. It is issued by the signalman at the beginning of the section and retrieved by the signalman at the other end. Bill Howard was retrieving a staff when he was hit.
P.P.S.It is obviously a professional photo, it is mounted on card and is quite badly damaged. I've had a bit of a go at tidying it up but my skills are very limited.