Nathaniel Kettle (1833-1921)
Lived at 22 Rockmount Road in 1911, aged seventy-eight and a widower.[i] He was reported to be involved in a terrible accident on the North Kent Railway in 1857 and described as a shoemaker of Warwick Street Pimlico who was very much hurt in the abdomen. He was one of “the following, who had been brought on to St Thomas’ Hospital, after having their wounds dressed, were, by their own wish, conveyed home in cabs”.
The accident is reported as following: The North Kent line was, on Sunday night, the scene of a deplorable accident which occurred a few minutes before 11 o’clock between the Blackheath and Lewisham stations. It resulted in the death of 11 persons, while many others were so seriously injured as to render recovery almost hopeless. It appears that the 9.15 train from Strood left at the time appointed for its departure, and passed through Blackheath Tunnel without anything having occurred to arrest the progress, but, on nearing Lewisham station, which is only one mile from Blackheath, the driver found the signals against him, and pulled up the train just before coming to the platform. The signals were kept on, and the second guard was sent back with his red lamp to prevent the possibility of the expected 9.30 p.m. up-train coming upon them. Several passengers alighted, but the large majority, observing the precautions which had been taken, kept their seats in fancied security, until suddenly without more than a few seconds warning, the 9.30 p.m. train was heard rushing towards them. Before any movement of the dead train could be affected by its own engine-driver, the coming train ran into violent collision with it. [ii]
[i] 1911 Census Return for Rockmount Road
[ii] The Morning Chronicle, June 30th, 1857