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Wednesday 13 January 2010

Water tower volunteer killed by train

BWTAS expresses its sympathies to the friends and family of Mr Graves who although unknown to us was apparently a dedicated volunteer at Carlshalton Water Tower:

Croydon Guardian

Commuter killed after falling in front of train at Carshalton Beeches station

By Julia Kennard

A man killed in a freak accident may have been suffering from an epileptic fit when he collapsed on train tracks and was struck by a high-speed service. Philip Graves, 52, from Carshalton, died after being hit by the train on Sunday January 3 at 8.18pm at Carshalton Beeches station.
Mr Graves, who worked at Croydon Land Registry, had suffered from epilepsy according to his work colleagues and is believed to have been having from a fit when he was struck by the 8.09pm Sutton to Streatham Southern service.
A witness, who did not want to be named, was collecting train tickets from outside the station when he heard the impact of the collision.
He said: “A young lad came running up the side steps saying he thought someone had been hit by the train.
“I ran down and I guess naively, in the heat of the moment, expected to see someone injured, with a broken arm perhaps, or that just needed some help.
“The boy saw the next train was not due for 20 minutes, so he dialled 999, but the fast train came through within seconds.
“You couldn’t have much worse luck; to have a fit on a station and then fall onto the tracks, it was a tragic accident."
Neighbours of Mr Graves said he used to volunteer with the Royal British Legion and help raise funds for the upkeep of Carshalton Water Tower, a Grade II listed early 18th century garden building.
His father Stanley died last year; his mother Joan is in a nursing home and his sister is believed to live in Southampton.
Retired Jack and Jeanette Short, who lived next door to Mr Graves, said he would be missed.
Mr Short, 65, said: “He was involved in the poppy collection for the British Legion as his father also used to take an active interest - he was a former Red Cap with the Royal Military Police.
“His mother also used to be chairwoman of the local branch.”
Carshalton Water Tower secretary Julia Gertz said Mr Graves was a “valuable asset and quite a character” and would be “greatly missed.”
Terry McHale, line manager at Croydon Land Registry facilities department, said Mr Graves had worked for the Registry for about 25 years and was well-liked among his many colleagues.
He said: “He was one of the millions of people that don’t get noticed, but was a dilligent worker, who performed his duties quite religiously. He was an ordinary person, but one that just got on with it, did not make a fuss and did a thorough job.
“His death has been a big shock, particularly given the circumstances of his life.”
Police are not treating his death as suspicious.
A file is being prepared for the coroner.
Did you know Mr Graves? Leave a tribute by calling Julia Kennard on 0208 330 9541 or email

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