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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 12:47 GMT
Villagers honour train crash dead
Parishioners looking at a wreath
Wreaths were laid in memory of the dead
People living near the site of the Berkshire rail crash in which seven people died have gathered for a commemorative service.

Villagers from the Ufton Nervet area came together at St Mary's Church in Sulhamstead Abbots.

Ambulance officer Stephen Hines, who led an emergency team at the scene of the tragedy, laid a wreath of poppies.

The seven victims included the train driver and a nine-year-old girl and her mother. More than 70 were injured.

Mr Hines, speaking of his emotions on returning to the site, said: "It is difficult to put into words, to be honest.

RAIL CRASH VICTIMS
Train driver Stanley Martin, 54, from Torquay
Anjanette Rossi, 38, of Speen, Berkshire
Ms Rossi's daughter Louella Main, 9
Emily Webster, 14, from Moretonhampstead, Devon
Barry Strevens, 55, from Wells, Somerset
Leslie Charles Matthews (Charlie), 72, from Warminster
Brian Drysdale, 39, from Reading

"It was a fairly horrific sight that we were faced with, and it is nice to come back to the community that did so much in the time before we were there."

The worshippers included Conservative MP John Redwood, who represents nearby Wokingham.

He said: "People are traumatised and are still very shocked, it's a dreadful tragedy."

The Rev Peter Dewey told the congregation: "When that train crashed and people were lost, dazed, confused, badly hurt and trying to clamber out of that train, who were their neighbours?

'Difficult scenes'

"Their neighbours were the ones who were first there, who got there and shone lights in the dark and showed them where to go across the fields, who beckoned them into their hearts, who brought them into their sitting-rooms."

Humphrey Gillott from the Railway Mission prayed for those in the rescue who had seen "difficult scenes".

The seven died on Saturday 6 November when a First Great Western train hit a car parked on a level crossing.

Police are investigating whether the car's driver, Brian Drysdale, 39, from Reading, intended to kill himself.




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