Derby

Dictionary honour for Derbyshire train hero

The Ballad of John Axon
Image caption A radio ballad documentary was inspired by John Axon's heroic actions

The story of a train driver who died trying to prevent a crash in Derbyshire has been added to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

John Axon tried to stop a train with broken brakes derailing between Buxton and Chapel-en-le-Frith in 1957.

His efforts failed, but a posthumous George Cross was awarded as he slowed the train and warned others, preventing the crash from being more serious.

The dictionary contains biographies of the people who shaped Britain.

Mr Axon could have abandoned the train but he allowed people time to evacuate trains on the track ahead by slowing the runaway train and sending warnings.

The train eventually collided with freight train, destroying a signal box and killing a guard on the freight train and Mr Axon.

Dr Philip Carter from the dictionary of biography said Mr Axon "was taken up as working class hero, someone capable of leading an ordinary life but performing heroic acts".

Mr Axon inspired a BBC radio ballad documentary, The Ballad of John Axon.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites