Wednesday 6th June 1900 and railway guard Harry Cliff is in his van as the engine is detached for shunting. The train travelling to Walsall stopped at Hammerwich.
With no brake applied, the train began to roll down the incline. Telegraph message sent from Hammerwich to Lichfield City and points turned for the now hurtling wagons and vans sending them into a siding where they impacted with empty cattle trucks. Piled on top, littered all over, Harry Cliff's body was found in the very middle. He was just 40 years of age and lived at Stafford. The runaway train comprised 21 loaded wagons and 9 empties and was travelling at least 50mph. During the search they first spotted his feet and a part of his leg enabling rescuers to find the body fairly quickly.