Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Very Bad Railway Clerk, Mr Agnew

I always find looking at railway staff records weirdly interesting. Not because of the career paths individuals took, but because of the things that railway workers did wrong. I suppose I just like a bit of deviance in my life. I was having a look at some London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) clerical staff records and I found the interesting case of Mr Agnew. Agnew joined the L&SWR in October 1874 at the age of  sixteen as a Junior Clerk at Bournemouth. Yet, after eleven and a half years of employment, at the age of twenty-seven, he was dismissed. Throughout his short career with the company he committed a number of minor offences, such as delaying telegrams and re-issuing tickets improperly. Thus, for each occasion of rule-breaking he was fined a small amount. However, in his later years his offences got worse, and in January 1884 he was fined £1 by the company for picking up and attempting to keep a sovereign which had fallen from another clerk's cash. Then, in April 1886, he was finally dismissed for attempting to embezzle the company out of £28 15/-.

Clearly, not all railway workers had a 'job for life' if they got up to such antics.

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