Mary Ward, the first person to be killed in a car accident – 31 August 1869

Posted on August 30th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 31 August 1869, Mary Ward (nee King) became the first person to die in a car accident in the UK and Ireland.

It really was a terrible accident, with poor Mary falling under the wheel of the steam-powered vehicle, while it was negotiating a bend on the road near Parsonstown in County Offaly, Ireland.

 

Read newspaper reports about the accident

 

If you’re a genealogist and/or fan of the BBC TV programme Dr Who, you might be interested to know that Mary Ward is the great-grandmother of the English actress, Lalla Ward, who played the part of Romana.

Included below are three newspaper reports of this terrible accident.

Historical newspaper report about Mary Ward - the First Fatality in a Car Accident in the UK and Ireland

Western Daily Press – Thursday 02 September 1869
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

View the whole newspaper page

 

Historical newspaper report on Mary Ward - the First Fatality in a Car Accident in the UK and Ireland

Shields Daily Gazette – Wednesday 01 September 1869
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

View the whole newspaper page 

 

Historical newspaper report on Mary Ward - the First Fatality in a Car Accident in the UK and Ireland
York Herald – Saturday 04 September 1869
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

View the whole newspaper page

 

Read other newspaper reports about the accident