George Whateley Holmes


George was born  on 2nd Feb 1883 in New York to Frederick Walter Holmes and his wife Elizabeth née Kerr.

In 1910 he was a manufacturer of jewellery living at 661 East 13th Street, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.

He married Ethel Carlisle, daughter of George Carlisle and Emily Gibson on 4th Feb 1908. On 18th September 1918, a draft card for military call-up was issued. 

He clearly worked in the family business, the draft card gives his employers as  F W Holmes and sons, 707? Mear(?) St (This could be Pearl St), New York, USA. However, before he could be called up, he was tragically killed in the train crash known as the Malbone Street wreck This was on a line known as the Brighton Beach L’. There was industrial action taking place on the line, and an inexperienced driver (or motorman) was put in charge of the train. He went through a sharp curve in the tunnel well in excess of the allowed speed. At least 93 people were killed. The authorities seemed keen to put the blame on this individual. See Map of the line here

The Newspaper, the Brooklyn Standard Union reported on 2nd Nov 1918 (strangely omitting his widow)

George W. Holmes, 35, of 611 Westminster road, one of those killed in
an accident on the Brighton Beach "L", is survived by his parents,
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick W. HOLMES, two brothers, William and
Frederick W., Jr., and four sisters, Mrs. Henry MOODY, Mrs. George
WHITLOCK, Mrs. Samuel KELLOGG and Mabel HOLMES. Funeral
services will be held on Monday.

He was buried in the Green-wood Cemetery on 4th November 1918.

The lead carriage (relatively undamaged) with the remains of the following carriage. Further information about the crash is on Wikipedia at

A book has been written about this crash, The Malbone Street Wreck, by Brian J Cudahy, 1999

Part is accessible on Google Books here. This records that the train was taking commuters home to the Flatbush district, and crashed between Prospect Park and Ebbets field. The book also records in Appendix D that on Dec 22nd 1919 Ethel C Holmes received a $40,000 civil settlement from the railroad company, the second largest recorded in the book.

Ethel was still living in Brooklyn at 915 President Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA in 1920 with cousin Madeline Vose, employed as a Saleswoman dry goods. Ethel died on 8th Dec 1975 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, having never remarried.


Return to Holmes Page                Return to Frederick Holmes Page            Home