Stone on the way as memorial to record breaking Mallard driver Joe Duddington moves closer following Doncaster Free Press campaign

The stone has been ordered for a permanent memorial to the iconic Doncaster train driver who broke a world speed record in the 1930s.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:00 pm

The stone has been ordered for a permanent memorial to the iconic Doncaster train driver who broke a world speed record in the 1930s.

Joe Duddington was the driver when the Hexthorpe-built loco Mallard set the steam train speed record in 1938, reaching 126mph.

But Joe, who died in 1953, lies in an unmarked grave in Hyde Park Cemetery.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mallard 3rd July 1938. L to R - Fireman T Bray, Driver J Duddington, both based at Doncaster shed, Inspector 'Sam' Jenkins from LNER Head Office, and Guard Henry Croucher of Kings Cross Photographer

Read More

Read More
Speed record train driver lies in an unmarked Doncaster grave - let's campaign t...

We have joined with Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery to campaign for a memorial to Joe – and now the stone is on its way.

Thousands of pounds were donated for a memorial after an appeal which we launched both online, and in print.

Helen Slade, secretary of Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery, the group who discovered that Joe’s grave was unmarked last year, said: “More was raised than we had expected, so there will be a headstone and kerbing, and there will also be a memorial plaque telling the story of the record attempt.

Joe Duddington campaign logo

"We’ve contacted J and M Memorial, and ordered the stone, which will take about 10 weeks to come from India.”

She said the dark grey headstone would carry the names of Joe and his first wife, Mary, who died in 1921, with whom he is buried; and a second, flat stone, in the same colour at the bottom of the grave would tell the story of his record breaking drive.

His family have been consulted.

There are also plans for a dedication service, when lockdown conditions allow, which would be attended by Mr Duddington’s relatives, as well as officials from both the Railway company LNER, and the railwaymen’s union ASLEF, both of which made donations to the appeal.

Matt feels that Doncaster should be very proud that it was the home town of the man who set the speed record.

He believes that while everyone knows of Donald Campbell setting speed records with Bluebird, it should be the same with Joseph Duddington and Mallard and the record from 1938.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.