White House Farm


Digging the tunnel
(picture from SWOP website)

White House Farm


White House Farm holds tragic tale
Of navvies killed within this vale,
Digging tunnels night and day
And laying tracks for new railway,
When all at once the roof caved in
Dividing man from life and limb,
The six who died they took away
To lay on floor in pub they say.

Six navvies died in a tunnel collapse in 1902, preparing the land for the new Marylebone to Wycombe railway line. A dip in the land in the fields above can still be seen to this day. The bodies of the six men were initially taken to the Mother Red Cap pub for an inquest into their deaths and then five of the coffins were taken as part of a large funeral cortege to Wycombe for a church service and, later, a mass burial at High Wycombe Cemetery. The sixth body, that of local man Harry Morton, was carried out in a family ceremony a couple of days later. The large white column (broken at its top to denote life cut short) can be easily spotted in the cemetery today.
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