Historical information

This flag was flying at the Wodonga Station when VR Driver John (Jack) Bowden drove past it whilst at the controls of the “Southern Aurora” on 7 February 1969. The Sydney – Melbourne passenger train was bound for Melbourne. At about 7.05 a.m. the “Southern Aurora” collided head-on with the Melbourne-Albury goods train near Violet Town. 8 people lost their lives in the crash and 117 were injured. Driver John Bowden had died of cardiac arrest at some time before the collision. The driver of the goods train, Lawrence Rosevear, a good friend and workmate of Jack Bowden had tried to apply the brake when he realised the Aurora was not slowing down, but was unable to stop the impact. Lawrence also died in the crash. A memorial is maintained at Violet Town to commemorate those who died and also recognised those who helped in the aftermath of the tragedy.


This flag is connected to the "Southern Aurora" train tragedy in 1969

Physical description

A large blue flag bearing the gold insignia of Victorian Railways. Canvas binding and the rope is still attached on the flag pole side. There is fringing on the other side but there is some fraying due to age.