Andrews, Reuben

Andrews, Reuben        1876 February 5th        Alderbury

On Tuesday last an inquest was held at the Infirmary, before the city coroner, Mr G Smith, on the body of an old man named Reuben Andrews, aged 65, who died on the same morning from having been accidentally knocked down while walking on the London and South Western line, at Alderbury, on January 24th. The following were the jury : Mr Marshall (foreman), and Messrs Alfred Brown, Isaac Dare, Charles Alfred Wright, Joseph Powney, Edward Luther, Nathaniel Whitlock, Philip Smith, Edwin Hillier, George Burden, William Chandler and John Lampard.

Mr Moses George Biggs, house surgeon at the Infirmary, the first witness called, said : The deceased was admitted at the Infirmary on the 24th ult., and I examined him. Over the left hip bone I found a wound about two inches long, and underneath this the bone was broken away. Just inside the wound was a large piece of intestine protruding, the wound itself extending into the cavity of the abdomen. He had no other injury, but died from inflammation and exhaustion caused by the injuries received.

Edmund Woodford, signalman at the Alderbury Junction of the L & SWR, was the next witness, and said : I knew the deceased, Reuben Andrews, who was employed by the Company as a ganger. On the 24th ult, I was on the 7.55am train from Salisbury to Southampton, on my way to Alderbury Junction. When we arrived within 25 yards of the Junction the engine of the down train commenced whistling violently, and I looked out of the van window and saw the deceased standing in the four foot down line. I hallooed to him and said “Look out, the train is coming!” He always walked with a stick, being crippled with rheumatics, and he just had time to turn himself round, when the buffer of the engine of the down train caught him by the hip and knocked him down. I got down from the van and picked him up. He was quite sensible. I asked him where he was hurt and he pointed to his hip, and said that was the only place where he found pain. The train that knocked him down stopped, and I then put him into it and brought him on at once to the Salisbury Infirmary.

Andrew Andrews was next called to state that he recognised the deceased as his father, who was employed on the railway for 40 years. He was not deaf.

It was stated that there was a rule that when men saw a train coming they should stand clear of both lines of rails.

The Coroner said that it seemed to him that it was a most lamentable accident through the carelessness of the deceased himself. He had his rules and book and didn’t choose to go by them, and he didn’t see that any one was to blame in the matter.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

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