Hatch, John

Hatch, John            1879 March 8th

Mr G Smith, city coroner, held an inquest at the Infirmary, on Tuesday morning, on the body of John hatch, who died at that institution on Monday morning from injuries received (by accident) at Mr Futcher’s gravel pit near the Salisbury Waterworks, on the previous Wednesday. The subjoined evidence will give full particulars of the sad occurrence. Mr T Brooks was foreman of the jury.

The first witness examined was John Wilkins. He said : I am in the employ of Mr R Futcher as a labourer; and reside at 11, Pattison’s-court, Culver-street. The deceased was a fellow workman of mine. I last saw him alive on Wednesday morning when he was at work with me in the gravel-hole near the Salisbury Waterworks engine-house. He was shovelling gravel into a hand-sieve, and whilst so engaged about two barrows full of gravel fell from the top of the pit. I saw it coming and cautioned the men against it, and deceased was about to run away, when a portion of it struck him in the legs. The gravel knocked him on the edge of a barrow. He complained of being hurt in the side, and whilst the other men were placing him in a cart I went and got brandy for him. I gave him the brandy and sent him to the Infirmary.

By a juror : It is loose gravel, and not in a lump. It fell about nine feet. ‘Twas the corner of the barrow which hurt him.

Mr James Kelland said he was the medical officer of the institution. He remembered the deceased being brought there on the previous Wednesday morning; and on examining him he found an incised wound on the left side about six inches long, which appeared to have been caused by something not very blunt. On the same side three or four of the ribs were broken and driven in. He was bruised all over; and he complained of pain in the leg. It was not easy to give a decisive opinion, but the edge of a barrow did not appear sharp enough to cause the wound, although it was possible. It struck him at the time that deceased fell upon the edge of a stone or a spade. The fracture of the ribs had injured the lungs, and the deceased being an old man the shock to the system and the injuries were sufficient to cause death.

George Mathews, of 2, Scot’s-lane, labourer, said he was in the employ of Mr Futcher. On Wednesday he was “ruddering” gravel at the pit near the waterworks. Deceased was also engaged at the pit, and whilst at his work, between two and three barrows full of muck and sand fell from the surface, and a portion of it struck defendant on the lower part of his legs. As deceased was trying to get out of the way he fell across a barrow which was just in front of him. In the barrow was a quantity of sand and a sieve on the top of it. The deceased fell between the handles of the barrow on to the edge of the barrow, which was bound by hoop-iron and which projected above the edge of the barrow, so that in falling he would naturally fall upon it. After he had fallen deceased complained of being hurt in the side; and after he was placed in the cart witness saw blood coming from his side.

By a juror : The gravel was undermined a bit, but was fit to work under.

By the Coroner : It was loose stuff, and it would not do to undermine it much. It might have been undermined a few inches.

A juror : Not more? No, if it had been. More than two barrows full would have fallen away.

By another juror : After the deceased had fallen the hoop-iron on the edge of the barrow was bent. Witness did not know the age of the deceased.

Supt Mathews said he knew the deceased, and was aware that his age was 52.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.


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