White, George

White, George             1879 June 7th

A sad case of drowning occurred in the River Avon, near the Town Mill, on Saturday, which caused a deal of regret and excitement in the city. The victim was a little boy named George White, aged between five and six years; and although the sad event occurred on Saturday morning the body was not recovered until the morning of the following day. On the news of the occurrence having spread large numbers gathered on the new bridge at Fisherton, presumably for the purpose of seeing if the body came through the mill. Their efforts were unsuccessful, and, judging from the swiftness of the flow, we should imagine that the poor boy was carried through the mill immediately after he had fallen in.

The inquest on the body was held on Monday, at the “Three Crowns” inn, West Harnham, before Mr R M Wilson, county coroner.

Henry White, father of the deceased, said he was a labourer residing in Castle-street, Salisbury. The deceased was his son, and would have been six years old in August next. He left him at his house in Castle-street after he had had his breakfast on Saturday morning; and at about half-past one he heard he was missing from home. In consequence of the information he received he thought it advisable to search for him in the river. At first his labours were not successful, but at about ten o’clock on Sunday morning he found the body at the back of the Close. He should think that if the deceased had fallen in the river at the back of Castle-street, above the mill, the current would have carried him to the post where the body was found.

Henry White, junior, stated that he was 8¾ years old. At about 11 o’clock on Saturday morning he had to go to the Town Mill to get some flour. His little brother – the deceased – accompanied him; and after they had got the flour they went to play on a plank over the river. Whilst they were playing his brother’s foot slipped, and he fell into the water, and was carried through the mill. Witness went straight home and told his mother what had occurred.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

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