Shergold, Ernest

Shergold, Ernest          1886 April 29th              Woodfalls

On the morning of Easter Monday an inquest was held at the Infirmary, before Mr G Smith, touching the death of Ernest Shergold, aged nine, who died on Good Friday, through an injury received on the previous Wednesday, when a wheel of one of two wagons which was being drawn by a traction engine at Woodfalls went over his left leg.

Allen Blundell, grocer’s assistant, said that he was driving about twenty yards behind the traction engine near the Old Inn, kept by Thomas Beauchamp, and saw several children playing about the engine, which was in motion, drawing two trucks of coal. He observed some running between the first and second trucks, and then saw a man get off the engine to caution them and remove them from their dangerous position. A child on the right hand side fell, and the wheel went over its leg. He fancied that the child was “sort of frightened” when the man looked over, and stumbled. Two young men picked the boy up. The time was, he thought, about one o’clock. He thought that the rate at which the engine was going was from three to three and a half miles an hour. He was sure that it was not going faster than that. It was stopped immediately the accident happened.

Charles Precey, of Redlynch, Downton, said that he was a steerer of a traction engine, and on the day in question was steering an engine which was proceeding from the Railway Station, Downton, to the Powder Mills, Fritham, with two trucks. There were some children close to the trucks, and he got off to tell them to get out of the way. When he got off he saw two or three between the trucks. He removed one. When he looked round again there were two on the other side. He saw them falling and called out to the driver to reverse the engine at full steam. The engine was reversed. A person named Forder took up the injured boy and carried him into his grandmother’s.

Mark Shergold, father of the deceased, said that he was a sawyer living at Woodfalls. He was sent for directly the accident happened, and he brought the child to the Infirmary, in a trap, arriving about four o’clock. He did not call at any doctor’s on his way in. Nearly all the blood that the child lost was lost before they started. The leg was almost off. He cautioned the boy about five minutes before the accident not to do the sort of thing that had been spoken of. Traction engines constantly passed their doors.

L S Luckham, house surgeon at the Infirmary, said that the boy had received such injuries that immediate amputation of the left leg was required. He sent for the surgeon, and the operation was performed. The patient never rallied from the double shock. He died on Friday evening.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and they gave their fees to the father of the deceased.

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