Tancock, Samuel

Tancock, Samuel            1888 February 11th             Wilton

A feeling of great regret was occasioned in Wilton and the neighbourhood on Tuesday by the announcement of the sudden death of Mr Samuel Tancock, who for upwards of 20 years was station-master at the Wilton Station (L & SWR) and who was highly respected and esteemed, being of a very genial temperament. Mr Tancock (who is a native of Devonshire, and one of whose sons occupies a post at Crediton) returned from a holiday only the previous evening, and did not appear to have much the matter. At half-past seven the next morning he was on the platform attending to his duties, after which he re-entered the house. He only took a cup of tea for breakfast. At about nine o’clock he was in a chair in the sitting room apparently asleep, but at about 20 minutes past nine he expired. An inquest was held in the booking office at about five o’clock in the afternoon, before Mr R A Wilson, Mr J Lander being foreman of the jury.

George Tancock, son of the deceased, was the first witness. He said that he was a clerk at the Wilton station. His father was 63 last birthday. Witness last saw him about five minutes past nine, when he was in a chair, in the sitting room, apparently asleep. He had been complaining, saying that he had an attack of bronchitis and pain in the arm. He only took a cup of tea for breakfast. He had been away into Devonshire for a holiday and only returned last night (Monday) by the 8.18 train. He was jolly enough, but appeared to have a cold. He was restless at one time of the night, with a cough. When witness saw his father at about nine o’clock he was in the chair in the same position as the jury had seen him in.

William Davey, signalman, said that he was called across from the allotment just over the hedge, hard by, about quarter past nine. Deceased was in the chair by the side of the fire. He was not dead. He turned his head over and just seemed to give one breath after witness came in. Witness saw him on the platform at half past seven and he then seemed to be in his usual health.

Charles Albert Straton, medical practitioner, said that he had known the deceased for some years and had attended him professionally. Someone came for him about half past nine that morning and he arrived at about twenty minutes to ten. Mr Tancock was then dead, sitting in the chair. Witness had heard the evidence and believed that he died from angina pectoris (spasms of the heart). Witness attended him in March last, but for nothing of that kind.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.

The Coroner observed that it was a very sad case. Mr Tancock was well known, and, he was sure, very much respected and liked by every body who came into contact with him. He always had a cheery word for every one.

Mr Lander : Yes, he had.

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