Blandford, Herbert

Blandford, Herbert   1895 April 11th             Charlton (near Tisbury)

A Dangerous Well

An inquest was held on Friday evening by Mr Coroner Wilson on the body of Herbert Sydney George Blandford, who was drowned by falling into a well, on the 3rd last.

Sarah Blandford, mother of deceased, said she went to the well about 12.30 noon to draw a bucket of water. Her little boy was with her, and as she was unhitching the bucket the poor little fellow was gone in an instant. She grasped for him but missed him, and shouted, “Oh, my boy is gone!” Mrs Trim, a neighbour, ran to her at once.

The Foreman (Mr H Richards) : Did you see your little boy while you were drawing up your bucket of water?

Witness : No.

The Foreman : Which side did he fall in?

Witness : The other side (meaning the back of the well).

The Foreman : Then he must have gone right round?

Witness : Yes, but I did not see him.

William Lever, mason, Ludwell, deposed that he was working at the Manor farm, about 200 yards away, when Frederick Blandford, a little boy, ran after him. When he arrived at the well there was nothing there to get down the well with. He went to Mr Ingram’s and obtained a waggon rope. It was about a quarter of an hour from the time the little boy called until he descended the well. He was let down the well by G Mullins and John Haimes. He found the body floating on the top of the water face downwards, and conveyed it to the top of the well. There was not a sign of life.

Mr Wm Gatehouse (a juror): Did anyone send for a doctor?

Witness : Yes, the child’s father ran for a doctor, and Dr Blucks, of Rowberry, came immediately.

A verdict of accidentally drowned was returned.

Several of the jurymen spoke of the dangerous state of the well and said they considered it should be seen to at once. It was absolutely unsafe to children, a juror remarking a child three years of age could lift the cover up.

The jury gave their fees to the parents of the child. On Sunday afternoon the remains of the child were interred at St John’s churchyard, in the presence of a large gathering.

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