Jackson, Edward

Jackson, Edward               1902 July 25th

Killed at his Post – Salisbury Man’s Sad Death

A carriage examiner, named Edward Jackson, 41, employed at the L & SWR Station, Salisbury, was killed on Friday morning whilst on duty. An inquest was held on Saturday afternoon by the City Coroner (Mr S Buchanan-Smith) at the Infirmary.

Mr Robert M Hall attended to represent the widow; and Mr J A Anwell, district locomotive superintendent, Detective Inspector Trump of the Company’s’ police, and Mr G W Goodyear, inspector of the permanent way, were present on behalf of the London and South Western Railway Company.

George William King, of St Paul’s Road, Fisherton, chief carriage examiner at Salisbury station, gave evidence of identification, and was subsequently recalled and questioned as to the work upon which Jackson was engaged on Friday morning when the accident occurred. In reply to the Coroner, witness stated that Jackson was at work in the goods yard near the old up-platform. He had to look over the wagons on the yard and then wait for the arrival of a goods train from Woking, which he was also down to examine.

The Coroner:- Had he any business on the down main line of the permanent way?

Witness:- No Sir. His business did not take him to the side where he was knocked down. He could have waited in the yard for the Woking goods train, and he had no occasion to go on the main lines at all.

Replying to jurors, King said there was room for a man between the metals and the wall of the bridge as a train was passing if he stood still instead of trying to go to the end of the bridge as Jackson was apparently doing when he was knocked down. The distance from the metals to the wall of the bridge was four foot two inches. When deceased was struck he was some 30 yards or 40 yards from the yard where he had been working.

John Bunce, of 27, St Ann’s Road, Brixton, London, an engine driver, on the London and South Western Railway, deposed that he was the driver of the Waterloo train due to reach Salisbury at 11.10 on Friday morning. There was a curve in the line, between the tunnel and Salisbury Station, and nearing the Castle Street bridge, he noticed a man trying to cross the water bridge only about 25 yards in front of the train, which was running at the speed of from 30 to 35 miles an hour. Witness had not time to sound his whistle before the buffer plate of the engine struck the man on the shoulder and the body was hurled along the line some yards. Witness had turned off steam before the man was struck and the train was almost brought to a standstill after the accident. He then proceeded slowly to the station and gave information as to the occurrence.

By the Coroner:- The man was not working in the four foot way, but between the metals and the wall of the bridge, witness thought there was room to walk along there with safety.

Charles Maple, a platelayer, employed by London and South Western Railway Company, stated that he heard of the accident whilst working near the old up platform and on proceeding up the line found the body of the deceased. Witness unfastened his waistbelt and collar, but found that he was quite dead. The body was taken to the mortuary at Salisbury Infirmary.

William Alfred Weekes, of 11, Devizes Road, a cable joiner employed by the Salisbury Electric Light Company, said he was working on the Railway on Friday close to Castle Street bridge, when he saw Jackson, and they conversed together for a few minutes. They spoke about the weather and the Coronation Fete that was to take place in Salisbury that afternoon, and then Jackson said, “The fast train is signalled. I must get away down and wait for the Woking goods.” As he said this the man walked down the line towards the station. Witness saw the train come along, but did not see anything of the accident.

Mr H Smith, house physician at the Salisbury Infirmary, stated that the body was brought there at about 12.15 on Friday. He had made an examination, and found a fracture of the back part of the skull, the right arm was broken in the upper part, and six of the ribs on the right side were fractured. These injuries were sufficient to cause death.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, and added a rider to the effect that no blame was attached to anyone.

The deceased was a devoted member of the Railway Mission and the Barnard’s Cross Working Men’s Mission. His loss is keenly felt by all his fellow workers and especially by the members of the Sunday Morning Court Mission, of which he had been a zealous member from its commencement. References were made to his death at the Working Men’s meeting on Saturday night, and in the Court visited by the Mission on Sunday morning. The evening meeting at Barnard’s Cross was specially devoted to his memory. He was also an earnest worker in the good cause of temperance. The funeral took place at the Devizes Road Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, in the presence of a large assembly, representing the members of various institutions who are now deploring the untimely death of their colleague. The service was conducted by the Rev. W G Triggs, and short addresses were given by Mr W H Holbech (Railway Mission), and Mr Frank Newman (Barnard’s Cross). Deceased’s favourite hymns, “A few more years shall roll”, and, “Sleep on beloved”, were sung. The mourners included the widow and family, and a number of relatives, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Witt and Son, of Fisherton. Many wreaths were laid on the grave.

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