The year opens with two horse and trap accidents of Whatley and Rolfe, and continues with a warning of the perils of drink in the protracted Foan case, while the Appleby and Price cases show deaths in the river not attributable to suicidal tendency.
Within five weeks there are two cases of murder and suicide, Saunders in April and Maidment in May, children being killed and the parent then committing suicide. Is there a possible copycat scenario happening with these? There is some tragedy in the life of William Gage, the resident fireman, as related by his widow he had twice had sunstroke, had suffered electrocution and been injured in the debris of a fire, not to mention what he probably saw in his line of work.
I can – as a cyclist myself – readily identify the hazard of descending Lake Hill, and how the bicycles of a hundred years ago – such as in the Nolan case – were not always a reliable ride. The Hand case shows how parents, when ill themselves, were sometimes incapable of preventing preventable accidents.
The Dale case suggests serious mental trouble, in that a man fully capable of engineering his own death by electrical apparatus, should try to self-bludgeon his own death in what seems a terribly wearing and awful process. Shortly after, the Manns case raises questions over the safety of motor car drivers, the driver being exonerated of all blame – I suspect these days we would blame him for inattention.
The Hooper case raises the point over how bodies are presented to juries before the inquest, Salisbury lacking a public mortuary at this point in time. The Evans case seems to show complete lack of health and safety in how this labourer is pulling down the wall, and the Wilks case seems to indicate it was only the dirt holding life and limb together.
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