1905 is certainly a busy year for the Coroners in this collection, and even they acknowledge at one point the impact the Press potentially has in publicizing sudden deaths and suicides.

Among the 1905 cases are the Cooper case in which a cyclist undertakes a horse-drawn tar tank, directly causing the horse to bolt and crushing the poor driver who was knocked off under the wheels. The Smith case shows us someone who felt there was nothing left, spent his last penny on a beer and put his head in front of a train.

The Lawrence case again clearly demonstrates the lack of any accountability for the safety of the men working in the yards; A is only supposed to do this much, B is expected to do only this much, etc, etc,. Today such a case would be something akin to Corporate Manslaughter. It is also clear from the questioning that the witnesses do not want to endanger their jobs by telling the full truth.

1905 is littered with a number of drowning cases, so many that the Salisbury Times actually headlines a couple cases with the line “The Drowning Season.” There are a number of cases of people falling down stairs, and in one or two it seems amazing that the obvious fracture is not dealt with sooner.

I can sympathise with the panic perhaps felt by young lad Stanley Lambden, who suddenly realised he had passed the station he should have alighted from. A similar lack of decision and sudden rush seem to have accounted for Philip Bolton. Crime and punishment are a theme exposed in the Lamb case, a simple argument with Stephen Day in 1904 resulting in Day’s death, and a prison term and nine months later, Tom Lamb seemingly cannot live with what happened.

The outstanding case of the year, perhaps the worst in the entire collection, is the Head multiple-murder case

Alexander, Mr J                 Whiteparish

Jay, Charles                      Ansty

Bennett, Ellen                   Steeple Langford

Hall, Edith

Ireland, William                Southampton

Daniells, Rose

Legg, Elizabeth                 Romsey

Hayter, William

Coombs, Phyllis

Poole, Alfred

Read, Richard                  West Tytherley

Cooper, Edwin

Hayward, John                 Barford St Martin

Sargent, George

Cawthorne, Harold

Bealing, Arthur                  West Knoyle

Falkner, William                Durrington

Redman, Ashley                Romsey

Lewis, George                   Bulford

Read, Charles                    West Tytherley

Foreman, Rose

Bailey, Mary                       Ringwood

Elliott, Edith

Allen, William

Robbins, Walter

Drewitt, George                 Easterton

Gregory, Joseph                 Bulford Camp

Churchill, Harriett

Whatley, Sarah                   Warminster

Ford, Samuel                     Codford St Mary

Ellis, William                      Bulford Camp

Stone, William                    Harnham

Smith, Henry                       Stapleford

Mills, Albert                        Pitton

Coombs, Percy                   East Knoyle

Williams, James                  Hamptworth

Whatley, Stephen                Sutton Veny

Lambden, Stanley               Andover

Jerrard, Charles                   London

Lawrence, John

Bast, Albert                         Swanage

Sheppard, Thomas

Head, Peter                        Amesbury

Head, Mildred Grace,     and Head, Florence Helen

Head, William Robert,    and  Head, Peter

Head, Alfred,                 and  Head, Frederick George

Hayward, James                 Winchester

Harris, William                    Fovant

Bolton, Philip                      Romsey

Hayter, Jeremiah

Lamb, Thomas                     Romsey

Brooks, Louisa                     Dinton

Barter, Emily                         Redlynch

Gamblin, William

Andrews, James

Tarr, Caroline

Williams, Martha                   Nunton

Parsons, Mary

Pettyfer, Charles                    Andover

Hake, William                       East Tytherley

Elcock, James                       Romsey

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