Among the many inquests this year are the White and Maton cases, which give us rare glimpses into the dilemmas facing the surgeons of Salisbury Infirmary. The dilemma of unwanted pregnancy is shown in the Lilley case, which has the rare distinction of the doctor and coroner finally approaching the bare facts face on – unlike in other such cases – although there is some circling of the question over whether she was wearing an engagement ring at the time.
The journalist and the jury both felt Mrs Gray had delusions, but I could not help thinking – myself – that none of her children seemed to actually want her, unless it was to send her to a lunatic asylum.
The Collins case shows us the penalty of over-confidence, and also how difficult braking a road-vehicle was at this time.
The Pearce case is truly dreadful, showing, as it does, that two men were allowed to work on the railway siding late at night, with only one light to both show their presence and light their work, only one pair of eyes to light the work and watch for approaching hazards in the dark, and no one else knowing they were there. The inquest, needless to say, is another them-and-us stand-off, with the argument over the Book of Instructions being the telling moment. The awful railway accident at Yeovil – Redman and Legg – however, is clarity itself, graphically describing how a momentary error and confusion cost two lives and at least six shocking injuries.
The curse of Mists Court in Milford Street (see Emily Smith) strikes again with poor William Rogers, and the lack of care afforded him from all parties is quite staggering, while the Harriett/Hinton case demonstrates clearly the total neglect of the landlord, leading to the collapse of the house and the death of the two occupants.
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