Rogers, William

Rogers, William             1913 Sep 12th

Lonely Man’s Death

Watercress Gatherer’s Fractured Thigh

An inquest was held by the Deputy-Coroner for Salisbury, Mr A M Wilson, at Salisbury Workhouse on Wednesday afternoon, respecting the death of William Rogers, aged 74, a watercress gatherer, who lived alone, and died in the Workhouse Infirmary, after sustaining a fractured thigh.

Emma Evemy, a widow, of 73, Milford Street, stated that Rogers was her late husband’s cousin, and lived alone at Mists Court, Milford Hill. On Wednesday, August 20th , she was called to his house by a neighbour and she found him very ill in bed. On the following day a doctor and a nurse were sent for. She had given him brandy and milk, and the doctor ordered him brandy and prescribed some medicine. On Friday, August 22nd, she visited him again, and found there the nurse, who discovered he had hurt his leg, which was very much swollen. She saw him every day till Thursday, September 4th, when he was removed to the Workhouse Infirmary.

George Small, of 81, Milford Street, general dealer, stated that he had known Rogers for a good many years. On Thursday, August 28th, at about half-past four in the morning, he was called by Mrs Cannings, who lived in a room underneath that occupied by Rogers. He went there and found Rogers in a heap on the floor, having fallen out of bed. He lifted him into bed, and he complained of a bruise on the thigh.

Dr Luckham, medical officer at the Workhouse, stated that Rogers was admitted on Thursday, September 4th, but it was after witness had visited the house, and he was then so well that the sister did not send for him. He saw Rogers on Sunday morning, and then he was in very good general condition that he was surprised that he was not allowed to get up. The left thigh was fractured, and he told him he could not get up. Next day he became very ill with sickness and exhaustion, and witness was sent for. He was then obviously dying, and died the same evening. The fracture had already partly united, but no doubt Rogers was a man who had lived a very rough and hard life, and the fracture accelerated his death. There were no signs of disease, but Rogers had lived roughly and had nothing to fall back on.

A Juror : Did you see him before he was admitted? No.

The Deputy-Coroner said he believed a doctor was called in, but there was no record of it, and they did not know his name. He believed the doctor was Dr Rowe, who was acting as locum tenens.

The Juror : So that from Thursday afternoon till Sunday morning no one knew he had a fractured thigh?

Dr Luckham : It is was known he had one. It was an old fracture, and the sister did not send for me because there was nothing that could be done.

Then he had no attention from a doctor? No. There was no splint or anything of that kind.

Do you think that if he had been attended to when he was admitted that it would have prevented him dying? Oh, no.

What do you think was the cause of death? The fracture acting upon an enfeebled condition. If he had been a healthy man the fracture would not have caused death.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death accelerated by the fracture.”

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