The large caseload of the first half of 1915 tailed off somewhat, and from July to December 1915 there were 28 cases, making a total for the year of 84, virtually double what I have found for previous years.
Again, the military seem to gather trouble about them. There are two shooting deaths at Perham Down (Storar and Thompson) over the Christmas week. Captain Soames – a be-medalled officer – hid behind a tree and was killed by a bomb 90 yards away, whilst William Shannon was not clearly ordered to lay down when a bomb went off, and so stood up again…
In the Blake suicide case, there are signs of the deceased’s delusions that caused him to take his own life, and the Coroner makes the revealing statement, “In many cases where juries brought in a verdict of ‘Suicide whilst of unsound mind’ they stretched the law in saying it.”
The Scout Motor Company was a Salisbury success story for some years, but in 1915 suffered two tragedies, the suicide of Joseph Dean, and the awful death of Clifford Radcliffe – the Chairman – who fell into the furnace.
Agnes Lewis fell off her bike coming down Wylye Hill, whilst Annie Pearce came a cropper on a muddy patch of road below Winterslow as she tried to pass a traction engine drawing a threshing machine and van – though its worth while considering how long, cumbersome and difficult to view past were these traction engine trains. Similarly, the death of Edward Cotton – who was third-hand on a traction engine – and was thought to have “slipped under the wheel when sanding the road.”
Another typical railway accident occurred in the GWR shunting yard to Wilfred Palmer, when he placed his shunting pole on the ground preparatory to jumping off his moving truck, only for a passing engine to catch the end and send him under the engine’s wheels.
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