Brice, Frank

Brice, Frank     1916 December 1st           Berwick St James

Boy’s Fatal Ride

Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts) on Thursday on last week, held an enquiry at Berwick St James Reading Room, into the circumstances attending the death of Frank Harold George Brice, the seven year old son of Albert Edward Brice, a carter, living in the village.

After evidence of identification had been given by the boy’s father,

Albert Handley, of Berwick St James, in the employ of Mr Chubb, said he met Frank Brice just after he came out of school. He jumped up into the back of the cart which witness was driving. He told him to get off, and he did so, but then got on the front. Witness did not say anything then but proceeded down the village towards the drove which led to Stapleford. As they entered the drove he was sitting on the left hand side of the cart and the boy was on his right. A cow near the gate startled the horse. The animal made a bound, and the cart hit the buttress of the wall and turned over. Witness was holding the reins at the time, but could not hold the horse. He was thrown underneath by the cart, and came out from underneath the tailboard. He saw that the boy was pinned down to the ground by the front part of the cart. He spoke to him, but received no answer, and he ran for help as he not get him out himself. He obtained assistance and the boy was eventually released. He seemed to be quite dead.

Henry John Draper, cowman, of Berwick St James, said he was called by the last witness and found the child pinned face downwards in the mud. He assisted in extricating him.

Dr C R F Hall, of Shrewton, said he saw the boy at about 1.20pm. He was then dead. Death was due to suffocation, caused by his having been pinned in the mud. His mouth was full of mud. The left arm was broken close to the shoulder.

A verdict of “Accidental death,” was returned and the jury gave their fees to the bereaved parents.

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