Cole, Jane

Cole, Jane          1916 June 23rd

Death after a Journey

Sad Occurrence at a Railway Station

There was a sad occurrence at the South Western Railway Station on Saturday afternoon when a lady named Cole, who had arrived in Salisbury for a holiday, died in the waiting-room after alighting from the train. An inquest was held by the City Coroner at the Council Chamber on Monday morning. Mr L Lowther was chosen foreman of the jury. Inspector Swayne represented the railway company, Mr Larcombe, the station-master, was also present, and Mrs Larcombe kindly attended with Miss Cole’s sister, who was the first to give evidence.

She said they lived at Pangbourne Cottage, Pulborough, Sussex. Her sister was about 70 years of age, and was in delicate health. They left home at 10.30 on Saturday morning to come to Salisbury for a week’s holiday. On the journey her sister said she felt none too well. At Netley Station ten soldiers got into the compartment in which there were then 15 people, and it was very hot and uncomfortable. When they arrived at Salisbury she got out of the train to go to see about the luggage. Her sister fell down on the platform, and pulled her down with her. A porter carried her into the waiting room.

Thomas Henry Deverill, a Great Western porter, said he met the 2.32 train from Portsmouth, on No. 3 platform on the South Western Station. He deposed to helping Miss Cole into the waiting-room. Thinking she was fainting he fetched some water, but when he arrived with it he thought she was dead. The cloakroom attendant rendered assistance, and the stationmaster was communicated with and a doctor sent for.

Dr James Gordon said he received a message at about 3 o’clock and went to the station immediately. Miss Cole had evidently just died from a syncopal attack, following on the exertion of the long railway journey and her previous ill-health. Asked by the foreman, the doctor said the overcrowding of the train would be a contributory factor.

The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.

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