Howell, Dorothy

Howell, Dorothy        1916 December 29th       Donhead St Andrew

Death From Spotted Fever

The sudden death of a young housemaid, named Dorothy Alice Howell, at Donhead St Andrew Rectory, was the subject of an inquest held for Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts), on Wednesday.

Her mother, Emily Howell, the wife of a thatcher living at Donhead, said her daughter was 14 years old, and she appeared in her usual good health when she was at home on the evening of Christmas Day, except that she complained of neuralgia and felt tired.

Mrs Clarke, wife of the Rev C P S Clarke, Rector of Donhead St Andrew, said the girl had been with them as housemaid for about six weeks and seemed to have good health, except for neuralgia. She came to the Rectory at about 8.30pm on Christmas Day and went to bed about half-an-hour later. At midnight the cook came to her room and said the girl was dead.

Edith Ethel Hill, the cook, said she had known Dorothy Howell all her life and last saw her alive at 4.45pm on Christmas Day when she seemed all right. They slept in the same room. On going to bed at 11.45 she noticed that the girl was lying in a curious position, and went to wake her, but discovered that she was dead and at once informed Mrs Clarke.

Dr Brown, of Donhead, said that when he examined her body on Tuesday afternoon it was quite impossible to say what was the cause of death. He had since held a post-mortem examination and found inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, death being due to acute cerebro-spinal meningitis.

A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.


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