Rawson, Douglas

Rawson, Douglas    1916 November 10th       Amesbury

ASC Driver Killed at Amesbury

The Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) of Salisbury, held an inquest at Fargo Military Hospital, at Rollestone, on Saturday, in connection with the death of Private Douglas H Rawson, of the Army Service Corps, stationed at Larkhill, who died as the result of a motor car colliding with a transport waggon which he was driving.

Second-Lieutenant Yeadon, of the Army service Corps, said that Rawson was 23 years of age, and his home was in Blackpool. On Nov 2nd, he was detailed to go to Amesbury station, and had to drive two mules attached to a waggon.

Captain Woodward, of the RAMC, said Rawson was brought into hospital on Friday just before 7pm. He was partially unconscious but had a fracture of the left collar bone, and of the base of the skull, and died about 10.45pm, death being due to fracture of the base of the skull.

Bombr. W Evans, RFA, stationed at Larkhill, said that on Friday he was with Rawson, who was driving two mules attached to a waggon from Amesbury Station towards Stonehenge Inn. About 5.10pm a car came towards them going at 30 or 40 miles an hour. It seemed to have difficulty in getting round the corner, and could not get to its proper side before it reached the waggon. He did not see it strike the waggon or the mules, but he was thrown off into the road by the collision. Rawson was flung clear of the mules’ feet, and was rendered unconscious. Witness spoke to the driver of the car, and took his name and the number of the car, and told him he was going at fifty miles an hour, but he was rather excited.

Ernest Preece, a gunner in the RFA, said he was on top of the baggage in the waggon and jumped off at the time of the collision.

John Charles Henry Lowe, a driver in the RFA, said that the collision threw him on the bank. He got up and went to Rawson, and saw one of the mules kick him in the left ear. As Rawson fell witness saw the mule fall as well and kick him as he came down.

Joseph Wright, a private in the Australian Infantry, said that he was in the car sitting in the back seat. They were going at 14 or 15 miles an hour. He thought the car was passing the transport all right, for they got past the mules, but struck the wagon. He was thrown out and hurt a little.

Privates Samuel Alson and James Parker, who were also in the car, put the speed at 15 miles an hour.

Clarence Davey, motor driver, of Durrington, said that the speedometer was registering 15 miles an hour just before he accident. The front part of the wagon was well over to the middle of the road.

In summing up, the Coroner told the jury that if they relied on the evidence of the first witness in regard to speed they might consider that the driver was going at a pace which in the circumstances was reckless, and that it was without regard to the safety of passengers on the road. On the other hand the jury could not altogether disregard the evidence of the witnesses who said that the car was going at a reasonable pace. As far as the measurements were concerned, if they proved anything at all they proved that the car was not taking up half the road, and left plenty of room for the wagon to pass. But the evidence as to the measurements was not very satisfactory as they were taken after the wagon and car had been moved.

In returning the verdict the Foreman said the jury unanimously agreed that Rawson’s death was caused by a pure accident.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s