Abel, Reginald

Abel, Reginald        1917 May 4th

Child Scalded to Death

Mr A M Wilson, the Deputy Coroner for the City, held an inquest at the Infirmary on Tuesday evening concerning the death of Reginald Jack Abel, a little lad who died as the result of falling into a bucket of hot water. Mr W S Chapman was chosen foreman of the jury.

The first witness was his mother, who said she was the wife of Henry Abel, and lived at 8, the Friary. Her little boy was five years old on February 4th. She sent to Lovibond’s Brewery on Saturday morning for some hot water, and Mabel Groves brought her some in a bucket which she put in the back house. She was in the kitchen at work and her little boy was playing with some hampers which he was drawing about with a piece of string. Suddenly she heard him call out “Mamma,” and discovered that he had left the kitchen and had tumbled over the bucket of hot water. The bucket was upset and the child was on the floor on his hands and knees. She picked him up and her neighbours came in to help her take off his clothes. Mrs Card advised her to wrap him in a blanket and take him to the Infirmary. He was taken there in a pushchair.

Louisa Mabel Groves, a charwoman, living at 10, the Friary, said that she put the bucket of hot water by a table in the back kitchen and then went out. As she was coming back she heard some screams from Mrs Abel’s house, so she went in and asked what was the matter. Mrs Abel said, “Come in, Reggie has fallen into the water.” She took off his boots and socks and found that his legs were badly blistered. She took the child to the Infirmary.

Replying to a juryman, the Deputy Coroner said he understood it was a regular thing for people who were employed at Lovibond’s Brewery to send to the Brewery for hot water.

Miss G D D’Abrue, House Surgeon at the Infirmary, said the boy was admitted on Saturday morning at 11.30. He was suffering from shock due to extensive scalds over the legs and thighs. The injured parts were dressed and he was given some stimulants, but grew weaker and died at 11 o’clock on Sunday night. Death was due to shock caused by extensive scalding.

The Deputy Coroner said it seemed to be a most unfortunate accident, but there did not appear to be any negligence attached to anyone.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

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