Grace, William

Grace, William         1917 February 16th

Postman’s Sudden Death

Old Scots Guardsman’s End at the Salisbury Sorting Office

The City Coroner, Mr S Buchanan Smith, held an inquest in the Council Chamber on Saturday, in connection with the sudden death of William Grace, a postman, which occurred early that morning. Mr George Bath was chosen foreman of the jury.

Mrs Annie L Grace, wife of William Grace, said he was 55 years old last April. He was employed at the Salisbury Post Office and previously had served for 21 years in the Scots Guards. He saw active service in Egypt and South Africa. He had always enjoyed good health until October 28th, 1916, when he was knocked down by a motor car in the Devizes Road, and sustained injuries to his head, chest and left side. He was away from work for three weeks, and since he returned he had not been able to put on his overcoat himself. During the last week she noticed that his breathing was heavier than usual, but he made no complaint. That (Saturday) morning he got up at 6 o’clock as usual and brought her a cup of tea before he left home at 5.30. She did not see him alive again.

Charles Lodge, postman, living at 9, Clifton Road, said that at 7.40am, he saw Grace in the kitchen of the Parcel Sorting Office, at Fisherton, and he appeared to be in his usual good health, being quite bright, and chatting with the men. About five minutes later he saw him in the annexe room where he called witness’ attention to a bicycle. They were walking from the bicycle, witness being about a yard in front of him, when he heard him say “Ho, ho.” Turning round he saw Grace holding on to the bench with his right hand and holding the left hand over his chest. Witness said “What’s up, Bill. Has the wind caught you?” Grace replied, “Wait a minute,” and then fell forward into his arms. Witness held him on the floor and Inspector Young came to his assistance.

Dr Fison said he received a telephone message to go to the Sorting Office and went immediately. On examining the body he found that life was extinct, and in his opinion death was due to natural causes, namely, heart failure. The accident for which he was treated in Salisbury Infirmary last year had nothing to do with the cause of death.

A verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned.

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