Hill, Harold

Hill, Harold      1917 May 25th      Downton

Little Boy’s Sad Death

An inquest was held by the Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) on Wednesday, in regard to the death of a boy named Harold George Hill, who fell off a timber carriage on which he had been riding in Downton that day.

Mr James Batten was appointed foreman of the jury.

Rosina Hill, wife of George William Hill, private in the ARC, said her son was 11 years old. She last saw him alive at about 8.20 that morning.

William Target, the ten year old son of Frank Target, a bricklayer, said he was with Harold Hill and other boys when they saw an engine with a timber carriage attached to it near Faccombe Farm. They got on the carriage and the driver saw them do so, but did not tell them to get off. When they reached Downton Cross, Harold got down and ran alongside the engine. One of the wheels knocked him down and went over him.

In reply to a juryman, he said he did not think the driver saw them get off, and there was no man on the timber carriage.

George Aylett, butcher, of Downton, said he saw the timber carriage go by his shop with a number of boys riding on it. Near Downton Cross they began to get off and all got clear except two, who ran into each other, and one of them was struck by the rear wheel which ran over his back and head. He stopped the driver. The engine usually stopped at the school and the boys got off there, but the place where the accident happened was just before the Cross. As far as he knew there was no reason for the engine to stop at the Cross except to let the boys get off. He saw it pass several times a week and believed it belonged to Mr John Green. On this occasion it was being driven by Wilfred Green.

Dr Whiteley, of Downton, said the boy was brought to his house and died while being examined. There was an extensive fracture of the skull, which caused his death.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

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