Holding, Stanley

Holding, Stanley         1918 May 24th             Durrington

Crushed by Steam Roller

The sad circumstances attending the death of the infant son of a steam roller driver were related at an inquest held on Friday afternoon by Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts) at the Church of England Institute, Durrington.

It appeared from the evidence that the driver, Peter Holding, who is in the employ of the Edison steam Roller Company, caused the death of the child by accidentally driving the steam roller over him.

Giving evidence, the father said he lived at Morchard Bishop, Devon, but was at present residing in a living van in the parish of Durrington. When he started the steam roller at about half past seven that (Friday) morning from the place where it had been standing near the living van, he saw his son, Stanley James Holding, aged 18 months, go round by the side of the living van where his mother was. He drove the roller from about two feet six inches to three feet, and then stopped to take a bath of water from the ground under the engine. He did that every morning, because if he drove that short distance he could get the bath out quite easily. He got down to get the bath, and saw the child just under the front roller, which had crushed him. He reversed the engine and ran to Fargo Hospital for a doctor, although he knew the child was dead.

Lieutenant F H Fuller, RAMC stationed at Fargo Military Hospital, said he saw the last witness at the hospital on Friday morning, and proceeded to the spot where the child was lying. The child was dead, and had evidently died from the results of being crushed by the steam roller.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.


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