Whitchurch, Thomas

Whitchurch, Thomas            1918 October 11th              Bemerton

Railway Crossing Fatality

Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts) held an inquest, with a jury, on Tuesday at the Parish Room, Bemerton, relating to the death of Thomas Alfred Higginton Whitchurch, of 2, Sidney Cottages, Bemerton, aged 67, a carpenter in the employment of Mr Albany Ward.

The evidence showed that the man had been on a visit on Saturday evening to his daughter, Mrs Levey, who lives at 1, Richmond Terrace, Gramshaw Road, Bemerton, and in accordance with his custom, he went, on his way home, over the level crossing in Gramshaw Road. It was a very rough and dark night. He was apparently knocked down by the 6.36pm train from Salisbury; his body was found with his back broken and with other injuries which were consistent with his having been knocked down by a train, but he had not been run over.

Dr W Gordon gave evidence, and said that Mr Whitchurch was a healthy man for his age. Witness had never seen him depressed.

Henry Horn, the driver of the train, living at Yeovil, said he sounded the whistle before reaching the crossing but saw no one there.

William Butler, an engine driver living in the Gramshaw Road, said whilst going along the footpath near the crossing he found a rush basket and attaché case, and on looking round discovered the body and also the man’s hat.

PC Titt said if Whitchurch’s hat had blown off he would naturally have looked for it in the direction in which his body was found. There was nothing pointing to suicide in anything found on the body.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

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