Woolley, Frank

Woolley, Frank         1918 August 23rd           Bulford

Army Driver Killed – Runaway Mules at Bulford Camp

Owing to an accident which happened over a month ago, when he was driving a pair of mules attached to a wagon at Bulford Camp, Driver Frank Ernest Woolley, ASC, died on Tuesday in Fargo Military Hospital, and an inquest was held there the following day by the Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan).

Sergt Arthur Denny, ASC, stated that Woolley was 22 years of age and his home was in Birmingham. On July 16th he was hauling bricks for the DORE at Bulford with two mules and a wagon when he had an accident. Witness saw him in hospital. He only had one eye, but was a good driver and seemed satisfied with his job.

Alfred Thomas Childs, a labourer with the Royal Engineers at Bulford, said he was working with Woolley on July 16th, showing him where to load and unload the bricks in the camp. Between 4 o’clock and 4.30pm they had loaded up and were going along the road when the driver applied the breaks as they approached a dip in the road. The wheels skidded, the mules took fright and got out of control. A little further along the animals attempted a corner, the driver tried to straighten them but the wagon struck the protecting stones by the side of one of the banks. Woolley was thrown from his seat on to the mules, and after being carried about 20 yards fell into the road. The wheels passed right over his body. Witness was also thrown out but was able to go to the assistance of the driver, whom he found to be seriously injured. Others arrived and a stretcher was sent for on which he was taken to hospital.

Captain Holborow, RAMC, stationed at Fargo Military Hospital, deposed that Woolley was admitted at about 5.30pm on July 16th suffering from broken ribs and other injuries. His condition was serious but he improved under treatment. Later, however, he had a relapse and died from heart failure on August 20th.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


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