This year, after the end of the Great War, shows a distinctly slimmer case-load of 29 inquests, and surprisingly little that can be seen as a consequence of the recent war, the Valentine case excepted. There are still soldiers about to some extent, mostly returning through the camps at Larkhill and Fovant. The influenza epidemic is seen only in the Cecil Grey death, as a worrying factor in a suicide.
There are still some interesting cases, and we start off with the death of Dorothy Hewson, a typical ‘whose fault was it‘ motor vehicle accident, distinguished by the legalistic relations of the deceased, including Coroner Mr A M Wilson, former coroner Mr R A Wilson (who died shortly after) and Mr Whitehead, all of whom are in attendance. One feels for the private who drove the lorry and finds himself grilled by three lawyer relatives of the deceased – it is to his credit that he is ready with the answers to all the questions (God forbid I should suggest this case was in any way biased!)
There are two very similar cases of illegitimacy and possible concealment of the birth of a child, in the cases of Mansfield and Lodge, and indeed at the trial of Elsie Lodge the legal men make reference to both cases.
For the first time we find two diseases mentioned by name. Cancer has been described in some cases but is openly named in the case of Elizabeth Phillimore, who drowned herself rather than see her daughter married – as it turned out, she was right to doubt the prospective son-in-law. Frederic Hughes died of Diabetes, and because he could not eat food any more – due to his advanced near comatose state – he was being transferred to Fisherton House Asylum where – I assume – they were more able to make him take food. As a diabetic looking back in retrospect, that appals me.
A clearly dangerous workplace killed Leah Spreadbury, and the piece of wire-entwined-rope that held the bucket to the winding-wire drawing George Robinson up and down the 50′ well was unsustainable. I goggled at the obvious danger of both cases.
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