Henbest, Wilfred

Henbest, Wilfred                1920 May 28th            Nomansland

A Road Collision

While cycling on Friday along the village road leading from Nomansland into the main Landford Road, Mr Wilfred George Henbest collided with a motor car and died shortly after as the result of his injuries. He was 41 years of age and was a labourer, and for some time had served in the Army. The City Coroner (Mr A M Wilson) held an inquest at the Council Chamber on Saturday evening.

Ruth Henbest, of Nomamsland, said at about 6 o’clock on Friday evening her husband started to cycle to Landford Post Office with his son Bertram. About ten minutes later the boy told her that his father had met with an accident. Her husband had been cycling about three months, and though he was rather nervous he got on fairly well.

Dr Armitage deposed to examining the body at the city mortuary and finding that there were fractures and injuries to the body, thigh, arms, and skull. The injuries were quite sufficient to cause death.

Bertram John Henbest, aged 11, said he was cycling with his father towards Landford and when they reached the cross-roads they saw a motor-car coming from the direction of Salisbury. His father, who was in front, was on the left of the road when he met with the accident. The car, he thought, was about in the middle of the road. His father was riding at a steady pace and the road was a wide one.

William Frank Elford, chauffeur, of Boldre, said he was driving from Salisbury, and when he reached the cross-roads over the hedge he saw the cyclist approaching. The cyclist collided with the off wing of the car, and then fell on his back. He complained of pain in his arm and back. After the doctor at Whiteparish attended to him he was taken to Salisbury Infirmary, but he died before he reached there. The car was going about 18 miles an hour, and he blew his horn as he was approaching the corner.

The Coroner : When the cyclist came around the corner what direction did he appear to be going in? He simply lost his head and came straight across the road into me.

If the cyclist had kept to his left would there have been ample room for him to have got past you? Ample room.

Mrs Mabel Alexander, of Boldre, said she was riding in the back seat when she heard a crash and saw a man lying on his back in the road. She put a coat under his head and asked him how the accident happened, and he replied, “The brakes did not work.” He complained of pain in his back and arm. The car was not going fast, as she always instructed the driver to go at a moderate rate.

Edith Robinson, district nurse, of Whiteparish, said she was instructed by the doctor to take the patient to Salisbury. He became unconscious just after leaving Whiteparish and died as he was passing through Whaddon. The body was taken to the city mortuary.

The Coroner brought in a verdict that Henbest died from injuries accidentally received, and added that he was satisfied – and there was no evidence to the contrary – that the driver was travelling carefully and that there was no blame attached to him.

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