Farm Servant’s Death – Tribute to a Loyal Servant

May 1917

May 12, 1917

Farm Servants Death at Conisbrough
Farmers’ Tribute to a Loyal Servant

The Doncaster Borough coroner, Mr R.A.H.Tilbury, held an inquest at the Guildhall on Wednesday evening respecting the death of William Edward Cawthorne (28) a horseman employed by Mr G Stacey, on the Butterbusk farm Conisbrough, who on Tuesday evening was kicked in the stomach by a horse and died early on Wednesday morning at the Royal infirmary from the effects.

Evidence of identification was given by deceased wife Beatrice Cawthorne, who said he had been employed at Butterbusk farm just over a year. The previous day he was ploughing. He returned to the farm between 5:36 PM.A little girl who had been sent into the stable for some chaff came back and said that uncle Will was hurt. She went to see, and she found him lying on the straw, just outside the stable door in the fold yard. She asked him twice if he was hurt, and the second time she understood him to say that the horse had reared up and kicked him on his chest.

Deceased was carried indoors and the doctor fetched. Diseased was afterwards removed to the infirmary in the Edlington pit ambulance.

Irene Thirsk (seven) deceased neice,who also lives at the farm, spoke to seeing the deceased going to the stable, and then he came out and fell on the straw.

The coroner (to Mr Stacey): he was a very good servant?

Mr Stacey: he was one of the best. He was not a servant; he was more like a brother. He was Foreman, and I left him in charge yesterday. It has cut me, I can tell you. He was three men wrapped into one. I could leave him for six months. I have not only lost a man, but a friend, such as farmers want in this country.

Have you had any trouble with either of these horses?

I have one which is a bit nasty, but that was not the one. No doubt he had been hurrying to get done, and struck the mare behind, and she had struck him.

Dr S.D. Vania, house surgeon at the infirmary, said diseased was suffering from fracture of the breastbone and shock. The fracture itself was not serious, but the situation was, being just in front of the heart. Great violence must have been used to cause it. They rarely got a case of a fracture of that sort. The cause of deaths was heart failure, consequent upon the injuries.

The jury returned a verdict of “accidental death” and expressed sympathy with the widow.

The coroner said they were all very sorry. Mr Stacey had evidently lost a very good servant, and they were not too plentiful in these days.

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