Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 20 June 1900
A Strange Suicide of a Lad.
To-day, Denaby, an inquest was held touching the death of John Edward Cole, aged 14 years, son of Joseph Thomas Cole, miner and ice cream vendor, of Denaby Main.
The father stated that the lad was a trapper in the mine, and on Saturday morning he sent him to Sheffield by the six o’clock train to fetch some ice. He never afterwards saw him alive. He had not threatened to punish the lad.
John Manchester, aged 13, said that between four and five o’clock on Saturday afternoon he saw the deceased near the canal bridge without coat or waistcoat on. He told witness he was going to drown himself because his father was going kill him. He wanted him to take his scarf, but witness declined, and tried to induce him to go home, but be refused. Just he was going away, deceased jumped into the water. He sank at once, and witness called for assistance.
Police-constable Hurst, stationed at Mexborough, stated that Saturday afternoon about five minutes to five he was informed that boy had jumped into the canal. He went to the spot, and dragging operations were commenced, the body being recovered about twenty past five.
Hannah Cole, sister deceased, said she saw her brother when came home four o’clock on Saturday afternoon, and when she asked what had made him late he said he had lost the ice. Her father had always treated him well.
The Coroner remarked that it was rather mysterious that a lad like this should do an act of this sort. As far as the evidence went, he appeared to have been treated kindly.
A verdict of ” Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was returned.