Cigarette Fired Bed Of Dying Conisbrough Fitter

February 1950

South Yorkshire Times February 11, 1950

Cigarette- Fired Bed Of Dying Conisbrough Fitter

A Conisbrough man, suffering from an incurable disease, and with only a few days to live, asked for a cigarette. His daughter lit him one, left the room, and returned 15 minutes later to find the room full of smoke and the bedclothes smouldering. At the Conisbrough inquest on Friday, on Samuel George Mead (53), maintenance fitter, of 10, Barnsley Avenue, Goldthorpe, the Doncaster District Coroner (Mr. W. H. Carlile) recorded a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Bedfast Six Months

The widow, Edna Annie Mead, said her husband was employed at Denaby Main Colliery, but owing to ill-health was off work from Christmas, 1948, to April, last year. He resumed on lighter work, but remained for only three weeks when he was again off work. He had not worked since, and had been confined to bed since last August.

Mead’s daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Joan Blanchard, said that since her father had been confined to bed she had made a habit of calling in to see him each night. On Tuesday, January 31st, when she called, her father was propped up in bed. He was unable to speak, but signified that he would like a smoke. She lit him a cigarette and then left the room, closing the door behind her.

“About 15 minutes later,” Mrs. Blanchard continued,” I returned to the room to fill his cigarette lighter and found the room full of smoke. I i called my mother and husband and opened the windows while my husband pulled the clothes off the bed.”

Dr. D M. Bell, of Conisbrough, said he saw Mead on the day of his death and he was then in a very weak state. When he was called later in the evening by Mrs. Mead, her husband was unconscious and suffering from burns to the neck, left shoulder and left side of the face. He died the same night. Cause of death was cancer of the stomach, accelerated by shock due to the burns.

Replying to the Coroner, Dr. Bell said Mead enjoyed a smoke, and during the last few months of his life it was about the only pleasure he had. “He would always ask me for a cigarette when I called,” Dr. Bell added.