Conisborough Engineer´s Suicide – The Pain and Horror of Cancer.

April 1924

Mexborough & Swinton Times April 5th

Conisborough Engineer´s Suicide.

Gassed in his Workshop.

The Pain and Horror of Cancer.

A sad case of suicide occurred at Coinsborough this week. Mr. John Roodhouse, well-known in the district as a mechanical engineer, living in Chapel lane, had suffered for some months from cancer in the eye. On Tuesday he was found dead in the workshop adjoining his house.

Mr. Frank Allen, The Doncaster Coroner, held an inquest yesterday morning, in the Co-operative Hall, Coinsborough.

Cyril Roodhouse, son of the deceased, also a mechanical engineer, said his father had suffered very acutely , for some time past, from the cancer in the left eye, and as a result of this he was in a state of great depression. Witness last saw his father alive on Tuesday afternoon, when he was with him in the small workshop.

On that occasion his father spoke of the pain in his eye, and seemed very dispirited. Witness left his father, and later, about 3-30, found him lying in the workshop, with a rubber tube in his mouth, one end of which was attached to the service pipe of the gas engine. The gas was full on, and the plug had been taken from the pipe. The place smelled very strongly of gas. He called his brother and Dr. W. J. Maclure, and the police were notified.

Edgar Roodhouse, another son, corroborated his brother´s statement.

P.c. Earnshaw said he was called, and examined the body in the engine shed. He had known the deceased several months ago. Mr. Roodhouse was suffering from a rodent ulcer on the left eye which must have caused him very acute pain. A lotion, intended to give relief, was prescribed. Dr. Maclure met deceased casually about a fortnight ago, and found that he was not improving: the complaint was, in fact, incurable. Death was due to coal gas. When the doctor made his examination he found the deceased´s lips were pink, which proved the presence of carbon monoxide.

In reply to the Coroner. Dr. Maclure said the proportion of carbon monoxide in coal gas had increased considerably during late years.

The Coroner returned a verdict that deceased had taken his own life when not of sound mind.

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