Denaby Child Burned – Soldier Widow’s Sad Experience

February 1918

Mexborough Times, Saturday, February 9th

Denaby Child Burned

Soldier´s Widow´s Sad Experiences

Mr. Frank Allen held an inquest at the Fullerton Hospital, Denaby Main, on Tuesday, on John William Blades (2), son of Catherine Blades, 60, Clifton Street, Denaby Main, who died of burns in the Fullerton Hospital on Monday.

Catherine Blades said she was the widow of Private Charles Blades, West Yorkshire Regiment, former colliery fireman. Her child was two years and six months old. On Saturday night she put him to bed at 6.30. She left a box of matches on the mantel shelf near the bed. The child could sit up in bed and reach anything on the mantel shelf.

About 5 or 10 minutes after she left the child she heard screams and went upstairs. She found deceased´s clothing in flames, and the bed sheet was also burning. She put the flames out, wrapped the child up, and took him straight to the hospital. He was wearing a flannelette nightdress and shirt and a woollen shawl. The sheets were of cotton. The child was burnt about the front of the body and face.

Miss Elizabeth Steel, nursing sister at the Fullerton Hospital, spoke to the child being admitted about 7 p.m. on Saturday suffering from burns about the chest, face, right arm and right hand. He was attended by Dr Forster and Dr Williams, but died on Monday at 2.30 a.m.

He was wearing a flannelette vest, which was slightly burnt. His other clothing had been destroyed.

A verdict of `Accidental death´ was returned.