Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 01 February 1941
Thought He Had Cancer
Denaby Man’s Suicide
Found Gassed In Bed
A Denaby woman described at an inquest at Conisborough on Monday how her husband gassed himself because he was under the impression that he had cancer. The inquest was on Edward Wedge (60), unemployed miner, of 87, Firbeck Street, Denaby, who was found dead in bed on Sunday.
A verdict of ‘Suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed.’ was recorded by the Doncaster District Coroner, Mr. W. H. Carlile. Ada Wedge, widow said her husband had been unable to work for eight years owing to ill-health. During the last five years he had complained of a pain in his throat land had an idea that it was cancer. He was unable to sleep at night and had threatened to take his life on several occasions.
On Sunday he came downstairs at 11 a.m., had his breakfast and read until one o’clock, when he said he was going back to bed because he had had no sleep. About 4-15 p.m. she noticed a smell of gas coming downstairs and on going upstairs found her husband with his head under the bedclothes. A flexible gas tube was hanging downwards under the clothes near his mouth and on pulling them back saw that the tube was in his mouth. He seemed to be dead. She turned off the gas and went for help. The tube had been taken from the gas ring downstairs. Her husband had been depressed a good deal.
Ronald Taylor, stone contractor, of 85. Firbeck Street, Denaby, said he was called to the house by Mrs. Wedge on Sunday and she appeared very upset. He noticed a strong smell of gas and found Wedge in bed in the front room. He appeared to be dead. Witness opened the window and sent for the police. He had known Wedge for four years, during which time he had been very dejected.
Artificial Respiration Tried.
P.c. H. N. Todd told how, on being summoned to the house, he applied artificial respiration for an hour until the arrival of the doctor, who said that Wedge was dead.
Dr. David Clarke, of Conisboro’, said Wedge was suffering from heart disease and he was under the impression that the condition of his tongue was a cancer. Wedge had been under this impression for seven or eight years and had complained of pain. Witness thought it was a psychological factor, for there was nothing to see. Death was due to coal gas poisoning. He had noticed that Wedge was very depressed and had complaints of being unable to sleep.