Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 12 August 1932
Fall from Bridge
Denaby Boy Killed on Railway
Possibly Struck By Train
“I was sitting on the bridge, felt dizzy, and fell over,” was the explanation given by the victim shortly before he died of the fatal accident to Sydney Pugh (15), haulage hand 5, Braithwell Street, Denaby Main, who was found severely injured on the L.N.E.R. line near Kilner’s bridge at Conisborough on Tuesday. An enquiry was conducted by the Doncaster District Coroner. Mr. W. H. Carlile, and a jury, at the Fullerton Hospital, Denaby, yesterday.
William Edward Pugh (father), said the boy left home on Tuesday after 5.45 p.m. to go for a walk. “He never said where he was going; just went out.” He next heard of the lad being at the Fullerton Hospital in a serious condition.
No Trouble At Home.
The Coroner: I understand there have been some rumours of trouble at home. Is there any truth in that?—No.
You were quite on good terms?—Yes.
No trouble between him and his mother? —No.
I wanted to clear that up. You have no reason to think he deliberately tried to do away with himself?—No, definitely not, sir.
Cry For Help
Herbert Hare, 5, Calder Terrace, Conisborough, a locomotive engine driver in the employ of Kilner Bros. said that about 6.50 p.m. on Tuesday he was walking home from work and when 20 yards from Kilner’s Bridge heard screams for help coming from the railway lines. “I stood for a second and then went in the direction of the sounds. I went to the centre of the bridge, raised myself up and saw the lad lying in the four-foot of the main up-line. My workmate, George Taylor, had gone up four minutes before me and was waiting for a trackless. I called to him and he went and informed the police. I saw the steward of the club nearby and he got assistance. The lad was taken to the Fullerton Hospital.”
From The Engine Cab.
Charles Gibson Barclay, 20, Cromwell Road, Mexborough fireman, employed by the L.N.E.R. Company said he was firing an engine drawing 52 trucks from Thrybergh to Immingham on Tuesday, passing under Kilner’s Bridge about 6.50 p.m. at a speed of about 20 miles an hour. As they approached the bridge witness noticed some stones falling from the top; quite a common occurrence due to children throwing stones. Witness took cover to protect himself. He knew nothing of the accident until they arrived at Guinness Junction, where the train was examined but no marks were found.
“I Felt Dizzy And Fell.”
Frank William Mann, stationmaster at Conisborough, gave evidence of being called to the scene of the accident, where he saw the lad, who was conscious. “I asked him how he had happened his accident and he told me that he was sitting on the bridge when he felt dizzy and fell over. He could not say how he met with his injuries or whether he was struck by the train.” Witness added that the distance from the top of the bridge to the railway lines was over 22 feet. The boy was found 18 feet from the base of the bridge, but there were no signs of the lad having been dragged by the train. P.c. Whitehead said that the lad, in hospital, said to him, “I was sitting on the wall of the bridge with my legs dangling over the railway when I went dizzy and fell over. I felt the wheel of the train hit me.” The boy died at 11.35 p.m. the same night.
Dr. J. McArthur, of Denaby, said he saw the lad at the hospital at 7.45 p.m. He had lost much blood, was conscious and almost pulseless. Witness had to give him a stimuant before treating his injuries which included a compound fracture of the right thigh, large lacerated wound twelve inches long behind the right knee and thigh, torn muscles, compound fracture of the left big toe and a small scalp wound. “The wheels of the train could not have passed over him.”
The Coroner: Do you think he was struck by the train?—He might have hit the end of the train, been carried and then dropped off. Dr. McArthur added that death was due to shock following multiple injuries. Edward Slaughter, locomotive inspector for the L.N.E.R. said it was possible for the train to pass over the lad while he was lying in the four-foot. It was improbable that the lad would be carried underneath the train as there was a clearance of eighteen inches from the top of the rails to the brake work of the engine.
Addressing the jury the Coroner said, “In the first place I was told of certain rumours existing that this boy had been getting into trouble at home and it has been suggested he might have done this deliberately. Having regard to what the father has told us, there is nothing in those unkind suggestions.” There was no doubt that the boy was sitting on the bridge, became dizzy and fell over on to the railway. That was a reasonable explanation as to how he came to be on the line, but the difficulty was to conclude whether he was struck by the train. The doctor had said the injuries were apparently caused by his fall. “There is no blame to anyone in this case, and the wall of the bridge is of regulation height.” After a short retirement, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”
The Coroner: Have you come to a conclusion as to whether he was struck by the train or just fell from the bridge.
The Foreman: He just fell from the bridge, sir.