Mexborough & Swinton Times 28 June 1935
Fathers Supposed Suicide
Sad Denaby Story
The plight of the family of five at Denaby was revealed at the inquest at Conisbrough council offices on Monday on Thomas Simpson (57), unemployed farm labourer, Loversall Street, Denaby, whose body was recovered from the Don between Conisbrough Cliffs and Levitt Hagg, Warmsworth, on Saturday evening. A verdict of “suicide, there being insufficient evidence to show the state of his mind,” was returned by the Doncaster District Coroner (Mr. W. H. Carlile).
Giving evidence of identification, Joseph Stainrod, Balby Street, Denaby, deceased brother-in-law, said he last saw Simpson alive on Thursday evening. This was at Simpson’s house, and he was all right. Simpson had been out of work about three years. Witness knew of no troubles the man might have. He was a widower, and had a family of eight, the eldest of whom was 20 and the youngest about 15 months, witness had never heard him say anything about taking his life. Only the eldest son was working.
Deceased daughter, Eleanor Simpson (13), Loversall Street, said her father went out on Saturday morning, saying he was going to Mexborough. He was trying to get a house, because he had received notice to leave his present house.
Replying to the Coroner, the girl said she thought her father was receiving 37s. 6d. dole. He had drawn this money on Thursday, and left 6d. For some “chips”
The Coroner: he got drunk on the rest?
– He left 6d. For “chips” and kept 2s. For the coal.
– He spent the rest on drink? – Yes
Witness said her father kept the house and cooked and she helped. She was the eldest daughter at home.
The Coroner: did you have any proper meals on Friday? – Chips for dinner, bread and butter for breakfast, and bread and margarine for tea.
Where was your father? – He kept hobbling about.
Was he drunk on Friday? – Yes
What about Thursday? – We did not have much.
Did you have anything for tea on Saturday? – Yes, all that was left in the pantry, some bread and margarine.
There were five at home, the eldest daughter, aged 20, working away, having been told to go by her father, it was alleged, because she came in late at night.
Questioned by the Coroner, the girl said her father sometimes spent his dole on drink.
Leslie Miles, miner Braithwell Street, Denaby gave evidence of finding a cap and wallet on the Riverbank, and of Informing the Police.
P. C. George Timothy Heaver, of Denaby, said that in the wallet were birth certificates of the children and insurance papers. Witness went to Simpson’s house and found that he had not been home since morning. He commenced dragging operations near the place where the property was found, and at 9. 55 p.m. on Saturday he recovered the body, and conveyed it to Conisbrough mortuary. The body was fully clothed, and there were no marks of violence.
Witness added that when he visited the house there was no food in the house. The children were given money by another constable in the section.
After the Coroner had giving his verdict, he asked Stainrod what was going to happen to the children, and was told that the eldest sister had come over and was going to stay in till after the matter was over. She was going back to her work, and the children would have to go into a home. The question was left to the daughter, and she did not want to lose her job.