Schoolboy’s Death – Conisborough Mystery

March 1921

Mexborough Times, March 26.

Schoolboy´s Death.

Conisborough Mystery.

Albert Hanley (five), son of a York widow, but resident with his grandmother Mrs Esther Purdy, 6 Northcliffe Road, Conisborough, died suddenly on Friday. He returned to school in the afternoon, and asked to leave the room. 15 min later he was found by a schoolboy, who had been sent in search of him, in a gutter in the playground.

At an inquest, held by Mr Frank Allen at Conisborough on Monday, Mrs Purdy said the boy had a hearty dinner on Friday, and seemed quite lively when he returned to school. He was a healthy boy.

Alice Finch, headmistress at Morley Place Infants School, said she saw Handley on Friday at school. He was apparently in the best of health and spirits. He asked permission to leave the room at 1.55. Hanley had not returned 15 min later, and the teacher, Miss Sellars, despatched another boy to look for him.

The messenger returned and evidently had not recognised Handley, for he said, “There is a boy lying there, and will not come.” Miss Sellars immediately notified witness, and the boy was brought in and received first aid. The district nurse was summoned and she said that the boy was dead. Dr Forster arrived later, and confirmed this opinion. The body was taken home. Everything happened within an hour

The coroner complemented Miss Finch upon the efforts made to revive the boy.

Dr James Forster said he was called to the Morley Place School between two and three o´clock, when the body was lying in the school on a stretcher. He made an internal examination. There were no marks of violence. He held a post-mortem examination found a slight congestion of the brain. The other organs were perfectly healthy. The congestion might cause an apoplectic fit, but there was no history of these fits revealed.

The secondary cause of death was congestion of the brain, but he could not say what was the primary cause.

Miss Finch was recalled, and, in answer to the coroner said the boy was quite contented at school. She had never known him to cry or fight or have a bump at any time.

Verdict: that death was due to congestion of the brain, but there is not sufficient evidence to show how the congestion was caused.


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