Deaths and inquests 1939

Evening Express Jan 3rd, 1939

Choking boy held upside down and saved

But dies after operation

At a Bootle inquest today on Francis JONES, aged 3, of Olivia St, Bootle, Mrs Rose JONES his mother, said that six weeks ago he was in the house eating some salted peanuts, when the stuck in his throat. After he was held upside down the peanuts were expelled.

The boy died in Bootle General Hospital last night during an operation.

After describing how the peanuts were ejected, the mother said that during the night the boy started wheezing in the chest, and Dr F. V. BUXTON found that he was suffering from bronchitis following the shock. Yesterday the boys condition had not improved and at 1.40pm he was removed to hospital. Dr A. E. BURTON resident house surgeon at the hospital , said a septic condition of the lung could have been caused by inhalation of foreign particles. A verdict of Misadventure was returned.


Former Liverpool Hospital Matron died

Miss Constance WORSLEY, who was Matron of the Royal Liverpool Childrens Hospital, Myrtle St, Liverpool, for 20 years, died a Brighton yesterday.

It was due to her efforts that the Childrens Nurses Register was founded. This is distinct from the register of nurses trained in general hospital work.


Death of Corn Broker

Mr Robert John SPRAKELING of Rock Lane, Melling, has died at a nursing home after a long illness.


Death of Canon R. H. BELLAMY

Canon R. H. BELLAMY, who died today at Whitefield, Seale, Surrey, aged 72, was for 23 years Vicar of Upton, Birkenhead, retiring in September 1934.

His first curacy was at Kirk Christ Church at Rushen, I.O.M, and he was appointed curate to St Peters, Church, Chester in 1892. He went to South Africa in 1895.

During the Boer War he was acting chaplain to the British Forces and his appointments afterwards included that of Prebendary of Pretoria Cathedral.


Evening Telegraph 16th, September 1939

Cabaret girl’s death

Doctor denies story of the mother

A doctor who was questioned at a Liverpool inquest on Miss Amy Kathleen TWIST, aged 25, a variety artist appearing in a cabaret in Paris, who died in a Liverpool hospital from septicaemia, said that he did not know the girl or her mother, who gave evidence.

The jury returned a verdict that the girl died from septicaemia brought about through interference by some person or persons unknown.

Mrs Lucy TWIST of Princess Red, Liverpool, mother of the girl, said her daughter for the past 18 months had been appearing in a cabaret in Paris. Her daughter returned home from Paris in the second week of July, and on August 21st she accompanied her to an address in Islington, Liverpool, where she saw a man whom she believed to be the doctor. Whilst she remained in the waiting room her daughter and the doctor went into a room alone, and when they returned she saw the doctor hand her daughter something which she placed in her handbag. Her daughter gave the doctor £5. A few days after she became ill.

Dr W. Goodacre ROBERTS of Islington, Liverpool, said he did not know Mrs TWIST or her daughter. He had not seen Mrs TWIST until today, and she was a complete stranger to him.


Liverpool Daily Post Sept 20th 1939

Need for care in blackout

Liverpool Coroner warns pedestrians

A further warning to people using the road during the blackout was given by the Liverpool City Coroner, Mr G. C. MORT, at two inquests yesterday on victims of blackout accidents.

The first was on Arthur Lewellyn CRONOW, aged 57, of 70 Alwyn St, Aigburth, who was knocked down by a tram in Devonshire Rd, on September 16th.

Returning a verdict of Accidental Death, the coroner said, he cannot help thinking that people are not taking the care they would be advised to take. There were two inquests yesterday morning where people were killed on the roads in the blackout and there is two more today. One does not want to be too cocksure, but they seem to be to him cases which could have been avoided if more care had been shown.

John Herbert MATTHEWS, tram driver of 97 York Way, Liverpool, said his speed would be less than 8 mph. The first he knew of the accident was when he felt a bump. He found a man lying with his feet on the life guard.

In answer to a question from the coroner, MATTHEWS said his headlight which was masked according to instructions did not assist him in his driving. He added that tram drivers had not been issued with any special instructions for the blackout except that they must drive cautiously.

Queens Drive Accident

A verdict of Accidental Death, was returned at an inquest at Liverpool yesterday on Margaret Hannah HIGHAM, aged 51, of 71 Atheldene Rd, Liverpool, who was knocked down by a motor car on Queens Dr, on Saturday night.

Philip COWAN of 27 Menlove Ave, Liverpool, the driver of the car, said a figure suddenly loomed up and he heard a crash. He applied his brakes and found he had knocked a woman down.

Air Shelter tragedy

A fall of a workman from an air raid shelter on which he was engaged was described at the inquest at Liverpool yesterday on Kenneth Charles LYND, aged 23, a joiner of 7 Dacy Rd, Everton, who died in the Royal Infirmary on September 15th.

David ROXBURGH, labourer of 34 Medlock St, Liverpool, said he and LYND were building a one storey brick shelter in Blucher St, on September 15th, LYND was erecting a joist and standing on the brick wall about 10ft from the ground. Witness saw him bend down and pick up a wooden lintel. He stepped on to a joist with the lintel held in both hands and then fell to the ground. His head and neck struck the concrete floor.


Daily Post Oct 2nd 1939

Deaths and inquests

Dardenelles hero dead

Merseyside has lost an interesting personality by the death of Mr W. J. MASON of Rock Park, Rock Ferry, the last naval man to leave the Dardenelles in the last war. Mr MASON who was born in Liverpool went into sail at the age of 17yrs, but after 3yrs joined the Royal Insurance Co, with who he served for 40yrs retiring in 1931.

Mr MASON never lost his love for the sea and in the last war was a naval volunteer. He went to France in 1914 and was at the Dardenelles where he was the last man to leave having been entrusted with the task of mining the stores which had to be left behind. The plans which he was given for the task are now exhibited in the Imperial War Museum. Despite his age he volunteered in the September crisis of last year for any naval task that could be found for him.

Much of Mr Mason's leisure time was spent in making or overhauling sailing ships models. He was recognised as one of the few people on Merseyside with an expert knowledge of rigging, and 4 or 5 of the Liverpool Museum's best model sailing ships were reconditioned by him.


Girl killed by fall of sandbags

A Fleetwood tragedy

Jean MITCHINSON, aged 6, daughter of Mr and Mrs Walter MITCHINSON, Tharos St, Fleetwood was killed yesterday when sandbags at a public air raid shelter at Fleetwood collapsed. She was pushing a baby-car past the shelter when a pile of sandbags fell. She was buried alive and the baby-car was smashed.

A few moments before the accident a 5yr old, Henry CHARD son of Capt and Mrs H.CHARD, Blakiston St West, Fleetwood, had got out of the baby-car and was running alongside. He was knocked down by the sandbags and was taken to hospital with a broken leg and other injuries.


Alderman Samuel CROMPTON, "Father" of Preston Town Council of which he had been a member for 38yrs, died on Saturday aged 88.


Oct 2nd 1939

Heswall woman severely burned

Lilian PERCIVAL, employed at the Heswall Golf Club House, Heswall was severely burned about the body at 8am yesterday, through her clothing catching fire. She was taken to Birkenhead General Hospital, last night her condition was reported as serious.


Oct 3rd 1939

Liverpool man's death in Paris

Work on behalf of war prisoners

A well-known North Wales personality, Mr William Jeffrey THOMAS has died in Paris. Mr THOMAS was a native of Liverpool and resided at Creyddyn, Anglesey. He was a banker and hon-vice-president in Paris of the American Express Co.

During the last war he organised a special service for forwarding food, comforts and remittances to prisoners of war in Germany. The French Government bestowed on him the rank of Knight Commander of the Legion of Honour and he was also Commander of the Order of the Crown in Italy.

Mr THOMAS was educated at Liverpool College and Liverpool University College and is to be buried in Liverpool after a service at the American Cathedral Church, Paris.


Charlotte Rose Melinda INSKIP, married, aged 44 of 71 Chester Rd, Helsby, received fatal injuries when knocked down by a motor-cycle on the Chester Rd, Helsby, last evening.


Oct 5th 1939

Birkenhead boys death under anaesthetic

Doctors told at an inquest in Whitehaven yesterday how they tried to save the life of Samuel Robin BANNER, aged 12, son of Mr and Mrs S. Victor BANNER, Beryl Rd, Noctorum, Birkenhead.

The boy a pupil at St Bee's school suddenly became ill with appendicitis and was taken to Whitehaven Hospital, where an immediate operation was performed. Surgeons finding complications. The operation was finished when the heart stopped beating, "We tried for half-an-hour to revive him," said Dr CHALMERS.

Verdict - Death due to toxaemia owing to peritonitis, while under anaesthetic.


Oct 7th 1939

Heswall woman's heroism

War casualty on the home front.

Described as a, "War casualty on the home front," a verdict of "Death from heart failure following shock as a result of extensive burns through her clothing accidentally catching fire," was returned by the Birkenhead Coroner Mr Joseph ROBERTS last night, at the inquest on Lilian PERCIVAL, aged 43, cook at the Heswall Golf Club house, who was severely burned on Sunday.

Miss PERCIVAL who lodged in Milner Rd, Heswall, was dressing two evacuee children, staying at the golf club house, when her clothes caught fire. Her screams were heard by George SMITH, an unemployed golf caddie of Briscoe Dr, Moreton. He tried to pull the burning clothes of her then wrapped her in his jacket and a towel, and was assisted by Mary Elizabeth DRURY a waitress.

Both SMITH and DRURY received burns, SMITH received attention at Birkenhead General Hospital.

SMITH told the coroner that Miss PERCIVAL had said she had pushed the children away from her when her clothing caught fire, she had been standing with her back to the kitchen range when it happened.

The coroner commended SMITH and DRURY and passed on his sympathy, he also said he had received a letter of sympathy for the relatives of the deceased from Mr J. P. WARDLE, Capt of the golf club who was at present confined to bed.

Mr Guy WILLIAMS of Wirral Urban Borough Council expressed his sympathy and said Miss PERCIVAL was doing work for the government in connection with the evacuated children and had become a, "War casualty on the home front".


Oct 7th 1939

Prominent social worker

Death of Mrs Thomas TEMPLE

Mrs Thomas TEMPLE of Gayton Hall, Heswall, who had devoted many years of her life to maternity and child welfare work on Merseyside and was a prominent social worker, died yesterday at her residence after a long illness.

Mrs TEMPLE who before her marriage was Miss Edith ECCLES, daughter of the late Eccles Shorrock ECCLES, a member of the well-known Liverpool family, was actively identified for many years with the work of the Liverpool Maternity Hospital. She joined the committee of what was the Ladies Liverpool Charity and Lying-in Hospital in 1908 and had since served continuously in many positions.

In 1926 she accepted the position as chairman of the executive committee, and in 1932 became president and chairman of the board of management of the hospital. She was for some years a co-opted member of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee of the city council until its constitution changed.

The establishment of ante-natal centres in Liverpool was originally due to Mrs TEMPLE and the first clinics were organised by the Liverpool Maternity Hospital with the approval of the city council in 1914. When the council decided to commence clinics, finance was agreed for eight clinics.

It was her conviction that a newer and larger maternity hospital was necessary, and in 1924 she saw the foundation stone laid by the Princess Royal, in 1926 the first portion was opened and the building completed in 1931.

Mrs TEMPLE inaugurated the post graduate courses for practising midwives which were held at the hospital and was for some years president of the Heswall Nursing Association and also the Heswall Conservative Association.

Before her marriage in 1907 she frequently played hockey for the north of England. She continued to be a keen tennis player until three years ago. Mrs TEMPLE leaves a widower, two sons and a daughter.


Oct 9th 1939

Two boys drowned in reservoir

After hours of searching in the black-out, the bodies of two Carlisle boys, who were drowned in a railway reservoir near their homes were recovered on Saturday night.

Malcolm SEWELL, aged 7 and James TODHUNTER aged 4, both of St Ann's Cresent, were missed in the afternoon, and their parent's anxiety was increased as darkness set in. Police using torches led a search, and one of the party a cousin of TODHUNTER, found his body. The other was recovered later.


Mrs Veronica Doris GRIFFITHS, 28, 117 Farnworth St, Kensington, Liverpool, was killed when her cycle came into collision with a motor-car at the junction of Boaler St and Sheil Rd, Liverpool, yesterday. The car struck the boundary wall of Newsham Park after the collision Mrs GRIFFITHS was taken to Mill Rd, Hospital where life was pronounced extinct.


Birkenhead woman's death after burns

Mrs Mary HOLMES aged 55, of 220 Cleveland St, Birkenhead, who was burned in bed on Saturday morning, died that evening in the General Hospital. It is believed in lighting a candle Mrs HOLMES accidentally set fire to the bedclothes.

Her cries attracted the attention of other occupants in the house, who with two police officers brought her from the room. The police officers were affected by the smoke. The fire brigade were called and found except for the bed, little damage had been caused.

Pedestrians collide in blackout

Garston woman's death.

Colliding with another pedestrian on Wednesday during the blackout Mrs Helena REYNOLDS, 66, a widow of Banks Rd, Garston, fell and fractured her thigh, she died the next day in Smithdown Rd, Hospital from shock.

At an inquest on Saturday Thomas INGMAN, night watchman of Banks Rd, said that at 9.45 pm he went into the street and was closing the door when Mrs REYNOLDS who was groping her way along the wall, collided with him and fell. It was stated the woman suffered from heart trouble.

The coroner Mr G. C. MORT recorded a verdict of accidental death.


Accidental death recorded on Saturday

At Liverpool on Elizabeth Annie REDSHAW, 71, widow of Ling St, Liverpool. Mrs REDSHAW [almost blind] was lighting a gas-ring on Wednesday when her pinafore caught fire.


At West Kirby on Douglas Gordon LATTA, 22, of Kinmouth, Oldfield Way, Heswall, who was fatally injured when the car he was driving crashed into the rear of a bus at the Caldy crossroads .


Oct 10th 1939

The death took place yesterday of Mr John Hollings SUNTER at his home in Penkett St. Wallasey. Mr SUNTER, aged 74, was a member of the firm of J. H. SUNTER and BRYDON, Liverpool, and was one of the oldest solicitors on Merseyside.


Death of Lieut Col T. H. PARRY, D.S.O.

Former M.P for Flintshire died yesterday at Stanley St, Mold, aged 63. He was called to the bar in 1904 and was a familiar figure on the Chester and North Wales Circuit. During the Great War he was Capt in the 5th Bat Royal Welch Fusiliers and saw service at Gallipoli, He entered parliament as a Liberal member for the Flint Boroughs in 1912 and held the seat till 1918 when the Borough was abolished, he returned as member for the County until 1924 when he was defeated by Mr E. H. Goodman ROBERTS.


From office boy to Shipping Director

The death took place of Mr Robert SARGEANT of Trafalgar Rd, Southport, the manager of Messers FURNESS WITHY and Co, and well known member of Liverpool shipping circles. He was aged 33 and a native of West Hartlepool, he began his career as an office boy and rose to Director. He was also director of several associated companies and one of the representatives for the Mersey district on the executive Council of the Shipping Federation. In 1933 he married Miss Mary Beatrix HEWETSON of Alexandra Dr, Sefton Park a well known worker for the Conservative Party in the North.


John Samuel HUDSON, aged 46, of 19 Hillfoot Ave, Speke, employee of the aircraft factory was putting his bicycle away at the parking place on arrival at the factory last night when he collapsed and died.



Oct 11th

A verdict of "manslaughter against persons unknown" was returned at the Liverpool inquest yesterday on Phillip ABEL, aged 35, general shopkeeper of 84 Townsend Ave, who was fatally injured riding his auto-cycle in Breck Rd, nr the junction of Hunt St on the night of Sept 23rd. George Leaford HIGDON of 7 Kerford St alleged ABEL'S auto-cycle was hit by a large black streamline, American type of saloon car, travelling on the wrong side of the road at about 30 mph, efforts have been made to trace the car without success.

A verdict of "accidental death" was recorded at an inquest yesterday on Thomas MUTCH, aged 69, of Caryl Gardens, Liverpool, he fractured his skull when he fell into an uncompleted air raid shelter at the Gardens and struck his head on an iron bracket. He was employed as watchman by contractors engaged in the work.

At a Sankey inquest yesterday a verdict of misadventure was returned on Ernest HANSON, aged 60m electrician of Willis St, Warrington, who fell into the Sankey, St Helens Canal at Fidlers Ferry.


Huston, Texas, Tuesday.

A Birkenhead seaman named William ROWAN of the British Freighter NEWTON PINE, was killed in a car crash here today, another seaman Owen CRAVEN of Birkenhead was injured.


Oct 12th

Liverpool's oldest resident

"Granny" ROBERTSON dies aged 107

After her life was despaired of 20yrs ago when one of her sons was hastily summoned from France to see her "for the last time" Mrs Christine ROBERTSON, "Granny" to all inmates of the Home for Incurables, Upper Parliament St, where she has resided for the past 20yrs, died at her home yesterday. She was 107 and the oldest resident, not only of Liverpool, but, of Merseyside and the Wirral.

She had lived under six sovereigns, born at Caithness in the reign of William 1V, with a girl's recollections of the coronation of Queen Victoria and the grim trials of the "Hungry forties" Mrs ROBERTSON major events over the long spell of years. She remembered the Tay Bridge disaster and an occasion when a waitress at Perth, she laid the table for Queen Victoria.

She came to Liverpool 60 yrs ago and was admitted to the home 20 yrs ago suffering from old age and rheumatism. At 85 her health was despaired of, but, practically up to her death she continued well enough to get up in the afternoon to knit or read. Two years ago she saw her first film, the Coronation and enjoyed it immensely. At her 105th birthday she received birthday messages from four generations of her family.


Oct 12th

Hoylake blackout death

At an inquest yesterday on George AUSTIN, aged 77 of Market St, Hoylake, it was stated last Sunday on the day he was to leave hospital, he was found ill in a bathroom and later died. On Sept 20th he was taken to hospital after being knocked down by a car during the blackout, but according to medical evidence had practically recovered. Dept Coroner returned a verdict of "accidental death" caused by a pulmonary embolism received as a result of his injuries.


James MULLIGAN, aged 75 of Marsh St, Widnes who was injured by a pedal car on Sunday night died at Widnes Accident Hospital last night.


Oct 13th

Man found dead on railway

While wife lay injured at Moreton bungalow

The headless body of a man, Alfred BRAIN an unemployed labourer, aged 61 of Meadow View, Town Meadows, Moreton, was found yesterday on the electric railway, 200yds on the Meols side of Moreton station. The station master reported the body to the police, it had been seen by a train driver who was unable to stop. The body was removed to the Liscard mortuary, about the same time BRAIN'S wife Ellen was taken to the Victoria Central hospital suffering from severe head injuries, she was found in a field near to their bungalow, clinging to the stump of a tree.

The police have taken possession of a blood stained mallet found in the bungalow, Mr and Mrs BRAIN have a grown up family. The Wallasey coroner will hold an inquest.


Sportsman and poor law expert

Sudden death of Mr T. C. HOWARTH

The death of Mr Thomas Croft HOWARTH one of Merseyside's most able exponents of poor law took place suddenly on Wednesday after a seizure in a railway carriage while on the way home from a meeting of the Liverpool Public Assistance Committee of which he was a member.

Mr HOWARTH, aged 78 was about to leave the train near his home, 18 Ripon Rd, Wallasey, when the seizure occurred, railway officials called an ambulance and he was taken to Liscard Central Hospital and found to be dead. Mr HOWARTH retired from his position as registrar for births and deaths in Walton, 9 yrs ago, earlier he was a member of the treasurers staff of West Derby Board of Guardians and Superintendent Relieving officer. He was a lay preacher for the Diocese of Liverpool, especially attached to St Philips Ch, Sheil Rd where he was a member of the church council. He also played an important part in Liverpool football, 50yrs ago he was director of the original Everton Club, and was one of those with the late John HOULDING who formed the Liverpool football club. He leaves a widow.


John Herbert MANBY, aged 76, widower and retired railway clerk of Duke St, Southport died from burns in Southport nursing home yesterday. He fell on the fire in his bedroom last Tuesday.

The death took place last night at his residence Daneshey Rd, Hoylake of Mr T. P. MARSHALL, aged 81, who was a prominent Liverpool fruit merchant.

A verdict of misadventure was returned at a Warrington inquest yesterday on Charles William ANDERSON, aged 13, Reynold St, Warrington and Patrick Roy PLINSTON, aged 10, of Broadbent Ave Warrington who were suffocated by the collapse of a trench they were building.

George Michael FITZGERALD, aged 28, able seaman, 56 Arthur St, Seaforth, was fatally injured in an accident on board a ship in Liverpool dock, yesterday.

James HENRY of St Annes Ave, Grappenhall, Warringtom was killed in a motor car crash in Knutsford Rd, Warrington yesterday, his car was in collision with a lorry. His passenger A. H. WHITLOW, married of Cheater Rd, Grappenhall is in Warrington Infirmary with head and leg injuries.

One person was killed and 10 injured in a collision by a car and bus in the blackout in Pottery Lane, Manchester, last night, the dead man is Roy WILSON, aged 30 of Dial Rd, Stockport, car driver. 10 people were treated at Ancoats Hospital one man was detained. Oct 16th

Body of Seaforth man in Liverpool dock

The coroner will hold an inquest today at Bootle on Thomas O'TOOLE, aged 38, single, of 296 Stanley Rd, Bootle and Sydney John SLOAN, aged 47, of 8 Sandown Rd, Seaforth. O'TOOLE met with an accident at home a few weeks ago and was receiving medical treatment, he was removed to hospital on Friday and was dead on arrival. SLOAN'S body was rescued from a Liverpool dock on Saturday night, after his cries were heard from the water.

Another inquest to be held on George Law MOTTRAM, aged 46, a shipwright's labourer of Helena St, Walton who collapsed on board a ship in dock yesterday morning and was dead on arrival at the hospital.

A seaman who stepped into the dock during the blackout on Saturday was found drowned at Cardiff yesterday, he was Robert HARRISON, aged 44, a greaser on a steamer in the Queens Dock, a native of Ayrshire.

Joseph HIGHTON, aged 78, retired brick setter, of Athole Grove, Southport died in Southport infirmary yesterday from injuries received in a road accident, he was knocked down by a bus in Bispham St, receiving head and face injuries.

Two men shooting wild ducks on the shore at Marshside, Southport found the body of Joseph SHENTON, retired insurance clerk, aged 76 of Southport Rd, Scarisbrick. He left home on Sept 20th and hadn't been seen since, his dog returned home. He had been ill for some time and had memory loss.

The death took place at the Royal Infirmary of Mr A. KILBURN, aged 63, of Arpley St, Warrington, who for 30yrs had been master of St Mary's Catholic Boys elementary school, Warrington, and for 20yrs choir master at St Mary's Church.

Copyright 2002 / To date