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Death in the School Playground

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Death in the School Playground

Post by Karen on Thu 28 Jul 2011 - 23:21


Mr. Wynne E. Baxter held an inquiry at the London hospital yesterday into the deaths of John Hatton, aged 11 weeks, and William Scollard, five years, the former brought dead to the London hospital on Thursday, and the latter dying on Wednesday, two days after admission, in the same institution. In the first case, the facts pointed to another of the frequent cases of accidental overlaying, and the jury returned a verdict of "Suffocation" in accordance with that evidence. The second case was of some public interest. According to the evidence of the first witness, William Scollard, tailor, 146, Armagh-road, Bow, his son was injured by being knocked down by the school caretaker in the playground of Monteith-road Board school, Bow, on the 8th inst. Finding the child ill and growing daily worse, he was, on Monday, taken to the London hospital, where he died on Wednesday. Dr. William Laws, house-surgeon, made a post-mortem examination, and assigned as the cause of death, inflammation of the abdomen and pleurisy, which followed as a secondary symptom. The injury might be caused by a fall or a blow. Thomas Frost, the caretaker, was called, and in his evidence (confirmed by a carman who witnessed the accident) stated that the deceased, with seven or eight little boys and girls, was in the playground between 12 and one on the 8th inst., watching a van load of coals being put down the coal shoot in the yard. To prevent accidents to the children, the caretaker pushed some of them away from the hold, and one of them, William Scollard, slipped on the asphalt, which was very slippery from a recent fall of snow. The child cried, and to pacify it witness gave him a half-penny. Testimony as to the kindness of Mr. Frost to children was given by Mr. J.B. Harrison, school manager, and the head teachers, and the jury eventually returned a verdict of "Accidental death," but coupled with it was a recommendation to school managers not to allow coals to be delivered in the playground while occupied by young children.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, March 18, 1888, Page 12

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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