Stories Behind the Headstones

Sad Death of An Actor

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind the headstones in graveyards. Why did that person die so young? What happened to cause the deaths of so many family members so close together? What was life like for the person buried in the grave? Over the next few months we will be researching the stories hidden in Castle Bromwich Graveyard and documenting them on this website. Today we’re going to share with you the story of Ernest Edward Smallwood:

EVENING TELEGRAPH – SATURDAY 1ST JANUARY 1898

SAD DEATH OF AN ACTOR

Dr Danford Thomas held an inquest at the Marylebone Coroner’s Court, London, on the body of Ernest Edward Smallwood, aged 37, an actor lately lodging at 7 Kilburn Square, Brandesbury. The deceased’s professional name was Ernest Wood, and his last engagement was in “In Sight of St Paul’s” at the Princess’s London.

It appeared that on Wednesday in last week he took a seat on the top of an omnibus in Oxford Street, London, sitting immediately behind the driver. The bus had not gone far when he became faint, and decided to get down and go home in a cab. He remembered no more. The driver felt something touch his back, and on turning round saw Mr Smallwood fall into the roadway.

The police were called and the unfortunate gentleman was picked up in an unconscious condition and removed to the Middlesex Hospital. Next day he was visited by his brother, Mr. Joseph Smallwood, of Lower Priory, Birmingham, to whom he said he could not remember how the accident happened. The spine of the deceased was injured by the fall, inducing paralysis of the lower limbs, and he died on Monday last.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.


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