Fatal Gun Accident Castle Bromwich

Western Daily Press – Friday 8th October 1858

The Fatal Gun Accident at Castle Bromwich

On Wednesday W. S. Poole Esq., held an inquest at the Bradford Arms Inn on the body of Mr. Douglas Ward, whose melancholy death from a gun accident was announced yesterday.The jury, a highly respectable one, of which Mr. John Blewitt was the foreman, having been sworn in, proceeded to view the body, which presented that of a remarkably fine young man, about 21 years of age, and although so young his height was two inches over six feet.

Mr. Richard Turner Chattock gave evidence. He said he resided in Kentish Town, London, and was an iron and tin plate merchant. Being down from home on a visit to his uncle, Mr. Thomas Chattock sen.., of Hay House, he joined the party as described by a former witness. He carried his own gun, which was a double barrelled one, with flint locks. The party had not had much sport, only having killed one rabbit, and on their return he was last in the lane, Douglas Ward being a few yards on the road before him. A shower of rain having fallen witness had wiped the barrel with his pocket handkerchief, and was in the act of putting the handkerchief in his pocket, having the gun in his right hand, when it suddenly went off. Seeing his friend fall to the ground he scarcely knew what he did. He first dropped the gun to the ground, and afterwards threw it over the hedge. The witness, during his examination was greatly affected, and expressed the deepest regret for having been the cause of the deplorable occurrence.

Other evidence been taken the Coroner said he should not add to the distress of mind Mr. Richard Chattock was evidently suffering under by any remarks of his, as he always thought, and he had no doubt the jury would agree with him, that the innocent cause of such a calamity was almost as much to be pitied as the victim himself; the jury immediately returned a verdict of “Accidental Death,” several of them expressing their sympathy in accordance with Mr. Poole’s opinion.

 

 

Manchester Times Saturday 9th October 1858

Distressing Gun Accident

 

An inquest was held at Castle Bromwich on Wednesday, upon the body of Mr. Douglas Ward, who was killed on Monday by the discharge of a gun. The first witness was Mr. John Powell, who said that on Monday, in company with the deceased and three friends, he went out rabbit shooting. On their return he heard a gun go off behind him, and on turning round he saw Douglas Ward lying on his face on the ground. He (the deceased) exclaimed, “I am killed.” Did not at any time notice where Richard Chattock was, nor could he say anything as to the shooting, as he was several yards ahead.

On going up to the deceased he said something about his back, and witness then saw a hole through his coat, but he was in such pain that he would scarcely let any party touch him. He was placed on a gate, and removed immediately to the Bradford Arms. There had been no words whatever.

Mr. Richard Turner Chattock then gave evidence. He said that he resided in Kentish Town, London, and was an iron and tinplate merchant. Being down from home on a visit to his uncle, Mr. T. Chattock sen., of Hay House, he joined the party as described by the last witness. He carried his own gun, which was a double barrelled one with flint locks. The party had not had much sport, only killing one rabbit, and on their return he was last in the lane, Douglas Ward being a few yards on the road before him. A shower of rain having fallen, witness had wiped the barrel with his pocket handkerchief, and was in the act of putting the handkerchief in his pocket, having the gun in his right hand, when it suddenly went off. Seeing his friend fall to the ground, he scarcely knew what he did. He first dropped the gun to the ground, and afterwards threw it over the hedge. The witness, during his examination, was greatly affected, and expressed the deepest regret for having been the cause of the deplorable occurrence.

Mr. Henry Trollope Bailey, surgeon, of Coleshill, said he found the deceased at the Bradford Arms, lying on his face. He was in great pain and said, “Good bye, Bailey. I am dying.” The deceased was perfectly sensible, but in a state of great exhaustion. Deceased blamed no one. Mr. Richard Chattock shook hands with him before he died, and asked for his forgiveness, which he (witness) believed was readily given.

Mr. T. Chattock tendered his evidence to speak to the safety of the gun when his brother took it out in the morning. It should be observed that the jury, on examining the gun, had made the discovery that one barrel went off at half cock. He had used the gun for years and considered it a perfectly safe one and the injury to it had no doubt been caused by his brother throwing it from him in the anguish of the moment. This explanation was considered perfectly satisfactory by the coroner and jury.

After a few words from the coroner, who said that he would not add to the distress of mind Mr. Richard Chattock was evidently suffering under, by any remarks of his, as he always thought, and he had no doubt the jury would agree with him, that the innocent cause of such a calamity was almost as much to be pitied as the victim himself, the jury immediately returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” several of them expressing their sympathy in accordance with Mr. Poole’s opinion. –Birmingham Post.

 


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