THIS postcard view taken from the Prince of Wales Pier
looking towards the Clocktower and the one-time Esplanade Hotel, in the
centre, shows the railway track down which express trains steamed their
way with passengers to and from Atlantic liners that used to berth at
the pier from 1903. The picture was shown to Bob Hollingsbee by a
Dover Express Memories reader. (Date unknown).
Another postcard of the "Esplanade Hotel" date unknown.
The ironwork between the two buildings, I have been informed was
erected is there to support the two walls. The centre house being
removed to allow trams passage along the pier.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 June, 1891. Price 1d.
STRANGE CONDUCT OF A GENTLEMAN
Robert Hunter, a well-dressed person of gentlemanly appearance, was
charged with being drunk and disorderly at the “Esplanade Hotel.” He was
also charged with assaulting Colonel Lecke.
Colonel Lecke said: I am staying at the “Esplanade Hotel.” Yesterday
evening between half-past seven and eight o’clock I was dining in the
coffee-room at the “Esplanade Hotel” with my wife and a lady friend,
when the defendant sprang up from his table, a little distance from
ours, and stood behind our friend’s chair, and in a very loud voice,
addressing me said “I see that you are an Officer; come out here, I want
to speak to you.” I declined, and said I was at my dinner, and would not
do so. He then called out again “come out sir, come out here want to
speak to you.” I again declined as I was at my dinner, and he went to
his table. He was certainly not sober. Shortly afterwards, quite
unexpectedly, he rushed round my side of the table and again said “leave
this room, sir.” I simply said I would not, and asked him who he was. He
then said “leave this room or I will turn you out of it, I will knock
your brains out.” On this, he rushed at me, and seizing me by the coat
said “I will turn you out,” at the same time he pushed me and I fell. My
wife came to hold his arms back whilst he was over me, and we called for
assistance, and the waiters came and took him away out of the room. I
never saw him in my life before, or ever exchanged words with him. He
was drunk and like a raving madman.
Mr. Cessford, who keeps the “Esplanade Hotel,” said that as he heard a
great scuffling and screaming, he rushed into the coffee-room, and there
saw the waiter endeavouring to get the defendant out, and with his
assistance they succeeded in putting him outside the door. He sent for
the Police, and gave him in charge.
Arthur Howell, waiter at the “Esplanade Hotel,” gave evidence as to
assisting in putting the defendant out of the room.
Police-constable Morris gave evidence as to taking the defendant into
custody. He was taken to the Police Station in a cab.
The defendant said that he had been ill for a fortnight, and he came
here for a change of air, and being in a weak state, he took too much to
drink on the way. He only came down by the boat express on Monday.
The defendant was fined £1 and costs 9s., and promised to leave the town
From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury,
3 November, 1900.
CRUSHED TO DEATH
Mr. Sydenham Payne, the borough coroner, conducted an enquiry at the
"Esplanade Hotel" on Friday afternoon respecting the death of Thomas
Rumbelow, who was crushed to death at Union Road, whilst engaged in
works of excavation. Deceased was an employee of Messrs. John Aird &
Mrs. June Graddon, of Newport, Monmouthshire identified the body of
deceased as that of Thomas Rumbelow, her brother, who was a labourer,
aged 42 years. he was a single man.
William Jackson, timber-man, employed by Messrs. Aird & Son, in their
work of excavating for a gasometer, said he was working with deceased
and another man on Wednesday morning. They were in what was known as a
well-hole, when suddenly Brown shouted "Look out." Witness and Brown got
clear. Two men were at the top of the well-hole, but were not disturbing
the earth; they were going to lower a plank. They had had no earth slips
before. Deceased was thrown by the earth into a corner and buried, only
a little hair being visible. Witness and another man scraped the muck
from his head and body, but he was dead.
Dr. W. E. F. Bird said he was called to the scene of the accident and
saw deceased in a shed. He was quite dead. the left side of the face was
covered with coagulated blood and earth, and there was a wound on the
left ear. There was no other injury, and the most probably cause of
death was suffocation.
The Coroner, in summing up, said it was undoubtedly a pure accident.,
and no blame could be attached to anyone.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
FOUND DROWNED IN THE DOCK
A second inquest was held at the "Esplanade Hotel" on the body of a
man named Samuel Hall, whose dead body was found floating in the
Elgar hall, 15, of 6, New Street, harbour labourer, identified the
body as that of Samuel Hall, his father, aged about 46 years. he had no
home, but had lodged at the "Gothic" Witness
last saw him alive on Friday night in the "New Commercial Quay."
Deceased was then not quite sober.
Robert Hill, second mate on the Calais Douvres, said that on
Wednesday morning he was on the Calais in the Wellington Dock, and his
attention was drawn to a body floating on the water. Witness went into a
boat and picked up the body. The deceased had only one shoe on.
Frederick Richards, dock labourer, said he last saw hall alive
between 8.30 and 9 on Sunday evening in the Market place. Witness wished
him "Good-night," and he was sober then. Witness had been told that
deceased had lately been sleeping in the slipway.
Police-constable Hughes said that the captain of the Bee brought
witness a shoe after the deceased had been picked out. The show
corresponded with the one deceased had on. The captain stated that he
had found the shoe on deck. So far as witness knew deceased had not been
employed on the Bee.
Dr. J. Ormsby examined the body of the deceased at the mortuary. The
body had evidently been in the water four or five days. There was a
slight scalp would on the left side of the head, which had probably been
inflicted after death. There were no other injuries. Death was due to
The Coroner mentioned that the shoe was found on the Bee, and this
suggested the deceased went on board. he might have been undressing when
he fell overboard. Under the circumstances, it would be better to return
an open verdict of "Found drowned."
The jury returned a verdict accordingly.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 January, 1901. 1d.
DEATH IN A CELLAR
WORSE THAN AN IRISH WAKE
On Friday afternoon the Borough Coroner held an inquest at the
“Esplanade Hotel” on a market porter named William Goodburn, who on the
previous day died in a cellar at 6, Adrian Street.
The evidence revealed that the deceased was in a shocking condition, and
that an extraordinary state of affairs existed in the house.
Mr. Pointer was foreman of the Jury, and after inspecting the body at
the mortuary, Mrs. Charlotte Goodburn, wife of the deceased, said that
his age was about 49. he worked at the market, and had continued to do
so up to the present week. Recently he had been suffering from dropsy,
and was not very well. They lived in the basement of the house.
The Coroner: Is it not the cellar?
The witness said it was like a cellar. On Boxing Day her husband went
out about ten in the morning and did not return until ten at night.
During the night he was very restless. He asked for some water, but
witness would not give him any. As soon as she could get it she got some
beer for him, but he would not drink it, and afterwards she got some
brandy, and he took that. He refused to have a doctor, and also go to
the infirmary. He took nothing to eat on Boxing Day. He complained
chiefly of his breathing. He got worse gradually, and died about 12
o’clock. He was insured for £7 in the Pearl Life Insurance Company.
Louisa Page, the wife of a Colour Sergeant now at the front, said she
lived at 6, Adrian Street. She last saw the deceased alive when he
returned home about twenty minutes to ten. On the following morning,
between eight and nine the wife came up to witness’s room and tried to
sell her an opera cloak. Whilst up in witness’s room her husband died.
Directly the wife went downstairs she called witness, who went down, and
Mrs. Goodburn said her husband had died. Earlier in the morning she
heard loud words between the woman and her husband, - that was a
frequent occurrence. The deceased was lying on a flock mattress on the
floor. Lately he had been suffering from bronchitis.
In reply to some questions, witness admitted that she might be mistaken
in the time, and it might be after eleven when the deceased died.
Police Sergeant Fogg said that about 2.25 he was called to No. 6, Adrian
Street, by a woman who lived there. He went to the cellar of the house,
and saw the deceased lying on a mattress. The first witness said she had
not sent for a doctor. Dr. Bird was sent for, and he ordered the body to
be removed to the mortuary. The deceased was a market porter. The room
was in a most disgraceful condition, and when he got there it was filled
with seven or eight women, who were all talking at once. He had heard
talk of an Irishman’s wake, but this beat even the Irishman’s wake,
Another woman, the wife of a navvy, attended to give evidence. She was
not sober, and during the taking of the previous witness’s evidence, she
constantly interrupted. It appeared that the opera cloak which Mrs.
Goodburn had tried to sell belonged to this woman, and it appeared to be
a particular grievance. She also remarked that she knew of what deceased
died. It was pneumonia, and he died of dropsical affection. The other
witnesses were d____ liars. (Laughter.) The Coroner allowed the woman to
come forward, but did not swear her.
Dr. Bird said he was called about three o’clock by the Police, who
informed him that a man was lying dead at 6. Adrian Street. Witness
found the deceased lying in the basement in the corner of a room on some
flock. He had only his shirt on. There were no marks of external
violence, but the deceased was suffering from dropsy of the legs. There
was nothing suspicious, and witness considered that death was due to
natural causes, either heart or kidney disease.
The Coroner said that the evidence appeared quite clear. He was informed
that the body was found by the Police in a room full of women, who each
knew something the other did not, and to allay the peace of Adrian
Street which was sometimes rather lively – (laughter) – he held this
The Jury returned a verdict of “Death from natural Causes.”
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 15 March, 1901. Price 1d.
RUN OVER AT EAST CLIFF
On Friday evening, soon after seven o’clock, a labourer at the East
Cliff section of the Admiralty Harbour Works was knocked down by one of
the large locomotives and instantly killed. The inquest was held at the
“Esplanade Hotel” on Monday afternoon by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham
Payn, Esq. There were also present His Majesty’s Inspector of Factories,
Mr. Greenhough, of Messrs. Pearson and Son, and Mr. R. E. Knocker and
Mr. Rigden, of Messrs. E. W. and V. Knocker, solicitors for Messrs.
Pearson and Son.
The following were the Jury:- Mrssrs. John Chambers (foreman), Richard
Morgan, J. Tanton, R. Pexton, W. Garland, J. Head, J. Wood, W. T. Grigg,
W. Suffield, G. Sankey, H. W. Rolfe, W. Whitfield, H. Footner, and W.
Mrs Elizabeth Still said that the body was that of her husband, James
Henry Still. He was employed by Messrs. Pearson and Son at the eastern
section of the Admiralty Harbour. He was a general labourer, and was 35
years of age. He had been at work there about six months. He left home
to go to work at five minutes past six on Friday evening. There were two
George Turner, and engine driver at the eastern section of the Admiralty
Harbour Works, said: I was in charge of a locomotive engine on Friday
night. It was about seven o’clock. I had come of the jetty with three
tenders with blocks on them, and was going to the eastern arm. When
getting to where the block yard is I gave three whistles. We were going
about three miles an hour, and after getting past the concrete mixer I
heard shouts from some men on the wall. I stopped as soon as I heard the
shout, and got down and went back to se what was the matter. I found a
man lying in the middle of the road. The other men were then around him,
and he appeared to be dead or just dying. I never felt any jerk. I knew
there were some men at work on the wall, but I saw nothing on the line.
There was a red light on the engine, and a white light behind, burning
brightly. The road is a straight one, and anyone can see the engine
coming for a long distance. I think the deceased must have been walking
in the goliath railroad, and hearing the engine coming, thought he was
on the wrong road, and jumped on to other road in front of the engine,
and was knocked down.
A Juryman asked whether it was usual to carry a red light in front and a
white behind? It was the other way about on the railways.
Witness said he had always the lights in that way on his engine.
The Inspector said there was no regulation as to the lights that should
be carried, except on the main line.
In reply to the Inspector, witness said: I came on at 6 o’clock in the
evening. My sight is good.
Looking through the glass of the engine, how far can you see in front?
Only about five yards because of the smoke on that night.
The engine is covered with a tank, and that somewhat obscures your view.
Can you see under 20 yards ahead?
The Inspector: We have tested it and find we cannot.
At what speed where you travelling?
About three miles.
Are there any instructions as to the maximum speed?
It is not to be more than six miles.
In reply to further questions, witness said that he pulled up in the
length of the engine and the three trucks. He was on the lookout at the
time. He had blown three times, and afterwards gave another blow. When
he heard shouting he put on the steam brakes and reversed.
In reply to the Coroner, the witness said there were no marks on the
engine to show that it had struck the deceased. He did not go under the
wheels, as he was not cut to pieces. He must have gone under the cow
catcher. It depended on how the road was made up as whether a man’s body
could get under the cow catcher.
Charles Henry Blanche, a ganger at Messrs. Pearson and Son’s, said: On
Friday evening 15 men, including Still, were turning a yard of concrete.
They had just finished, and I had ordered the gang down on to the rocks.
Having given the order to the men, I went to turn the Lucagen down, and
heard the whistle blow three times. The next he heard was some of the 15
men calling out that a man was knocked down. The men were all near the
Lucagen, which is about ten yards from where the man was picked up. I
ran back to see what was up, and saw then men picking the deceased up
from out of the four-foot way. The engine and tucks were quite close,
about ten yards away. I saw the engine coming up; it was not moving very
fast – about three miles an hour. There are strict orders for engines
with these big blocks to go very slowly. The deceased, who died in three
minutes, was placed on the engine and taken to the office, where he was
placed on the stretcher and handed over to the Police. It is always
customary for the engine in question to carry a red light in front.
In reply to the Inspector, witness said the engine was not going more
than three miles an hour.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said that he believed the deceased was
confused by the shouts to look out, and jumped off the goliath line,
where he was in safety, to the railroad.
John Farrell said: I formed one of the gang working under the last
witness, in which Still was working. We had been mixing concrete. Three
men were wanted for another gang at the eastern arm. Still, and two
other men, one named Martin went off up the line. Some little time
afterwards there were some shouting, and the deceased was seen lying on
the road. The deceased would require a shovel at the eastern arm, but
not a pick, as they had that when they went away. There was a box near
where the deceased was picked up where he would have gone to put his
Blanche, recalled, said that Still at first volunteered for the job at
the eastern arm, but only two were wanted, and Still remained behind
with the others.
Police Constable Kirnes said that he was on duty at East Cliff. He heard
that a man had been knocked down on the works, and at once fetched the
ambulance from the hose reel house. The deceased was by that time
brought up and handed over to witness. He took him to Dr. Richardson,
who said the man was dead, and the body was taken to the mortuary. Dr.
Richardson came and examined the body. Witness afterwards went to the
works, and twelve yards to the west of where the body was picked up he
found the cap of the deceased. Witness made enquiries of the men in the
gang, but none of them saw the accident.
Dr. Richardson said that about half-past seven on Friday night the
deceased was brought to his house on an ambulance. Life was extinct, and
the body was taken to the mortuary. He examined it there. Death had only
just taken place. The body was stripped and he found that the ribs on
the right side were smashed. The collar bone and a number of ribs were
broken on the left side. There was a scalp wound and a compound fracture
of the nose. The heel was also injured. The heel on the right boot was
torn off, and the boot burst open. The deceased had received a violent
blow. And had been rolled over and crushed. The injury and the shock
must have caused immediate death.
The Inspector said that he thought that at night time, seeing that it
was impossible for the driver to see the line within 20 yards of the
engine, some additional means of looking out should be adopted.
The Coroner remarked that it was the men who wanted to keep a look-out
The Coroner, in summing up, favoured the view of the ganger and the
driver that the accident happened through the deceased jumping in front
of the engine off the goliath line. They had, however, no evidence of
anyone who saw the occurrence, but there was no doubt it was accidental,
and no one was to blame.
The Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 29 March, 1901. Price 1d.
A LOVER’S SUICIDE
On Sunday morning a man named George Appleton, formerly one of the
drivers of Miller’s pleasure brakes, and lately employed at Messrs. S.
Pearson’s, was found hanging under the viaduct of the S.E. Railway,
having apparently hung himself the previous morning.
At the inquest which was held on Monday afternoon at the “Esplanade
Hotel,” it appeared that the deceased, who had been engaged to a servant
for some time, had lately been keeping company with another woman, and
his former love on Friday told him to go back to her. The deceased had
apparently been upset all the week in relation to the matter, and no
doubt late on Saturday committed the rash act.
The Foreman of the Jury was Mr. R. Shepherd, and the other members were
Messrs. W. Holmes, G. Madgett, D. Marjoram, A. Miller, W. Palmer, J.
Moore, J. Lumbard, J. Wood, W. Whitford, W. Martin, J. White, J. Peake,
H. Brooker, E. A. Wilcock.
W. J. Miller, pork butcher, and landlord of the “Crown,” 27, London
Road, said: The body that mortuary is that of George Appleton. I have
known him for seven years, and he has worked with us as a driver and
conductor on the brakes. For the last two years he has lived with me. He
was about 37 or 38 years of age. He has lately been working for Messrs.
Pearson and Son, and getting good pay. I last saw him about five minutes
to eleven on Thursday. He was not quite sober. Usually he was very
steady and quiet man, but for the last fortnight he had given way. He
had not been able to work for about a fortnight. On Friday he left the
house about five minutes to seven. He had not returned since then. He
had passed a few remarks about his young lady having thrown him up.
The Coroner: Was there more than one?
Witness: Yes, there are two young ladies. (Laughter.) He had eaten
nothing all the week. He told me about it on Monday. They had a few
words, and some more afterwards. He seemed a bit beery all the week.
Elizabeth Halliday, a domestic servant at Mr. Chitty’s, 10 De Vere
Gardens, said she had known Appleton for fifteen months. She was engaged
to him during that time. There had not been any tiff between them. She
last saw him on Friday evening at ten minutes past seven. As she had not
seen him from the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, witness asked him where
he had been during that time. He replied, “With some other woman.”
Witness told him that as he had been with her he had better go back to
her again. He did not make any answer to that. He shook hands with her
and said he was going away. He was rather strange, and he seemed to have
been drinking. She last saw him on Wednesday week before the Friday. She
had not noticed any change in his manner. There was nothing said after
she told him to go with someone else.
The Coroner: Did you receive this letter,
Just a few lines to let you know I am going on as well as can be
expected under the circumstances, and I hope you are quite well. Please
to remember me to all at home. I hope you will try and think of me
kindly sometimes if possible, and for give me for the wrong I have done
you. I must tell you I am truly sorry for it now I have come to myself.
Will let you know more later on. Will write again in a day or two.
Please excuse this writing. Kiss dear little Molly and Lily for me, and
allow me to wish your dear self as (all) the good I can. Leaving me to
remain your one true friend.
X X X X X X
When did you receive that letter?
Witness: on Saturday evening at a quarter to nine.
The Coroner: I see the postmark is Ashford 23rd. Did he say he was going
No, he did not.
Witness said there was nothing else beyond what she had told the
Coroner. The deceased had been working with her father at Pearsons, and
had been doing well.
Mrs Edith Grantham, 27, Adrian Street, said: I knew George Appleton, and
last saw him alive on Wednesday evening last. He had been staying at my
house since last Saturday week, except on the Monday he was not there.
He had lodged with me two years ago. He had been in drink during the
week. On Wednesday last he said he was going to tramp the Devonport. He
bought two photos from his lodgings at Mr. Millar’s and gave them to me.
Abraham Dyer, a mariner, 77, Clarendon Street, said that about eight
o’clock on Sunday morning he was walking along the beach beyond the
South eastern Station. When about a third of the way to Shakespeare
Cliff he saw the deceased hanging from the sleepers of the railway
viaduct. He hung by a piece of chord which was tied round his neck.
Witness felt the man and found he was stiff. He therefore did not cut
him down, but went for assistance. He told one of the platelayers, who
went for the Police. Before they arrived one of the engine drivers cut
deceased down. The deceased’s knees were about two inches from the
ground, he could easily have saved himself if he had wished. He had his
cap on. The Police removed the body on the stretcher. The height of the
viaduct was about nine feet, and deceased’s head was about five feet
from the beam above.
Police Constable J. Cook said that about twenty minutes to nine he was
in Council House Street when he received information of the occurrence.
About a third of the distance along the viaduct he found the deceased
lying on the beach. There was a piece of chord round his neck and a part
round the viaduct. The knot, which was a slip one, was under the ear.
The body, which was cold and stiff, was removed to the mortuary. There
were no letters or papers on the deceased.
Dr. J. Ormsby said that he was called to see deceased a little before
nine. He saw the body in the mortuary, death had taken place some hours.
There was a deep mark which the cord fitted. The tongue was protruding,
and death was due to strangulation. Death would take place in about two
minutes and a half, and unconsciousness in about half a minute. After
the knot tightened witness did not think the deceased could have undone
it. He might have got on his feet, but he would have fallen.
The Coroner remarked that there was no doubt but that the deceased took
his own life. They had to consider the state of his mind at the time
when he committed that act, and they could only imagine that he must
have been out of his mind. His determination was very clear. He tied the
knot in a very effective manner so that when once he put his weight on
it he could not have relieved himself if he had wished. This love affair
seemed to have upset him, and if they thought that the man’s mind had
lost its balance through it they would say so.
The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst suffering from temporary
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 June, 1901. Price 1d.
MYSTERIOUS DEATH THIS MORNING
BODY DISCOVERED IN A COMMON LODGING HOUSE
About half-past four this morning P.C. Roberts was called to Burnap’s
Common Lodging House, Bowling Green Hill, and shown the body of a ma,
apparently quite dead, crouched up at the foot of the staircase. He at
once sent for Police Sergeon, Dr. Ormsby, who ordered the removal of the
body to the mortuary to await an inquest. The man’s name is unknown but
it is stated that he had taken a bed for the night. Death was apparently
due to a broken neck, and it is presumed that he must have pitched
violently down the stairs. An inquest will be held at which the facts of
the case will be fully enquired into.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14 June, 1901. Price 1d.
DEATH IN A LODGING HOUSE
THE JURY AND PAROCHIAL RELIEF
The inquest on the body of the man who was found lying dead at the foot
of the stairs of Burnap’s Lodging House last Friday morning, was held
the same day at the “Esplanade Hotel” by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham
Payn, Esq. The Jury were as follows:- Messrs. T Baker (foreman), J.
Green, W. Shoesmith, P. Chittenden, L. Braine, H. Lewis, L. Burton, W.
Feist, T. Harwood, C. Langley, R. Morgan, R. Pexton, H. Meadows, and G.
William Barnap, model lodging house keeper, said deceased was Peter
George Turner, and he had been staying at the house between three and
four months. Apparently he was about 50 years of age, and was a hawker
by trade. He saw the deceased the previous night about 12 o’clock on the
stairs. He was then going to the closet, and said he felt rather queer,
but would be all right presently. He came in again about five minutes
later. Witness heard no more until he was called about 4 o’clock on
Friday morning to a man, who was found dead at the foot of the stairs.
Witness at once communicated with the Police, and the doctor was sent
for, who pronounced life to be extinct, and the body was removed to the
mortuary. Deceased the day before had complained of having diarrhoea,
and had not been to work.
Thomas Harvey, a painter, staying at the model lodging house, stated he
was going down stairs about 4 a.m., when he saw deceased lying at the
bottom of the stairs in a cramped position. Witness saw the man was
dead, and went and told some of the lodgers, and fetched the master of
Walter Byers, a youth, who described himself as a hawker, said: I have
known deceased for about two years. On Thursday afternoon deceased
complained to me of pains in his chest and inside, and asked me to go
and see a doctor and get him an order for the infirmary. I went, but
could not make anyone hear. I went again about six, and Mrs. Patmore
sent me to Mr. Hicks. I went there, but he was out. I went to Dr. Kent.
I saw him, and he said it was not in his parish, and I then went to Dr.
Osborn’s, but I could not open the door so I went back. The deceased was
still bad, and someone had taken him to bed, and that was the last I saw
Police Constable Roberts said that he was called to the lodging house
about 4.20 that morning, where he saw the deceased lying at the foot of
the stairs. Deceased was only partly dressed. Dr. Ormsby was sent for,
and on arrival pronounced life extinct. The body was removed to the
Dr. Ormsby, Police Surgeon, said he was fetched to the lodging house at
4.30 on Friday morning, where he saw the body of the deceased. Death had
evidently taken place some time, the body being stiff and cold. There
were no marks of violence. He had evidently suffered from acute
diarrhoea. Deceased mouth was tightly compressed, and witness thought
this was caused by the position he was in. No doubt he had fainted when
he fell, and in consequence of the position in which he fell could not
recover from the faint, and so was unable to breath.
The Jury at this stage expressed the opinion that some explanation was
needed as to why the witness Byers was unable to obtain an order fro
medical relief. Several of the Just expressed the opinion that had the
man been attended to medically his life might have been saved.
It was decided to adjourn the inquest till Tuesday, so that Mrs. Patmore,
whom the witness Byers saw, might be called.
In opening the adjourned enquiry, the Coroner said it would be
recollected that at the last occasion they adjourned in consequence of
the evidence of the lad Byers that at neither Dr. Kent’s, Mr. Patmore’s
nor Mr. Hicks’ was he successful in getting g medical aid. The lad had
stated that he had tried to get into Dr. Osborn’s, but found the door
locked. The Coroner said from that statement he felt quite sure that the
lad never went to Mr. Osborn’s at all, but by mistake went to the stable
door close by. The door of Mr. Osborn’s was never locked. It appeared
that when the lad went to Mr. Hick’s, as he said, the fact was that he
never saw anybody there. Whether he went there or not they could not
say. In regard to Mrs. Patmore, it would appear that she did absolutely
right. The boy was told by her to go to Mr. Hicks close by. He had no
doubt that when she had given her version of the matter that they would
find that there had been nothing wrong in regard to the duties of the
relieving officer being carried out properly.
Mrs. Emma Patmore, wife of Mr. R. W. Patmore, relieving officer, of 6,
Norman Street, said: The lad in question came to our house on Thursday
evening about half past six. He asked if Mr. Patmore was in. I said,
“No.” He said there was a man ill at Bowling Green, and he wanted a
doctor’s order. I said, “Oh, that’s Mr. Hick’s; you must go round to No.
3 in the next street.” It was not in our district, and as Mr. Hick’s
lives close I sent him there. He went away, and did not come back again.
The Coroner: Did he say anything about its being urgent?
No; he said, “There’s a man ill at Bowling Green Hill, and he wants a
ticket for the doctor.” I told him where to go, to Mr. Hicks, and the
Supposing he had said it was urgent?
If he came back from Mr. Hicks and said he was not in, I should have
sent him to the doctor. If it was in our district I should have given
him an order.
He only came once to your house?
A Juryman (Mr. Feist): By the lad’s evidence he came twice.
Witness: I heard someone telling somebody that Mr. Patmore was not in.
I was then at the top of the house attending to my son, who had met with
an accident. Whoever it was went away, and if it was the lad he came
back again, and I saw him.
A Juryman (Mr. Feist): Don’t you think it was the relieving officer’s
duty to go to 3, Bowling Green Hill and see if it was a case for the
The Coroner: Don’t you see that it was in Mr. Hick’s district, and the
boy went to his house.
The Juryman: In a case of life and death would it not be the duty of the
relieving officer to attend to it? It is no reason that because a man
lives in a model lodging house that he should not have medical
The Coroner: Of course not, it is for these people that parish aid is
provided; but they went to the wrong people.
In reply to the Jury, the witness Byers said that he went to Mr. Hicks’
and rang the bell several times, hearing it ring, but no one was in.
A Juryman (Mr. Meadows): Don’t you think, Mr. Coroner, there ought to be
assistance at the relieving officers’ houses?
Mrs. Patmore: The boy (Byers) never came back again to me, or I could
have done something.
Another Juryman: there was no negligence by any one party, but there is
too much formality.
A Juryman (Mr. Pexton) said he thought they should adjourn for Mr.
Mrs. Patmore: I think the fault lay with the proprietor of the lodging
house. He ought not to have let the man lie there like that.
A Juryman (Mr. Burton): Why do you think so?
Mrs. Patmour: The man was in the house, and if he wanted a doctor so
badly the landlord ought to have seen that he had one.
Mr. Burnap said he did not know the man was ill.
The Foreman of the Jury said it was no good wasting time putting the
blame from one to another. All they could say was that there was
something wrong with the system.
The discussion continued for a long time.
Mr. Feist suggested that it was time that there was one official always
at an office in the town ready to give tickets for the doctor.
Mr. Pexton suggested suggested that assistance should be provided by
each relieving officer; they could afford to pay them.
The Coroner: Our duty is to find the cause of death, but it would be
presumption on our part to make any such suggestion. We are, however,
quite agreed, I think, that all red tape should be thrown to the winds
in such cases.
After a long decision, the Jury returned a verdict of death from
misadventure, deceased having died from suffocation, having fallen down
in a faint.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 7 March, 1902. Price 1d.
CUT TO PIECES BY A TRAIN
On Saturday morning as the one o’clock boat train was running through
the Harbour Station on its way to the Admiralty pier, a young man named
Roberts, who was a clerk in a meat agency at Folkestone, and had walked
over to Dover earlier in the day, jumped in front of the train, and was
cut to pieces. The inquest was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Tuesday
afternoon by the Borough Coroner, Sydenham Payn, Esq. The Foreman of the
Jury was Mr. Pointer, and the Jury was as follows:- Messrs. J. R. Adams,
W. Shoesmith, L. Burton, W. Johnson, J. Haynes, J. Chapman, G. Phillips,
F. Moody, H. Maslin, A. O. Tyrrell, B, Cunningham, H. Tarling, W. Ward.
John Butcher, meat salesman, 7, Newstreet, Folkestone, said: I have been
to the mortuary and seen the remains of William James Roberts. His age
was 22. he was a clerk in my employ. He had been with me since November
last, but had been in the firm’s employ for eighteen months. On Saturday
morning I came over with the deceased to Dover. We had no business, and
came over for pleasure, walking part of the way, and riding from the
“Valiant Sailor,” arriving in the town about twelve o’clock. We walked
about a little, but the deceased was very anxious to get home, and I saw
him on to a tram car at the top or Northampton Street at 12.30. That was
the last I saw of him. He said he was going home by railway. He seemed
in his usual spirits. He was in bad health, suffering from consumption.
He had no trouble in the business whatever. On several occasions when I
have asked after his health he said life was a misery to him. He was
always very quiet, and would sit for hours at a stretch and mope. I
heard of the occurrence when I got back to Folkestone at 4.30, and at
once returned to Dover and identified the remains.
William Bullock, a fireman on the S.E. and C. Railway, said: We were
going through the Harbour Station running on to the Admiralty Pier at
12.49. When halfway through the station I saw a man standing on the edge
of the platform with his hands in his pockets. I saw him jump down off
the platform into the 4ft. way and put his head on the rail. The engine
was then 25 yards away, and the engine, which was then travelling at six
or seven miles an hour, ran over him. We did not pull up, but ran on to
The Coroner: Do you think he tried to get down to go across to the other
platform and tripped?
No, he jumped down and deliberately lay down and placed his head on the
rail with his face to the engine.
By the Jury: There was no time to do anything when he put his head on
the rail. We were only about five yards away then.
Thomas Ward, gateman at the Hawkesbury Street Crossing, said: About
12.50 I was down on the platform of the Harbour Station, and hearing the
train get very close to me I stopped and turned round. As I turned round
I saw a man jump down into the 4ft. way and fall across the rails.
Did he appear to fall?
Yes, he stretched his hands out and fell forward across the rail
furthest from the platform.
Was it your impression that he fell, or jumped off the platform?
I did not see him leave the platform, but he settled down and then fell
Witness continuing, said: When I came down the platform the deceased was
not on it, and must have come in at the door. The door is just opposite
where the deceased jumped off the platform.
Do you think he was hurrying across the platform to get a ticket?
No, sir, he did not seem to attempt to go across; he settled on his feet
and fell forward. The body was carried some 40 yards by the engine.
William Roberts, an hotel assistant, living at 25, Euston Street,
London, said: the deceased is my son. He has been from hom since
November 6th. He had been employed in London, and lived at home.
Previous to coming to Folkestone he had been ill at home for three of
four months with consumption. We wanted him to go into a convalescent
home, and his employees gave him the chance of going to Folkestone,
which was an easy place. I last saw him active at Christmas, and he was
looking better then. He, a week ago, complained in a letter of suffering
from shortness of breath. He had been very cheerful up till a year ago,
and taken an active part in cricket and football. This he had to give
up. I do not think my son is likely to commit suicide, as he has been
religiously brought up, and had a fear of death.
Dr. J. Ormsby, Police Surgeon, said he was called on Saturday between
one and two to the mortuary, and saw the body of the deceased. The head
and the whole of the upper portion of the trunk was smashed up as if it
had been put in a sausage machine. The legs and arms were smashed.
Police Sergeant Scutt said that on Saturday about one o’clock he was
called by one of the railway porters to the Harbour Station. He found
the body in the four-foot way on the down line. The head and neck were
smashed in the points, and he had to get assistance of one of the
platelayers to rake it out. The remains were collected and sent to the
mortuary. On searching the clothes he found £5 17s. 4½d. in money, a
metal watch, and several smaller articles and papers.
The Coroner pointed out that the fireman’s testimony was very strong
presumptive evidence that the deceased went on to the line for the
purpose of being killed. There was, of course, the possible chance that
he rushed through the door to get across to the ticket platform, but the
evidence of the stoker was very conclusive. If they came to that
conclusion he thought that there was little doubt that the deceased knew
of the position he was in, and that he had not long to live, and that
was likely to have effected his reason.
The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst suffering from temporary
The father, who did not seem to agree with the verdict, enquired if the
deceased had a railway ticket.
Police-sergeant Scutt said he had not.
Mr. Lord, stationmaster, who was present, pointed out that there was no
train to Folkestone for nearly an hour and a half.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 March, 1905. Price 1d.
TERRIBLE DEATH OF ARTHUR HOULDEN
FATAL FALL OVER SHAKESPEARE CLIFF
Yesterday afternoon about three o’clock, Mr. Arthur Houlden, son of Mr.
D. Houlden, draper, of Snargate Street, met with a terrible death by
falling over Shakespeare Cliff. It appears that a shepherd named Jones
saw the deceased standing on the grass near the stile half way up the
cliff on the Dover side. His back was towards the side of the cliff, and
he was smoking a pipe. Suddenly, the shepherd saw the man fall down and
roll over the side. He immediately gave the alarm, and the Police were
informed by the Coastguards. Police Constable Vincent, to whom the
report was made at 3.35, at once proceeded there in company with Police
Constables Pierce and Roberts, together with the ambulance. On the way
there they met Dr. Elliot, who accompanied them to the foot of the
cliff. The body was found at the first lot of broken chalk behind a big
rock. The head was terribly battered, and there was also a very big
wound on the thigh, the body presenting a fearful sight, the worst, Dr
Elliot said, he had ever seen. No one then knew who the deceased was. He
was wearing a grey kid glove on one hand, and was well dressed, it being
imagined that he was a stranger. The body was taken to the mortuary,
where, on being stripped by the Police, it was found that nearly every
bone had been broken, and on the shirt the name of the deceased was
discovered. Mr. Percy Houlden, of Cannon Street, was sent for, and he
identified the body as that of his brother Arthur, aged 33. Mr. David
Houlden, with whom the deepest sympathy is felt, was afterwards
informed. The deceased had assisted his father in his business at
Snargate Street for many years. Just before Christmas he underwent an
operation for appendicitis at Guy’s Hospital, London, and, although the
operation was satisfactory, he did not recover well, and was ordered six
months’ rest by the doctors, and it is possible that he was seized with
a sudden spasm of illness when he rolled over.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 March, 1905. Price 1d.
THE INQUEST. VERDICT OF ACCIDENTAL DEATH
The inquest on the body of the late Mr. Arthur Houlden was made this
afternoon at the “Esplanade Hotel,” by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham
Payn, Esq.) the Jury were as follows:- messrs. T. V. Suimmonds
(foreman), F. J. Isworth, R. Wood, R. J. Pexton, A. H. Pointer, E. A.
Wilcox, A. L. Thompson, J. Tanton, A. Tyrrell, J. Cheeseman, J. R.
Eaton, W. George, F. Farley, and W. H. Broad.
The Coroner in opening the enquiry, said that he was sorry to have to
call them together to enquire into the death of the son of an old and
Percy Houlden, Draper, 16, Cannon Street, Dover, said: The body at the
Mortuary is that of my brother, Arthur. He was 32 years of age last
November. He was a draper assisting his father. I last saw him on
Wednesday evening, when he spent the evening with us, and I walked home
with him. Since he went under an operation for appendicitis at Guy’s
Hospital in November last he was gradually getting better. He was very
weak when he came back just before Christmas. On the evening in question
he was not al all depressed. He was not in a state of health to be very
cheerful. The discharge from the wound had not finished, and it rather
worried him. He never threatened to do anything to himself, and he was
the last person we should ever expect to do so. Yesterday afternoon he
left his house at 2.30 for a walk. He seemed quite cheerful then. As he
went out he slapped his brother on the back and said he was going out to
get some fresh air. His brother said, “That is right, go on the
Admiralty Pier, and get some fresh air. Have you got plenty of tobacco?”
he had no reason to worry, because he was told he must have six months’
holiday and he could have had six years’ holiday if he liked.
In reply to the Jury, witness said that the wound was not painful. The
discharge from the wound was very slight indeed.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said he had never heard his brother
complain of any giddiness.
William John Jones, living at Maxton, said: About 3.30 I was engaged on
Mr. Broadley’s farm near the stile on Shakespeare Cliff. I saw the
deceased standing on the cliff close to the edge, about 20 yards from
the stile, which is two-thirds of the way up. I was 50 yards from him
and walking up to him. He turned round and lit his pipe, and then threw
the match away. He then made a step round, and fell down and rolled over
the cliff. The path is three or four feet from the edge, and the
deceased was between the path and the edge. He did nit jump over, but
fell down and rolled over. It is a very dangerous spot, as there is a
hole where a post had been, in which he might have caught his foot. The
cliff at this spot bulges out. The hole is two or three feet from the
edge of the cliff. He could not see any marks in the hole, but he might
have tripped over it. It was all done in an instant, and I could not say
that the deceased tripped. He turned round quietly, and it looked as if
he were coming away. I then told a passer-by that I thought a man had
gone over, but he took no notice, I afterwards told a Sergeant who was
passing, and the Police came.
The Foreman: Your distinct impression is that he caught his foot and
Witness: No, I would not say that.
Mr. George: You are quite sure he did not jump over?
Witness: I am quite sure of that.
William John Pilling, Marine, Shore Staff S.E. and C. Railway Company,
said: At 3.20 I was going up to my garden at Haycliff. I got as far as
the Coastguard Station, and met a soldier sergeant going towards the
Coastguards, who said that a man had gone over the cliff. I went down
below nearly to the point and found the deceased lying on the rocks 15
yards away from the base of the cliff, which is sheer. I waved my hat to
the cliff officer of the Coastguards, who was at the top of the cliff. I
stopped there till the Police came and took the body away on the
stretcher off the ambulance.
Police-constable Vincent, said: About 3.35 on yesterday afternoon I was
in Strond Street, when the Coastguard informed me that there was a man
over the cliff. Having obtained the ambulance, and accompanied by
Police-constables Pierce and Roberts, I went nearly to the point, and
there found the body as described by the last witness, some portions of
the skull being some distance away. At the top of the cliff I fell in
with Dr. Elliot, and he came down with me. The body was placed on the
stretcher and taken to the mortuary. I searched the body and found some
money, and two letters which had nothing to do with the occurrence. His
name was found from the letters, and the name inside the shirt. Mr.
Houlden was informed and he came and recognised the body. I went to the
spot above, but could see no marks whatever. The hole was nearly grown
over, and would not be seen by anyone walking along. There was not
enough wind to blow anyone over.
In reply to a Juryman, witness said that the grass did not look as if
anyone had tripped in the hole, but he might have tripped over it
without showing any traces. The hole was not very wide, but of
Dr. Elliot said: I was driving out to the Coastguard Station, and
hearing that someone had gone over, I went down and saw the body. The
skull was smashed in, the left thigh was broken, and the right leg and
arm and some ribs on both sides. Death must have been instantaneous, and
was due to the fracture of the skull.
The Coroner, in summing up, said that the evidence of Mr. Jones was that
the deceased turned round suddenly, and probably caught his foot in the
hole, and not being able to recover, went over. This was his impression,
but if they thought that was not quite sufficient they might return an
open verdict. There seemed to be no reason why he should take his life,
and he did not think a man would have lit his pipe in the way the
deceased had, if he had any intention of doing anything to himself, and
it certainly seemed to be an accident.
The Jury at once returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
The Foreman asked the Coroner to convey a vote of sympathy from the Jury
to Mr. and Mrs. Houlden, and the Coroner said he would do so, as he
fully joined in their views.
Mr. P. Houlden expressed his thanks for the sympathy shown.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 March, 1905. Price 1d.
The funeral of the late Mr. Arthur Houlden, who met his death by falling
over Shakespeare Cliff, took place at St. James’s Cemetery on Monday
afternoon. The cortege left the premises in Snargate Street at 2
o’clock, and proceeded to the Cemetery, which was reached at 2.30. there
was a large crowd gathered at the graveside to witness the interment.
The mourners were: Mr. D. Houlden (father), Mr. P. Houlden, Mr. W.
Houlden, Mr. A. Houlden and Mr. R. Houlden (brothers), Mr. Walter
Houlden and Mr. Harry Houlden (cousins), Mr. W. G. George, Mr. A. Tapley,
and Mr. R. Jarrett. Those present at the graveside included Messrs. W.
H. Fairbairn (Capt. Of the Dover Cycling Club, of which the deceased was
a member). H. W. Durrant, F. Norton, W. H. Broad, R. Pexton, H. Masters,
C. Marsh, E. W. Ewell, J. Webber, A. E. Pritchard, H. H. Goodwin,
Farley, Britt, Smith, J. Gandy, W. License, and R. Morgan. The service
at the chapel and at the graveside were conducted by the Rev F. P.
Basden. The coffin was of polished oak, and bore the inscription of
“Arthur Houlden, died 19th March, 1905, aged 32 years.” The floral
tributes were very beautiful and numerous, the following being a list:
To our dear son, Arthur: With fond love, from Percy and Nell: In loving
memory, Walter, Archie, and Ro: To dear Uncle Arthur, from Douglas; With
best love, from Fred; From his loving sisters, Sissie and Alice; With
heartfelt sympathy, from the employees; With deepest sympathy, from his
friend, W. J. George; With sincere sympathy, from L. Matson; A tribute
of sincere sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Norton and family; With Mrs.
Sydney Hipkins’ sincere sympathy, Great Yarmouth; With deepest sympathy
and regret, from Mr. and Mrs. A. Tapley; From Archie Knight, with
sincere sympathy; With Mr. and Mrs. Delehave and family’s deepest
sympathy – Peace, perfect peace; With deepest sympathy, from Kitty
Belcher; With sincere and condolence, from E. and l. Thompson; With
deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs., and Miss Appleton; From his chum,
W. H. Greenhaulgh, Dover Cycling Club; An old friend’s tribute, W. H.
Broad; With Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jarrett’s and family’s deepest sympathy
and loving remembrance, Clyde House, Dover; With deepest sympathy, from
Mr. and Mrs. John Ingleton and family; With deepest sympathy, from Mr.
and Mrs. J. Gandy and family; Tribute of sincere sympathy, from Mr. and
Mrs. A. E. Pritchard; With loving sympathy from the Officers, Committee,
and members of the Dover Cycling Club; With sincere sympathy, from Mr.
and Mrs. Falconer and family.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9
June, 1905. Price 1d.
Permission was given to the "Esplanade Hotel" to supply refreshment
at the Athletic Ground of Whit Monday.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 September, 1925. Price 1½d.
KNOCKED DOWN BY TAXI-CAR
A distressing fatality occurred on Sunday afternoon when a little boy
named Phillip Albert Blogg, of 29, Albany Place, was knocked down by a
taxi-cab near the Drill Hall in Northampton Street. He died within a few
minutes from fractured skull.
An inquest was held at the “Esplanade Hotel” on Tuesday afternoon by the
Deputy Coroner, (Mr. E. E. Pain), who was assisted by a Jury.
The Jury was sworn in as follows:- John Williams (foreman), Charles
Henry Smith, John Weir, Reginald Devonshire Carter, Charles Robert
Millway, William Ernest Lee, and Henry Frederick Partridge.
Ernest Frederick Blogg, 29, Albany Place, porter for Mrs. Beresford
Baker, at Tenterden, said: The body is that of my son, Philip Albert
Blogg. He was three years old last October, and lived at home with us. I
was not at home on Sunday until half-past ten and knew nothing about the
accident until then. Mrs. Bloggs is unable to attend to give evidence,
and I have brought a doctor’s certificate.
The Coroner said that it was unfortunate as Mrs. Blogg would not be able
to say what time the child left home.
Albert Henry Hogg said: I reside at 289, London Road and am a seamen of
the S.R. boats. On Sunday afternoon about a quarter to five, I was
coming from the Sea Front with my wife and two children. When I got by
Dr. Best’s house at the corner of Northampton Street, I was about to
cross the road when a taxi came round the corner on the other side of
the road from Bench Street, into Northampton Street. There was some
baggage on top of the car which drew my attention to it. I passed a
remark to my wife, “It’s a wonder the baggage doesn’t come off the way
it is going round the corner.”
The Coroner: It doesn’t matter what you said to your wife. You noticed
The Coroner: can you give any idea what speed the car was going?
Well, pretty fast in my estimation.
Yes, I should estimate 15 miles per hour.
Do you know what 15 miles per hour is? Have you means of judging?
Well, I can walk 4 miles an hour and I judge the trams go, on the
straight at about 8 miles per hour, and I should say he was going double
the speed of a tram.
That is your considered opinion?
Yes, by the distance the car covered whilst I was crossing the road.
Continuing witness said: When I got to the other side of the road I
heard some children cry out and looking down I saw a child lying in a
heap in the road. Further on was the car.
Can you tell me the position of the car?
It was on the left hand side as I was looking down, the child was lying
on the right of the car.
Is this the Snargate Street side?
Yes. Continuing, witness said: I went down. The car was well on the
left, so that the child was in the middle. He was on his knees, with his
head towards Snargate Street. I lifted the child, and there was no
movement, only blood running from his head, I was making for Snargate
Street, when someone said go to Dr. Best’s. I was going to the first
shop I thought would be open, and that was a restaurant. I took the
child to Dr. Best’s Surgery.
The Coroner: that accounts for the blood leading to Snargate Street?
Mrs. Eileen Spicer, of 8, Pretoria Terrace, said: I was proceeding from
the Sea Front on Sunday about ten minutes to five. As I got past the
National Provincial Bank on that side, I saw the car going from New
Bridge into Northampton Street. I noticed it because it was well loaded
with luggage on top and where the driver sat. It took my eye, and I
watched it go down Northampton Street on the left hand side of the road.
In my opinion, it was going at quite an ordinary speed. I am not a great
judge, but I should say from six to eight miles per hour.
Ever been out in a motor car?
Ever watched the speedometer?
Yes. The car I usually go in is a Ford. I don’t know if that would make
Witness continuing, said: I also noticed the children – the little child
in a blue jersey, the one killed, and, I think, a smaller one, and two
boys who attend the County School, standing by the Jewish synagogue,
Slip Passage. I saw the boy in the blue jersey deliberately make a dart
across the road, making for the passage on the other side. The next time
I looked – I thought the boy would have cleared the car – I saw a
huddled heap on the tram lines, and drew my friend’s attention to it.
The Coroner: You did not see the actual contact?
Continuing, witness said that the car had then drawn up by the Drill
Hall – not more than the length of the car on, she should say.
A Juryman asked what pace witness was going at, if she was at the end of
the National Provincial Bank when she saw the car going round the corner
and was still able to se the child just in front of the car afterwards?
Witness said she was walking at an ordinary easy pace from the Sea
The Foreman: You say the child dart across the road?
What distance was the car then?
I couldn’t tell you, as I was right at the top of Northampton Street
The next witness was Frederick Goodwin, of 34, Kitchener Road, who the
Police said was one of the County School boys referred to. He said: I am
aged 15. I was coming from the Sea Front, and by Dr. Best’s I saw the
taxi-cab coming from Bench Street. It turned the corner and went down
Northumberland Street at an ordinary speed – not more than six miles an
hour, I should say. I saw two children over on the right hand side of
Northampton Street., that is the Snargate Street side.
Questioned by the Coroner, the boy adhered to his statement that the
boys were on the side of Northampton Street by Mr. Wood’s shop.
The Coroner: You yourself were not standing on the Slip Passage at the
No; and my chum who was with me is outside.
P.C. Taylor said that the boy was very much agitated at the time.
The Coroner said that he had written down: “I saw the motor car commence
going down Northampton Street, and I saw the two children standing on
the Northampton Street pavement, and I think it was Snargate Street
The driver of the taxi was next called, and the Coroner warned him that
as it was a case in which the question might arise whether he was
criminally responsible if any questions were asked which he thought
might incriminate himself, he was entitled to say that he did not want
Thomas Wright said: I live at 7, Victoria Park Mews, and I am a taxi
driver, owning my own car. I was driving on Sunday afternoon with a lady
and two little boys from the Priory Station to catch the Calais boat, I
think, at about 6 or 6.15 p.m. I think it was about five o’clock when
the accident occurred, but I really did not notice until I got to the
Mortuary. I came down Bench Street, and had just turned the Northampton
Street corner when as I got to the Synagogue there were three little
boys who ran deliberately in front of my car. They were all about the
same size and seemed to be together, and made a dash. They ran in front
of the car. The left-hand mudguard hit one of the children on the head,
knocking him down. I stopped my car directly and ran for assistance,
with a gentleman on the other side of the road. I ran to Dr. Best’s
house and rang all the bells I could. I did not know what to do.
The Coroner: When you were coming down Northampton Street, I suppose it
was pretty clear?
Yes, it was a clear road.
You know the ground very well?
Did you sound your hooter when you got to the cross-roads?
No, sir, I did not sound my hooter.
Do you generally?
I do generally, but I didn’t on that occasion.
You have been down there heaps of times?
Yes, I am always careful at that corner.
What happened to the other children?
I did not notice.
They were all together?
Yes, it’s a wonder I didn’t knock them all over. Witness added: I hadn’t
got the heart to pick the boy up. He was just behind the car. I don’t
think I ran over him.
How far away?
Hardly a car’s length.
Yet you cannot remember what happened to the other children?
They ran back on to the Slip Passage side, I think.
Police Inspector Fox: Was the deceased the leading boy?
Yes; I think so.
The Coroner: I understand they all ran together?
He must have been leading, or the others would have got it.
I suppose it depends on the speed you were going?
I was hardly going any speed.
Would you like to say what speed?
Six to eight miles and hour, not more.
Further questioned, witness said he was not sure if there were two or
three boys. As soon as the accident happened he ran for assistance.
Inspector Fox: Where was the injured boy?
In the road.
You passed him to get assistance?
Inspector Fox said that according to the witness the boy was knocked
down in the gutter, but according to the first witness he was lying on
the tram lines.
Witness: He was in the gutter.
The Coroner: There was a good deal of blood about two or three yards
from the gutter. Your idea is that he was towards the gutter?
Yes; he ran right in front of me.
Have you any idea where he was when you first saw him?
I should say two yards off the curb.
The Coroner: Well, that is about it. Did you drag him?
You hit him where you found him?
Yes. If I had dragged him I should have gone over him.
A Juryman asked if the witness sighted the children before they dashed
Witness: No, sir; when they were nearly on my car. I had no warning, or
I could have stopped within a yard.
The Foreman: Is your car insured against third-party risks?
Did the luggage impede your view?
No. I had only one trunk and another little bit beside me.
The father of the deceased said that witness had said he was only going
six miles an hour. When did he first sight the boys?
Witness: not until they were on top of me.
The Father: Where was your car when the boys rushed out?
Nearly on to the Slip Passage.
You never saw those boys walking from the time you came round the
I never saw the boys until they were on top of me. If I had seen them, I
should have avoided them.
Where was his mind when he got to both those openings? He says he never
sounded the hooter.
The Coroner: The Jury can come to their own conclusion as to that. I
have asked him the question.
Mr. Hogg, the first witness of the accident, said he would like to ask
the driver if he drew up more to the left after he knocked the boy down?
Witness: No, sir, I pulled up straight away.
The Coroner: You might have pulled to the left?
Yes; but I didn’t notice when I knew what I had done.
Another gentleman in the Court, referring to a brother of the deceased
said: Was he one of the three boys?
Witness: Yes; he was.
The Coroner called the boy forward. His name is Stephen Ernest Blogg,
and his age five years. The Coroner said he did not propose to put him
on his oath, and the Jury could do as they liked in regard to asking him
questions. He had seen the boy, and in his opinion it was quite
impossible to get from him any real version of what happened. He had
told one story to one and another story to another. He had been told
that he had been to Salem Sunday School that afternoon and went home, he
and his brother, and he imagined his mother, who was not able to get
out, and his father being away at Tenterden, said they could run along
to the Sea Front. They were probably on the way home, and his own
opinion was that they were running across from Slip Passage. The boy
said on one occasion he was going the other way, so they would see how
difficult it was to find out the truth, but he had no doubt in his own
mind what happened. They could see from the boy’s appearance that he was
quite capable of looking after himself in the streets.
The Foreman said that the Jury had decided not to ask the boy any
Dr. Matthew De Lacy, assistant to Dr. Best, said: I was informed of the
accident at about ten minutes to five, and saw the deceased at the back
entrance to Dr. best’s house. He was lying on the ground, and died just
as I reached him. I should say it was within three minutes of the
accident. He had been bleeding both from the ear and the mouth, and
examination revealed a shallow groove on the right side of the head
behind the ear. The skull had been broken at this point, and death was
due to shock following a fractured skull. The injury might very well
have been caused by an accident such as he had described.
The Coroner, addressing the Jury, said that he thought the facts were
fairly clear. He did not think they would have any doubt that the motor
car ran into the boy and that the cause of death was a fractured skull,
but the real question for the Jury was: “Was there anything in the way
in which Mr. Wright was driving which was negligent or improper or of a
furious nature which may have caused the death of the boy?” Even if
there was no negligence or fault on the part of the driver, they would
also have to consider whether there was any negligence on the part of
the child. That is to say, whether the children contributed to the
accident out of the ordinary way, which relieved the driver from the
liability to which he otherwise would be subject. The real question for
the Jury to decide was whether this was a case of misadventure or
whether the running down of the child was through the fault of the
driver, and if it was they must make up their minds as to what extent,
because if he was guilty of negligent conduct such as furious driving,
and it was not contributed to by the other party, then, they were aware,
he was liable to be committed for manslaughter. The points he wanted
them to decide were: - First of all, about which there was no
difficulty, that the motor car ran into the child; that death came from
a fracture of the skull which was caused by being run into; and,
thirdly, whether it was by misadventure or by any fault, and if so to
what extent, on the part of the driver.
The Jury retired, and after a few minutes returned and asked to
re-examine the first witness. The Foreman said that they would like Hogg
to verify the statement he made as to where he picked up the boy. The
evidence of the other witness was that he was lying near the path.
Hogg said that was the reason he asked the driver if he pulled in after
How far from the curb were you when you picked up the boy?
Practically in the middle of the road.
When the Jury returned again, the Foreman said they found the boy had
met his death by misadventure. They thought the driver wrong in not
sounding the hooter, but could find no criminal neglect to prefer a
charge against him. They would like to express their sympathy with the
parents. They also threw out the suggestion that no hackney carriage
vehicles should be licensed unless they were covered for third-party or
The Coroner made a note of the rider, which the Foreman asked should be
sent to the Town Council.
The Coroner recoded a verdict that the deceased was accidentally run
over by the motor car, and the cause of death was a fractured skull due
to being so run over.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 August, 1932. Price 1½d.
DOVER HOTEL MANAGER DROWNED AT MAIDSTONE
Yesterday, at 2.30 p.m., a man was seen to fall into the Medway near
Springfield Mill, Maidstone. The body was recovered, and has since been
identified as that of Mr. W. Hawkes, who for the past 25 years has been
Manager of the “Esplanade Hotel,” Dover. He has recently had a nervous
breakdown, and had gone to Maidstone to stay with friends. The inquest
will be held today.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 14
January, 1938. Price 1½d.
The "Esplanade Hotel" was granted an occasional licence to supply
refreshments at the annual meeting and another at the Kent Council of
Meat Trades to be held at the Town Hall on January 24th.
Taken from the Dover Express 20 January 1950
ANOTHER LANDMARK GOES
For many years, well-known to visitors as well as townspeople, the
Esplanade Hotel, opposite the entrance to the Prince of Wales Pier, is
being demolished. It was closed about the beginning of 1941, and
subsequently suffered war damage. The site is needed by the Harbour
Board in connection with their quay-space improvement scheme.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 20 January 1950.
TWO-IN-ONE FIRE CALL
Called to one fire at the docks on Wednesday evening, Dover firemen
discovered another in adjoining premises.
They had been called to Messrs. Crow, Catchpole wharf, where electric
wires at the base of a ballast elevator had fused and caught fire. After
dealing with this the firemen smelt smoke in the vicinity, and found a
quantity of rubbish alight in a basement room of the Esplanade Hotel,
which is being demolished. This too, was quickly extinguished.
CESSFORD William (proprietor) 1882-Mar/1902
MANN Robert James Mar/1902+
the Esplanade Hotel Company, Ltd.)
ORPIN William S to Feb/1923 dec'd
SAUNDERS Herbert J Feb/1923+
HAWKES Mr W 1923-Aug/1932 dec'd
SAUNDERS J A 1938+
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39