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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Accidental Death of Henry Lewis Titheridge

Birth marriage and death records show that Henry Lewis Titheridge was born late in 1855 and christened in Cheriton parish church on Christmas Day 1855.  The records show him to be the elder son of James Titheridge and his second wife Charlotte Freemantle.  He was the four times great grandson of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat of Cheriton.
The death records show him to have died at an early age of 12, a few months before his thirteenth birthday with his death registered in September 1868 at Cheriton.    
The records do not show the sad story about his death.  Supplementing these records with articles from contemporary newspapers helps paint a picture of the life of our ancestors and the conditions in which they lived and worked. 

The story of Henry Lewis appears in two articles In the Hampshire Telegraph of 1868

The Hampshire Telegraph 26 September 1868

Fatal accident

ON Friday (yesterday) morning a boy named Titheridge in the employ of Messrs Vokes and Son corn seed and coal merchants, Winchester was employed to hold the coal sacks for the men to fill in the goods department at the railway station.  Relinquishing his work for a few minutes to have a game with some other boys in the yard they commenced running between the wagons.  In passing between the buffers another wagon was sent down which closed the whole of the wagons and he was severely crushed. As soon as it was discovered he was taken to hospital where he only survived a few minutes.

The Hampshire Advertiser 3 October 1868

Under Winchester and district local news

An inquest was taken on Saturday upon the body of Henry Lewis Titheridge, who met with an accident at the railway station on Thursday.  He was engaged by Messrs Vokes and Son, and whilst at work in the goods department he leant against a buffer of a railway truck, and within 2 feet of other trucks which had just been shunted.  Whilst so leaning the trucks were moved and he was crushed and being taken to hospital died very shortly after from the injuries.  Verdict Accidental Death”
What would current Health and Safety regulators make of a twelve year old boy working and playing on the railway lines?

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