CIP 28.9.1888: BOY DROWNED IN THE CAM. AN inquest was held at the Fort St. George on Monday, before Mr. E. Gotobed, borough coroner, on the body of a boy named Frank Freeman, five years of age, whose parents reside at 18, Wellington-street.—The first witness called was Mary Freeman, mother of the deceased, who stated that she last saw her son alive between half-past one and two o’clock on Friday, when he was home to dinner. About a quarter to two he left the house, along with another boy, and, as they had a holiday at school, she thought they were going to spend the afternoon playing together. She left the house at two o’clock to follow her occupation as a laundress, and returned home about seven o’clock. As the deceased did not return home, she became alarmed and made inquiries as to his whereabouts, and, as she could not hear anything of him, she gave information to the police. About twelve o’clock the next day the boy with whom the deceased had been playing, and who was named Webster, told her that he had seen the deceased’s cap floating in the river, whereupon she began to think that the boy had been drowned. She again communicated wi h the police, and, upon the river being dragged, the body of the deceased was found near to the spot where his cap had been seen floating. The boy Webster had given two or three versions of last seeing the deceased. —Frederick Dack, a boy twelve years of age, residing with his parents at 83. Fitzroy-street, deposed that he was with a pony on Midsummer Common on Friday afternoon, about half-past one o’clock, where saw Webster and the deceased playing. The deceased had a bottle attached to a piece of string, which he stated he was going to throw in the river and pull it out again. He (the witness) knocked a cork tightly into the bottle, so that it would not sink, and advised them to play down at the shallow water, near Walnut Tree-lane, and not where they said they were going to play—in the deep water, near the sewer. He left them on the Common, about 200 yards from the river, and did not see them again.—Robert Lee. labourer, said that in consequence of being told that the deceased was missing, and that it was thought he was in the river, he went down with the intention of dragging for the body. The place where the deceased’s cap had been seen floating was pointed out to him, when a man named Heath, who was on the bank shouted out that he could see the body in the water. It was about four feet from the bank, standing upright the mud, with the arms outstretched. and covered with water. The body was got out of the water and he assisted to remove it to the Fort St. George — Annie Webster, a widow, residing at 1. Crown passage, Welllington-street, stated that her son went to play with the deceased on Friday afternoon. He came to the house which she was working about two o clock, and said he had suddenly missed his playfellow, and did not know where he had gone to. Mr Ceely, surgeon, of Gwydir-streef, stated that he had made an external examination of the body, which presented the usual appearances of having been drowned.—The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased had been found drowned, but that there was not sufficient evidence to show how he had got into the water.
Emma Darling, widow, 44, b Herts
Walter, 21, brewer’s labourer, b Cambridge
Sidney, 19, gas fitter, b Cambridge
William, 15, errand boy, b Cambridge
Grace, 12, b Cambridge
Hilda, 10, b Cambridge
John, 9, b Cambridge
Agnes, 8, b Cambridge
Arthur, 5 mos, b Cambridge
Sidney Montague Darling: Private 868, 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment. Born 21st April 1891 at Cambridge, aged 17 years 11 months. Died between January and March 1917, aged 25 (GRO ref: Cambridge 3b 698). Attested at Cambridge 4th March 1909. Embodied 5th August 1914, discharged on 1st February 1916 as medically unfit for further service (Para 392 XVI Kings Regulations). Son of the late Joseph Frederick Darling and Emma Darling of 18 Wellington Street, Cambridge. He was a Gas Fitter’s Mate for Cambridge Gas Company. Unmarried. Height 5 feet 7½ inches. Hair dark, eyes blue, medium figure. Recorded as having pain radiating down his left arm and shortness of breath; he was in hospital for 3 months; initial cause was influenza. Buried in Mill Road Cemetery, parish of St Andrew the Less section. See also Cambridge Guildhall (Cambridge Gas Roll of Honour)
1962: Thomas Markham
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