|• 1899: Boer War starts||• 1901: Queen Victoria dies||• 1903: 1st aeroplane flight by Wright Bros.||• 1905: Ragged Lands established||• 1909: Introduction of Old Age Pension||• 1912: Sinking of the Titanic||• 1914: Start of 1st World War||• 1916: Battle of the Somme||• 1918: End of 1st World War||• 1919: 1st trans-atlantic flight||• 1920: League of Nations founded||• 1922: Irish Free State founded||• 1924: Lenin dies||• 1926: General Strike||• 1928: Women get the vote||• 1934: Hitler assumes power in Germany||• 1936: Regular BBC TV broadcasts begin||• 1939: Start of 2nd World War||• 1940: Dunkirk evacuation||• 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbour||• 1944: "D-Day" landings in France||• 1945: End of 2nd World War||• 1946: USA tests atom bomb at Bikini Island||• 1947: Sound Barrier broken||• 1948: NHS founded|
Mr E Digby Gates, solicitor, Brighton, appeared on behalf of the driver of the motor car.
Mrs Sarah Jane Munnery, who was distressed, said she last saw her child alive when he went to school on Thursday afternoon, when his last words were, 'Good-bye and God bless you, mummy'. A little boy named Reginald Masters was in the habit of bringing him home from school.
The Foreman (Mr S Baker) asked how it was that the child was going to school before he was five years of age.
The Coroner did not think that was relevant to this enquiry: they were only concerned with how the boy met his death. No doubt there would be a satisfactory answer, but he did not know what it was.
PC Lidbetter (Glynde) produced a rough sketch of the scene of the accident, which took place on the Eastbourne Road near the forked roads at Beddingham Church. The width of the road at that point was 22½ feet, and the accident had apparently happened in the middle of the road.
By Mr Gates – There was a slight bend in the road, but the driver would have been able to see another car approaching. If there had been children on the bank round the bend, the driver would not have been able to see them.
By Mr Gates – Witness was holding deceased's hand and deceased suddenly dashed across the road. If deceased had stayed with him he would not have been knocked down.
The Coroner remarked that the boy had given his evidence very well. It must be a good school to teach boys of his age to be so clear.
By Mr Gates – Her husband was on his proper side of the road and sounded his horn before he got to the bend.
William Thomas Halsey, chauffeur, 13 Down Road, Eastbourne, stated that on Thursday afternoon he was driving from Lewes to Eastbourne and was about 50 yards behind Mr Rose's car. As he turned the corner of the road he saw the little boy lying in the middle of the road, and Mr Rose's car had stopped a length and a half in front of the boy. Witness went back to Lewes for the doctor and was bringing Dr Gayton, when they met Captain Oganne's car taking the boy to the hospital. The doctor went into the other car and returned to Lewes with the boy. Mr Rose's car was travelling about 16 miles an hour before the accident, but he could not say what the speed was at the time of the accident owing to the bend of the road.
By Mr Gates – The short distance in which Mr Rose pulled up after hitting the boy showed that the car was going at a reasonable speed.
Dr Gayton stated that when they got to the hospital he found that the child was dead. There was a big dent on the right side of the head, under the ear, and there was obviously a fracture of the base of the skull. The right thigh was broken at the top.
In reply to Mr Gates, witness said he thought the car coming from Eastbourne was almost abreast of him at the time of the accident. Indeed a passenger suggested that it was not his car which struck the child, but he knew it had. He had been driving for ten years and had never been convicted under any section of the Motor Car Act. It was a 10 horse power four-seater car.
By the Foreman – There was no way of getting clear of the child.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said he did not think he was going at more than ten miles an hour at the time of the accident.
By the Jury – Before he got to the corner he looked at his speedometer and he was then going at 17 miles an hour. He slowed down because of the other car coming along and would not be going at more than ten miles an hour.
The jury, after a few minutes consideration, returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death' and suggested that in view of the fact that so many children went round the corner, it was a dangerous corner, and a warning sign should be placed there.
The Coroner said he would forward their recommendation to the County Council.
Mr Gates, on behalf of Mr Rose, expressed his sympathy with the relatives of the deceased and intimated that he would defray the expenses of the funeral.
The Coroner and the jury joined in the expression of sympathy and handed their fees to the parents. Mr Rose also doing the same.
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