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From the Sussex Express, 13th February 1877

THE BODY OF A MAN FOUND IN THE RIVER - On Saturday evening last a man named Richard Gates, a labourer, of Beddingham, and a native of Firle, left the Snowdrop Inn, in South Street, at 11 o'clock, when the house was closed. He was seen to start in the direction of Beddingham. The water in the River Ouse was at that time about level with the top of the bank. On Sunday morning a bargeman, named Edward Ade, was walking along the Southerham Road, and when about half way between the Snowdrop and the Southerham chalkpit his attention was attracted by seeing a person lying on the river bank, partly immersed in water. He went to look, and found that it was a man, who had a portion of the grass growing on the side of the bank tightly grasped in his hands, whist his feet were resting in a small hole. Ade at once proceeded to the lime kilns for assistance, and the dead man was pulled out. It proved to be the corpse of Gates. As stated above, his hands were clenched, and he had hold of the grass. There were no marks of a struggle near, and there is no doubt the occurrence was purely accidental. Probably the man fell into the water which, owing to the darkness of the night, he might have mistaken for a road, and was drowned, his efforts to save himself being ineffectual. This is the opinion of Dr Smythe, who saw the body, and there is no doubt that when the unfortunate man left the Snowdrop on Saturday evening he was perfectly sober. The inquest is to be held this evening.

Listed under the Topic: RIP

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