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From the Sussex Express, 4th May 1867



On Monday last an inquest was held at the Station Inn [I am sure this is a mistake for the Trevor Arms, Ed] before L G Fullager, esq, to enquire into the circumstances attending the death of Andrew Burt, a young man who was killed on the line on Saturday night, last.

Frank Baker deposed - Deceased was a labourer and 29 years of age. I an he were natives of Dorsetshire. I last saw him alive on Saturday night, about half-past seven o'clock. He was then in the taproom of this house. I did not see him leave, as I left him here when I went home. He was not exactly sober, he had had a little beer. Deceased lodged with me at the Ripe crossing close by the line. It is rather shorter by the line. I am not aware that deceased was accustomed to go home by the line. We generally went to work and went home together, but we did not on Saturday evening because he said he was not ready to go. On Sunday morning Hunsted, the man at the gate, called me somewhere between seven and eight o'clock, and I went along with him and saw deceased lying on the line. He was then quite dead. We took a trolley and put deceased on and brought him to the goods' shed. I knew deceased was not come home on Saturday night, but I was not surprised. Sometimes when he had a little beer deceased would lie down on the road, and have a sleep before coming home. If he once lay down he would generally stop for several hours. I have known him to stop out all night occasionally. I saw no person quarrel with him on Saturday night. I have known deceased go home by the line once or twice. We have lodged together since I came to Firle. I believe he had not much money with him on Saturday night. He told me he had none, and borrowed a shilling of me before I left here.

George Hide, labourer, of Beddingham, said - On Saturday last I saw the deceased about eight o'clock, come out of the house and go along by the railway hedge. He was on the field side of the hedge. I did not see him go on the line. He was going in the direction of his home; I have seen him go that way before, and have seen him on the line. He wanted a good part of the road to walk in. he did not fall down in my sight; he was alone. I said to him, 'Going away home again, mate?' and he said, 'Yes, going away to Berwick,' at least, so I understood him. I told him he must look out for the train as there would be one up directly, but he made no answer. Deceased went on his way and I saw him no more until yesterday in the goods' shed. I was not in the taproom with him on Saturday night. I have frequently seen him go home by the line, and have seen him come that way. I did not see the goods train come up that evening, as I was indoors before it came. It is called the pick-up train.

Matthew Hunstead, foreman of platelayers, at the gate, at Ripe crossing, deposed - Yesterday morning I was examining the line about a quarter after six o'clock, when I found the deceased lying on the up-line close to the outside rail, about a quarter of a mile from Glynde Station, and between that and Ripe crossing. He was dead. He was on his back, his head being towards Glynde. I took him away from the rail. Deceased worked along with me a short time back, and used to go to and fro on the line, but when he left working with me I told him it was my duty to prevent him going on the line, and cautioned him not to do so. I have not seen him on the line since. I should think it was a fortnight or three weeks ago that I cautioned him.

Abraham Reeves, station master at Glynde, said - I did not see deceased on Saturday night, but the pick-up (up) train arrived here about two minutes past eight o'clock and stopped here. No report was made to me of its having gone over a man. The next up train was the Hastings goods for London. It stopped at this station at ten minutes to ten o'clock, but no report was made to me.

P C Olive, stationed at Glynde, said that he did not see deceased on Saturday evening last, but saw him on Sunday morning a little before seven o'clock. He had searched him and found 6d in silver, three penny pieces, and two halfpennies, a tobacco box, and a knife upon him, but no watch.

The Coroner then summed up, and the jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death'.

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