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From the Sussex Express, 8th December 1916



Another member of the Royal Defence Corps lost his life as the result of an accident on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway near Glynde Reach on Tuesday evening. It appears that Private Albert Anscombe, aged 53 years, who had visited Lewes, was caught by a train while he was returning along the line, and was thrown into a ditch. The body was picked up and conveyed to the Mortuary at Lewes.

The inquest was conducted at the Fire Station, Lewes, yesterday (Thursday) evening, by the Coroner (Mr G Vere Benson).

The Coroner at the outset expressed regret that the Jury had to be called together to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the death of another man who had been engaged in connection with home defence.

Henry Anscombe, living at Hurstpierpoint, brother of deceased, gave evidence of identification.

Private Frederick Beadle, Royal Defence Corps, stated that about 8.15 pm on the previous Tuesday he was half a mile from his quarters at Glynde Reach, when he challenged deceased who was walking in the four-foot way on the up line. Trains passed the point soon after.

Private Harry Hounsom, Royal Defence Corps, stationed at Glynde Reach, said that on the evening in question he made a search and found deceased in a ditch by the side of the line. His head was under the water.

Second-Lieutenant Bowler, Royal Defence Corps, told the Coroner that deceased had permission to go to Lewes on Tuesday, and was not on duty when he was returning. At the spot where the fatality occurred was no footpath, and men were obliged to walk in the four-foot way.

Herbert Smithers gave evidence that on Tuesday evening he was driving the train which left Brighton at 7.58 for Seaford. About 50 yards from Glynde Reach he felt a jar as if the engine had struck something. He looked out, but could not see anything. No marks were observed when the engine was examined closely at Brighton.

Lieut-Colonel Dewe said he was present that morning on the line when deceased's stick was found in the ditch by the side of the line, from 20 to 25 paces away from the spot at which the body was recovered. The stick was nearer Lewes than the body. The assumption was that deceased must have been on the down line when he was struck, and that he got off the up line to avoid a train. Presumably the stick flew out of his hand when he was hit, and his body was carried further along the line. He had to cross the line in order to reach his station.

Dr Fawcett, who had examined the body, described the serious injuries which had been inflicted. They were, said witness, sufficient to cause death, and were consistent with having been struck by an engine.

The Coroner remarked that it appeared that deceased was struck by one train in his endeavour to avoid another.

A verdict of 'Accidental death' was returned, and sympathy with the relatives was expressed.

Listed under the Topics: RIP, Transport & War

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