View Full Version : Ben Baldock Fatality(August 1903)

29-04-2005, 7:43 PM
The Courier Aug 28 1903

Terrible fatality at Wadhurst

A terrible accident occured on Saturday at Wadhurst Hall to a man named Ben BALDOCK, a native of Rotherfield, in the employ of Mr STARTIN, builder of TICEHURST, who is carrying out some building operations at the Hall.
The unfortunate man inadvertantly stepped on the end of a plank, which had been placed to protect a part of the building, the plank tipping, the poor fellow fell to the ground, and although only a distance of about 10 feet, he sustained such terrible injuries, breaking his back and both shoulder blades, that recovery seemed impossible.
Dr FAZAN, of WADHURST, was speedily in attendance, but little could be done, and he was conveyed to the General Hospital at TUNBRIDGE WELLS, where he died early yesterday (Thursday).
It is understood that the young fellow is the main support of a widowed mother.

Inquest details to follow...........

29-04-2005, 10:35 PM
That is horrible!

Benjamin Baldock 34 Sussex Rotherfield East Sussex Rotherfield Carpenter & Joiner

In 1881 he is living with father Charles and mother Elizabeth at Luckhams in Rotherfield.

12-05-2005, 8:18 PM
On Friday evening, Mr. Thos. Buss held an Inquest at the Tunbridge Wells General Hospital on the body of Benjamin Baldock, the victim of the Wadhurst fatality, the painful circumstances of which were reported last week.

Mr. J. H. Neale was chosen foreman of the jury, and Mr. Sydney Eraut watched the case on behalf or the Home Office.

Samuel Baldock, of Rotherfield, a bootmaker, and a brother of the deceased, said the latter was aged 36, single, and a journeyman carpenter, employed by Mr. Startin, builder, of Ticehurst.

On Sunday week, witness say the deceased, who came home from his work; He was engaged on a job at Wadhurst Hall. Deceased enjoyed good health, and did not suffer from defective sight or hearing.

After the accident witness say the deceased at the Hospital, and asked him if there was any fault in the scaffolding. He replied in the negative.

Thos. Skinner, of Platts Cottages, Ticehurst, a carpenter, said he was employed on the same job as the deceased. They were erecting new stabling at Wadhurst Hall for Mr Drew. They had been engaged on the work for some weeks. He say deceased just previous to the accident. He was on scaffolding about 11 feet above the ground. Deceased was sawing a piece of wood.

Witness heard a noise and saw the man fall to the ground, but did not see what caused his fall. Witness ran to him and did what he could to assist him. Witness afterwards examined the scaffolding, but could find no defect whatever. There was no protection around the scaffolding, which was erected by a scaffolder.

12-05-2005, 8:25 PM
The Rev. F.T. Berwick, of WadhurstPark, said he witnessed the accident. He was standing a few yards off, and it appeared to him that deceased slipped off a board, turned as he was falling, and alighted on his back. Mr. Chambers, the foreman, picked up the deceased and witness telephoned for a doctor

By the Jury: The height of the scaffolding was 11ft 6 ins.

By the Inspector: It was a damp morning but was not actually raining at the time of the accident.

Walter Chambers, Rose Cottage, Hurst Green, foreman on the job, said the scaffolding had been erected by a scaffolder, and on the previous day witness had inspected the work. It was fixed to enable four carpenters to erect a heavy oak moulding. The scaffolding extended nine feet beyond one end of the building, and was originally formed of four boards, but the carpenters had removed the innermost board so they could sit on the remainder, and drop their legs through. He did not consider this made the work any more risky. Deceased was competent workman. Witness saw the fall as described by Mr. Berwick, but could see no cause for it. He examined the scaffolding afterwards, but found nothing wrong with it. The boards were not wet enough to cause a man to slip.

12-05-2005, 8:26 PM
By the Jury: There were no pieces of sawn-off timber, or tressels on the scaffold, which was perfectly clear. Witness could not say if deceased stepped backwards inadvertently.

By the Inspector: At the present time the building was 40 feet in height,

Dr. Basil. H. Thurlow, house surgeon at the Hospital, said the deceased was brought to the Hospital on Saturday, suffering from a fractured spine. The lower portion of the body was paralyzed. Death took place on Thursday morning, and was due to the injury to the spinal column.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”

13-05-2005, 7:39 PM
There is no headstone for Ben at wadhurst. I know that Rotherfield church MI's have recently been recorded - as have Burwash's.

The same thing happened to my 'neice-in-laws' husband a couple of years ago. He was working on some scaffolding and fell 30 foot.

14-05-2005, 10:03 AM
Probably at Rotherfield?
May not exist at all.