Baker, Francis – 1883

Fatal Accident at Nantyderry – 12th October 1883


On Friday morning last Mr. E D Batt coroner held an inquest at the refreshment rooms Nantyderry concerning  the death of Francis Baker aged 16, a lad porter who was employed by the GWR at Nantyderry station..

He was crushed between two trucks at the station on Wednesday week. Mr. Wm. Aulton acted as foreman of the jury. Insp Hawkins, Hereford, was present on behalf of the Railway Company.  George Clements a signalman said in answer to the coroner that at 8.30 on  Monday 3rd instant he was working with deceased on a siding at the above station.  They were upon some trucks one of which was wanted out from amongst some others. Deceased was busy at a station truck and he got down ready to couple it .

Witness told him it was not his duty to do such work but the warning was disregarded.  Several trucks attached to a locomotive were shunted down the station one and as the unfortunate lad was prepared to couple it on he was caught between the buffers and jammed.

He was lodging close to the station.  Thomas Pape said he had been working under him. Mother of deceased was staying a few doors away.

Accidental death “crushed”.

Ball, James – 1927

Free Press February 18th 1927 – A Son’s Outburst

An Inquiry of a Goytrey Resident

An allegation that his father when in a dying condition had been treated in a callous way was made by Harold Ball, a Goytrey milk vendor, at the inquest at Pontypool on Tuesday on James Ball (54) of Cider Mill Cottage Goytrey.

Deceased son told the Coroner (Mr D J Treasure) that he last saw his father six days before his death which occurred on Friday last. His father suffered from chest trouble and was involved in a motor car accident about two years ago from which he always suffered afterwards.

Richard George Gosling, an electrician, Llanvair, said he was walking home on Friday about 5.30pm when he was informed by a Miss Dowell there was a man lying down groaning in a field near Goytrey Hall. He went to the field and saw the deceased lying on his back apparently in great pain, near a horse and cart. The man was unable to speak and was subsequently removed to Pontypool District Hospital.

Dr James Fleming, Pontypool, said deceased was a patient of Dr T McAllen and was last attended about two years ago after a motor accident. Witness in the presence of Dr McNeil conducted a post mortem and in his opinion death was from heart failure due to heart disease.

At this juncture the witness Ball interposed saying “Can I ask the doctor a question?”

The Coroner: You may.

Witness asked Dr Fleming if he thought that by being exposed to the cold his father’s death was hastened.

Dr Fleming replied that if deceased was exposed to the cold that was quite possible.

Ball added that he understood his father was “thrown” into a cold open lorry and taken to hospital.

The Coroner: You mustn’t say that, you were not there, and do not know if he was “thrown into” the lorry.

Ball: To jerk him six miles in a lorry in a half-dying condition was enough to cause his death. His own home was only half a mile away and he could have been taken there. It was done in such a callous way. It was a bitterly cold day.

The Coroner: I must protest against you saying it was callous.

The witness Gosling said the vehicle was a covered van. Deceased was placed on a coat and a pillow with another coat over him and was made as warm and comfortable as possible.

P.S. Davies said that Mrs Whitehead of Goytrey Hall also gave the deceased some brandy.

The Coroner (to Ball): Every care and attention was bestowed upon your father. They thought the hospital was the best place for him and I agree they did the best thing they could.

In recording a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence the Coroner added, “I appreciate your feelings, you heard what was said, every care was taken, he was given brandy, a coat and some pillows were placed under him and a coat over him, he was made as warm as possible.”

Deceased son: It’s the lorry business I am talking about. Why didn’t they take him home – only half a mile away?

The Coroner: Because they thought the best place for your father was the hospital. Speaking to the witness Gosling, the Coroner said “I quite appreciate what you did for the deceased. I don’t blame you in any way, I think you took the proper course.”

Bevan, ? – Child Murder at Goytre – 1873

Child Murder at Goytre – 28th March 1873 – Monmouthshire Merlin

The parish of Goytre has been the scene of a shocking case of infanticide.

The mother is a single woman named Mary Bevan, who has been for some years a domestic servant in the employ of Mr Isaac Lewis at Glan-Usk Farm, near the Chain-bridge, about half a mile from Nantyderry station between Pontypool and Abergavenny.

The unfortunate young woman appears to be of weak intellect. The crime was accompanied by shocking mutilation.

An inquest was held on the body on Thursday and a jury returned a verdict of “Wilful Murder” against the unfortunate woman.

Bevan, William – 1869

Drowned In the Canal – 6th February 1869

On Sunday two men named William James and Lewis Bevan while walking by the side of the canal between Mrs Summerfield’s public house and Mamhilad found the body of a man lying in the canal.

The deceased turned out to be a basket maker named as William Bevan about 80 years of age, who had lived in Goytrey. His hat still remained on his head and in his pocket were £1 in gold, £1 in silver and 51/2d . His wallet contained groceries was found about 20 yards off.

The presumption is that in the darkness on Saturday night he walked into the canal and was accidentally drowned.

William Bevan lived at Coalbrook; he married Mary Williams at Llanover Church on the 9th June 1823. She died in 1865 they had at least 6 children, one of them being Mary who was a servant for Isaac Lewis Glanusk. She was the young girl in the murdered baby case at Glanusk.

Bishop, Charles William – Double fatality – 1923

15th August 1923 – Double Fatality at Dingestow

Goytrey Blacksmith and Penpergwm Attendance Officer

A Verdict of ‘Accidental Death’

Mr Herbert Williams, the district Coroner, at the Shire Hall, Monmouth on Monday held the adjourned inquest on the bodies of David Richard Jones aged ? a school attendance officer and widower of Ty Newydd House, Penpergwm, Monmouthshire and Charles William Bishop, blacksmith aged 30, of 2, Pear Tree Cottages, Goytrey, Pontypool, who were killed in a collision between a motor car and a motor cycle combination at Dingestow near Monmouth on the evening of Saturday August 11th. Mr Jones was riding the motor cycle and Mr Bishop was in the sidecar. The former was killed instantly and the latter lingered at Monmouth hospital and died the following Wednesday.

At the opening of the inquest only evidence of identification was given.

At the time of the crash the motor cycle and sidecar was going towards Monmouth and the motor car towards Raglan. The latter was driven by Walter Johnson of Wallasey near Liverpool, who, with the other occupants of the car had been ordered to be present to give evidence on Monday. The motor cycle combination was a new Royal Enfield which Mr Jones had only quite recently purchased.

Mr W.J. Everett, Pontypool, appeared for the relatives of Bishop; Mr Fisher, Thomas Gordan and Fisher, Abergavenny, for the relatives of Jones; and Mr W. J. Charfield for the driver of the car.

Court, Frederick John – 1912

9th May 1912 – Mamhilad Burning Fatality

Inquest at Abersychan – Coroner’s Remarks and Jury’s Recommendation

Mr M Roberts Jones, coroner, conducted an inquest at the Abersychan Police Station on Saturday afternoon in the body of Frederick John Court the two year old son of Mr & Mrs Oswald Charles Court, of Mamhilad near Pontypool.

The evidence of the father showed that before proceeding to work on Wednesday morning, he left a few matches on the table in the house for his wife to light the fire. Deceased was in bed at the time, as also were his two daughter aged ten and six years. His wife had gone out to the back, and while she was there the little boy came downstairs in his flannelette nightdress and shirt, which caught fire as the result of his playing with the matches. Witness‘s wife heard their son crying. she immediately came in from the back of the house and found him in flames. She called in a neighbour and both did their best to extinguish the flames as quickly as possible. Witness’s wife sent for him and a doctor was also summoned. The latter could not arrive until some time had elapsed. The child was then taken to the Pontypool and District Hospital where he died about 5.15 on the following morning. The child was burnt from his little legs up to his neck. Witness was satisfied that death was caused by shock following burns.

In reply to the coroner witness said his wife would have lighted the fire as soon as she came from the back which would not have been very long after witness left the matches on the table. It happened to be the last box of matches in the house and witness took the box and some of the matches to have a smoke going down the road, leaving a few on the table for his wife.

Neither witness nor his wife had, previously to this fatality had seen their child playing with matches. Witness’s wife did not expect the child downstairs so early.

The Coroner stated that the mother was present and prepared to give evidence but she was terribly upset, he asked if the jury required her to give evidence.

The foreman Mr Thomas Smith intimated to the Coroner that they did not think it was necessary to call upon the mother to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence.

Miss Ritchie, Matron of the Pontypool and District Hospital stated that the child was admitted to the institution about 6 o’clock on the Wednesday evening suffering from shock as a result from burns on three parts of the whole body.

The child never seemed as if he would recover and died at 5.15 the following morning. Death was due to shock following burns.

P S Mitchell, Abersychan said the parents were respectable people. He did not think there was anyone to blame. In summing up the coroner remarked that it was a simple but sad and sorrowful tale.

He supposed parents continued to dress their children in flannelette garments because they were more comfortable and perhaps cheaper. It seemed to be a popular article. In spite of the recommendation of juries parents would use it and now and then they had to pay the penalty in consequence.

If the matches had not been put on the table then child would not apparently, in this instance would not have been burnt, but it appears that the mother intended to light the fire almost at once and she was not aware of the fact that the child would come downstairs at so early a time in the morning.

The father had also stated in evidence that it was usual for the children to be inclined to play with matches, if the matches had been put on the mantle piece however the fatality perhaps may not have occurred.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death due to shock following burns.” And recommended once more that parents should be warned against the use of flannelette clothing for their children.

The Coroner remarked that the Press had done a good deal of good before now in calling attention to that point.

Deverall, Samuel – 1910

August 5th – Samuel Deverall ex mayor and tradesman of Abergavenny found hanging in the rear of his branch shop at Pengroesoped.

Incredulity, succeeded by consternation, was occasioned in Abergavenny and the neighbouring villages of Llanover and Pengroesoped on Wednesday afternoon when it was reported that Mr Samuel Deverall, an ex-mayor of Abergavenny, and one of the most prominent tradesmen in the town, carrying on a grocery business in Frogmore street, had been found hanging a barn at the rear of his branch shop at Pengroesoped.
The deceased gentleman cycled out from Abergavenny in the morning and arrived in Pengroesoped shortly after 9 o’clock. He was engaged in the shop and taking orders outside during the forenoon, and then appeared to be in his usual good spirits. About two o’clock, however, he could not be found, and soon afterwards his lifeless body was discovered by a pensioner named Aaron Prosser hanging by the neck from a beam in the French barn at the back of the shop. Prosser informed the manager Mr Wallace Woodward, who, hurrying to the rear, found Prosser’s information to be true.
He at once cut the body down, and sent word to Police-constable Power of Llanover. From investigations made by the officer it seems that Mr Deverall must have climbed to the top of the hayrick and divested himself of his coat, which was found lying with his hat on top of the rick. It is believed that the deceased must have been hanging for about half-an-hour. The body was taken to the shop. So far as can be ascertained there could have been no motive For the rash act, as Mr Deverall was always a most businesslike man, and as recently as last Tuesday week presided at a meeting of Abergavenny grocers and urged the formation of a local trade association. The news of his death was a great shock to his wife and family, and deceased’s two brothers in Penarth were also acquainted of what had happened.
Mr Samuel Deverall occupied the position of mayor of Abergavenny in 1907-08, being the ninth mayor. He has been chairman of the Abergavenny Liberal Association, and has also taken great interest in the Congregational Church. He was superintendent of the Sunday School, and also the presiding deacon. While Mayo he was president of the Abergavenny Eisteddfod. He was born near Gosport, Portsmouth, on 3rd October 1864, his parents being master and mistress of the Naval School.
Since his year of office Mr Deverall had been defeated at the poll in a contest for a seat on the Abergavenny Town Council, But as far as can be ascertained he had no serious trouble at the present time to prey on his mind. Only as recently as last week he was one of the most prominent speakers at a meeting which was held at Abergavenny for the purpose of forming a local Grocers Association, and as a matter of fact it was he who proposed that the association should be formed.
He was a member of the North Monmouth Liberal Executive, and was a regular attendant at meetings of this body. He was universally respected and admired throughout the whole district on account of his keen and businesslike manner, combined with a genial and generous spirit. He leaves a widow and two sons.

The Inquest.

The inquest was held by Mr J. R. Walford at the Pengroesoped Coffee Tavern on Thursday morning.

Margaret Bowen, who Lives at Oak Cottage, Goytrey, stated that she had had business transactions with the deceased for the last 20 years. Witness last saw him alive about 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, when he called at her house for an order. He had cycled from Abergavenny, and on arrival at witness’s house, he remarked that it was very close. Usually when Mr Deverall called at her house he shook hands with her when he arrived and departed, but he did not do so when he called on Wednesday. In the course of conversation he remarked, at the same time drawing his hand across his forehead, “I have a dreadful pain this way.” Mr Deverell appeared to be in a hurry and to be excited. After taking witness’s order, he said “Good-bye,” and then left. That was a last time witness saw him alive.

Aaron Prosser, who resides at Boat House, Llanover, an aged pensioner, stated that he discovered the body of the deceased in the old Dutch barn. Witness had known Mr Deverall for many years, and as he was proceeding to Mr Deverall’s shop on Wednesday afternoon he noticed that a man with hanging by a rope in the barn. He at once proceeded in the direction of the barn, and on seeing that it was Mr Deverall suspended from the rope he immediately ran to the shop for assistance. He was quite dead.
Wallace Edward Woodward was has acted as manager of Mr Deverall’s shop at Pengroesoped for the last four years, deposed that Mr Deverall often visited Pengroesoped in connection with his business. Only on Monday last Mr Deverall arrived at Pengroesoped and personally superintended the harvesting of his hay .On Monday Mr Deverall appeared to be in good health and spirits, but he was somewhat disappointed with regard to the quality of the hay. Witness did not see Mr Deverall alive on Wednesday, but early in the afternoon he received a communication from Aaron Prosser, in consequence of which he immediately proceeded to Mr Deverall’s barn. There he saw him hanging by a rope from a beam, and witness noticed that his feet were on the ground and that his knees were bent. Witness lost no time in cutting him down and in releasing the rope from his neck, but he was then quite dead.

The Coroner (to witness): In your constant contact with Mr Deverall have you ever noticed anything depressed or peculiar about him?–He hascomplained of pains in the head. He was subject to them.

Dr Lloyd, Abergavenny had known the deceased for some years. He had enjoyed fairly good health, but he had suffered from epilepsy, and persons who were so affected often complained of severe headaches. Persons who suffered that way sometimes had their minds unhinged and they sometimes developed suicidal or even homicidal, tendencies in an exceptional degree. Witness had made an examination of the body, and he came to the conclusion that after fastening the rope around his nech, he had thrown himself off the hayrick. His neck was fractured, and one of the strands in the rope which was found around his neck had been broken. Mr Deverall had suffered from post-epileptic mania, and witness was of the opinion that at the time he died his mind was unhinged.

Percy Charles Deverall, brother of the deceased, who resides at Penarth, stated that the deceased was 44 years of age. His family were aware that he was suffering from epilepsy.

The Coroner: Do you know if his financial position was such as to trouble him?–He had no financial troubles, none at all.

Has he left any writing you can in any way connect with his death?–We have not come across anything so far.

The Coroner, in summing up said it was exceedingly sad that Mr Deverall’s life should have terminated in the way it had done. There was no doubt that his life-long complaint of epilepsy had affected his head, and it seemed that while suffering from temporary insanity he took his life. He (the Cooroner) was certain that the jury would join in expressing sympathy with the widow and relatives of the deceased.
The foreman of the jury: Certainly.
The jury returned a verdict of ”suicide during temporary insanity.”

Dobbs, Mr Evan – 1962

November 30th 1962

Tractor accident ended fatally for Goytre foreman

A Monmouthshire County Council foreman who fell under the wheels of a tractor at Llanover and fractured his skull, died from shock following the accident.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned by a Pontypool inquest of Evan Richard Dobbs (59), of New Houses, Goytre, who died at Abergavenny Cottage Hospital on November 20th.

Christopher William Henry Griffiths, of Plough Road Goytre, a member of the road gang supervised by Dobbs, told the jury that a lorry was being used to tow the tractor, which was difficult to start.

Dobbs was walking between the two vehicles with his hand on the tailboard of the lorry. He seemed to be to close to the tractor and the men shouted warnings to him, said Griffiths. “He looked over his shoulder and appeared to slip underneath the tractor.”

The tractor driver, William John Williams, of Llanover, said he called to Dobbs to look out. Lying in the road after the accident Dobbs said: “Why did I want to bother with the things.”

Another roadman, Francis Arthur Howells, of Plough Road, Goytre, told the jury that Dobbs seemed to slip on some wet leaves as he was trying to jump towards the grass verge.

The deputy Monmouthshire coroner, Mr D J Treasure, said no one was to blame for the accident.

Dobbs, he said, probably slipped as he was turning sharply and was caught by the wheel of the tractor.

Griffiths, Emily – 1868

January 11th
Child Burnt to Death

On the morning on Monday last an inquiry touching the death of a little girl, between two and three years of age, named Emily Griffiths, was held at the Nightingale Inn, at this place, before ED Batt, Esq., and a respectable jury.
It would appear that deceased had been left in the house with two other children on the evening of the Saturday previously and, as it is supposed, they commenced playing with the fire, by which some straw, of which it is said a quantity was on the floor, became ignited and the flames communicating with the dress of deceased, the poor little thing became so fearfully burned that death put an end to its suffering at six o’clock on the following morning.
The jury returned a verdict accordance with these facts. We may add that O D Thomas Esq., surgeon, of Pontypool, was early in attendance and found that Miss Byrde of Goytrey House had already administered such aid to the sufferers approved of by medical skill under such circumstances.

Gwatkin, Mr James – 1857

Monmouthshire Central Advertiser 7th February

Awful Warning – On Saturday night last (31st January) Mr James Gwatkin of Goytrey, lost his life under the following circumstances.

He left Pontypool during the evening and went in company with a person called William Jeremiah to a public house at Llanvair Cross.

The deceased remained there until two o’clock in the morning when he departed for his home which is close to Goytrey Church and was not heard of until the following day, when his body was picked up in a ditch containing a little water, quite dead and frozen.

The ditch at the spot was crossed by some stones and it is supposed he fell and became stunned.

A coroner’s inquest was held on the body of the deceased at the house of his brother before C M Ashwin Esq., deputy coroner and a respectable jury when a verdict of “found dead” was returned.