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.”


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