Jenkins, Philip – 1927

Free Press Friday March 4th 1927 – Crushed To Death

Mason’s Labourer Under Fallen Wall – Inquiry at Llanover

On Friday at Llanover Mr W R Dauncey, district Coroner held an inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Philip Jenkins 63, a mason’s labourer of Pengroesoped who was killed while engaged on a reconstruction work at the Masnochdy Cottage Llanover on the previous Tuesday. He was excavating for a foundation for extensions when a wall collapsed, buried and killed him instantly.

Mr Horace Lyne, solicitor Newport, appeared for the Llanover estate and Mr A Fotheringham H.M.I.F. for the Home Office.

Mrs Elizabeth Evans said deceased was her brother aged 63 and was a mason’s labourer employed on the Llanover estate. She last saw him alive on Monday night when he was in good health. She was not aware the he suffered from any physical affects; he was not lame and his eyesight was good. He had been a mason’s labourer for about three years. He served in the war and subsequently worked on farms.

Mary Louise Evans, niece of the deceased gave evidence of identification.

James Voyce, foreman mason on the estate said he was working with the deceased outside the wall, outside of the house Masnochdy which was being reconstructed. Jenkins and another man named Mathews were excavating for a foundation for an extension . When witness was at the end of the building he heard a shout “look out” he thought it might have been a brick inside falling, but turning round he noticed the pine end leaning outwards and shouted to the men outside to clear. Mathews also noticed this and got almost struck by falling stone. The wall was 14ft high. Jenkins made an attempt to get out of the trench but witness was doubtful whether deceased saw the danger as his back was towards the wall. He was completely buried.

While the other men were extricating Jenkins witness ran to the estate office to get aid. It seemed as if the man had been killed instantaneously. They had made an examination of the wall afterwards and found there had been nothing to indicate that it was in an unsafe condition. No support had been taken away from it, only the roof had been removed but that might have helped to hold the wall. If witness had noticed the condition of the wall earlier he would have had it removed at once.

In reply to Mr Lyne, witness said the building was an old one.

P.C. Rodwell, Llanover stated that when he was called to the scene of the accident Jenkins was still partly buried. The back of the skull was crushed in.

The Coroner returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

The Coroner said he was satisfied that the accident could not have been foreseen, but he hoped that when dealing with old buildings in future the foreman would make a through examination and instruct his men to that effect.

Mr H S Lyne: That will be done Sir; in fact it has been done already.


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