Quarter Sessions.
Military Records.

Somerset County Gazette

Saturday the 9th December 1871




On Friday afternoon as one of Mr. Stone's engines and thrashing machines was at work at Spring Grove, one of the straps left the wheel it was driving. The driver (William Owen) put on the strap, the machine being still in motion; but his left arm was caught; and he was drawn up from the ground, and the strap cut his arm off between the elbow and shoulder, the limb being carried some distance. As speedily as possible Mr. Randolph attended, and did all that skill could suggest: and then recommended the poor follow to be taken to the Taunton Hospital. This was done; but on Sunday morning he died having suffered very little pain.





An inquest was opened at the Taunton and Somerset Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, before Mr. W. W. Munckton, upon the body of Wm. Owen. The only evidence taken was that of the house-surgeon (Mr. G. W. Rigden) and the porter, to the effect that deceased was brought to the institution in a trap on Friday evening, having lost his left arm, and that he died on Sunday morning from the effects of the accident, which, according to the statement of the persons who took him, arose from the belt of a thrashing machine flying off while deceased was putting another on. The deceased, who worked for Mr. Spurway, at Milverton, gave the house-surgeon the same account. As, however, there was no direct evidence to show how the accident occurred, the inquiry was adjourned to yesterday afternoon, when Robert Gage was examined, and deposed that the deceased drove the engine attached to a travelling thrashing-machine, belonging to Mr. Stone, of Crowford, and was a single man, about 36 years of age. On Friday, while thrashing at Mr. Spurway's, Spring-grove, about three o'clock in the afternoon, the belt of the straw-shaker fell off, the engine being in full motion. The men called out to deceased to stop the engine, but he only stopped half the motion, and while replacing the belt on the pulley his left arm became entangled with the other belts, and after being raised about seven yards Owen fell to the ground, and his left arm, which had been, torn off, dropped after him. Deceased was at once removed to Mr. Randolph's, surgeon, at Milverton, and thence to the Taunton Hospital.—William Bailey gave a similar account of the accident.—The Coroner having spoken of it as a sad example of the result of carelessness, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."



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