Death of Edward (Edwin) Artus, 1884
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FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY AT OVER


On Monday afternoon Mr. A. M. Sydney Turner, city coroner, held an inquest at the Gloucester Hotel, on the body of  Edwin Artus (42), platelayer of Minsterworth, who was killed on the railway at Over on Saturday night. Mr. Bridges, GWR station master, was present during the enquiry. The jury, of whom Mr. J. Redding was the foreman, having viewed the body, the following evidence was taken: Mr. Edwin Richling of Oxford street, manager of the boot department of the Co-operative Stores, Brunswick Road, deposed that he had seen the body of the deceased, and recognized it as that of Edwin Artus. He last saw him alive about 8.45 o'clock on Saturday evening, when he came into the boot shop at the Stores to purchase a pair of boots. He remained about ten minutes talking, and was quite well and sober at the time. He left about nine o'clock, saying he was going home. He was carrying several parcels, one of which he said belonged to a neighbour, which he was going to take home. Witness could not say if he had a new overcoat on or not. Sarah Hannah Artus, wife of the deceased, deposed that her husband was in the employ of the GWR Co. as a  platelayer. He usually worked near home, and left for his work at six o'clock on Saturday morning. She knew he was going into Gloucester to make some purchases, a hat, pair of boots and a great coat. He had not been in very good health for some time past, but his spirits were always very high. Any idea of making away with himself would have been the farthest from his thoughts; in fact, he had planned on what he intended doing on his return home. He was a very sober man. William Clapham, 11, West-end Parade, switchman in the employ of the GWR company, stationed at Over Junction, deposed that he left his box about 5.51 on Sunday morning, and walked over the bridge crossing the river Severn, in the direction of his home. About six or eight yards beyond the bridge, he saw the body of a man lying on the dock branch line. The right foot was on the metal lying nearest to the down line. The body was on its side, face downwards. He noticed the face had been hurt and that the foot was smashed. There was a quantity of blood on the sleeper on which his head was lying, and when they picked the body up, there was skin on the metal where the foot was. The stem of a clay pipe was in his right hand, and the pieces of the bowl were lying about six yards from the body, nearer  the   bridge.   He  returned  to  the  siding    signal-box and asked  the signalman  if  there was any down train, and he told him there was. He put the down signal to danger, and went back and met the driver of the train, and asked him to come and see the body. Witness asked the driver to take his train to the siding and return with his engine and van to take the body to Gloucester, and this the driver did. Witness knew the deceased, and had never known him the worse for drink. The two parcels were lying by the deceased. The hat he had been wearing was lying about four yards from him nearer the bridge.
Inspector George Kirk, in the employ of the GWR, deposed that at 20 minutes past seven on Sunday morning, shunter Holding came to his house and told him that a man had been killed near the bridge over the Severn, at the Over junction. He was told on enquiry, that the body was in the waiting-room at the Gloucester station. He went to  the station, made all enquiries he could into the matter, and later on he, in the company of PC Theyers, went to Over and saw the spot where the accident happened. About seven yards from the heel of the points of the dock branch, leading from the down line, he saw a quantity of blood. About five feet from that spot, nearer the river bridge, he saw marks on the high rail, as if a man's foot had been run over. There was grease and the mark of a boot on the rail at that time. The bowl of a pipe was picked up about seven yards nearer the bridge than the body was. The body must have been lying with its head towards the Docks. He produced a sketch plan of the spot where the accident occurred. The last Dock train went into the Docks at 5.24 on Saturday evening. That train returned at 8 0'clock; nothing came along the siding after that time. He examined the Dock train thoroughly, but found no marks whatsoever. Mr. Bridger, the staion-master, telegaphed to the locomotive Superintendents, asking if there were any marks on the mainline trains, but the answers received were in each case "No."
His opinion was that the man was met, and was knocked down by, the Dock train at 5.21 on Saturday evening. The Coroner here remarked on the discrepancy in the times,and thought the neighbour who, as deceased said had given him a parcel, should be found out and should give evidence as to the time she saw him.
In the interests of all parties concerned, the inquest must be adjourned. This was accordingly done, the adjourned inquiry being fixed for Monday next.                                                                  
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