18 Jul 2010

A Tragic Death

One of the other things I found whilst at the Record Office last month was the story of how my Great Grand Uncle, Albert PARRY was killed in an accident in November 1912.

In correspondence with my (previously mentioned) cousin I was told that Albert had been "run over by a traction engine". My Tiad had mentioned it in passing but he didn't know any other details so I couldn't begin to look for evidence of this.

My cousin told me that it was Albert who had been killed and he was 11 or 12 when he was killed. The PARRY side of the family knew about it but it had not been passed down the DAVIES side. I knew that Albert was alive in 1911 as he was on the census return for that year, living in Pownalls Row, Maesydre with the rest of his family.

When I got to the record office I started by looking through the microfilms for the Flintshire Observer, unfortunately November and the first half of December for 1912 had been put on microfilm. I didn't find any mention of a death by traction engine on the microfilms.

My next stop was the burial records for St. Mary's Parish Church, Mold as I knew I'd have to look at the original newspapers I wanted to narrow down my search.

I found his burial entry:

Albert PARRY of Pownalls Row, Mold buried on 09 November 1912 aged 11 years.

I then requested the Flintshire Observer for November 1912. When the original newspaper was brought out it was amazing. Most of my research is done via digitized records / microfilms / transcripts of parish records but this time I had to look at the original. It felt like an honour to be trusted not to damage the paper. It came out in a very large and heavy book. The size of the paper was broadsheet and because it was the whole year bound into one volume it was very very heavy!!

I found two reports on Albert's death. The first was a brief report on his death which was printed on Thursday 7th November 1912. He had died on Wednesday 6th November 1912 around 7o'clock in the evening in a neighbours house from his injuries.

The second report was on the Inquest, it was printed on Thursday 14th November 1912.

Below is a transcript of the report on the Inquest.


Fell in Front of a Traction Engine While Endeavouring to Cross a Road


Children’s Dangerous Practice of Getting on Trailers


The tragic death of a Mold boy was described at an inquest held at the Maesydre C.M. Chapel, Mold, on Friday morning last, by Mr. F. Llewellyn-Jones, coroner for Flintshire. The inquest was concerning the death of Albert Parry, aged 11, who, as briefly reported in our last issues, was run over by a traction engine in Maesydre, receiving injuries from which he died soon afterwards. The evidence showed that the boy slipped and fell when endeavouring to run across the road in front of the engine, and two wheels passed over him.

David Parry, of Powenall’s Row, Maesydre, identified the body viewed by the jury, as that of his son Albert Parry, who was eleven years old. He did not see the accident happen himself, but he heard the engine passing by his house while he was having tea. The boy only went out of the house two or three minutes before.


Bessie Williams, aged 12, of 98 Maesydre, Mold, said she was standing by Dykins’ shop in Maesydre at six o’clock on Wednesday evening when she saw the deceased run across the road. He slipped in front of a traction engine, but she did not actually see it go over him. The engine was going in the direction of the town.

Robert Davies, aged 13, of Rhydygoleu, said he saw the deceased get on the trailer of the traction engine on the evening in question, when it was passing the Drover’s Arms. Several others climbed on as well. He (witness) had got on the lurry [sic] near the Tinplate Works. When the engine reached the Blue Bell Inn a man got off the engine in order to clear them off the trailer. Witness stopped by the Blue Bell Inn. He had not seen what happened to Albert Parry.

Edward Davies, aged 13, of Rhydygoleu, said he got on the trailer near the Tinplate Works. He did not know where Albert Parry got on, but he saw him on the trailer. A man cleared them off the trailer.


Noah Lewis, of Wrexham, motor driver, employed by the Cobden Flour Mills Company, Wrexham, then gave evidence. He stated that he had been employed as a driver for eleven years by the company. He remembered coming through Maesydre, Mold, about six o’clock on Wednesday. The engine was travelling at from about four to five miles per hour. He noticed some children getting on the trailer at Rhydygoleu. When near the Blue Bell Inn he asked the steerer to send them off the lurry [sic]. He did not stop then. A minute or so afterwards he heard the steerer shouting to him to stop. He stopped the engine as quickly as possible. He did not know that he had gone over the deceased. Witnesses added that children often got on the trailer.


James Edward Jones, of Wrexham, said he was a steerer employed by the Cobden Flour Mills Company. At six o’clock on Wednesday evening, as the motor engine was passing through Maesydre, he got down to drive some children away. There were between 20 and 30 on the trailer, but when he got round they had all jumped off except one boy – the deceased. He jumped off the trailer from the opposite side and ran up the hill. Witness went round to clear him away. The boy, in trying to run across the road, slipped and fell in front of the engine, two of the wheels passing over him. He (witness) called out to the driver, who stopped the engine at once. He picked up the deceased and found that he was bleeding from the mouth, and was very badly hurt. He carried him to a neighbouring house. Witness further stated that they had much


The same night, after the accident, twelve or fourteen children got on the trailer just past The Cross, and turned the tail lamp up, causing it to catch fire.

Dr Trubshaw stated that he was sent for to see the deceased at a few minutes after six o’clock on Wednesday evening. The boy was practically dying then, but was not unconscious. After describing the injuries, the doctor said the case was a hopeless one from the first.

In summing up the Coroner said he thought the jury would agree with him that there could be no suggestion that there was any blame whatever attributable to the driver of the engine. It was quite clear that the engine must have been going at a moderate speed through Maesydre. When the accident happened the engine was going so slowly that the deceased was able to get off the trailer, catch up the engine, and run in front of it. There seemed to be nothing to suggest that the engine was driven otherwise than with the greatest caution.


Not only at Mold, but at other parts (added the coroner), there was great difficulty with children, who ran after the heavy motors which had trailers and tried to get on the. The jury would agree with him that the affair was a pure accident, and that the driver of the engine should be exonerated from all blame.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”, and through their foreman, Mr Allan Lloyd Baggott, expressed their sympathy with the parents. At the same time they hoped that parent would do their best to discourage their children from the dangerous practice of getting on trailers. The jury exonerated the driver from blame.