25 June 1904

An Inkermann and Indian Mutiny Hero

Thomas SMITH, an old pensioner, late of the 8th King’s Foot Regt., died in Duke-street, last week, after two years’ illness, during which he had been confined to bed. SMITH had had a chequered career. Joining the army whilst a comparatively young man, he went through the Crimean campaign and Indian Mutiny of terrible memory, besides having served on many military stations abroad.

He was 67 years of age, and for many years had drawn his pension, but of late years had been confined to his bed through chronic rheumatism, which had not precluded him, however, from “fighting his battles over again,” and numerous were the thrilling tales, and amusing were the many anecdotes of his career.

The funeral, which was attended with military honours, took place on Friday afternoon. The body was placed in a polished oak coffin with a Union Jack. The mournful procession was headed by twelve sergeants walking slowly with arms reversed. The sight was impressive. Arrived at the cemetery, the coffin was lowered into the grave, and the firing party fired volleys and the bugle sounded the “last post.” Mr Andrew WILD was the undertaker.

At the Salford Court of Record, on Thursday, a case arose out of a women’s squabble at Ashton, Mrs DAVIES, of Smallshaw View, having, it is alleged, reflected on the character of her next door neighbour, accusing her of living with a man who was not her husband, when, as a matter of fact, she was present at the wedding. Evidence of other woman was to the effect that there had been a good deal of “nagging” between the parties. The jury awarded ¼d. damages, and each side will have to pay its own costs.

Sequel in the Ashton County Court

At the Ashton County Court, on Thursday, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, Jane KIPPAX, a spinster, of 97, Queen-street, Hurst, sued Betty CLAYTON and Seth FIRTH, executors under the will of the late Alfred CLAYTON, for personal damages caused through alleged negligence by leaving empty boxes on the footpath.

Mr J.B. POWNALL, who appeared on behalf of Miss KIPPAX at the court, explained that the defendants’ shop was at the corner of Whiteacre-road and Princess-street, Hurst, and by the negligence of the defendants the plaintiff had suffered severe injury through catching her leg against the boxes lying across the footpath. His client claimed £6 damages for nourishment, nurse, doctor, etc.

Miss KIPPAX gave evidence, and said that on 17th March last she was turning the corner of Princess-street and Whiteacre-road, going to CLAYTON’s for some sundries, where she was a regular customer, when she collided with some empty boxes lying on the footpath. Her legs were very seriously bruised, and for several weeks she suffered from the injuries sustained, which had necessitated the attendance of a doctor and nurse.

Questioned by his Honour witness said she was a confectioner at Hurst. — Mr CLAYTON suggested that when she fell over the boxes she immediately sprang to her feet and reproached herself for being careless. — Witness, however, denied this. — Mr CLAYTON said even if his clients had shown negligence in leaving the boxes on the footpath, the accident was the result of plaintiff’s own carelessness.

Wm. CLAYTON, son of the late Alfred CLAYTON, Whiteacre-road, deposed to placing the boxes in the channel. He saw the complainant fall over the box. She was not down more than a second or two. He followed her into the shop, and remarked that she had some sense falling into a box. She replied that she was looking at the shop lights. She joked about the occurrence several days afterwards. — Mrs ROBINSON gave evidence bearing out the statements of the latter, and Chas. JENKINSON and Frances LONGLEY also gave somewhat similar evidence.

His Honour said strictly speaking a tradesman had no right to leave boxes in a public street in front of his shop. She was not guilty of contributory negligence, and therefore would be entitled to maintain the action in the ordinary course for the damages which she claimed. On the other hand, he held that the action did not lie against the executors of the late Mr CLAYTON. He gave judgment for the defendant, without costs.

At the Ashton Bankruptcy Court, on Thursday, before the Registrar (Mr H. HALL), the examination in bankruptcy took place of Charles Henry HIBBERT, lately residing and carrying on business as a grocer, at 102, Oldham-road, Waterloo, Ashton; and formerly residing and carrying on a like business at 17, Oldham-road, a bankrupt.

The summary of bankrupt’s statement of affairs showed gross liabilities £362 8s. 5d.; expected to rank £361 10s. 5d.; assets, £72 6s. 3d.; deficiency, £289 5s. 6d. The causes of failure as alleged by bankrupt were: Bad trade, ill-health of the debtor and family, small profits, and household and personal expenditure in excess of profits.

He stated that he commenced business in March, 1900, with £20 free and about £80 borrowed capital; not having kept proper books of account, particularly no cash book or creditors’ ledger, nor, while in business, ascertained his financial position, he could not file prescribed deficiency account, but estimated that his deficiency was principally accounted for by loss on trading and withdrawals for maintenance and private debts.

He first became aware of his insolvency about five years ago, and had since contracted all his existing liabilities. His former taking of about £27 a week dropped to £14. He had suffered from the high price of provisions, and had been troubled with nervous affliction. — The examination was closed.

Police Court Proceedings

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, Michael CLEMENTS was charged on two preferments with assaulting Joshua Percy MALLINSON and Martha Alice MALLINSON. Mr F. W. WATSON, who appeared to defend, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Mr Arthur LEES, who appeared on behalf of Mr and Mrs MALLINSON, said his client carried on business as a tailor in Market-street, Ashton, and the defendant was a journeyman tailor, and, he believed, resided at present in Oldham, but had lived in Ashton. It appeared that CLEMENTS had been in the employ of Mr MALLINSON, who had occasion to discharge him, and on Friday, 10th June, about seven o’clock in the evening, CLEMENTS went into the yard behind the shop, and proceeded to the workroom the worse for drink

A communication was made to Mr MALLINSON that he was going to the workshop, and Mr MALLINSON followed him. When he got to the top of the steps leading to the workshop, CLEMENTS turned round and asked him what he wanted, saying that he had as much right there as he had. Mr MALLINSON told him to leave the premises. CLEMENTS refused, and catching hold of Mr MALLINSON — who was much the smaller of the two — banged him several times against the wall

They went into one of the rooms, and there CLEMENTS got him on the ground and endeavoured to kick him and violently abused him. Mrs MALLINSON, of course, followed her husband, and interfered, with the result that CLEMENTS turned round and struck her several times on the eye, shoulder, and arm.

Joshua Percy MALLINSON corroborated, and, cross-examined by Mr WATSON, said his wife never attempted to push CLEMENTS downstairs. He himself got a rap or two at him with a sweeping brush. — Mrs MALLINSON also gave evidence, and said CLEMEBTS hit her several times in the face with his fist, and she was covered with blood. Cross-examined by Mr WATSON: Her husband did not follow him with a brush. She never put her hands on defendant, and would swear that she never pushed CLEMENTS downstairs.

Laura JACKSON, of Dukinfield, deposed to being in the workshop at the time of the alleged assault, and bore out the statements of the previous witnesses. — Mrs BATES, a workwoman in the employ of Mr MALLINSON, also gave evidence. — Dr COOKE deposed to examining Mrs MALLINSON, and said she had a black eye and a mark in front of the right jaw, and the right wrist was also injured. She must have suffered considerable pain.

Mr WATSON, for the defence, said he had been instructed that CLEMENTS was in Ashton on the night in question, and wanted to see a friend who worked for Mr MALLINSON. He, therefore, went to the workroom at the rear of the shop and, as there was no notice forbidding such a thing, went inside, and was followed by Mr MALLINSON, who was very angry, and endeavoured to put him down, and, with the help of his wife, got him from the top step to three lower down. CLEMENTS tried to push them away, and MALLINSON struck him violently with a broom, and pushed him down the step. In self defence he pushed them away.

Michael CLEMENTS, the defendant, corroborated, and said MALLINSON told him to go out before he got in the shop. Mr MALLINSON came and commenced shouting at him, and Mrs MALLINSON pushed him downstairs, and MALLINSON struck him with the brush. It was custom in the trade that if there was no prohibitive notice the workmen could be visited. — John FENNAY also gave evidence, and said he thought the affair was an accident on CLEMENTS’ part.

CLEMENTS, again examined by Mr LEES as to why he didn’t go down when requested to, admitted that there might have been some nastiness in that, and complained that it was a bye-word in Ashton that if he came before the Ashton bench he would be committed, which drew from Mr LEES the remark: “You have been here before though.” “Yes,” was the reply, “so have you.” — (Laughter.) — Mr LEES: But on different errands.

The Chairman said the Bench considered that CLEMENTS had committed a very unprovoked assault, and therefore he would be fined 40s. and costs, or a month in each case. All the fees were allowed.

On Tuesday the body of a respectably dressed man was observed floating in the canal at Whitelands. It was taken out of the water as soon as possible, and identified as that of a man named KENWORTHY, a foreman nightsoilman in the employ of the sanitary department of the Ashton Corporation. He had been sitting on the edge of the dock about ten minutes before. The inquest was held on Thursday forenoon in the Victoria Mission Room, North-street, by Mr J. F. PRICE, County Coroner for the district, and a jury.

The first witness was Joseph Edward KENWORTHY, son of deceased, a cabinet maker, who lived with his father, Joseph Harrop KENWORTHY, at 316, Katherine-terrace, Katherine-street, who gave evidence of identification. His father, he said, was a foreman Corporation labourer, and was 51 last birthday. He had always enjoyed good health, but of late had been attended by Dr MANN for pains in the stomach, but didn’t appear to improve.

He had no trouble at home, and had never threatened to commit suicide. Witness last saw him alive on Monday night at home, when he was in ordinary health and spirits and made no complaint. He went to his work next morning in good spirits. He heard of his death about half-past twelve on Tuesday. In answer to the foreman of the jury witness said he had complained of dizzy bouts, and had pains in his stomach.

John HIDLEY, of 286, Whitelands-road, of Dean and Wood’s, off Whitelands-road, said that on Tuesday morning he was going into the yard when he saw KENWORTHY in the road, and walked through the yard. He told witness that he was going to the tip near there, as he had some complaints of its condition. Afterwards he went to the closets of the Thread Mill. He complained at the time of cramp in the stomach, but was otherwise all right and in good spirits, and said he was afterwards going to Cockbrook.

Soon after leaving him he saw a knot of people standing near the canal off Whitelands-road. He went to the spot and saw KENWORTHY in the water, and attempts were being made to take him out. He helped, but before he was pulled out it would perhaps be ten minutes. Artificial respiration was resorted to. He seemed quite rational, and only complained of the cramp in his stomach.

Sarah Jane WOOD, of Town-lane, Dukinfield, said that on Tuesday morning about a quarter to twelve she was walking along the towing path of the canal near Whitelands when she saw the deceased sat smoking on the edge of the Ashton middle lock with his back to the water. He bid her good morning and smiled at her baby.

She noticed nothing unusual in his demeanour. She had only got about 120 yards away when she heard that a man had been drowned. She ran back and saw him in the water. She saw him sink twice. She thought he might easily have fallen in the water if he had staggered backwards. — A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. Later the foreman (Mr Luke PLATT) expressed the jury’s sympathy with the family of the deceased.

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