Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Hoare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hoare. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Louis William Kerslake, Beatrice Hoare & Nellie Bridle, and the tragic death of William John Bridle Kerslake (17)

Tiverton : Bampton Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/6474556

Nellie Bridle, only child of William Bridle and Lucy Jane Stone, married Louis William Kerslake, son of John Kerslake and Mary Ann Beedell, in Tiverton, in 1931. Their only child, William John Bridle Kerslake, was born 21 Apr 1932.

But this was not Lewis William's first marriage: On 25 Dec 1908, William Kerslake had married Beatrice Hoare, daughter of Samuel Hoare and Mary Elizabeth Noble, at St Peter's Church, Tiverton. They had a daughter, Beatrice Gwendolen Kerslake, born 16 March 1909 and baptised, on 19 Jun 1909, also at St Peter's Church, Tiverton. On the baptism record, her father is listed as Lewis William Kerslake, Tailor, which confirms this is the same man. We find William Kerslake (25) Tailor, Beatrice Kerslake (22) and Gwendolen Kerslake (2), in 1911, living with Beatrice's parents at 1 Richards Buildings, [Bampton Street], Tiverton. Beatrice Kerslake died later in 1911, aged just 23. 

Electoral Registers confirm that Louis William moved back to live with his widowed mother, Mary Ann Kerslake, at The Works, Tiverton and was still there in 1930. At the same time, the 1930 Kelly's Directory listed Kerslake, Lewis Wm. tailor, at 72a, Bampton Street & 1 Newport Street, Tiverton

111 Chapel Street, Tiverton (with the white door)

In 1939, Lewis W Kerslake, Air Ministry Contractor Fabric Work - he was a materials inspector, undoubtedly working on parachute fabrics at the Heathcoat factory - Nellie Kerslake and William J B Kerslake, were living with Nellie's widowed mother, Lucy J Bridle, at 111 Chapel Street, Tiverton.

Tiverton : Mill Leat
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/6253823
Mill Leat providing water for the nearby Heathcoat Factory.

Then on 24 Aug 1949, their only son, Billy Kerslake, died, as reported on the front page of the Western Morning News, 25 Aug 1949:

TIVERTON BOY DIES IN LEAT

WENT FOR BATHE

A shock from an electric cable is believed to have caused the death last night of 17-year-old William Kerslake, son of Mr and Mrs L W Kerslake, of 111 Chapel Street, Tiverton. Kerslake in a bathing costume, was in a fairly shallow part of the leat running behind the old Heathcoat School, Tiverton, when he was seen to collapse. Mr Tom Pook, of Kings Crescent, Tiverton and Mr W Copp, of 2 Bridge Buildings, Tiverton, went fully clothed to his rescue and tried artificial respiration. Dr G Lowe and Dr P F Haggart were summoned but it was found that the boy was dead. Assistance was also given by Constable D F Levett.
The subsequent newspaper report after the inquest and funeral took up almost four columns. Much was made of it being private property. Today, I feel, much more emphasis would be placed on why there was a live, broken, unmaintained, dangerous electrical cable dangling in water where kids could access.

TRAGEDY IN LEAT

YOUNG BATHER IS ELECTROCUTED
CORONER'S WARNING TO PARENTS

William John Bridle Kerslake, 17-year old shop assistant, 111 Chapel Street, Tiverton, was killed instantaneously when he grasped a live 230 volt electric cable while bathing, on Wednesday evening, in the Factory Leat of Messrs. John Heathcoat and Company Ltd.

At the inquest at the Tiverton and District Hospital on Saturday morning, the dangers of swimming in the Leat were stressed by the Coroner (Mr J A Young), who said, "Quite apart from the fact that it is private property, it is not a suitable playground for anybody, as there are other dangers quite apart from the unusual danger which caused this tragedy. Parents should prevent children from going there."
Sadly, the boys seemed to have first though that it was an electric eel.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Billy Kerslake's friend, Thomas Percival Stratford, had said, "An eel came by me where the electricity was and touched my legs. I nearly fell over. I said to Bill that I had felt something like an electric eel and he laughed." "He saw the wire hanging down ... the end of it was in the water. He said 'Perhaps that is causing the trouble?' He started to pull the wire up ... he must have touched a bare spot. He screamed and shot up into the air."

THE FUNERAL

Many tokens of sympathy

William was the only son of Mr and Mrs L W Kerslake. He took a leading part in many local organisations. He was a Patrol Leader of the 1st Tiverton Scouts and a member of the Tiverton Platoon of the Devon Army Cadet Force. A good athlete, he was a member of the Tiverton Harriers and the Tiverton Swimming Club. He was a member of Elmore Church, of which he was formerly a choir-boy.

Chapel Street was in mourning for the funeral on Saturday [27 Aug 1949]. A service, conducted by the Rector (the Rev W E Lane), assisted by Mr E Penny, was held in Elmore Church.

The cortege was met at the cemetery gate by a guard of honour of the Tiverton Platoon of the Devon Army Cadet Force and Councillor H Lee and Messrs B Homer and G Woodward, representing the Tiverton Swimming Club. At the grave side was a guard of honour of the 1st Tiverton Scouts under Scoutmaster J Gollop. [...] 

Chief mourners included: Mr and Mrs L W Kerslake (parents); Mr H Kerslake (uncle); Tom Stratford (friend); Mr & Mrs C Burt, Mr and Mrs E Kerslake and Mrs J Bowden and Mrs C Kerslake (uncles and aunts); Mr C Ridgeway, Miss J Burt and Mrs and Miss Northcott (cousins).

Mrs Kerslake (grandmother) was unable to attend. [She was 91 by then.] Her floral tribute read, "Till we meet again", with fondest love from Gran and Auntie Jenny (Jane Bowden).

Lewis William Kerslake of 111 Chapel Street, Tiverton, died on 18 Dec 1971. Nellie Kerslake of Belmont Hospital, Tiverton, Devon, died on 15 Aug 1982.

Tiverton: Belmont Hospital
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman - geograph.org.uk/p/666559
Former 
Victorian workhouse in Belmont Road, before the redevelopment. After the Second World War it was utilised as a hospital, providing specialist care for the elderly.

If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.