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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Another churchyard tragedy

To follow the story of the sad death of 12 year old John Edworthy (see Churchyard mysteries - a tragic story) this week I discovered the tragedy of his father's death.

Cause of death

Charles died on 22nd July 1897. The cause of death read: Accidental wound from axe when cutting timber and subsequent haemorrhage.

Although an inquest was held 2 days later, newspaper reports for the majority of inquests of that year are missing, so we can only speculate as to the sequence of events.

The incident happened in Affeton Wood which is a short distance from the village. It begs the question, was Charles working there on his own when the accident happened? Did he fail to return home and someone went in search of him, only to find his body lying beside the offending axe?

The family left behind

From the census records, it's clear that Charles and his wife Elizabeth (nee Ware), had a large family, at least 9 children (records suggest more but it needs further research to clarify), the youngest born only months before Charles's death. But the oldest children would have been adults by then and some support to their mother. In fact, the 1901 census shows their son Charles and his own family as a close neighbour of Elizabeth and his younger siblings.

I feel for poor Elizabeth - losing her both her son and her husband in two equally horrific accidents only 8 years apart must have hit her hard. A very sad story.


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