Elliott Family History, Ancestral Trees, Biographies, Photographs and Records.
Pimlico News 24 June 1927

Frederick Victor (Tim) Elliott, the younger brother of Arthur James was killed on a building site in Westminster, London. A transcript of the newspaper report on the second day of the inquest, to establish cause of death, is shown below. A transcript of the newspaper report on the hearing held the previous week to establish his identity is contained in the Pimlico News 17 June 1927.

Westminster and Pimlico News

Friday 24 June 1927

WORKMAN KILLED

The Inquest upon Frederick Victor Elliott, 33, of 96 Sussex-place, Poplar, a labourer employed by Messrs J. Mowlem and Co. Ltd., who was killed at a building in course of erection at the corner of Horseferry-road and Millbank, was reopened by Mr S Ingleby Oddie at the Westminster Coroner’s Court on Friday, when he sat with a jury.

Evidence of identification was reported in our last issue.

Dr. R. Hodges, house physician at Westminster Hospital, said that Elliott died at that Institution at 9.30 the previous Monday morning, about three- quarters of an hour after admission. A post-mortem examination revealed that death was due to shock and internal haemorrhage, caused by severe injuries.

Edwin Wigget, a labourer, of 132 Malmesby-road, Canning Town, said that at 8.15 the previous Monday morning he was working with the deceased at the new building at the corner of Horseferry-road and Millbank. They were

SHIFTING A PILE-DRIVER

with jacks. The monkey (or hammer) had been removed, and was standing on some timber resting on iron girders. Witness was about 6 feet away from the deceased, and hearing a shout, turned round and saw that the monkey had fallen from the staging and lay at the back of the deceased. When a pile- driver had to be moved, the monkey was generally placed on some timber, as this one was, until the frame was erected. He did not think that it was likely to topple over, otherwise he would not have been so near to it. He had been round it four or five times. The monkey, which weighed 2½ tons, was about 2½ ft. from the ground.

Henry Holland of 90 Eve-road, West Ham, who was temporarily in charge of the pile-driver, said the monkey was 5ft. high, and the base measured 1ft. 5ins. by 1ft. 10½ins. It was not the kind of thing one would expect to topple over. After the accident he found that two planks had shifted two inches towards the way the monkey fell. The rails were about to be shifted, and the deceased was going to pack a rail on one side. As witness looked up he saw the monkey hit the deceased.

DUE TO VIBRATION

The Coroner: What was the cause of the monkey falling?

Witness: I should not like to say.

There must be some cause? — The only thing that I can think of is that there must have been a certain amount of vibration from another pile-driver which was working 30 to 40ft. away.

That is the only theory that you can suggest? — Yes.

Witness added that nothing broke. Before it fell the monkey had been standing in the same position half an hour. It would have taken half a dozen men to have pushed it over.

The Coroner had said that he had watched the work on this site many times with great interest and wondered at the skill of the men in charge of it. They were sinking foundations and driving in enormous piles. Mowlem’s were a firm of the highest repute, and it was not at all likely that they would find any negligence on their works. They put very difficult jobs in the hands of experienced men, and his (the Coroner’s) experience showed that they were very careful in every way. Yet this poor man had lost his life and nobody seemed to really understand how it came about.

HOW THE MONKEY WORKS

The men were moving the 2½ ton monkey or pile driving weight which was hauled up and then released so that it dropped on to a pile. Now and again the staging on which the monkey was erected had to be moved. This necessitated the monkey being dislocated from its position and temporarily rested on the ground whilst the staging was shifted. The operation was being performed and the monkey had rested on two planks for half and hour, in such a way that it would have taken six men to move it, when it suddenly fell on the deceased. As nothing broke the only theory advanced as to the cause of the monkey toppling over was that it was due to vibration caused by another pile-driver. If that was so it was an entirely occurrence as none of the workmen dreamed that the monkey would fall. It seemed to him (the Coroner) to have been one of those accidents that were inevitable and for which nobody was to blame.

The jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental death'.


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