Death by drowning

Hertfordshire Mercury, 16th May 1914


Dr Ambrose, the Coroner, conducted an inquest at the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon concerning the death of William Edgar Mitchell, (4), of 10 Abbey Cottages, Waltham Cross, who had drowned in the Mill River on Monday.  Emma Mitchell, mother of the deceased, gave evidence of identification.  She said that she went to work daily and that, on the day in question, she had left the child with its grandmother.  At 4.30 p.m., she had been told that something had happened.  She returned, and then saw the child dead on the river bank.  Mrs Mary Ann Mitchell, the grandmother, said that she had seen the deceased playing at 3.30 p.m. and that later, on missing the child, a little boy of 3 years who had been playing with the child said that he was in the water.

Police Sergeant Skeates, who had dived into the water, spoke of recovering the body.  Dr Priest attributed death to drowning.

The Jury commended Sergeant Skeates on his prompt action.  On returning a verdict of accidental drowning, they added a rider that sufficient fencing should be put up at the spot to prevent any further loss of life.

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