KILLED BY LIGHTNING.
On Saturday a
man named Robert Taylor, while working in the new brick field
at West Harton, was struck by lightning, and killed
instantaneously. His clothes, including his boot and
stocking, were cut straight down the left side, and he was
badly burnt as well as his clothes. The deceased resided at
Kingston, West Harton, and was a married man. He leaves a
widow and six young children, for whom great sympathy is
felt. The deceased was only 30 years of age.
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Shields Gazette Monday 22/5/1893
MAN KILLED BY LIGHTNING AT HARTON.
On Saturday afternoon a heavy thunderstorm
was experienced at South Shields and in the surrounding
about four o’clock. There was a very vivid flash of
lightning, followed by an exceptionally loud rattle of
thunder, and about this time a sad fatality took place near
Harton. Mr Robert Taylor, brick manufacturer and builder, was
at his brickyard, which is situated a little beyond Harton
Colliery on the Boldon Road. He had in his hand an india-rubber
hose pipe with which he was watering a heap of clay that had
been dug and was being prepared for use this morning, when he
was suddenly struck to the ground. His foreman, Mr Healey was
close by him at the time, and he was with equal suddenness
thrown upon the heap of clay and rendered insensible for a
brief period. On recovering, Mr Healey found Mr Taylor lying
on the ground a few yards from him. He had apparently been
struck upon the head by the lightning. His clothes were torn
off right down one side, and one of his boots was ripped off.
The terrible incident affected Healey very much, but he
subsequently called assistance, and the dead body was removed
to the home of the deceased, Kingston Cottage, Harton. Mr
Taylor was 30 years of age, and leaves a widow and several
THE DEATH BY
LIGHTNING AT HARTON.
inquest was held before Mr Coroner Graham at Harton concerning
the death of Mr Robert Taylor, builder and brick manufacturer,
who was killed by lightning while in his brickyard near Harton
Colliery on Saturday afternoon.
Mr William Taylor, banksman, Silksworth Colliery, said he was
a brother of the deceased, and on Saturday paid him a visit.
The deceased was a brick manufacturer, and resided at Kingston
Cottage, near Harton Colliery. On Saturday morning deceased
never seemed in better health. Witness left him for the
purpose of going to Westoe to visit another brother, and he
returned to Harton about twelve o’clock. A heavy thunderstorm
came on, and witness went to his mother’s house, which was
close to the deceased’s residence. Whilst there he heard of
the death of his brother. The deceased left a widow and six
children, the eldest being eight years old, and the youngest
six months. He identified the watch and chain produced as
belong to the deceased.
Mr Joseph Elsie said he resided at Caldwell, Westoe, and was a
foreman for the deceased. On Saturday, deceased paid his men
a little after 12 o’clock, but witness and deceased remained
in the yard. Witness had dinner with the deceased at his
house, and they returned to the brick-works again. Deceased
said that some clay looked rather white, and he should like
some water poured upon it. Witness told the enginemen to get
the steam up, so as to work the hose piping, and the deceased
picked up a galvanized pipe, which was lying near, and carried
it a few yards, when he laid it out in the direction wanted.
deceased told them to turn on the
water, and Witness told him that the water was all right.
That would be about five or ten minutes to four o’clock.
Witness turned his back to the deceased for the purpose of
watching a new plough which was being used in the adjoining
field. He did not see the flash of lightning, nor did he hear
any thunder, but suddenly he found himself lying on the
ground, about a yard from where he had been standing. He felt
very dizzy, but as soon as he recovered, he looked in the
direction of where he had left the deceased, and could not see
him. He looked about, and found him lying stretched out on
the ground. Witness immediately went to him, and saw that he
was lying flat on his face, and bleeding from the mouth and
nose. His feet were close to the galvanized piping. He
turned him over, and found that he was breathing, but he
quickly ceased to breathe, and witness, knowing that he was
dead, laid him down, and went for assistance, and Dr. Robson
quickly came, when he pronounced life to be extinct.
Dr Robson gave a
description of the body, and how the lightning had acted when
it struck deceased. The hair, the moustache, and the whiskers
on the left side of the face were singed: his cap was off, and
had not been found. The neck tie was half torn away, and the
other half was in two pieces fifteen yards off and singed.
About half his clothing, right down the left side from the
shoulder to the boot, which was taken off, was torn away from
the body, and there were marks like bruises upon the body.
There was a small cut on the left boot and also on the neck.
His watch was found lying about four yards off, the under part
of the rim of the watch case was partly fused, as were also
the links of the watch chain. The ring was off altogether.
The watch had stopped at exactly 3.45, thus showing the time
of his death.
The jury found
that Robert Taylor, while in his brickyard, was accidentally
killed by lightning.
The Coroner said
it was supposed that the lightning had struck the ground a
little behind to the left of the deceased, had been attracted
to the man, and struck him on the boot and run up his leg and
body on the inside of his clothing, as the appearance of his
clothes bore out this supposition, for in addition to part of
the watch being broken the body flannel was singed, and not
the outer part of his clothes.
The jury expressed
much sympathy for the widow and children of the deceased.
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