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Rushden Echo May 29th 1914, transcribed by Kay Collins
Frank James

Sudden Collapse in the Street

The death took place at Rushden on Saturday under tragic circumstances, of a man named Frank James aged 23, who had lived at Irchester for about a fortnight, and was employed at Irchester M.R. station as clerk. He formerly resided at Luton.

It appears that the young man had been out cycling on Sunday and had spent part of the day with his cousin at Irthlingborough, and had left her about 9.30p.m. It seems that deceased was not possessed of a robust physique. From a comparison of times at which he left Irthlingborough and at which he arrived at the Oakley corner, Rushden, he must have cycled up the hill from Irthlingborough Station. He passed through Higham and up Washbrook-road, Rushden, on his way to Irchester. On reaching the hill in Washbrook-road he alighted and pushed his machine. He was seen to stagger, and, a moment later, fall across his cycle. Although the deceased’s father was of the opinion that there was nothing the matter with the young man’s heart, Dr. Baker, in reply to a juror, said it would be quite possible for a man’s heart to be affected without his being aware of it.


The inquest was held by Mr. J. T. Parker (coroner) on Tuesday morning at the Oakley Inn. Mr H. Rands was foreman of the jury.

Benjamin James (father of the deceased), a signalman, of Willington, near Derby, identified the body as that of his son, Frank James, 23, who had lived at Irchester during the past week or so. He Said: My son was a railway clerk. I last saw him alive the Sunday previous to his death. He was at home, apparently quite well. He had never suffered at all in his life. No doctor had ever attended him. He had always worked as a clerk, so had not developed into a robust man. My son used to complain of pains near his heart and thought it was indigestion. He had never done much cycling.

Marjorie James, domestic servant of Irthlingborough, cousin of deceased, said: I last saw my cousin at 9.30 on Sunday night at Irthlingborough, and he was quite jocular and happy. He left me to cycle alone to Irchester. He had been in my company from 3.30. I gave him two small jam tarts but no heavy food.

Arthur James Cooper, shoehand of Wellingborough-road, Rushden, said: I was standing near the Oakley when the deceased fell down. He was pushing a bicycle up Washbrook-road. I saw him stagger, and walking about two yards, fall across his bicycle. No one was near him, and there was no obstacle that he might have stumbled over. I went to him, but he neither moved nor spoke. He never regained consciousness. With help I got him in the Oakley and went for a doctor.

Inspector Bailey asked whether the lamp was alight.

Witness said he did not know.

The Foreman: The lamp was quite cold and he had another lamp in his pocket.

Dr. Baker said: I was called about 10.15p.m. ............

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