Inquest on Rushden Leather Merchant - Death in a Railway Train
Career of Late Mr. Arthur Cave
The death, which took place with tragic suddenness on Monday afternoon in a Rushden to Wellingborough train, of Mr. Arthur Cave, aged 65, of The Hutt, Rushden, caused a great shock in the town and district and was very painful news to the relatives. Mr. Cave had finished lunch over half-an-hour and went to Rushden station, to catch the 1.32 train, en route for Norwich. When the train pulled up at Wellingborough a porter opened the door of the first-class compartment in which Mr. Cave had travelled and noticed that Mr. Cave appeared to be asleep. The porter asked, “Where are you for, sir?” but there was no response, and, realising that Mr. Cave could hardly have fallen asleep on so short a journey, the porter concluded that death must have taken place. He consequently called the attention of a superior, and the carriage door was locked pending the arrival of a doctor. Dr. Keane, of Wellingborough, quickly attended and found that Mr. Cave was dead.
Mr. Arthur Cave was one of the directors of Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd., up to 1906, the other directors being his brothers, Messrs. Paul, Fred, and Amos Cave. Their association with the firm finished in 1906. Mr. Arthur Cave was a director and one of the founders of the Standard Rotary Shoe Machinery Company, Rushden, being the managing director for some time. He retained a financial interest when the Gimson Shoe Machinery Company, Leicester, acquired the business. As managing director of the Leicester firm of leather merchants Messrs. Sanderson, Reid, & Co., Mr. Cave occupied a great deal of his time up to his death. When the Rushden Palace was opened Mr. Cave was associated with the company. He was a pioneer of ambulance work in Rushden, and it was due largely to his influence that the town has long had so efficient a Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Mr. Cave had travelled a good deal, having been to South Africa and to America in the interests of Messrs. John Cave and Sons. The founder of that business, Mr. John Cave, became the owner of a large frontage in High-street on the west side. It was on the site now occupied by the main entrance of the Palace and the shops between there and the public-house that the old premises of Messrs. John Cave and Sons stood, the site remaining vacant many years after the great fire. Land from the Post Office corner to where Messrs. Yarde & Co.’s shop stands, and known of old as The Cottage property, also belonged to Mr. Cave. The remarkably fine development of all that frontage within recent years has been due not a little to the great sagacity and foresight of Mr. Arthur Cave. The son of a staunch Liberal, Mr. Arthur Cave was an ardent Conservative and did much valued work for his party at General Elections. His services on the committee of the Rushden Unionist Association were always highly appreciated. Like the rest of the family, Mr. Cave was a devoted member of the Park-road Baptist Church, Rushden, and attended the service there as recently as last Sunday morning. He was a member of the Pemberton Lodge of Freemasons and a member of the Rushden Town Bowling Club. Some 25 or 30 years ago he hunted with the Oakley Hounds. Of a cheery disposition, Mr. Cave never missed giving a bright salutation to any of his very many friends and acquaintances in the street. He could always be regarded as
A Model Employer
and a gentleman of great personality and upright character. He and his kind can ill be spared in the present times.
Mrs. Cave, the widow, is an invalid, having returned recently from North Wales, where she had been for the benefit of her health. There are three daughters, one being in South Africa. Another is married to a naval officer, and the third, Miss Doris Cave lives at home. A son, a great journalist in civil life, joined the Air Force in the war and was unfortunately killed in 1916 almost as soon as he went on active service. A brother, Mr. Fred Cave. Of Moseley, Birmingham, is the only surviving male member of Mr. John Cave’s family.
On Tuesday at Wellingborough Police Station, an inquest was conducted by Mr. J.C. Parker, into the circumstances of Mr. Cave’s death. Mr. George Wright, district controller of the L.M.S. Railway Company, attended.
Dr. Keane, of Wellingborough, said that on Monday, about 2 p.m., he was called to the Midland-road station. He found the deceased in a first-class compartment of a train, sitting upright in a corner seat in a natural position. There were no marks of violence or of struggle, and nothing superficial to show the cause of death. Deceased was still holding his hat in his hand. The same night, in the presence of the family doctor, witness made a post-mortem examination, which showed the heart to be affected. The stomach was full of partially digested food. The muscular walls of the heart were very much thickened, and the heart contained a good deal of blood. The right auricle was abnormally dilated. That, in witness’s opinion, accounted for cardiac failure, the cause of death.
Replying to the Coroner, the doctor said that with the deceased hurrying after having had a large meal the heart would be adversely affected.
Mr. Reginald Paul Cave, leather washer manufacturer, Rushden, said the deceased was his uncle and was a leather factor, late of The Hutt, Rushden, and was 65 years of age. Witness last saw his uncle at 10.30 a.m. on Monday, when he was in his usual health. Mr. Arthur Cave had enjoyed very good health most of his life.
Miss Doris Cave, daughter of the deceased, of The Hutt, said she last saw her father alive about 1.25 p.m. on Monday. He said he was going to catch the 1.32 train to go to Norwich. He was quite all right, having finished lunch at 12.50. There would be no need to hurry to catch the train. He carried a light bag to the station.
Percy Harold Hickman, railway porter on the L.M.S. at Wellingborough, said that at 1.45 p.m. on Monday his attention was called to the deceased in a first-class compartment otherwise empty. Mr. Cave appeared asleep and was facing the engine. The train was the Rushden to Wellingborough due in at 1.40. Witness spoke to the deceased, asking him where he was bound for, and thought he was dead; so he (witness) sent for the foremen porter. The door of the compartment was locked, and the deceased was not moved until the doctor saw him.
The Coroner recorded a verdict that Mr. Cave died of natural causes namely, valvular disease of the heart.
Yesterday afternoon the funeral took place a short service being held at the residence, followed by interment at the cemetery. A large assembly of friends attended the committal service. Rushden Pemberton Lodge of Freemasons was represented by Wor. Bros. C.W. Horrell, W.M., A.E. Wright (secretary), H.H. Hobbs (treasurer), S.C. Brightwell, J.C. Coldicott, H.O. Miller, and B.G. Coe, P.M.’s., Bros. F.T. White, O.A.H. Muxlow (also representing the banks), E. Catling, T. Smith (manager of the Rushden branch of the British United Shoe Machinery Company), A.W. Head, H. Batson, F. Tassell, Miller, J. White, F.W. Margetts, J. Roe, G. Wright (Kettering), B.C. Tomkins, A.J. Sturgess, A. Lovell, F.J. Sharwood, and Dr. Greenfield. The (old) Standard Rotary Company was represented by Mr. G.H. Perkins and Mr. A.J. Perkins. Mr. Fred Green and Mr. G.H. Botterill represented the Rushden Unionist Association. Others present were Messrs. F. Corby, A. Gadsby, Horace Wright, F.Perkins, W. McC. Horrell, C.A.K. Green, T.C. Percival, E. Wrighton, C. Sanders, W.B. Sanders, T. Sanders, A. Wright, C. White, T. Whitby, T. Fuller, George Selwood, J.W. Hudson, W.H. Darnell, John Willmott, A Clayton, Webb, B. Vorley, G. Jones, H. Tye, W. Packwood,sen., R. Green, A. Prigmore, and G. Bayes, etc.
The Rev. J.B. Goodridge (Wesleyan) officiated in the absence through illness of the Rev. J.A. Sutherland.
Only male family mourners attended the committal service at the cemetery, the interment being in the family grave near the chapel. The mourners were Engineer Commander J. P. Johns, R.N., of Portsmouth (son-in-law), Mr. R. P. Cave, of Rushden (nephew), Mr. J. M. Cave, of Birmingham (nephew), Mr. H. B. Selwood, Captain R. Bland (4th Northants), of Wellingborough (nephew), Mr. O. Claridge, Mr. T. A. Baker, Mr. W. E. Capon (the last named representing Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd.), Messrs. E. P. Rammell, J. A. Haywood, J. K. Burton, of Leicester, and Mr. W. H. Knight, of Northampton (all representing Messrs. Sanderson, Reid, & Co., Leicester), Mr. J. C. Parker and Mr. H. O. Miller (family solicitors).
There were wreaths from : Alice, Doris, Connie, and Mary; Muriel, Winifred, Roy, and Dick; Reg, Ella, and the kiddies; Harry; Oliver, Nora, and Audrey Claridge; Mrs. Frederick Cave, Moseley; Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Baker, Irchester; Ethel and Jimmy; John Cave and Sons, Ltd.; and the Pemberton Lodge of Freemasons, a tribute from the Worshipful Master, officers, and brethren.
Messrs. Whittington and Tomlin were the funeral furnishers.