|Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th May 1946, transcribed by Kay Collins
Killed in Sight of His Wife - Rushden Survivor of Naval Disaster
A Rushden man who survived the “Royal Oak” disaster during the war was killed in sight of his wife when cycling near Catworth on Sunday evening.
The victim of the fatality, which occurred on the Thrapston-Molesworth road shortly after eight o’clock, was Mr Samuel Percy Head, aged 30, of 12, Purvis-road, Rushden.
Mrs Head was riding behind her husband when he came into collision with an omnibus owned by the Eastern National Bus Co., and driven by Mr Reginald George Cade, of Great Stukeley, Huntingdonshire.
After the collision, Dr J W Ellis, of Kimbolton, and the Huntingdonshire ambulance responded to urgent messages, but Head had been killed instantly. Apparently his head had been in contact with the moving vehicle, and he had received a fracture of the base of the skull.
Inspector J R Mash, Sgt. Craighill and P.C. Douglas were on the scene, which was half a mile on the Thrapston side of the Catworth Fox, the well-known roadside inn.
Mr Head was an employee of the Tecnic Boot Co. and had served in the Royal Navy for eight years, becoming a Petty Officer. After the loss of the “Royal Oak” he served on the “Malaya” and “Sladen,” having much experience of convoy work between Ireland and Iceland. A native of Raunds, where his mother, three sisters and two brothers reside, he was a member of Rushden Windmill Club.
The funeral took place at Raunds on Thursday.
The inquest was opened on Thursday at the “Fox Inn,” Catworth, before the Hunts County Coroner (Mr L Abrahams).
Evidence of identification was given by the widow, Elsie Freda May Head. The widow said that her husband was employed in the lasting room of the Tecnic Boot Co., Rushden. His sight and hearing were perfect.
Dr J W Ellis, of Kimbolton, stated that he was called at 8.20 on Sunday evening and proceeded immediately to the scene of the accident, where he saw the body lying on the grass verge, covered with a rug, with the feet towards the ditch. There was profuse bleeding from the nose and head, and there was blood in the ears.
Artificial respiration was applied, but to no avail. Death, which was instantaneous, was due to a violent blow which not only lacerated the skull, but injured the brain within. There was nothing to show that the bus went over the body.
The inquest was adjourned to 2.30 on Tuesday, June 18th, at Huntingdon.
Mr A N Groome, of Parkers and Groom, solicitors, Rushden, represented the widow.