Much sympathy is felt with the relatives and friends of the late Mr. Francis Alexander Walker, who passed away suddenly on Monday night at his residence, 24, Irchester-road, Rushden. It appears that deceased had suffered on and off for some time from muscular rheumatism, but it did not seem to inconvenience him to any great extent nor for long periods. On Monday night he went out. On returning home he sat down to supper with his wife, but suddenly collapsed and died almost immediately.
Mr. Walker, who had lived in Rushden for the last 12 years, was foreman of the milling department at the Standard Rotary Company’s works in Duck-street. On Monday night he was taking part in a skittles tournament at the Windmill Club and had won the first heat. On leaving the club he appeared to be quite in his usual health and he talked jocularly with some of his friends, his sudden death causing a deep impression amongst those who had seen him only a few minutes before.
was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Oakley Arms, Rushden, by Mr. J. C. Parker (Deputy Divisional Coroner). The jurymen were Messrs. G. C. Middleditch, Herbert Bates, William Desborough, Charles William Barker, Frank Tassell, Charles Bennett, James Brightwell, John Evans, George Sharp, George Berry, Frederick Webster, and Wm. Henry Marriott.
Clara Walker, of 24, Irchester-road, Rushden, said the body was that of her husband, who was 37 years of age, and was a foreman engineer employed at the Standard Rotary Co. He was all right at tea time. He went out about 8.15 p.m. and returned about 8.45, when he still seemed quite as usual. She and he were joking together. They sat down to supper and he had no sooner eaten a mouthful or so than he suddenly became very ill and seemed to lose consciousness all at once. Witness immediately sent to the next door neighbour for help.
By the Coroner : Her husband had had quite a moderate tea at five o’clock he always took it with him. He had not suffered from shortness of breath. He had been to consult Dr. Baker about a month ago but it was not for anything of a serious nature.
Wm. Frederick Harris, shoe operative, 26, Irchester-road (next door to deceased’s house), said that Mrs. Walker’s little girl came running into his house about 9 p.m. and told him that her father was very ill. Witness went in the house and found deceased sitting in a chair near the table, looking very ill. He appeared to be quite unconscious, and witness did not know whether he was dead or alive. Witness did not speak to deceased but went for Dr. Baker immediately. He returned with the doctor and found deceased lying on the couch. He had known Mr. Walker for about two years but did not see much of him. Deceased always seemed to get about all right and was fairly strong.
Dr. Baker said he was called about 9.15 the previous night and on his arrival found deceased lying on the couch quite dead. He had died but a short time previously. The doctor examined deceased superficially but found no marks to account for death. He had attended deceased about a month ago for muscular rheumatism, from which he had suffered on and off for some years. He seemed to be fairly strong, seeing that he played football in the winter months. In the doctor’s opinion, death was due to heart failure. It would be impossible to ascertain the cause without a post-mortem examination. There had been no choking, as deceased’s artificial teeth were perfectly in order.
The Coroner : It seemed a long time after his tea before death took place.
The Doctor : I do not think there was any connection between them. It was probably the heat.
By a juryman : It would be of no detriment to him by having teeth extracted; in fact, the opposite would more probably be the case. Deceased’s father had died, the doctor believed, in a similar way.
Without retiring, the jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.