Ancestor Profile – Robert Aubrey Spink (1883-1923) – part 2

Last week I told you about the accident that killed Robert Aubrey Spink.  This is the second newspaper article about the accident and covers the Coroners Inquest held on 20th April 1923.



A second death has occurred as the result of the collision between two motor-cyclists on Wednesday evening on the Leeds and Harrogate road between Moortown and Alwoodley.

It is believed that the two motor-cyclists collided “head-on”.  The medical evidence at the inquest, which was opened today, suggests that their heads crashed together with such force as to cause the injuries from which they died.

The dead men were.

Robert Aubrey Spink (40) 22, Ash Road, Headingley, postal telegraph clerk, a well known member of the Moortown Golf Club.

Harry Greenwood (19), 16 Union Terrace, Chapel Allerton, market gardener.

The girl who was riding on the carrier of the latter’s machine, Miss Peggy Stannard, a tailoress, of 26 Harehills Road, Leeds,, is progressing favourably in Leeds Infirmary.

The inquest was opened by the Leeds City Coroner today, and was adjourned for a week.

Evidence of identification was given by Miss Mary Jane Spink (sister) and by Clifford Greenwood (brother).

Miss Spink said her brother was “one of the most careful riders on road.” and never lost his head.  He went out to play golf about 5 o’clock, and when he did not come back at 7.30, as expected, she thought something had happened, for his movements were as regular as clockwork.  Her brother was a temperate man, and his hearing and eyesight were good.

Mr Greenwood said his brother had ridden for 18 months or two years, and was a cool, collected driver.  He was accustomed to carrying a person on the pillion, and knew the difference in dealing with a machine in those circumstances.  Witnesses added that his brother was a sober and healthy man, and had had no previous accident, except that he had once run over a dog.


Leonard Bexon, of 128 Street Lane, Leeds, paper merchant’s assistant, said he had ridden Greenwood’s machine during the last month, and it was in perfect order and was easy to drive.

“It is quite likely that he would be changing gears at the time of the accident,” added the witness.

The Coroner: That may be the whole cause of the accident.

Witness said it would necessary to take one hand off the handlebar to change gear, but the change was easy.  On the other hand Spink’s golf clubs, which he was carrying on his back, might have swung round and interfered with his steering.

Dr Birtwistle said that both men had fractured skulls and severe injuries to the brain.  It appeared as if the men’s heads had crashed against each other.  An operation was performed on Greenwood.

So as far as I can tell no actual blame was attached to either Robert Aubrey Spink or to Harry Greenwood.  I wasn’t able to find a newspaper report giving the Coroner’s final verdict but I am pretty sure that it would be accidental death.

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