Day: January 7, 2018

Sunday’s Obituary – Dent Stowell (1882-1948)

Dent Stowell is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. I have written about Dent before, herehere and here.

Dent was born on 14 July 1882 in Burnley, Lancashire to parents Thomas Stowell and Ann Wroe. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff (my 4x great grandparents).

If you have read my previous posts you will know that Dent had an interesting life :-

  • he served in the Black Watch Regiment in South Africa in the Boer War and in France during WW1, being wounded more than once.
  • he had an unhappy first marriage but found love for a second time with Helen Gordon – however he was found guilty of bigamously marrying Helen in 1918, before finally marrying her legally in 1939.
  • he had eight children from his two marriages.
  • he lived in Canada and in the United States of America.

Dent passed away on 28 March 1948 and I recently discovered the following inquest report in the Burnley Express of 31 March 1948.

Dent Stowell - Inquest 31 March 1948.png

Man’s sudden death during night

“Death from natural causes” was the verdict recorded by the Burnley Deputy Coroner (Mr C Waddington) at an inquest on Monday on Dent Stowell (65), machine operator, of 89 Marlborough Street, who died on Sunday morning.

Mrs Helen Stowell said that her husband had served in the Boer and 1914-18 wars, and in the latter was wounded and badly gassed. His general health had not been good since 1918, but he had never had a serious illness. For the past four months he had complained of chest pains, but would not seek medical advice.

On Friday, the pains became worse, and on Saturday he said the pain felt like a lump in his chest. That evening she gave him a Seidlitz powder in warm water and, later, Indian Brandy in warm water, and they retired about 11.15pm. At 12.15am her husband got out of bed, and put the light out before returning.

Immediately he had got back into bed she heard strange noises coming from his throat, and, on putting on the light, found him struggling for breath. She helped him to sit up, but he collapsed in her arms. She ran out of the house and asked a passer-by to send for the police, who, on arrival, told her her husband had passed away.

Mr R O Davidson, consulting surgeon, said that he had conducted a post-mortem examination, and in his opinion death was due to cardiac failure, due to myocardial degeneration and coronary sclerosis.

After Dent’s death Helen moved to America to be with family who had emigrated there. She lived for another 36 years before passing away in 1984. Helen’s family brought her to England for burial alongside Dent and their son Percy in Burnley Cemetery, Lancashire.

Dent and Helen had thirty years together and I suspect could tell some tales about their experiences and adventures.

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