Frank Coulston is my 4th cousin. His parents are George Edward Coulston and Janet Petty. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley – my 3x great grandparents.
Frank was born sometime in the fourth quarter of 1945 and his birth is registered at Nelson in Lancashire.
Sadly Frank had a very short life as the result of a tragic accident. The Barnoldswick & Earby Times of 26 August 1949 reported on the inquest held on Tuesday 23 August (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).
Boy Drowned in Lodge
CORONER’S APPRECIATION OF RESCUE EFFORTS
“He was only after tadpoles,” said Mr John Ingham, a witness at the inquest held in Colne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on Frank Coulston aged three, of 8 Beech Street, Colne, who was drowned in Castle Hill Lodge on Saturday morning. The East Lancashire Deputy Coroner, Mr R H Rowland, returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”
Mrs Janet Coulston, the boy’s mother, stated that she was in Stafford at the time of the accident and had left the child in the care of his grand-mother.
John Stanford Hall, aged eight, of 9 Maple Street, Colne, told the Coroner that he and his brother were playing with Frank Coulston on the bank of the lodge. “Frank was walking backwards and fell into the water,” he said. Witness added that he ran into a nearby garden for help.
John Ingham, 14 Spruce Street, Colne, told the Coroner that he heard Hall saying “Frank is in the lodge.”
The Coroner: What did you do?
Mr Ingham: I told the boy to run and tell someone, and I dashed straight there. Frank was floating in the water some distance from the side.
The Coroner: You jumped in with your clothes on and got him out? – Yes.
Were you out of your depth? – It was shallow near the bank, but I was out of my depth when I got to him.
In answer to further questions, Mr Ingham said that he tried artificial respiration on the boy, with no success, and later Mr Dennis Quinland who is a qualified ambulance man took over and tried to revive Coulston.
Dennis Quinland, of 43 Lenches Road, stated that there was every appearance that the boy was dead when he saw him.
NOT REGARDED AS TRESPASSING
Police Constable George Mills gave evidence that he arrived soon after Mr Quinland had begun artificial respiration. He said that the lodge was about a quarter of a mile from the boy’s home, and that it was easy to gain access to the water. Quite a number of children played near the lodge, and that was not regarded as trespassing.
Summing up, the Coroner said he was satisfied that the boy fell into the water accidentally, perhaps losing his balance when he was walking backwards. “There is no question of skylarking or of the action of any other person,” he added. “I would like to place on record my appreciation of Mr Ingham’s effort in jumping into the water fully clothed when he was clearly out of his depth. Everyone who has been connected with this accident has acted most creditably.” The Coroner commended John Hall for the way in which he had given evidence, and also mentioned a third person, Mr John Burnett, of 30 Regent Street, Nelson, who had tried to resuscitate the boy.
After the inquest Mrs Coulston asked the Coroner if the lodge could be made safe. The Coroner replied that he was not concerned with that aspect.
Mrs Coulston: Well, who is? Surely something can be done.
The Coroner: I have every sympathy with you, but after all it is your child and he was a quarter of a mile away from home.
Mr T S M Badgery on behalf of the owners of the lodge, also expressed his sympathy, saying that children occasionally got into mischief, often with tragic results.
In December 1949 John Ingham received the Royal Humane Society’s Honorary Testimonial for attempting to save Frank.