Author Topic: Richard Bailey, Dover, February 1941  (Read 80 times)

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Offline John

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Richard Bailey, Dover, February 1941
« on: September 23, 2023, 06:22:11 am »
Date of Death:12/02/1941
Regiment/Service:Civilian War Dead
Additional Information:A.R.P. Ambulance Driver. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Bailey; husband of Ada Beatrice Bailey, of 55 Church Road. Injured 8 February 1941, at Dover; died at Casualty Hospital, Union Road.

Dover Express - Friday 14 February 1941


A Dover A.R.P. ambulance driver, Mr. Richard Bailey, aged 45 years, of 55, Church Road, met with a fatal accident on Saturday, about 4 p.m. He fell from the back of an ambulance at the junction of Lower Road and Common Lane, River, and injured his head. Taken to the Casualty Hospital, he died early on Wednesday morning. The Dover Coroner will hold an inquest this (Friday) afternoon.

Dover Express - Friday 21 February 1941



An inquest was held at the Town Hail, on Friday last, on the body of Richard Bailey (45), of 55, Church Road, Dover, a member of the Dover A.R.P. Services, who died at the Casualty Hospital on Wednesday last week from injuries sustained when he fell from an ambulance on the previous Saturtday.

The Borough Coroner, Mr. E. T. Lambert, conducted the inquest without a jury. The Town Clerk (Mr. S. R. H. Loxton, was present for the Corporation.

Dr. G. F. Rees, resident surgical officer, Casualty Hospital, Dover, said that deceased was admitted at 4.45 pm. on February 8th. He remained unconscious, and died on 12th February, at 2.50 a.m. The cause of death was a fracture of the base of the skull, which could have resulted from a fall on the back of the head.

Maurice Frederick Fry, of 16, Whitfield Avenue, Dover, an A.R.P. ambulance driver, said that he had known deceased about two years, and had been with him most of the time he had been in the A.R.P. Service. Deceased was a Mobile Unit driver. Deceased was in the best of health, his eyesight was good, but his hearing was not perfect. On Saturday, February 8th, witness and a Mr. Buzan were washing the ambulance at Lower Road. An "alert" sounded, so they returned to their post. The "raiders passed" sounded half an hour later, and deceased went with Mr. Buzan and witness to continue washing the ambulance. Having completed that, they were proceeding to the garage at Beresford Road, going by way of Lower Road and Common Lane, and deceased, who was standing at the back, asked them to stop at the Co-op. When he had got some tobacco, deceased said that he would get inside the ambulance, as he had not slept a lot. Witness, who was driving, called out to the deceased at the back, "Are you all right?" and he replied, "Yes." Witness reversed a few yards to turn into Common Lane. He had gone about 20 yards along Common Lane, and was changing from first to second gear, when he heard the stretcher frames crash. He carried on for eight or ten yards and then stopped, and, opening the door of his cab, saw deceased lying in the gutter on the off side, about eight to ten yards away. Witness reversed the ambulance to where deceased was lying, and found that he was parallel to the kerb, with his head on a drain and his feet facing the Co-op. door. His arms and legs were moving freely, and he was groaning and his head was bleeding. With the assistance of other people, deceased was put into the ambulance and taken to the First-Aid Post, where he was seen by Dr. Nicholl, who ordered his removal to hospital. Witness found that the stretcher frames in the ambulance had shifted slightly backward. Witness did not know what had happened, and whether deceased was in the back or on the back step. Usually the stretcher frames were screwed to the floor of the ambulance, but that had not been done as the job was not finished. Bailey was only semi-conscious, and did not speak.

Wilfred Claud Buzan, of 55, Douglas Rd., Dover, a member of the Mobile Unit, said that he was assisting in washing out the ambulance. When the ambulance was being driven witness was standing with deceased on the back step and did not go inside. Fry called out, "Are you all right?" and deceased replied, "Yes." Witness did not see deceased fall, but heard the noise of the stretchers as they came out. The ambulance was open at the back, and the stretchers were not screwed down. Witness looked back and saw deceased lying in the gutter. There was room on the back for both of them, but the step was wet and slippery. Deceased was wearing ordinary leather shoes.

The Coroner said that that seemed to be the only evidence available, and there was no eye-witness of how deceased came to fall. He could not say that either the driver of the ambulance or Buzan was in any way to blame for what happened. What was quite likely was that the step was slippery and deceased may have slipped, put out his hand and caught hold of one of the stretchers, which, not being screwed down, moved backwards and caused him to fall out into the road, with the unfortunate result that he fell on the back of his head and sustained a fractured skull. He did not know whether it would have made any difference if the stretcher had been screwed down; so, perhaps it would have been better if it had been, but there was no blame attaching to anyone. He found that death was due to misadventure whilst deceased was in the performance of his duties as a member of the A.R.P. staff. The Coroner added that they condoled with the widow and the Service of which deceased was a member.

The Town Clerk said that, on behalf of the Corporation, he offered full sympathy to the widow and representatives. A member of the A.R.P. Services also expressed sympathy.

Dover Express - Friday 28 February 1941

In the report of the inquest last week on Mr. Richard Bailey, the Dover A.R.P. driver, Mr. Fry is stated to have said that deceased said he was going inside the ambulance because he had not slept a lot. This was a mishearing. It should have been that he had nearly slipped before.

(Buried at St. James' Cemetery, Dover)
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline alkhamhills

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Re: Richard Bailey, Dover, February 1941
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2023, 19:20:18 pm »
Richard Bailey
Married Ada B Crick ¼ March 1921 Dover

In 1911 with parents Stephen & Marion & 3 elder siblings. At 49 Odo Rd, Dover. He was a Post Office Messenger. Father was a Baker’s Assistant. Mother was from Australia.
Brother Henry was a General Labourer,
Brother Stephen was a Navy AB. He served throughout WW1 No 218470 Including with RFR  Never progressed beyond AB(5 times in cells, one of 42 days). He died 1966 at Ramsgate

In 1939 Richard(6.11.1895) & Ada B( 40.9.1896) & 1 closed entry. At 53 Odo Rd, Dover
Richard was a Laundry Van Driver. Also an ARP Dover & Ambulance Person

Probate. Of 55 Church Rd, Dover. Died 12.2.1941 at The Public Assistance Hospital, Union Rd Dover. Admin to Ada Beatrice Bailey, widow. Effects £130