Frederick John Gardner

Date published: 29/06/2014
© Newspaper source?



Newbury Man's Death at Pangbourne


A verdict of “death by misadventure was returned by a jury at an inquest held at the Midland Bank Chambers, Pangbourne, yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, on Frederick John Gardner, aged 30, an electric cable joiner, of Chandos-road, Newbury.

The inquest was conducted by Mr. R.S. Payne, Coroner for East Berks. Gardner, who was employed by the Wessex Electricity Company was a married man with two children. Mr. J. Brain represented the Wessex Electricity Company, and Mr. A. Ward represented the Central Electricity Board.

Charles Frank Gardner, the deceased's brother, of Swindon, gave evidence of identification. Witness said his brother had been working as an electrician since he was 14 years of age.

Mr. William David Fisher (chief engineer of the Wessex Electricity Company) said that Gardner was on his staff at Newbury as a skilled H.T. Cable joiner. His office received a request from the district office at Wallingford for |Gardner to report at Pangbourne sub-station on Monday. There he was to inspect certain cable sealing ends on the central section structure board at Pangbourne sub-station. Witness added that Gardner was a master of his craft in that particular line of work.

Doctor's evidence

Dr. Leonard Leslie of Streatley, said that he was called about eleven o'clock on Monday morning to the Pangbourne sub-station. He was told there had been an accident. On arrival he found Gardner lying at the side of one of the cable structures. Men were doing Schafer artificial respiration. On examination he found that he was dead, having been burnt from head to foot comparatively superficially. In places his clothes were burnt right off. Death was due to shock rather than from burns. He had been electrocuted, and death would be instantaneous.

Mr. William Francis Chamen, of Church-road, Earley, Reading (a section engineer employed by the Central Electricity Board) said that Gardner was working under his direction when the accident occurred. Witness said he had discovered a slight defect on the board at Pangbourne sub-station and he had arranged to have a jointer to remedy the defect. Witness said he had definitely took steps to see that the current was off before work was commenced on the structure. Earthing rods were then attached.

(Photographs were produced at this stage showing the earthing rods connected and also a green danger flag).

Voltage 33,000

Witness said that Gardner went up the structure while he stood by. Later Gardner went away to fetch some material. Witness said he was telephoning in the control room when the alarm bell rang. The bell indicated that something external had happened, which was not caused by the attendant. “I did not know Gardner had returned, and when I went out he was lying at the foot of the Beckham structure. The “live” structure under which he was lying was the property of the Wessex Electricity Company. The voltage conducted by the system concerned in the accident was 33,000.

Mr. F. Aubrey Drew of Wallingford (sub-station engineer), said he was in the structure room when the accident occurred. He turned round and saw Gardner climbing up the wrong structure. “I shouted and there was a flash and he fell to the floor”, continued the witness. He immediately went to Gardner, and found he was badly burned. “I then shouted for medical assistance.”

Summing up the Coroner said they had heard a lot of evidence, but there was nothing to show why Gardner had climbed the wrong structure.

The funeral will take place at St. John's Church, Newbury on Saturday at 3pm.


BMD Deaths Dec Q 1938

Frederick J. Gardner 30 Wokingham 2c 468


Newspaper source?

Photocopy provided by John Gardner.


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