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Author Topic: Three Lads Drowned in the Beult 1895  (Read 5906 times)

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Offline Bobdonk

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Re: Three Lads Drowned in the Beult 1895
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 23:10:59 »


A sad boating fatality occurred in the river Buelt at Cheveney on Whit-Monday, and resulted in the loss, of three lives, A party of lads, from a Rochester Bible Class, were on a visit to Cheveney by invitation of Mrs. Alexander, and during the afternoon secured the use of a boat and one or two punts for the purpose of taking a trip on the water. The boat, (which contained 12 of the party, was being rowed by two persons, and in passing one of the punts they accidentally splashed the occupants of the latter. One of the lads in the punt retaliated by splashing those in the boat, and all endeavoured to evade the water by getting on one side, the result being that the boat was capsized. Efforts were at once made to rescue those immersed, but three of the lads, Sidney Tipple, Jonathan Kemp, and Arthur Bennett, lost their lives. The bodies were subsequently recovered, and the inquest was held at the Cheveney Institute on Wednesday evening by Mr. Coroner T. Buss, when the following evidence was adduced :— .
Benjamin Tipple, of 77, Maidstone-road, Rochester, gas-meter maker, identified the deceased Tipple as his son. Deceased was 3. clerk employed by Messrs. Aveling and Porter, Rochester.
James Kemp, carpenter, 32, Horsley-road, Rochester, identified the deceased Kemp as his son. He was sixteen years of age, and a watchmaker by trade.
G. W. Bennett, of Upper-square, Troy Town, Rochester, labourer at the Gas Works, identified the body of Bennett as that of his brother, who was 17 years of age.

William Baldock, caretaker of the Institute at Cheveney, deposed that on Monday a party came from the Rochester Bible Class to Oheveney, by invitation of Mrs. Alexander. The party comprised about 50 persons, who were in the charge of two ladies. The party arrived at two o’clock. Later on permission,was asked to use a big boat which was on the river Buelt, and witness gave permission on condition that only ten went for a row at a time. Witness, however, noticed that on starting there were a larger number in the boat, and he called the attention of the party to the fact, whereupon three boys got ashore. The next witness heard of the party was that an accident had occurred, and he went to the place where the boat had capsized. He heard that three boys were drowned, and he saw the boat, which was half filled with water. In addition to the boat there were two punts on the water which some of the party had taken without permission. The water was very deep at the spot where the accident occurred.

Edward John Greenwood, a lad, living at 66, Queen’s-street, Rochester, said he was one of the party who went to the Institute. They went on the river about 5.30. Witness was in a small punt with two other boys. They nad not obtained permission to take the punt. They started off and caught up the boat. There were 12 persons in the boat, which afterwards turned to return. In passing the punt in which witness and his companions were seated a lad who was rowing splashed them with his oar by accident, and F. Martin, who was in the punt with witness, proceeded to splash the occupants of the boat in return. The whole of those in the boat got on one side of the craft, and it overturned. The punt was about two feet away from the boat, which was rowed by Mr. Beaney and Harry Buckett. Buckett swam ashore and helped two others out. The other punt, which was in front at the time, at once returned, and John Boorman, a lad who was in it, rescued six others. The remaining three were drowned.

By a juror—There was no collision between the boats.

Witness also stated that there was no larking about in the boat before the accident occurred.
Henry Buckett, a lad, of 27, Love-lane, Rochester, also gave evidence. He said he was one of the party in the boat. He gave evidence as to starting off in the boat, and stated that he and Mr. Beaney were rowing. When passing the punt, witness just caught the surface of the water with his oar, and splashed the occupants of the punt. Those in the punt splashed back, and all the party in the boat got on to one side, and the craft turned over. Witness could swim, and got ashore ; he helped Shrubsole and another lad out of the water. Someone called for help, and witness caught hold of another boy, who proved to be Tipple. In struggling Tipple pulled witness down, and he had to leave go of the lad.  He did not see him again. Only Shrubsole and himself could swim. Witness saw nothing of the other deceased lads. After the boat had overturned the big punt returned and rescued six of those in the water. The boat was all right until the upset, and there was plenty of room in it.
I.C. Froud deposed to plumming (sic) the river at the spot where the accident occurred, and he found a depth of from 18 to 20 feet of water.

Absolom Solman, a gardener at Yalding, proved recovering the bodies by means of grappling irons. Thev were all lying close together.

John Boorman, a lad, of 23 John-street. Rochester, said he was in the big punt, and rescued six of those who were capsized. He did not know the cause of the accident. He saw Tipple come to the top of the water clinging to a piece of board, but witness could not rescue him, not being near enough to him. He did not see the other deceased lads.

Dr. E. J. Wood, of Yalding, proved that death in each case, was due to suffocation by drowning.
This concluded the evidence, and the Coroner, in summing up, said fortunately it was seldom on so small a river so many lives were lost at one time. He could imagine how the accident happened, and he considered that had it not been for the plucky efforts of Boorman and Buckett more lives would have been sacrificed.

The jury returned a verdict of “ Death from accidental drowning.”

The Rev. Mr. Lewis, of Rochester, who accompanied the party on their outing, was present at the inquiry, but did not give evidence. On arriving at the spot, after the accident, the rev. gentleman made’an effort to rescue the deceased

Offline Bobdonk

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Three Lads Drowned in the Beult 1895
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 22:24:11 »
Report on the death of "The three dear lads who were accidently drowned near Yalding on June 3rd 1895"
Sidney Tipple Aged 19 Years
Jonathon George Kemp Aged 16 Years
Arthur Bennett Aged 17 years

The Eastern Gazette, Tuesday June 11 1895:

On Saturday afternoon, in the presence of an immense concourse of people, at St. Margaret's Cemetery, Rochester, the three young men—Tipple, Kemp, and Bennett—members of the Bible Class of the parish, who were drowned on Monday at Hunton, were interred in graves side by side.

The proceedings were very solemn throughout, the sad occurrence having made a profound impression upon the parishioners, to most of whom the young men were well known.

On Sunday evening, the Curates, the Revs. Lewis and Ayres, who were with the excursion party, and endeavoured by diving to recover the bodies, immediately they were informed of the accident, took part in the service.

The Vicar preached a funeral sermon to a very crowded congregation, who were deeply moved by the very impressive discourse from the 50th verse of the 119th Psalm : “ This is my comfort in mv affliction, for Thy word hath quickened me.”

The offertory was devoted to a fund which will be used in raising some suitable memorial to the three young men. At the afternoon service at the Cathedral the Rev. Canon Pollock also made a touching reference to the sad event.


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