Somerset County Herald 18 Feb 1939 Taunton Man's War Wounds Albert Edward FOURACRE Cycle Proprietor of 85 Station Road Taunton

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier Saturday 18 Feb 1939

Page 6 Column 8




The question whether severe war wounds contributed to his death was raised at the inquest yesterday on Albert Edward FOURACRE (55), a cycle proprietor, of 85, Station-road, Taunton who died in Taunton and Somerset Hospital on Tuesday.

The inquest was conducted by the Coroner, Mr. G. P. CLARKE, and the widow was represented by Mr. N. H. HUCKER, of Messrs. Alms & Young.

Mrs. Gwen Matilda FOURACRE said her husband served in the South African War, in the Great War he was a despatch rider attached to the Royal Engineers. In June, 1937, she received a telegram from the War Office that he was critically ill, having been severely wounded in both arms and legs, and had multiple injuries to the abdomen. Pneumonia developed and she was told there was little hope of his recovery.


Mrs. FOURACRE added that her husband came from California in 1914 and they were married in 1916. He was then in excellent health. He went to various hospitals and he was discharged from hospital in 1918. They lived in London, and her husband worked in an aircraft factory until he could no longer continue his work. They then came to live in Taunton. He had suffered from abdominal pains continuously and had never been free of the pain by day or night. He received a disability pension, in July, 1933, he became worse and consulted Dr. Reginald HUSBANDS, who attended him regularly. In November last Dr. L. P. MARSHALL examined him on behalf of the Ministry of Pensions. He advised institutional treatment, but the Ministry declined this “as they could not go to any further expense.” He went to the Hospital on February 4th.


Dr. H. H. TEITEIBAUM, house physician, said Mr. FOURACRE was admitted in a very distressed condition. His condition improved slightly after treatment, but he died suddenly at 7.30 on February 14th.

Dr. Godfrey CARTER, pathologist, said he made a post-morten <sic> on Wednesday. The body was wasted and there were scars which might have been caused by shrapnel wounds. There was a large mass of cancerous growth in the abdomen. The cause of death was cardiac failure, due to old pericarditis and cachexia (exhaustion of the tissues) resulting from cancer of the stomach.


In reply to Mr. HUCKER, Dr. CARTER said the war wounds of the abdomen could not have been the cause of the cancer which was secondary to chronic ulceration of the stomach. He did not think the war wounds could have caused the ulceration of the stomach.

Questioned further, Dr. CARTER said, “I am not prepared to say that there is no possible connection between an infected abdominal wound and the formation of the gastric ulcer, but it would be contrary to my life's experience or to anything that I have read in medical works. I am not denying that remote possibility.”

Mrs. FOURACRE: I believe all that Dr. CARTER says, but I am convinced that it was that war that killed himfl <sic> He was a tall, strong man, a typical Colonial when he came over to enlist. The surgeons said that not one man in ten thousand would have got through that operation in France.

Mr. HUCKER: If Mr. FOURACRE had not been in the war do you think the cancerous growth would have brought abut his death at this time?


Reviewing the evidence, the Coroner said they all felt considerable sympathy for Mrs. FOURACRE, who had given 20 years of her life to look after her husband.

He returned a verdict in accordance with Dr. CARTER's findings.

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<NOTES: Albert Edward FOURACRE son of James Henry FOURACRE and Julia HEMBROW married Ellen Matilda FOURACRE

Gwen Matilda FOURACRE is Ellen Matilda FOURACRE daughter of Charles FOURACRE and Matilda Ann VICKERY, married Albert Edward FOURACRE>