Somerset County Herald 23 May 1942 Wellington Loss Mrs H. J. THORNE nee OATEN Fatal Fall of the Eight Bells High Street Wellington

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier Saturday 23 May 1942

Page 6 Column 5




Mrs. THORNE, the wife of Mr. H. J. THORNE, licensee of the Eight Bells, High-street, Wellington, died on Saturday evening as the result of a fall early the same morning. Mrs. THORNE, who was 62 on the day she died, was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James OATEN of Wellington. She took a keen interest in the Women's Section of the Taunton and West Somerset Licensed Victuallers' Association, and had been it's president since its inception in September, 1935. A capable organiser, she will be remembered for the generous manner in which she catered for the pre-war outings in connection with the Eight Bells and of other activities in business. The residents of Buckwell will recall that district's celebration of the Silver Jubilee and Coronation and of the generous part Mrs. THORNE played in those festivities. Many war-time charities also claimed her sympathy; she had collected over £10 for Mrs. CHURCHILL's Russia Red Cross Fund.


The Deputy-Coroner, Mr. P. HANCOCK, held an inquest on Monday when a verdict of “Death by misadventure” was returned.

Mr. THORNE said his wife was of a very cheerful disposition. About three months ago she broke her arm in two places, when she fell over a mat. About four o'clock on Saturday morning he missed his wife from the bedroom and heard a gurgling sound. Going to the landing he saw his wife at the bottom of the stairs. He tried to lift her but could not do so, and immediately telephoned for Dr. FOX, who arrived in a few minutes.

Dr. Celia FOX stated that she found Mrs. THORNE lying in a crumpled heap at the foot of the stairs, heavily unconscious, with a contusion over the right eye and bleeding from the nose. All signs were consistent with falling down the stairs. She never recovered and died about 7 p.m. The cause of death was a fractured base of the skull.


The respect in which Mrs. THORNE was held was shown by the large number that attended the funeral at Wellington Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon. The Rev. J. H. D. GRINTER officiated.

The family mourners were:- Mr. H. J. THORNE (husband), Mr. Victor J. THORNE (son), Mr. and Mrs. R. PITMAN (daughter and son-in-law), Mrs. F. MOULES, Taunton (sister), Mr. H. OATEN, Birmingham, Mr. P. OATEN, Sergeant C. OATEN, Aldershot (brothers), Mrs. F. JENNINGS, Mrs. A. OATEN (sisters-in-law), and Mr. G. OATEN (nephew).

There were also present:- Mrs. J. RICE, Miss G. BATSTONE, Mrs. W. ARROWSMITH (cousins), Messrs. B. and I. OATEN (nephews).

The women's section of the Licensed Vicuallers' Association were represented by Mrs. P. POOK (vice-president), Mrs. W. E. LITTLETON (secretary), Mrs. ROWSELL (treasurer), Mrs. J. CATTLE, Mrs. B. PAUL, Mrs. B. POOLE, Mrs. SMITHREEN, Mrs. DAVIS, Mrs. C. JENNINGS, Mrs. E. M. JAMES, Mrs. S. J. PURCHASE, Mrs. C. ESCOTT, Mrs. G. LEY, Mrs. R. H. STEVENS (Committee members), Mrs. W. HAYES, Miss SILK, and Mrs. E. J. PAUL. Other representatives of the Licensed Victuallers' Association were:- Mr. R. H. STEVENS (president), Mr. C. ESCOTT (secretary), Mr. P. POOK (past president), Messrs. C. JENNINGS, S. J. PURCHASE, F. BARTER, L. J. GUTTRIDGE, J. CATTLE, W. LITTLETON, F. W. FORWARD, G. S. MALE, Mr. and Mrs. C. WOOD, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. VINCENT. The Loyal Order of Moose was represented by Bros. H. J. MERRY, E. H. TIMEWELL, J. C. BAKER, J. C. TIMEWELL (Wellington Lodge 162), S. WARE (Taunton Lodge 125). Others who attended were Mr. A. E. ARNOLD (Messrs. Arnold & Hancock), Messrs. C. JORDAN, C. H. ROWLAND, H. CHURCHILL, H. PITMAN, J. HARE, J. HALFYARD, J. DINSCOMBE, P. C. BROWN, Mr. and Mrs. W. ROWSELL, Mr. and Mrs. P. ROWLAND, Mrs. and Mrs. J. JORDAN, Mrs. C. BURVILL, Mrs. C. SPILLER, Mrs. W. WAYGOOD, Mrs. M. RIX, Mrs. J. REX, Mrs. S. A. REX, Mrs. D. TOWELL, Mrs. E. PERRY, Mrs. R. STUDLEY, Mrs. I. HECKFORD, Mrs. W. ALWAY, Mrs. J. COOLING, Mrs. D. COOLING, and Mrs. W. T. TUCKER.

In addition to many family and private wreaths there were floral tributes from:- Customers, Eight Bells; Women's Section, Licensed Victuallers' Association, Women's Committee, Licensed Victuallers' Association, Licensed Victuallers' Association (Men); Wellington Lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose; Messrs. Arnold & Hancock.

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