Somerset County Herald 15 Apr 1961 Mistook Cleaning Fluid for Gin Taunton Inquest on Mr Frederick John BETTY of 58 Greenway Crescent Taunton

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier. Saturday 15 Apr 1961

Page 6 Column 4 and 5


Mistook Cleaning Fluid for Gin

Taunton Inquest on Mr. F. J. BETTY

AN elderly Taunton man, whose sight was bad, mistook cleaning fluid for gin, and poured it into a glass of cider he was drinking, it was stated at an inquest at Taunton on Tuesday.

The Coroner (Mr. P. E. G. SMITH) recorded a verdict of death by misadventure on Mr. Frederick John BETTY (81), a retired master tailor, of 58, Greenway Crescent, Taunton, who died at Musgrove Park Hospital on Sunday.

Death was from degeneration of the heart due to carbon tetrachloride poisoning.

Dr. C. E. M. WARE (pathologist) said Mr. BETTY had a bad heart and might have died at any time. By swallowing the cleaning fluid he overstrained his heart.

Mr. Reginald George BETTY, a son, of 11, Whitmore Road, Taunton, gave evidence of identification.

Took Wrong Bottle

Mrs. Doris May JONES, of 58, Greenway Crescent, said her father was a diabetic and his sight was bad.

Before going to bed on 4th April he had a glass of cider and decided to have some gin with it. He went to the sideboard and poured some of the contents of a bottle into his cider. The cleaning fluid bottle and the gin bottle, which had been given to her father at Easter, were similar. He was immediately taken to hospital.

Mrs. JONES said that bottles were not normally kept in the sideboard; other bottles, such as cleaning fluid, were kept in a cupboard in another part of the house. Mrs. JONES said if she had known the bottle was in the sideboard she would have removed it.

Different Label Needed

She said there was not sufficient warning on the bottle and suggested that cleaning fluid should be in a coloured bottle with more warning on the label.

The Coroner described it as a most unfortunate case. It was easy, after the event, to say it was unwise to keep a bottle of cleaning fluid and a bottle of gin in the same sideboard, but it was easy to understand how it happened.

'No doubt those responsible for selling this will take note of this unfortunate occurrence and it there is any way in which the label of the bottle can be made more obvious, no doubt they will take action accordingly,' added the Coroner.

'It is fair to say the manufacturers of the cleaning fluid would not expect it to be put in the same cupboard as bottles which were to be drunk from.'

Recent Diamond Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. BETTY celebrated their diamond wedding on 19th January.

Mr. BETTY was born at Bridgwater, where he started as an apprentice tailor at the age of 14 for a weekly wage of 1s. He worked for various firms in Taunton before establishing his own business, F. J. Betty & Son, in Kingston Road in 1915. He retired in 1939.

In the 1914-18 war he was master-tailor at the Somerset Light Infantry Barracks, Taunton, and held a similar position at Norton Manor Camp in the second world war.

In 1937 he made a costume for President Roosevelt's niece, who was staying at Kingston St. Mary, and received a testimonial that was one of his most prized possessions.

Besides his wife, Mr. BETTY leaves two sons, Mr. Reginald BETTY, who has a sweet shop where his father had his tailoring business, and Mr. Clifford BETTY, who emigrated to Canada, with his family, some years ago and who is principal of a school; two daughters, Mrs. D. JONES and Mrs. E. PENNY, who both live in Taunton.

The Funeral

The funeral service for Mr. BETTY took place on Thursday at St. John's Church, Staplegrove. The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. F. H. Cresswell HIGGS, assisted by the Vicar of St. Andrew's, the Rev. J. B. SQUIRE. Mr. T. G. MURRAY was at the organ and there were two hymns, 'On the Resurrection Morning' and 'Jesu, Lover of My Soul.'

Family mourners were: Mrs. B. E. BETTY (wife), Mr. R. J. BETTY (son), Mrs. D. JONES (daughter), Mrs. R. BETTY (daughter-in-law), Mr. D. JONES and Mr. E. PENNY (sons-in-law), Mr. R. BETTY (grandson), Mrs. G. TRUMP and Miss G. BETTY (granddaughters), Mr. A. BETTY (nephew), Mr. G. TRUMP (grandson-in-law), Mr. P. HARPER (granddaughter's fiance), Messrs. S. and C. TUCKER and F. BETTY (nephews), Mr. and Mrs. T. De CORPO (niece and husband) and Mrs. E. GILL.

Mr. C. BETTY (son) was unable to come from Canada and Mrs. E. PENNY (daughter) was unable to attend due to ill health.

Others present included: Mrs. S. EDWARDS, Mr. R. B. PEARSON, Miss F. MEADE, Miss N. CROSSLEY, Mrs. P. JONES (representing Mr. P. JONES), Mrs. Robert MILNE (representing Mr. R. MILNE), Mr. and Mrs. L. TRUMP, Mrs. D. M. PEARSE, Mrs. J. DAVIS, Mr. W. PEARSE, Mr. E. R. NEWTON (also representing Mrs. NEWTON), Mr. W. H. COX (Burnham), Miss G. BURROUGH (also representing Mr. W. GRAHAM, Burnham), Mr. A. D. BOWERMAN, Mr. F. J. VENNER.

List of Wreaths

The floral tributes were as follows: To dear Dad, 'Until the day break,' from Mum and the family; In loving memory of dear Dad from Cliff, Rene, Ronnie, Doreen, Diane and Keith, Canada; To Grandad, in loving memory, from Audrey, Roy, Anne and Robert, London; In loving memory of Uncle Fred from Vi, Harry, Fred and Marjorie, London; With deepest sympathy from Eve's Mum, Reg and Casey; In loving memory of Uncle Fred from Fred, Florence and family, Bridgwater; In loving memory of Uncle Fred from Elsie, Edd and Albert, Bridgwater; In loving memory of Uncle Fred from Reg and Glad; To dear Pop, in loving memory from Dave, Shirley and Derek; In loving memory of Uncle Fred from Kit, George and family, Bridgwater; In affectionate remembrance from Jackie, Georgie, Gerald and Paul; In affectionate remembrance from Ern; With deepest sympathy from Olive, Peter and children; With deepest sympathy from Bill, Ida and family, Burnham-on-Sea; With deepest sympathy from Mabel, Gertie and family; From Bet, Fred and Nigel; With deepest sympathy from George and family, Bournemouth; With sympathy from Louie, Doris and Gordon PERRY, Puriton; In loving memory from Vic, Molly and family; In loving memory, Ern, Lizzie and family, Bridgwater; In affectionate remembrance, Winnie, Gerry and Brenda; Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord – Ron and family, R.I.P.; Friends, Estelle and Len; Mary and Bob MILNE; Mr. and Mrs. S. ACLAND, Walford; Eddie; 'The Family' at 56, Greenway Crescent; Friends and neighbours, Greenway Crescent; The customers at the Cottage Inn, Kingston Road; Mr. and Mrs. MARTIN, Cottage Inn; D. E. and H. RANDLES and Elaine; Mr. and Mrs. H. SPEARING and family; V. and L. SPARKS; Margery, Bill and Janet (STEVENS); Mr. and Mrs. WEBBER and family; L. TRUMP and family; All at Rosebery Street; Alice and Ethel; Mrs. George. HOLDITCH; Harry and Frank, Wiveliscombe; Mrs. PEARSE and family and Gladys; M. and W. PARKER; Mr. and Mrs. D. FEAR; Mr. and Mrs. BEER.

Mrs. B. E. BETTY and family would like to thank all those who sent floral tributes and messages of sympathy in their bereavement; also the staff of Musgrove Park Hospital for their kind attention.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. W. FEAR & Son, Ltd., St. Andrew's Road, Taunton.


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