Walter Hasland and the Runaway Horse - Infirmary Road, Sheffield - January 1935

The 1911 Census took place on Sunday 2nd April 1911 and one of the many people who completed it was ARTHUR HASLAND of Martin Street Sheffield

Arthur and his wife Eliza had three sons ARTHUR, WALTER and ERNEST and lived in a two-up two-down house in Marin Street. The house was demolished many years ago and rather surprisingly photographs of the area are not common. The following photograph was taken in the early 1950's and shows Martin Street in the background.

As with many working class families, details of their lives are sparse. Arthur and Eliza did have another son JOHN in 1916 but beyond that I cannot find any further information about the family until the following report appeared in The Times dated 23rd January 1935.

 

The Manchester Guardian carried a similar report on the same day but it also contained additional information

The shop window that Walter and his girlfriend Nellie were standing in front of when the horse crashed into them belonged to Blanchards. It was not really a drapers chop but more of a store - it was a sizeable concern. The building still survives today but in a much-altered form.

The Manchester Guardian dated 25th January 1935 carried a report of the inquest that was held into the death of Walter

 

 When you read the reports of the accident and the subsequent inquest, one thing stands out. The Times reported that "the drayman was adjusting the slipper brake on the back wheel when the horse dashed away" and the Manchester Guardian "the driver of the van was trying to apply the skid brake in Albert Terrace Road when the horse bolted". Both infer that the drayman (Mr. Ernest Howard) was actively engaged in controlling the horse and cart by engaging the slipper or skid brake on the rear wheel. In fact the Guardian report specifically states "the driver of the van was trying to apply the skid brake .... when the horse bolted"

But when he gave evidence at the inquest he (Mr. Ernest Howard) said that "the horse and dray were standing in a drive to a works when the horse WALKED out of the drive and commenced to gallop down the road. He did not hear or see anything which could have caused the horse to bolt."

The initial reports and the evidence at the inquest are not consistent with one another. The former states that Mr. Ernest Howard was trying to engage a slipper brake when the horse bolted whilst the latter states the horse bolted of its own accord after it had walked out of the drive. Clearly the cause of the accident was the failure of the drayman to secure the horse and cart in the first place. If either had been secured secured the horse would not have bolted. But the inquest rightly or wrongly completely exonerated Ernest Howard and returned a verdict of accidental death

Walter is buried in Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.

HASLAND, Walter (Silver Stamper, age 26).
Died at Royal Infirmary; Buried on January 28, 1935 in General ground;
Grave Number 1698, Section KK of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, W Carter: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

His parents were to live to be both 80 years of age before they died in what is now Sheffield's Northern General Hospital. They died within a month of one another, and now lie in peace alongside their son Walter

HASLAND, Arthur (Married, age 80).
Died at Fir Vale Infirmary; Buried on February 6, 1963 in General ground;
Grave Number 1698, Section KK of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

HASLAND, Eliza (widow, age 80).
Died at Fir Vale Infimary; Buried on March 11, 1963 in General ground;
Grave Number 1698, Section KK of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

Walter's fiancÚ did make a recovery from the injuries she suffered inasmuch as I cannot find any record of her death in the months following the tragedy. The records show that a Nellie Moody did get married in Sheffield in the late 1930's - early 1940's but to date I have not been able to narrow it down.

As an aside this is not the first time that a horse bolted in Infirmary Road leading to a loss of life. Eighty seven years earlier a tragic accident occurred that lead to the deaths of Mr and Mrs Mark Maughan. The scene of this tragedy was just yards from where Walter Hasland met his death outside Blanchard's shop window

Sources

UK Census

The Times dated 23rd January 1935

The Manchester Guardian dated 23rd and 25th January 1935 

The Sheffield Indexers

This page was last updated on 15/09/14 14:45

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