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Loftus Wilfrid WHITEHEAD

Loftus Wilfrid WHITEHEAD

Male 1896 - 1960  (~ 64 years)    Has 115 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.


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  • Name Loftus Wilfrid WHITEHEAD 
    Relationshipwith Teresa Ann GOATHAM
    Born Sep Q 1896  Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • GRO ref: Whitehead, Loftus Wilfrid q3 1896 Milton RD 2a 872; GRO online index shows mother's maiden name as Goatham
    Gender Male 
    Occupation General labourer 
    1911 
    Military Service WW1 
    1918  France See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • In France at the time his father died in July 1918 but unable to return home for the funeral.
    Residence to 1960  Borden Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • Noted in report of his death.
    Died Cause: Suicide - threw himself in front of a train 
    29 Jul 1960  Railway Bridge, Bobbing, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • GRO ref: WHITEHEAD, Loftus W q3 1960 aged 64 Sittingbourne RD 5b 665

      Loftus' death was described in a newspaper report of the inquest that followed:
      "Feared that Police were After Him
      A Milton railway worker told the County Coroner (Mr. W. J. Harris) at an inquest in Sittingbourne Town Hall on Tuesday how he saw 63-year-old Loftus Wilfred Whitehead, a bachelor, of Borden Lane, Sittingbourne, throw himself on to the railway line at Bobbing bridge early on Friday morning, straight in the path of an electric train.
      A verdict of suicide while the balance of the mind was disturbed was recorded. Whitehead's body was so badly mutilated in the accident that it was not until late in the afternoon that police officers were able to trace his identity by means of a laundry mark on a handkerchief.
      The railway worker, who was complimented by Mr. Harris on the way he gave his evidence, was Mr. Ronald Stanley Higgins, a lengthman, of Saffron Way. He said he was working at Mackelden's foot-crossing near the bridge when his attentin was drawn by the man he was protecting to another man on the bridge, who was behaving suspiciously.
      "We walked towards the bridge, but he disappeared over the side. When we were about 60 feet away from the bridge a train passed us and we saw the man go down the embankment and straight on to the line. It looked like an intentional act and there seemed no question of him running down the bank and not being able to stop," added Mr. Higgins.
      Mr. Whitehead's nephew, Mr. Albert Goatham [son of Loftus' late (half-)brother Albert George Goatham], of Bush House, Bredgar, who gave evidence of indentification,  said that the deat man was a reitred motor fitter.
      "I last saw him three days before his death, when he seemed about the same as usual . . . he was always a joker and leg-puller and you could never take too much notice of what he said, but one or two remarks seemed a bit strange.
      "He seemed worried because he was out late after a day at the races and said that the police were after him. I told him that was nonsense," said Mr. Goatham.
      Medical evidence came from Dr. John Leslie Dales, consultant pathologist to the Medway and Gravesend Hospital Group, who said that the body was disintegrated by multiple injuries. As far as it was possible to tell, nothing was revealed in the post mortem examination that led him to believe that Mr. Whitehead had a heart attack, though his heart condition was fairly bad.
      "Rather a recluse"
      Dr. Robert Keith Rowntree said he had attended Mr. Whitehead for three years, since he was taken to hospital with coal gas poisoning and underwent three months' treatment. He was discharged from hospital under police protection.
      "He was somewhat of a recluse and a little bizarre and he was a rather solitary and lonely man. I had the impression that he had no close family ties. When I saw him in May
      [2nd col]
      his mental condition seemed to be fairly good. His home was comfortable for a man living on his own.
      Dr. Rowntree told the Coroner that Mr. Whitehead had been worried for some time because he was deaf.
      Miss Edith Mary Mannooch, of Park Road, Sittingbourne, said she had known Mr. Whitehead through her sister, who looked after him at her own bungalow in Borden Lane. On her death in 1955 she left the property to him and he had lived there on his own since that time.
      "On Thursday he came to our house  at about 10.30 in the evening. We were surprised to see him as it was the first time in two years.
      "He said that the police were coming for him next day and asked us to help him by puttingup bail. He said he had not done anything, but he had heard everyone talking about what was going to happen. He thought he had seen a welfare officer call next door to his house and say : 'We won't disturb him now, we'll go in the morning.'
      "He was worried because his garden was becoming overgrown. We advised him to see the welfare officer in the morning and we quite thought that was what he intended to do," went on Miss Mannooch.
      Driver's evidence
      The driver of the train, which left Sittingbourne station at 7.20 for Cannon Street, Mr. Albert Henry Saunders, of Abingdon Street, Ramsgate, said he knew the line very well and had been in charge of trains along it since 1919.
      He twice sounded the whistle near the bridge and as he went under it he thought he noticed a slight movement. He was not sure what it was, but put it down to a cat or some form of wild life. He felt no impact.
      "The next stop was at Chatham, where I got out to wipe the windscreen. As I went to do so I noticed a man's tie on the front of the train, but there were no signs of blood. I then had a sinking feeling that I might have hit someone earlier on."
      The scene of the incident was described by P.C. Brian Reynolds, who said he found the body badly mutilated on the lince at 8 a.m. On the bridge was a cycle later indentified as Mr. Whitehead's.
      Clothing was scattered along the line and he found two pocket handkerchiefs, some keys, a £1 note and a case containing glasses. One of the handkerchiefs had a faint laundry mark on it which was traced to Miss Mannooch. The body was identified when it was learned that she had loaned him the handkerchief some time ago.
      "There were no notes at home indicating that he intended to take his life," said P.C. Reynolds, who told the Coroner that on 12 August, 1957, Mr. Whitehead appeared before Sittingbourne magistrates on a charge of attempting to commit suicide by inhaling coal gas. After a medical report he was place on probation for a year.
      Mr. Harris said the previous history was not a good one from the mental angle, and it was very significant that Mr. Whitehead was going around during the last day before his death with a very odd story about being afraid the police were following him.
      Mr. Whitehead is survived by two brothers living in Essex."
      (from East Kent Gazette, 5 August 1960, p.1, col.8-9)
    Coroner’s Inquest 2 Aug 1960  The Town Hall, Sittingbourne, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4189  All | England: Kent Group (in Go(a)tham One-Name Study), All in the Goatham / Gotham One-Name Study , The descendants (and other halves) of George Goatham and Ann née Winch, The descendants (and other halves) of John Prior and Amy née Reynolds, The descendants (and other halves) of Richard Whitehead and Mary née Grigsby
    Last Modified 1 Apr 2019 

    Father William George WHITEHEAD,   b. Jun Q 1857, Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1918, Traverse Cottage, Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Mother Maria Ann GOATHAM,   b. Jun Q 1857, Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun Q 1927, Milton Reg Dist, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Married 12 Nov 1884  St. John the Baptist Church, Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • GRO ref: Goatham, Maria Ann to Whitehead, William George q1 1885 Milton RD 2a 973
      Details from PR entry (image on FMP, viewed 4 April 2019)
    Children 6 children 
    Family ID F340    |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Sep Q 1896 - Bredgar, Kent, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - WW1 - 1918 - France See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
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