Old Haslingfield in the News – Tragic Accident in the School Holidays
At the beginning of the 20th century the school holidays in Cambridgeshire schools coincided with the period of harvest time, and many local pupils were employed to help bring it in. Percy Barnard was eleven in August 1918 when local farmer Mr. Watson employed him to lead the horses in one of his fields. Percy was leading a horse and cart loaded with corn down a slope when the horse bolted, and the cart seemingly ran over the boy. Dr. Young of Harston was summoned to the boy’s house immediately, but found no evidence of external injury. Sadly Percy had suffered severe internal injuries, and died the next day. A witness thought that the horse rather than the cart had inflicted the damage, and tragically the boy died the next day.
The coroner’s jury recorded a verdict of accidental death, with no blame attaching to anyone.