The Inquest Opens


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The Coroner for Central Warwickshire E F Hadow, a photograph taken in 1930 when he was elected President of the Coroners Society of England and Wales. In 1938 he celebrated 30 years in the position by holding his 3,895th inquest. He was 72 years old at the time of George and Nellie's inquest.


The documentation into the double inquest, records for both George and Nellie:

Death was “Presumed to have taken place at 5 Abbey End, Kenilworth at 2.45 a.m., 21st November 1940...due to an explosion caused by an enemy land mine falling a few feet on the West side of 5 Abbey End”.

In the space allocated for, ‘If negligence or blame is alleged against any person, say whom’ was the entry “Yes. The enemy (Germans or Italians.)”

George and Nellie were insured by the Prudential Insurance Company. It was noted that their bodies were never recovered and were “Presumed to have been blown to pieces”.

The witnesses to be called were listed as:

Police Sergeant E H Bennett, of Kenilworth Police Office

Thomas Phillip Insall, 41 Arthur Street, Kenilworth

Horace Snape, 69 Grangemouth Road, Coventry

Sydney Warwick Clarke, 74 Windy Arbour, Kenilworth



Ernest Frederick Hadow was the son of Major General Hadow, ex Indian Army and resident of 'Fieldgate House'. In 1902 Ernest returned from a spell in Canada "almost a helpless cripple". He learned how to use a typewriter forcing his paralysed fingers onto the keys, and made an armchair cover requiring 3 million stitches. It was not until 1908 that he could walk 70 yards with the aid of two sticks. He became friends with the then Kenilworth Town Clerk and Coroner and, using his experience as a Magistrate in Canada, stepped in first temporarily then permanently into both positions in 1913. As Town Clerk, he was also the first Librarian in Kenilworth, issuing the books when the library first opened at the Council offices.

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 Ernest F Hadow in the early 1920s when he was Kenilworth Town Clerk, Kenilworth Librarian, District Coroner, and Vice President of the Working Men's Club. It seems he still needed at least one stick to walk any distance. At this time he lived at 'Streetley' in Southbank Road.