Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grace Pilgrim dies in "Sensational Buggy Accident"

Grace Edith Pilgrim
27 Nov 1882 - 4 Jun 1914


Source: www.trove.gov.au

SENSATIONAL BUGGY ACCIDENT

MRS ALBERT JAS. PILGRIM KILLED

VEHICLE COLLIDES WITH STUMP

A painful sensation was caused at Winiam on Thursday last when the news was circulated that Grace Edith Pilgrim, wife of Mr Albert James Pilgrim, a well-known and popular farmer, had been thrown out of a buggy and killed as a result of the horses bolting and the vehicle colliding with a stump.  About 1pm Mr Pilgrim, accompanied by his wife and little child, left home in a buggy and were driving one horse which was quiet and another that was a spirited animal and known to have bolted on a previous occasion.  After driving for half a mile the horses for some reason bolted and got completely out of control.  After galloping a good distance they got off the road and, before negotiating a deep rut, Mr Pilgrim made a desperate attempt to turn the animals, when he was violently participated over the side of the buggy on to the road, but beyond a sprained ankle and some minor abrasions did not sustain serious injury.
The little boy, aged 4, was thrown out a couple of chains (a chain = about 20 metres) further on and fortunately sustained no serious injury, thus leaving Mrs Pilgrim the sole occupant of the vehicle.  The terrified horses were now galloping at a great pace and, swerving off the road, the vehicle was dashed against a stump and Mrs Pilgrim, who was crouching in the buggy, was in an instant thrown over the splash board on to the pole and appeared to become entangled in the turntable and after being dragged for a chain, fell to the ground.  The bolting horses, with the buggy, of which one wheel was smashed, still kept on and did not come to a standstill until they reached the paddock gate.
Mr Pilgrim by this time had picked up the child, ran up to where his wife lay, and found her unconscious and bleeding from the ears and mouth.  After taking the little boy to his sister's place he informed Mr Charles J Wholers of the occurrence, and the latter dispatched his son post haste to Nhill for Dr Shanasy.
Mr Wholers quickly drove to the scene of the accident and found Mrs Pilgrim still breathing.  She was lifted into the buggy, driven to her home, and put to bed.  Mrs Pilgrim never spoke after being thrown out of the vehicle.
Dr Shanasy rapidly motored out and, upon making an examinations, found no sign of life.  The doctor ascertained that the bones in the neck were fractured and dislocated and there were also wounds on the scalp.
It is surmised that the fracture and dislocation of the bones in the neck, which caused death, was caused through the head coming in contact with the spokes of the wheel.
A Coroner's inquiry was held before Mr John Young, JP, deputy coroner, on Friday, when a verdict was returned that the death of Grace Edith Pilgrim was caused by horses bolting in a buggy and throwing the deceased out on to the road.
The late Mrs Pilgrim was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs F.W. Day, of Nhill, and was born at Dow Well in 1883.  Her kind, lovable disposition made her a general favorite with all.  Deceased was greatly attached to her children and husband, and was in every way a model wife.  Deceased leaves four children, namely;-
Linda Florence 10, Roy Frederick 9, Myrtle Grace 7 and Albert Clarence, 4.  The greatest sympathy is felt right through the district for the motherless children and bereaved husband.
The remains were interred in the Winiam cemetery on Saturday afternoon when the funeral was very largely attended.  The Rev L Walton, of the Methodist Church, conducted an impressive service at the graveside.  Messrs John Allen and Son and had charge of the mortuary arrangements.
----------



Grace Pilgrim: My Grandmother left me detailed notes on the back of her cards and photos

Winiam Cemetery
2009

This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday.  Please click for more posts


34 comments:

  1. What a sad story and those poor youngsters being deprived of their mother so young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is very sad. Other reports indicated that all children were in the buggy but this one seems to be more thorough and from the inquest so I tend to believe it.

      Delete
  2. Now-a-days, so aware of the lives saved by seatbelts preventing people from being thrown about or out of vehicles, one has to wonder if some such might have saved Grace's life? Or if she hadn't crouched down but instead, stayed upward and been thrown clear of the wagon as her husband and son were? But I think I would have crouched down too, thinking it the safest way to NOT be thrown. However one looks at it, it is just a very sad story. I hope her husband & children were able to recover from their sorrow & go on to good lives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I think I would have crouched down too.

      Yes from all accounts, they recovered well. My Grandmother spoke very fondly about Roy and Clarrie.

      Delete
  3. She was beautiful. What a horrible ordeal that had to have been in those minutes that must have felt like hours. How helpless her poor husband must have felt too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the first picture was actually a drawing from a photo. She does look beautiful in it.

      Reading the article, it seems to me that he took Clarrie to his sisters place so he wouldn't see his mother in that condition?

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Yes very sad. I wondered what happened to the troublesome horse?

      Delete
  5. Sad story. It makes me wonder how many people were killed in buggy and wagon accidents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same year, another relative (by marriage) was killed in a similar buggy accident but the inquest findings and reports were very gruesome regarding the condition of the deceased.

      Delete
  6. How tragic! Is that Grace in both photographs? If so, she looks very different, and seems older than 32 in the smiling photo, but still lovely. Or is that your grandmother, the conscientious note maker?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gran was very accurate with her descriptions on cards so I am certain that it would be Grace Pilgrim in the second card too. The first one is a drawing from a photo and I would think was done when she was younger. It would have been a tough life as a farmers wife and many of the women look older in photos than they were. In one of my grandmother's photos, my Great Grandmother looks to be in her mid 60s but according to the date on the back, she was 47!

      Delete
  7. Such a sad story. I wonder how poor little Albert Clarence felt about again riding in a horse-drawn buggy after losing his mother in such a traumatic way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They Pilgrim's were a tough bunch but very family orientated!

      Delete
  8. We forget that transport accidents were common even then. A very sad story, but what a wonderful ancestor your grandmother was,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I silently thank Gran a lot! If only I could be as good and label all my photos as thoroughly with extra personal details and not just names!

      Delete
  9. Such a sad story. How awful for her husband and her children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine that Linda had to grow up very quickly and take on a lot of responsibility.

      Delete
  10. Grace's husband must have been devastated because he was the driver. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I imagine it must have been a very difficult time for the family. Bert did not remarry.

      Delete
  11. Sharon I nominated you for this award http://ancestorchaser.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/lovely-blog-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kerryn. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  12. A sad story indeed. I can always remember that a chain is the length of a cricket pitch (22 yards)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I was not precise! Well now I know how long a cricket pitch is!

      Delete
  13. Oh my goodness, so sad. For them hitting a stump back then would be like running into a Mack Truck today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a car hitting a stump would be in trouble......but a buggy would be worse!

      Delete
  14. Such a beautiful portrait of Grace and then such a sad story,. We forget that there might not have been as many the vehicles on the road as today, but there were still significant hazards in travelling. A very moving post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sue. We unfortunately had a number of vehicle accidents in the family in times gone past.

      Delete
  15. How very sad. I have read quite a few stories about people being killed and injured in similar circumstances. This was a particularly awful incident though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel that it is made worse as the young son experienced it too. What a terrible last memory about his mother!

      Delete
  16. G'day, I enjoyed this post which I have included in GeniAus' Gems this week at http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/gags-geniaus-gems-17-october-2014.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Jill. I enjoyed reading many of the other blogs on your list too, Thank you

      Delete
  17. Fascinating story about life in the day. Very sad for the family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting and reading.

      Delete