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Rushden Echo, 30th March 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins
Thomas Sabey Dixon
Rushden Footballer Fatally Hurt
Accident Caused by Cat or Bright Headlight?

The Inquest at Kettering

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
Courtesy of Rushden Museum
A young Rushden motor-cyclist, Thomas Sabey Dixon, well known as a footballer, was found lying fatally injured by the side of his motor-cycle at Cranford turn, near Kettering, on Saturday night. He did not recover consciousness, and, as it seems no one witnessed the accident, the exact cause of his fatal throw was a mystery. This was not entirely cleared up at the inquest at Kettering Hospital on Monday, when it was suggested that the fall might have been due to a cat on the road or to the bright headlights of a car.

Mr. J. T. Parker was the Coroner, and Mr. W. H. Baker was elected foreman of the jury. Inspector Jones represented the police.

Dr. G. M. Fox, house surgeon at the hospital, said deceased was admitted on Saturday night, between ten and eleven o'clock, apparently suffering from a fracture at the base of the skull and cracked ribs. The lungs were also injured. Deceased was unconscious. Death occurred at 8.25 p.m. on Sunday without Dixon regaining consciousness.

Harry Sturgess Dixon, factory foreman, 31, Denmark-road, Rushden, identified the body as that of his son, aged 23. He last saw his son all right at five o'clock on Saturday afternoon. Witness next saw him at the hospital. His son was a shoe operative and a fairly experienced rider, having ridden this particular machine for nearly twelve months.

Leonard Flanders Partridge, baker, 24, Finedon-road, Burton Latimer, stated that on Saturday evening he was riding a motorcycle from Kettering to Burton Latimer. At about 10.20 p.m., when he was near the Barton Seagrave filling station, close to the Cranford turn, he saw a motor car coming from the direction of Cranford. Witness stopped near the filling station to let the car get by. He then saw a motor-cycle coming from the direction of Kettering, and it

Passed the Car All Right.

Witness expected the motor-cycle would overtake him, but it did not, and he concluded the rider had stopped for some petrol. Later he heard about the accident, and, going back, he saw deceased injured in the roadway. He was quite sure the car did not have anything to do with the accident. The motor cyclist passed clear of the car. Witness had seen a cat on the road. Witness only missed it by about a yard. The cat was walking along the middle of the road and did not run away when witness passed.

In reply to Inspector Jones, witness said he did not meet any other car near the scene of the accident.

A juryman asked if the headlights of the car could have dazzled the motor-cyclist in any way.

Witness: The car had bright headlights and might possibly have had something to do with it. The car was speeding pretty "tidy."

Lewis Timson, motor-'bus proprietor, Finedon-street, Burton Latimer, said that at 10.15 p.m. he was conductor on a 'bus proceeding from Kettering to Burton Latimer, and his driver attracted his attention to something lying in the road, near Cranford turn. The 'bus was stopped, and witness found deceased lying about three yards away from the grass. His motor-cycle lay several yards away. Deceased was bleeding profusely from the mouth and ears. Witness stopped an oncoming car, and the hospital and police were communicated with. Witness's 'bus also went on to Burton Latimer for assistance. Witness stayed with deceased until he was removed to the hospital. He and others lifted the man on to a cushion and removed him from the road.

P.C. Garlick, Burton Latimer, said he examined the road and found skid marks of a bicycle quite close to the grass. The marks then went diagonally across the road for 24 feet. He could also see where the foot-rests had cut into the tarmac. There was a pool of blood 26 feet from where the skid started. The motor-cycle was practically uninjured. The brakes were in excellent order.

The Coroner said deceased must have applied his brakes and caused the accident. The only doubt was what made him skid.

A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned by the jury, who expressed sympathy with the parents.

The Funeral

took place on Wednesday at Rushden Cemetery, the Rev. P. E. Robson, R.D. officiating. Mr. Arthur Sanders carried out the arrangements. The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. H. Dixon (father and mother), Mr. and Mrs. G. Dickerson (brother-in-law and sister), Petty Officer A. D. Mepham, R.N.V., and Mrs. Mepham (brother-in-law and sister), Clara, Kitty, Cyril, and Philip Dixon (brothers and sisters), Mrs. B. Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Dixon, Mr. and Mrs. F. Dixon, Mrs. Readyhoff, Mrs. Fowkes, of Gretton. [continues]

Jean Jackson (nee Waller) tells us this was her uncle Tom, and he was on trip to Gretton to collect a green dress for her mother, (his sister Kit) from an aunt. After this accident, Jean says her mother never wore green again regarding it as "bad luck".

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