HC Deb 17 July 1888 vol 328 cc1530-1
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been called to the following paragraph in The Western Morning News of the 10th instant, describing the death of Engine-room Artificer John Gidley, on board the Racoon on the previous Saturday:— Fires were lighted at noon on Friday, and three hours afterwards there were general complaints of the heat in the stokehold. The first watch (in which was Gidley) should have been relieved at 4 o'clock, but orders were given for the first and second watches to remain below until the trial was over. Between 5 and 6 Gidley was relieved for a few minutes to get his tea. He looked very hot. Returning to his duties he remained below until 7 o'clock. Almost immediately afterwards he ran and jumped about the mess and decks in a mad state for a few minutes, and then, rushing aft, fell on his back on the deck in the steerage. He was afterwards removed to the upper deck, where he expired at 2.30 the next morning; whether the above report is correct; and, whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into the causes of Mr. Gidley's death, and take such measures as may be necessary to prevent a recurrence of such fatalities?


I regret to say that it is the case that Engine-room Artificer Gidley died on board the Racoon on the 7th instant, of heat apoplexy. The detailed reports have not yet reached the Admiralty; so I am unable to say whether the circumstances, as stated by The Western Morning News, are correct. The matter will be fully inquired into, and will receive full consideration from the Admiralty.