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Norfolk Newspapers
Norwich Mercury

Extracts from January 19th 1867


An INQUEST was held on Monday evening in this village, by the Coroner for the Hundred of Clackclose, on the body of Mr. George Aylmer, jun., who was on the morning of that day accidentally drowned in the Lake at Stradsett Park. The particulars of this most melancholy event are briefly these. Mr. Aylmer with two young ladies, his relatives, had walked down to the Lake in the expectation of enjoying a little exercise in skating. The previous night had been intensely severe, the thermometer reaching down to zero, and the morning was bright and beautiful. The ice however, in the middle of the lake, through which the water is always more or less current, especially towards the outfall, was scarcely more than an inch in thickness. The unfortunate gentleman seems to have been unaware of this circumstance, and a slight fall of snow occurring at the time covered the surface, and concealed the danger. He was suddenly precipitated into the water. One of his companions (and there were no other persons on the lake) ran immediately for help, whilst the other, Miss Wright, of Runcton, stood nobly by him, and most heroically aided him in sustaining himself in the water for at least twenty minutes until she herself was at length immersed with him. Meanwhile a rope was brought, and thrown to Miss Wright, by which she was extricated; but Mr. Aylmer it seems was too exhausted to seize and hold the same when extended to himself. He sank to the bottom. Although at least ten persons were now present, it does not seem to have occurred to any one of them to fasten the rope to himself, and plunge in to the rescue of the drowning man. Mr. Aylmer's loss at 34 years of age, though so young a man, will be long deplored in Fincham by his clergyman and the poor, as well as by his family and friends, but more especially by his most estimable wife. It may be said of him truly that he was "just and devout," a most consistent and steady member of the congregation of St. Martin's Church in Fincham, and an honour, by his good example, to the parish in which he resided.
See also Other Extracts from Norfolk Newspapers.

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Copyright © Pat Newby
January 2008