River and Mill at Kempston, c.1930 [Z205-56]
Tuesday 27th June 1916: An inquest has been held at the Kempston Council Room into the death of Mrs. Alice Maud Edginton, who was drowned at Kempston on Friday evening. Her husband Private John Edginton, a driver in the Motor Transport of the Army Service Corps billeted at Station Road, Bedford, gave evidence that he, another soldier, Private W. Forbes, and his wife had gone for a row to Kempston. As they started back between 8 and 8.30 p.m. Forbes got his oar caught in the weeds; as he leaned over to free it the boat capsized and Mrs. Edginton sank. When the two men got out on the Kempston side of the river the boat was upside down on the other side. A police constable said he had been called to Hill Grounds at about 10.30 p.m. The two soldiers were there wet through and told him what had happened. He informed Police Sergeant Church. and the river was dragged. The body was found at 1.30 a.m. Sergeant Church told the court the boat was in order and trustworthy. The oars were found the next morning; Mrs. Edginton’s hand bag, a little black dog that was with the party, and Forbes’s tunic were still missing. The Coroner said there was no doubt that the men had done their best to recover Mrs. Edginton, which was no doubt why there was a lapse in time before the police were called. The jury found that the soldier’s wife was accidentally drowned, and great sympathy was expressed for her husband.
Source: Bedfordshire Times, 30th June 1916