Date: 19 Dec 1939
Place: Waterloo, London
Charles William Eric Fogg fell in front of a Northern Line tube train at Waterloo on Wednesday 19 December 1939.
He was the director of the BBC Empire service, having been appointed as the Empire Music Director in 1934.
It was heard that Charles Fogg was extremely cheerful earlier on on the Tuesday and was off to Bournemouth where he was to be married on 22 December 1939. It was said that as he drove away in a taxi for the station he smiled and waved his hand. A BBC official said, 'There seemed to be every reason for him to be the happiest man possible'.
A boy that was standing about 20 yards from him said that he saw Charles Fogg fall in front of the train, saying that he didn't run or jump, but just fell. He said that he was at the end of the platform and that he just went straight forward. When the Coroner asked the boy if he saw anything to make Charles Fogg fall, he said 'No'. The boy then said, 'He was walking about a little bit and I could not be sure, but I think he saw the train and then fell over'. He added that he didn't think that Charles Fogg had been looking at the destination board at the time he fell.
When the Coroner asked the boy whether it looked to him as though Charles Fogg had fallen purposely, the boy said that it did. He said, 'He was not bent at all, he was stiff when he fell. He might have felt giddy of faint, but he did not jump'.
The driver of the tube train said that he didn't see Charles Fogg on the platform. He said, 'The first thing I saw was the body of a man with his hands outstretched, diving towards the train. I then felt an impact'. He said that it happened a few feet from the tunnel as he was going to brake on entering the tunnel. When the Coroner asked the driver whether he saw Charles Fogg jump, he said, 'I did not see him jump at all. I only saw him in front of the train'.
The station master said that it was not usual for passengers to be at the end of the platform where Charles Fogg fell. After he had fallen, his umbrella and hat were found on the platform.
A policeman found rail tickets for Manchester, Bournemouth and Pinner in his pocket and said that the Bournemouth ticket had been issued that day.
The Coroner’s inquest saw plans of the station that had been prepared that showed the 'suicide pit' that ran the whole length of the platform under the gauge rail of the train. The draughtsman that had prepared the plans said that the 'suicide pit' was primarily to save delay. He said that before they had the pit it took a long time to clear the line and locate the body when anyone fell under the train. It was also noted that the effect of the pit would be to try to save the life of anyone that fell under the train.
When his friends and relatives gave evidence, thy all said that they could see of no reason why he would want to commit suicide.
He had stayed at a friend’s flat the night before, and the friend said that he had seemed in the best of spirits all the time. His friend also noted that he had never known him to have fainting attacks.
When an open verdict was returned the Coroner said, 'Having heard the evidence I feel there is some doubt as to how this accident happened'.
Charles Fogg had lived on Anson Road in Fallowfield, Manchester.
see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Friday 22 December 1939
see Manchester Evening News - Friday 22 December 1939
see Torbay Express and South Devon Echo - Friday 22 December 1939