Date: 8 Jan 1943
Frederick James Pollington was knocked over by a vehicle.
He had been cycling along the Bury Road at Newmarket towards Bury St Edmunds at about 8.30am on 7 January 1943 when he was run into by an army van which was one of two vehicles that had apparently just passed a third van.
Frederick Pollington was taken to the White Lodge Hospital suffering from serious injuries and died the following day, 8 January 1943. A doctor that treated him said that Frederick Pollington was conscious when he was admitted to the hospital and had told him that he had been run over but didn't know by what. He said that his condition was good until the following day when he suddenly collapsed and died at 12.45pm. He said that his death was due to shock and multiple injuries.
The vans involved didn't stop and it was not known who had been driving them. At his inquest, two representatives of the American Forces were present.
Frederick Pollington had been employed by Messrs. Coulson and Son, builders, in Cambridge and had lived at 17 Hamilton Terrace, Exning Road in Newmarket. His wife said that he had left home on the Thursday morning at about 8am to go to work and had been in his usual good health.
A labourer that lived in Swaffham Road in Burwell said that he had been cycling along Bury Road with Frederick Pollington, coming from Newmarket at about 8.20am on 7 January 1943. He said that when they saw two lorries approaching, they got into single file. He said that he was cycling in front and had his dynamo lighting set on although noted that he could not say whether Frederick Pollington had had his lights on. He said that the two lorries then started to pass other traffic on the road and came too far across the road and that the cloth covering of one of the lorries struck him in the face and that he then heard a crash behind him and then saw Frederick Pollington lying on the left-hand footpath.
He said that the front wheel of his bicycle was broken off.
He said that the two lorries were both military vehicles and apparently American and had bright lights and had been travelling too fast. He added that they didn't stop.
Another person at the inquest said that in their opinion the driver of the lorry involved must have known that they had hit something.
A Post Office engineer who lived at Stanley House Lodge on Bury Road said that he had been walking along the Bury Road towards Newmarket when two lorries passed him very close to their off side, not more than 18 inches from the curb. He said that the first lorry missed a cyclist but that the second lorry hit a cyclist behind. He said that the lorries were travelling not less than 35mph and were of American type.
He said that he could see both of the cyclists quite well when they were 100 yards away and said that the collision was due to the careless way in which the lorries were being driven. He added that he thought that the first driver had seen the cyclist, but not the second.
A flight-sergeant that also witnessed the incident said that he had been walking along the Bury Road and had seen two miniature searchlights. He said that there was then a crash and that the lorries then passed him.
A policeman that arrived at the scene said that Frederick Pollington's bicycle was badly damaged and looked as if a vehicle had passed over its rear wheel. He noted that the road was 28 feet wide.
The police said that enquiries were made, and an appeal was broadcast to trace the drivers of the vehicles, but with no results.
At the conclusion of the inquest the coroner said that it was impossible to identify the vehicle involved and as such, they only had one side of the story. However, he added that there could be no doubt that there had been a considerable degree of negligence on the part of the drivers of the two vehicles although noted that there was not sufficient evidence to form an opinion as to whether the cause of death was accidental or criminal, and returned an open verdict.
see Bury Free Press - Saturday 13 February 1943
see Bury Free Press - Saturday 16 January 1943