Date: 23 May 1944
Arthur Percy Driver died from cerebral haemorrhage following an incident at the Abington Park Hotel in Northampton.
An argument developed in the bar of the Abington Park Hotel on the night of 22 May 1944 after some elderly men became upset that their sons were in the forces while other men were not. The people involved then left the hotel and went to a park were the argument was finished without any blows being struck.
After the argument finished in the park, Arthur Driver and another man left and were followed by two men about 50 yards behind them.
Arthur Driver's friend said that after leaving the park they said goodnight to each other at Bouverie Street. The friend said that as he was about to go across Wellingborough Road, he heard a thud and said that when he turned to look, he saw Arthur Driver lying on the ground on his back. He said that one of the other men then ran up to him and blows were exchanged and that he knocked the man down.
A short while after a policeman came along and Arthur Driver regained consciousness and he was walked home by his friend and two soldiers.
The friend said that as they walked home Arthur Driver said nothing about being struck and thought that he must have fallen.
However, a girl said that she saw one of the younger men knock Arthur Driver down.
When the police were called to Arthur Driver's house at 24 Alfred Street in Northampton the following day, 23 May 1944, they found him dead on a couch in his living room.
The following day the police went to see the two younger men at their place of employment. When they were told that Arthur Driver had died, they admitted to being present when the incidents occurred and later made statements.
One of the men said that Arthur Driver had made no attempt to hit him in the park and that he had also not hit Arthur Driver either. He said that he had been walking down Wellingborough Road with the other man and that at the corner of Bouverie Street he had felt a touch on his shoulder and said that he turned to see that it was Arthur Driver and said that Arthur Driver then said to him, 'Are you all right now?' and that before he could reply Arthur Driver struck him on the side of the head. He said that he staggered backwards but recovered his balance and saw that Arthur Driver was lying on the ground. He said that it was possible that he had pushed him but said that he didn't strike him.
The doctor that examined Arthur Driver said that he had a long fracture on the right side of his skull, which he noted was thinner than normal, and a bruise and haemorrhage. He added that there was a further haemorrhage on the left side of his brain also as a result of his skull fracture. The doctor added that there was a further pontine haemorrhage at the back of his skull that was not in the line of force that had caused the main fracture and said that it was attributable to some other cause. The added that the other haemorrhage might have been caused by what was generally described as a stroke, brought about by drink, excitement and the upset of the evening.
An open verdict was returned at his inquest.
see Northampton Mercury - Friday 23 June 1944