Date: 22 Aug 1949
William R Doonan died from a fractured skull.
He came home from work on Saturday 20 August 1949 and told his wife that he had hurt his head and was later taken to Hammersmith Hospital where he died on Monday 29 August 1949.
William Doonan had worked for the Ministry of Works as a painter and his wife said that he had previously suffered from headaches. She said that after he was taken to the hospital after coming home from work on the Saturday saying his head hurt, that he told her that he had slipped off a kerb but that on another occasion he had told her that he had fallen off a bus.
A doctor at Hammersmith Hospital said that William Doonan was admitted in a confused state and gave no satisfactory reason for his head injury.
He said that when he examined William Doonan he found that he had concussion and that when he was later seen by a neurologist on 29 August 1949, an operation on his skull was advised. The doctor said that preparations for the operation were made but that he died before the operation could be started.
He added that an x-ray examination of his head had revealed no fracture.
However, the pathologist that carried out his post-mortem stated that his death was due to a fractured skull.
The works superintendent at the Ministry of Works where William Doonan worked said that he had made inquiries with the staff that William Doonan worked with but could not ascertain that William Doonan had had any accidents in the previous fortnight.
After hearing the evidence, the inquest returned an open verdict, stating that his death was due to an injury sustained in circumstances not disclosed by the evidence.
William Doonan had lived in Bramley Road, North Kensington.
see West London Observer - Friday 09 September 1949