Patient Case Study: Whittaker, George

In-patient, 1857 (died)


Hospital Dorset County Hospital Patient type In-patient
Number 3904 Date admitted 6 May 1857
Name Whittaker, George Renewed
Age 28 Under whose care Mr. Tapp
Occupation Navigator Disease Comp[resse]d cranium. Fract[ure] of r[igh]t leg
Parish Maiden Newton Discharged 2 Jun 1857
Recommended by Admitted as accident case Outcome Died
Source Dorset History Centre, Dorset County Hospital in-patient admissions register 1847-59, NG/HH/DO(C)/5/2/1



  1. “ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY.–George Whittaker, a navvy engaged on the railway between this place [Bridport] and Maiden Newton, on Wednesday last sustained a compound communated fracture of the right leg by falling underneath the ballast waggons he was attending. He was conveyed to the Dorset County Hospital, and it was at one time thought amputation would have to be resorted to, but on our last inquiries he was going on favourably.” [Dorset County Chronicle, 14/05/1857, p. 8]
  1. “AMPUTATION. Of the Thigh. … Case 56.–The Dorset County : Mr. Curme. A navvy, aged 28, admitted with compound comminuted fracture of the leg. Secondary amputation on the eleventh day, on account of mortification. On the sixteenth day after the operation, all the ligatures having come away nearly a week before, a frightful attack of haemorrhage occurred (during the night), from the effects of which he sank the next day. On examination of the limb, it appeared that the bleeding had been from the femoral trunk.” [Statistical report of the principle operations performed during the year 1857. Medical Times & Gazette, 1858, new series, vol. 16, p. 351]
  1. “FATAL ACCIDENT. –An accident, which terminated fatally, happened on a branch line of the railway now in course of construction near Maden [sic] Newton, in Dorsetshire. John [sic] Whittaker (who is a native of Brompton, near Northallerton, Yorkshire) was engaged driving a ballast waggon on the above line, and while doing so the coupling chain broke and he jumped off the train, and fell. Before he could recover himself and gain his feet, an engine which was passing at the time, run over his leg and broke it in two places.  The unfortunate individual was taken to the Dorset Infirmary, and amputation was found necessary. The unfortunate man lingered from the 7th of May, when the accident took place, until the 2nd, when he died. Deceased was a steady, industrious man, and very much respected by his fellow-workmen, great numbers of whom attended his interment at Maden Newton. At the conclusion of the funeral ceremony, the clergyman delivered an appropriate address to the numerous company that had assembled to pay their last respects to the memory of the deceased.” [York Herald, 20/06/1857, p. 8]
  1. George Whittaker, aged 28, of Maiden Newton, buried on 7 Jun 1857 at Maiden Newton. [Dorset History Centre, Maiden Newton burial register, PE/MAD: RE4/1, p. 73, entry 580]