The Tragic Fatality at Lower House Farm Part 1

Not all family tree stories are filled with happiness and joy, take the tragic incident that occurred in 1920 at The Lower House Farm in Byford and the tragic shooting and killing of a six year old boy.

The following incident was reported in the Hereford Journal of 7th August 1920

Terrible Fatality at Byford

Little Boy Accidentally Killed by Shot Gun

Hereford Farmhouse Tragedy


A great sensation has been caused in the Village of Byford, near Hereford, by the tragic death today of a little boy on a visit to Lower House Farm.

It appears that the lad was accidentally shot by another boy who was climbing over a wall and came into contact with a shotgun which had been left there.

A terrible fatality occurred at Byford on Thursday evening, by which Alfred Arthur Gregson, a little boy aged Six years, was instantly killed.

With his Mother, he was on a visit to Mr. John Wootton’s Lower House Farm, Byford and he was filling a bucket with water, at the pump, when a loaded gun, which had been left lying on a wall not far away, was discharged accidentally by another boy who happened to climb the wall at that particular spot. the shot entered Gregson’s head and caused instant death. The report of the gun caused alarm, which was increased to consternation on the poor little fellow being found lying dead.

The sad facts have been reported by P.C. Williams of Staunton-on-Wye, to the County Coroner and an inquest will be held.

The tragic occurrence caused a great sensation in the Bridge Sollers and Preston-on-Wye Districts and much sympathy is felt for the bereaved and parents and all concerned.

What a sad and tragic tale this is.


John Wootton is my 2 x Great grand Uncle, seen here in this picture, the picture is kindly provided by Avril French

John Henry Wootton abt

Subsequent  newspaper articles cover the coroners inquest into the tragic circumstances of this accident and how the gun was accidentally and inadvertently fired.









John Henry Wootton sadly died on 3rd November 1946 from falling from an apple tree…….its a strange old world.

The above newspaper articles were kindly sent to me by my Cousin, Carol Barber

Please see my regular blog for Family Tree Magazine Here



9 thoughts on “The Tragic Fatality at Lower House Farm Part 1

  1. There are 3 tragedies here: The death of a young child by the carelessness of the gun’s owner and the inadvertent trip/fall of a thirteen year old boy.
    No mother or father expects their child to predecease them. It jars the senses and what contradicts what we believe to be the natural sequence of events. Parents predecease their children, except, rarely, when they don’t. It is hard enough for a parent when our child dies of some complex medical condition -one not preventable, but far more jarring when the ‘accident’ could and should have been prevented. No parent forgets the death of their child- whether the child dies in infancy or in adulthood.
    The trauma for the 13 year old most likely haunted him throughout his life time. The same could be said of the gun’s owner who could have placed the gun out of reach but did not.
    Sadly, foresight is always better than hindsight just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Liked by 1 person

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