Neck broken in the dentist’s chair, and society hoaxers

March 1914.

March 1914.

Bertram George Darby, aged 22, an insurance clerk, of Gaisford Street, Kentish Town Road, died of a broken neck in a dental surgery at Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town.

At the inquest on Saturday it was stated that Darby had been suffering from neuralgia, attributed to a decayed tooth in the lower jaw. He arranged with a doctor to have it extracted, and on Thursday evening he went to the dental surgery in Bartholomew Road.

The doctor administered gas and the dental surgeon extracted one molar tooth, and was about to extract another when it was noticed that Darby had difficulty in breathing. In spite of artificial respiration, he died twenty minutes later.

Dr B.H. Spilsbury, pathologist, of St Mary’s Hospital, said there was tubercular disease of the upper part of Darby’s neck and skull, while a portion of the bone in the neck had become detached. The fourth vertebra of the neck had been fractured, and this had caused death. Owing to the condition of the bones of the neck, any slight force would cause such a fracture. The gas took no part in causing death.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

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Two young men describing themselves as ‘the Crown Prince of Wurtteinburg’ and his secretary, ‘Lord Stanton Hope’, have hoaxed a number of society people, getting a long free flight and access to an exclusive party.