Transcription Page

John Marshall et al

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths.   They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.

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First Session

I - Herbert Lorne Wordsworth Turnbull, regularly qualified medical practitioner, practicing in South Vancouver, being duly sworn, saith: -

Coroner; - You have seen the bodies of these victims, tell the jury what you found.

Witness; - I examined the bodies of the victims yesterday afternoon about two oclock, between one and two.

I first examined Lorna Evans, a girl about seven years of age. I found Lorna Evans dead, with considerable stiffness of the body. She had bruising on the middle of the forehead, a slight one on the nose, a slight one on the chin and one on the right cheek. She was not undressed so that I did not make any further examination. I next examined Mrs Evans.

Coroner; - Doctor, can you tell us as you go along in each case the cause of death?

Witness; - I consider the cause of death in Lorna Evans was drowning. I next examined Mrs Evans, a lady about forty years of age, found some evidence of stiffness, a cut on her elbow, a slight cut. She was not undressed, but without undressing her I could find no other evidence of injury. I can say the cause of her death was from drowning. I examined the body of Kenneth Ritchie, a man about thirty-five years of age; found he had a slight cut on one eye, nothing else excepting I concluded that he had died from drowning. I next examined the body of W.H. Walker, a man about sixty years of age and found he had a cut on his forehead and on his ear, no other visible signs of injury. Concluded his death was from drowning. Next examined the body of Frank Keen, a man about forty or forty-five years of age. I found no visible signs of injury on his body, concluded he died from drowning.

BC Archives, GR-0431 Box 10 File 4 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL/ Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.

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