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Toy Pistol Fatality

Western Mail 19 May 1913:

TRAGIC DEATH OF A LANCASTER BOY SCOUT.

Frank High, aged sixteen, a chemist’s apprentice, of Lancaster, who died on Sunday from injuries inflicted with a so-called toy pistol. High, who was a Boy Scout, had sold the pistol to a fifteen-year-old farm labourer named Cleminson, and was explaining its working to him when it went off. The bullet entered High’s groin, and efforts to locate and extract it were unavailing.
The pistol came almost within the definition of a gun, having a 10in. barrel and a ¼in. bore, with a very considerable projectile power.

Cheltenham Chronicle 24 May 1913:

DEFEATING THE PISTOLS ACT.
At the inquest at Lancaster on Monday night upon Frank High (16), a chemist’s apprentice, who died from injuries received through the accidental discharge of a pistol with a 10-inch barrel, the chief constable said that the weapon appeared to have been designed to defeat the Pistols Act, as no license was required for it, the barrel being longer than came within the definition of a pistol. A verdict of accidental death was returned, the jury adding a rider strongly condemning the sale of such weapons to children.

Frank High born 24 December 1896 son of John (a stationer’s manager) & Sarah Hannah High of South Road was baptized at St. Paul’s Scotforth on 7 February 1897.

In the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family is living at 94 West Greaves. Records show that Frank attended Scotforth National School.

Lonsdale Scouts