Coroners Records – Justice Department Archives – National Archives 1901/878

Death of Charles Scholfield

Date of Death - Thursday 3rd October 1901

Inquest held Friday 4th October 1901.

Body Found in Heathcote River 1:30pm.  Head and Right Shoulder in the River (Body on East Bank)

“The body was fully dressed but his hat was lying on the bank.  He was lying on his stomach with his head and …… shoulder and right arm in the water.”  Sgn: Thomas Turner Gardener.

“He is a widower with a family.  He lived in Salisbury Street but lately with me in 191 Manchester St.  He sold up his home and was going to Wellington under instructions.  He was 44 years old.  He was a steady man.”  Sgn. William Lavery. Commission Agent

“I am the Secretary to the Board of Education.  I knew the deceased slightly.  I saw him about 10:15 am yesterday in Wilderness Road.  I overtook him near the Lincoln Road……………  After he left me he turned round again & went back up the Wilderness Road.  He could get to where the body was found by the road I saw him on.”  Sgn. Henry Christopher Lane.

“I am District Engineer for Canterbury and Otago.  The deceased was Clerk in Charge of the Public Works Department in Christchurch.  He had been four years in the office.  He had lately been notified of transfer to Wellington but had been granted one months leave of absence.  He was deficient in his accounts to the extent of 290 pounds.  I saw the deceased at about 9:15 am yesterday in the Public Works Office.  He was asked to account for certain money and the asked me to allow him to go outside for a moment.  I waited and found he did not return.  He had given me the slip.  I did not see him again alive…..  I knew nothing of any such thing as money being wrong.  The account would cover two or three months.  His salary was 11 shillings per (diem) for six days in the week.  He started at 10 shillings per week.  He had extra control of money and responsibility during the Royal Visit.”  Sgn: Edgeworth Richard Ussher.

“I have today made a Post Mortem examination of the body of the deceased.  I find that the death was due to drowning.  There are no marks of violence.  There was no smell of alcohol, and no indication of poison.  There was nothing to indicate that he suffered from fits.  The internal indications were that he was not a healthy man.” Richard Walker Anderson, Medical Practitioner.


‘That the said Charles Scholfield on the 3rd Day of October 1901 was found drowned in the Heathcote River at Cashmere, but there is no evidence to show how he came to be so drowned.

Sgn  H. M. Bishop             Coroner
William Hopkins         Foreman
William G. Munford
James Sullivan
Richard Jones
John Arres
Robert Standeven.