"Head Attendants Death. Record of Faithful Service at Earlswood Institution.
An inquest was held at the Royal Earlswood lnstitution on Wednesday, by the Coroner (Mr. F. J. Nightingale) to enquire into the death Mr. Richard Smewing, who had held the position of head-attendant since October, 1920. P.S. Ash was coroner's officer.
Mrs. Caroline Smewing, wife of deceased, said her husband was very cheerful when he came home to tea on Monday. He had complained of nothing previously, and was apparently in good health, He ate a portion of ham at tea. and he usually made a substantial meal at this time, as he had nothing after. He then went into the garden to cut some grass, and later said good-bye, and went off as usual. He suffered from a chronic cough, and had had rheumatic fever years ago.
Deceased was very stout man.
Henry Ball, an attendant the Institution, said he saw the deceased early in the day. and he was all right then. About 5.20 he was in the basement lavatory, and witness saw was at the point of death. Dr. Caldecott was summoned, and saw him at once. When witness found deceased he was seated, apparently dying. Witness had once seen deceased in similar attack before.
Dr. C. Caldecott, medical superintendent of the Institution, said deceased had been there over 32 years, and he had known him for about 24 years. He had seen the deceased daily three or four times, and had privately known that he had had rheumatic fever. He had attended him for a hernia, and he had suffered from chronic bronchial trouble. Witness knew deceased had fatty heart, which, with the chronic complaint and fatty heart was very serious. The heavy meal and stooping cutting the grass also helped no doubt. It was unusual for deceased to any gardening after tea. He was dead when witness saw him. He was of the opinion that death was due to syncope caused by fatty degeneration of the heart.
The Coroner certified that death was due to natural causes. The deceased, Mr. Smewing was an old soldier, and was wounded in the Zulu war. for which war also held medals. He was appointed as attendant in 1889. and deputy heab attendant on March 21th. 1894. Entering upon the office of head-attendant in October. 1929. upon the demise of his predecessor, his death is all the more sad after short a tenure office. He was an excellent husband and father, and zealous worker, very much beloved by all. The deepest sympathy will be felt for his relatives and friends."
Surrey Mirror - Friday 20 May 1921
This is actually 3438 Richard Smewin not Smewing, 3/60th Regiment. The surname being spelt wrong in the press article.
Richard Smewin was born in 1859 in High Wycombe. He was a chair maker. F507 dark brown hair and hazel eyes.
Attested 24th August 1878 at the age of 19 into 60th Rifles. He married Caroline Lacey on the 25th December 1884
He served in the AZW, at Tel-el-Kebir and the Sudan in 1884.
He was in South Africa from the 19th February 1879 to the 22nd February 1882. N/T in his army record of being wounded though.