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COWAN'S COLLAPSE

From street to police dock, from thence to lockup, from there to hospital, and from hospital to graveyard, all within a week, was Frederick Ralston Gowan's lot.

He was arrested' as a drunk and

came before the Dnnedin Police Courton September 17, and was remantfwl for seven days* medical treatmeat. Under lock and key be seemed to b# doing all right till September 20,v1»n he developed symptoms that rend* ered his removal to the ihospttal a mattftr of urgency. At yn^3^n^g i^^^f on the same date he handed m his * i T^^ tr * — done with alcohol and IKb.

An inquest held on September 24 supplied the "why and vixeretose c£ CowaiA ras>id progress from, court to cemetery. He had been arrested hy Constable Moor on September 1^ and at the request of .", SabvOsaiiectar

Mathiasoß, the BJVL remanded hinio* a week's medical tzeatine&L ;

Constable Longshaw stated that when Cowan wes handed oyw to him when remanded he was shaky*, bo* showed signs of: improvement. ■',: H« gathered that deceased had no tives m Noo Zee, but had a mother and sister m Glasgow, fife -bad been a Home: Defence man, doing clerical work at Trentham, bat had been on\ a tanglefoot- bout ever sln^-ttLi 1 servicea were dispensed wltit. " .- •.'/.■

Dr. Evans, who visited deceased m gaol, said he was an alcoholic wreck, a man <who looked 65- rather than the age given — £7. Witness bad suggested to Constable Longshaw that Cowan was to be kept warm and fed with' hot soups. He prescribed certain drugs for Mm. When h« saw him on September 20, his pulsa and respiration indicated that the hospital wal the best place for >itm, and be ordered him there. He learned that Cowan's flame had flickered out that same day, heart failure having followed oa bronchial asthma, hurried up by a chronic thirst for alcohoL

Dr. Fitzgerald, who attended the man who did his clerical bit to win the war, said he was assistant medical officer at the Dunedin Hospital, and Cowan was on the down grade when he arrived, and gradually grew worse. At midnight he got out of bed and died on the floor.

Claude James White, managing clerk for Lawyer Hanlon, said he managed Cowan's affairs, lie -had been a remittance man, but -witness did not know where he lived, as, he came to the office for his cpmmunicationa and the cash that hurried film into eternity.

The Coroner returned a verdict m accordance with, the medical evidence, remarking that no blame w&B attach* able to either police or doctor Into ■whose hands deceased had passed when Death had already gripped hla icy fingers round him. The last scene In Cowan's chapter came on September 25, when the seven days' remand was up, and he wai down on the ohargfc-sheat for drunkenness. Sub-Inspector Mathieson said Cowan was m the cemetery, and he suggested that the charge be struck out. Thi« was done, for though the- law haa a mighty long arm it cannot reach a dead man, unless it waits for tola second time on earth.

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COWAN'S COLLAPSE NZ Truth, Issue 746, 4 October 1919

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