Burial Sensation near Evesham
There has been much gossip and speculation in the Evesham district as to the incidents of a funeral of an old man at Badsey. It is stated that during the service in church a noise was heard which is described as like a book being dropped inside the coffin. In the churchyard the noise was again heard, and the vicar asked the relatives if they were satisfied if the man was dead. They were quite satisfied on this point, and the funeral was proceeded with. After it was over and the mourners had left, the sexton again heard the noise proceeding from the coffin, and he went to the village to inform the relatives, but it was not considered possible that the man was alive and the grave was closed in. Enquiries seem to show conclusively that there can be no grounds for the terrible suspicion that the man was buried alive. He was 77 years of age and died in the Evesham Workhouse on Friday after a long illness. There were unmistakable signs of corruption before the funeral on Wednesday and the probable explanation of the noise is that the coffin was made of unseasoned wood and that the noise was produced by the process of drying.
No name was given in the newspaper article, but we know that the gentleman concerned was Edmund Ballard, a bachelor, whose only remaining family in the village was his younger brother, Charlie, and his children.