A terrible shooting tragedy was discovered at East Baldwin at noon on Friday last when Thomas Harold Quine, of Ballachrink, aged 30 thirty years, was found shot dead in a small wooden shed enjoyed a farmhouse. The unfortunate man’s elder brother,Edmund Corlett Quine, heard at the report while sitting in the farmhouse. He went immediately to the shed where he found his brother lying in the shed with shocking the head injuries and a sports gun beside him. Death was almost instantaneous.

The rifle was an old rusty 12-bore top-lever, and one of the barrels had been discharged. The other barrel was not loaded. The dawn had not been in use for a considerable time, but it had been the deceased’s intention to go out rook-shooting, although why he should be handling this particular gun is a mystery.

The victim of the tragedy was a well known young farmer in the district. He was single, and farmed Ballachrink with his only brother, who was married. The deceased’s father, Mr ThomasEdmund Quine, a very highly respected farmer, died on Wednesday of last week at his home, ‘Arderry’, Cronkbourne Road, Douglas, where he had lived in retirement for a few years. Much sympathy will be filled with Mrs. Quine and her family in this tragic bereavement.

The family have been large landowners in the district for years, owning several farms. Deceased had two sisters married to the brothers Frank and Philip Crowe, the well-known Michael farmers. Soon after the tragedy was reported, Superintendent Cringle, Dr Lionel Woods, High Bailiff Lay (Coroner for Inquests), and Mr G. W. Corlett, the well-known gun expert, were on the scene .


The inquest was conducted by High Bailiff Lay and a jury on Saturday. Edmund Corlett Quine, farmer, said he had identified the body lying in the outhouse of the farm as that of his brother, Thomas Harold Quine, aged 34 years, a bachelor. Deceased lived with witness and wife at, and they were joint owners of the farm. The last time he saw his brother alive was about 11 o’clock on Friday morning. They had been working together most of the morning and deceased was in his usual health and spirits. Shortly after they separated, witness went into the house for his dinner, and after dinner - about 12:30pm - he was at the back door of the house when he noticed that the door of a little wooden shed near the house was partly open. On going to close it he saw his brother lying on the floor with a double-barrelled gun between his legs and terrible injuries to the head. He realised at once that he was dead. It was a very old gun that had not been used for years. Deceased had no worries so far as he knew and had never threatened to take his life.

John Alfred Moughton, horse-man employed at Ballachrink, said that after breakfast on Friday morning he told deceased that he got four cartridge from Thomas Faragher on Thursday night, and was out with his gun after a rabbit, but one of the cartridges would not go off. Deceased said he was going to shoot at the rooks which were among the potatoes in a field at the back of the house, and he would like a couple of cartridges. Witness gave him two, including the one which would not go off.

PC John Corris, who was called to Ballachrink,, when the tragedy was discovered, produced the gun - an old double-barrelled, breach-loading shotgun. When he found the gun lying between deceased’s legs the breech was open and there was an empty cartridge case - a new Ely ‘Grand Prix’ in the left barrel. The right barrel was empty and there was an old burst in it about six inches from the muzzle. Doctor Lionel Woods,, Police Surgeon, deposed that death was due to a gunshot wound of the head. The gun had been fired at very close range, the muzzle being almost in contact with the forehead. The deceased’s head was probably bent down over the muzzle of the gun then the shot was fired, and the direction of the shot was upwards. In his opinion, death was instantaneous, and the wound was either accidental, or self-inflicted. There was no evidence of homicide. Dr Ronald Lane, who had previously attended deceased for minor ailments, said the head injury consisted of a complete blowing out of the brains. He was unable to say whether the cause of death was accidental or suicidal, but it was quite impossible for the injuries to have been homicidal.

High Bailiff Lay, reviewed the evidence, and said that under the will of their father, who died last week, deceased and his brother inherited the farms at Baldwin equally between them. There was not a pennymortgage on the considerable property left to them, so deceased had no financial worries and no family troubles, and was the last person on earth you should commit suicide. Why he loaded the gun in the small shed was, therefore a mystery and would probably for ever remain a mystery.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


It is with profound regret that we have again to record the death of one of the members of theBallachrink family, in the person of Mr Thomas Harold Quine, at the early age of 34 years. When he was one of the mainstays of our little society at East Baldwin, holding the respective offices of Chapel Steward and Trustee. Harold, as he was generally known by, was a young man of inestimable character, of a genial disposition, and of a bright and cheerful nature, and was loved by all who knew him. The news of his sudden death on September 30th, cast a gloom over the whole neighbourhood. The funeral took place on 2nd October, being conducted by the Reverend E Douglas Gibson. Prior to proceedings to Braddan Cemetery, where the interment took place, a very impressive service was held in the East Baldwin Chapel, where the deceased had worshipped all his life. Baldwin is much the poorer for his removal out of our midst, and to his relatives and friends we tender our deepest sympathy, and commend them to Almighty God in this, their sad hour of bereavement..

Extracted from Manx Methodist Church Record