Beckenham Hill station train death pensioner knelt on tracks before being hit

George Hebdon, 73, died at Beckenham Hill Station

George Hebdon, 73, died at Beckenham Hill Station

First published in Lewisham News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A 73-YEAR-OLD man who told a friend “I am going to end it all” was seen kneeling down on the tracks of Beckenham Hill Station and laying his head on the line, an inquest heard yesterday.

Former railway worker George Hebdon died from severe neck injuries after being hit by the 6.32pm Seveonoaks to Kentish Town train on July 23.

Emergency services were called at 7.10pm but Mr Hebdon was pronounced dead at the scene.

A train driver on the opposite platform saw the pensioner, who lived 12 minutes walk from the station in Porchester Mead, Beckenham, lie down on the track and sounded a warning horn but the oncoming train could not stop in time.

Police found a handwritten note at his home which read “there is no will” as well as the deeds to his house and a diary marked with a list of addresses and telephone numbers.

His friends say the elderly man - who refused to see a doctor for 10 years - was in physical pain and he seemed “very downcast” on the day of his death.

Coroner Dr Philip Barlow gave a ruling of suicide and offered his condolences for the “tragic loss” at an inquest at Southwark Coroner’s Court on December 19.

Mr Hebdon’s friend-of-40-years Timothy Davies saw him on the morning of his death to help with his shopping.

He told the inquest: “He was very downcast indeed.

“His exact words were ‘I am going to end it all to day’.

“I couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

“They were the last words he spoke, I never saw him again.”

Mr Hebdon, who had no family, had lost interest in his hobbies of cricket and rugby and refused to see a doctor in spite of his friends’ concerns about his health and failing eye-sight.

A friend added Mr Hebdon was a very private person who would not have wanted to inconvenience anyone.

Dr Barlow said: “It is very clear that Mr Hebdon was very fortunate in his friends and his friends gave all the support and help that they possibly could in what must have been very difficult circumstances.

“It is also clear that both train drivers acted in every possible way to avoid the accident.”

He added: “I can only offer my condolences for the tragic loss.”

If you are feeling suicidal, or are concerned about someone who is, the Samaritans run a 24-hour support service on 08457 90 90 90.

People are also encouraged to:

• visit their nearest A&E and tell staff how they are feeling

• Contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647

• Speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust

• Make an urgent appointment to see your GP

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