Eastbourne veteran dies of asbestos poisoning

Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155054008
Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155054008

An ex-soldier from Eastbourne died of asbestos poisoning he had picked up whilst working at a power station.

Gerald Freeman, 89, of Wrestwood Avenue, died at the Inglewood Nursing Home on May 17, an inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall heard this week.

In a life statement written by Mr Freeman and read out by Coroner Alan Craze, he said, “I was a pipe fitter. I had to fit a lot of pipe work. Asbestos powder used to go everywhere at the power station. It was a messy job and a lot of it would end up on the floor. Asbestos dust circulated in the air.”

Mr Freeman started work at Langstrom Garage and a book shop until he joined the army in 1942. He said he did not think he was exposed to asbestos during his service.

After leaving the armyin 1952, he worked as a hydraulic engineer at a Brighton borough power station.

Coroner Alan Craze said Mr Freeman died of a disease form of asbestos and concluded he died of an industrial disease.

Story by Logan MacLeod.