|The inquest reported here took place on 19 July 1919:
"The most terrible bathing tragedies ever remembered on the Riv er Taw occurred on Friday evening when no fewer than four boys from the village of Bickington, near Barnstaple, were carried away by the tide and drowned. The victims were Arthur Cornish aged 13, son of Mrs Mabel Harris, a widow; Cuthbert Thomas Hampden Whalley, aged 12. son of Mr. and Mrs. John Whalley of Victoria Cottage; Arthur Bennett, aged 12, son of Mrs Bennett, a widow and Leslie Longman, aged 11, son of Mr J. Longman who is absent on military service."
Most, if not all of the boys were scholars at Bickington School, after leaving which, in the afternoon a party of eleven proceeded to a spot known as the Salt Marsh, off Penhill for the purpose of bathing. The party included, in addition to the deceased boys, George H. Rodd, F. Bailey, R. Shaddick, C. Burridge. A Gaydon, Frank Thorne and T. Hobbs. The boys had not been in the water long before the tide commenced to flow so strongly that Rodd and the other six boys, deemed it wise to return to the bank, and dress.
As he was leaving the water, Rodd strongly advised the deceased boys, who were non-swimmers, and who were close by, to also return, but this advice appeared to be ignored and Rodd and his companions were horrified on turning around a minute or so later to find that Cornish , Whalley, Bennett and Longman had been carried away by the tide. An alarm was speedily given, but alas, nothing could be done for the unfortunate boys, who indeed, were not again seen alive.