Home   Sandwich   News   Article

Tributes after Royal St George's golf buggy tragedy

A doting grandfather was tragically killed in a golf buggy accident at Royal St George’s.

John Suckling, 82 - a popular volunteer and three-times captain at the prestigious club in Sandwich - suffered fatal chest injuries during the incident.

The tragic accident occurred at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich
The tragic accident occurred at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich

An inquest into his death was opened this week, and heard he had been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

The buggy was found on its side, on top of Mr Suckling, with a bar across his chest.

The inquest was opened at Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone on Monday.

Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn told the court a post-mortem examination had established Mr Suckling had died of extensive chest injuries suffered during the accident.

Emergency services, including the air ambulance, had been called to the golf course at about 9am on Tuesday, October 25.

Sadly, despite the efforts of everyone involved, Mr Suckling was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Suckling, who lived in the town’s Cattle Market, had worked as a volunteer at the club and is understood to have been a permit holder for 60 years.

According to its website, he had been club captain three times, the first in 1977 and the last in 1995.

The Royal St George’s history page also reveals Mr Suckling was presented with a picture in recognition of 50 years of being a permit holder in 2012.

Tributes have now been paid to him by friends and neighbours.

Simon Leith, who was Sandwich mayor in 2000 and 2008, said: “He was friendly and always wanted to chat.

“He would talk about his family, such as his grandchildren

“When I was mayor he would keep me in touch with what was going on in the town.”

Bob Fielder met Mr Suckling through playing at Royal St George’, which last year hosted the British Open for the 15th time.

“I knew him for 20 to 30 years,” he said.

John Suckling died at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich Bay
John Suckling died at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich Bay

“He would tell wonderful stories about past members. He had been at the club for a long time.”

Neighbour Edward Kennett said: “He was a very pleasant man and was always up early and outside talking to people in the street.

“He seemed to know a lot of people.

“I was very shocked when he died as he had only a couple of days before knocked on our door to pick up a parcel of his.”

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “I knew him for 10 years.

“I only just saw him two weeks before he died.

“It’s terrible what happened to him.”

Mr Suckling’s funeral will be held at St Clements Church, Sandwich on Monday, November 21 at 2pm, followed by a private committal.

‘He would tell wonderful stories about past members.He had been at the club for a long time...’

Police have confirmed the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The inquest was adjourned until January 25, when it will resume at the Shepway Centre in Maidstone.

A spokesman for Dover District Council confirmed the authority is investigating the incident.

They added: "But as the case is ongoing, we cannot comment further."

Royal St George’s Golf Club was approached by the Mercury, but declined to comment until investigations into Mr Suckling’s death have been concluded.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More