During the summer of 1927 a boy from the Blue Coat School in Wavertree told his friends there would be a large crowd for his funeral as they passed a church. They told him not to be silly but shockingly they were back at the same place just a few weeks later for the boy’s burial.
Back then the Blue Coat was a boarding school run by trustees for 300 boys and girls who were either orphaned or fatherless. Apart from three week holidays back with their mothers or other relatives in May and September the children remained in the school all the time, even over Christmas and New Year. It was shortly before the September holiday in 1927 that some boys sat in the school yard and began to study the lines on their hands after one of them had got hold of a fortune telling book containing illustrations.
One of them was eleven year old Charles Saggers, whose lifeline was extremely short and although his friends took the mickey out of him he took it all in good fun. A few weeks later Charles was with his mother, his sister Doris and two other pupils heading home for the start of the September holiday in a tramcar when they passed a large number of mourners standing outside Holy Trinity Church, just a hundred yards or so from the school. Charles said to his sister ‘I suppose there would be a big crowd like that at my funeral wouldn’t there.’ She told him not to be silly but one of his friends, Danny Ross, remained silent as he remembered how short the lifeline was.
About a week into the holiday Danny went to his local church in Everton and on his return Charles’s older brother was outside his house crying along with Danny’s mother. He told Danny the terrible news that Charles had been killed in an accident in Holywell, North Wales. He had gone to stay in a cottage with his older sisters and was fetching some water from a standpipe when he got run over by a bus, dying instantly.
The following week Charles was interred at Holy Trinity, the very church where he had seen so many mourners and said there would be a large crowd for his funeral. Charles got the large attendance he predicted as despite the school being closed, one hundred pupils attended and his coffin was carried by six older boys. Danny, who went on to write ‘A Blue Coat Boy in the 1920s‘ in later life, described going back to school as dismal due to the emptiness of a missing friend.