The Coroner's report into John's death states:
'AN INQUISITION indented taken for our Sovereign Lady the Queen in the County of Cornwall within the Island of Tasmania this Tenth day of February in the 35th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith before my, John Ralston Esquire one of the Coroners of our said Lady the Queen for the said Island and its Dependencies on view of the body of John Cocker then and there lying dead upon the Oaths of David Collins, William Barrett, Thomas Grundy, George Urch, Nathaniel Hood, Joseph Bennett, and Richard Hood good and lawful men of the said Island and duly chosen and who being then and there duly sworn and charged to enquire for our said Lady the Queen when where how and after what manner the said John Cocker came to his death do upon their Oath say THAT on the Tenth day of February in the year aforesaid the said John Cocker being employed as feeder on the drum of a thrashing machine accidentally casually and by misfortune became entangled with the machinery there of and his left foot was being drawn in by such machinery was completely crushed and his leg otherwise injured of which he the said John Cocker instantly died and so the jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do say that the said John Cocker in manner and by means aforesaid accidentally casually and by misfortune came to his death and not otherwise
IN WITNESS where of the said Coroner as the Jurors aforesaid have to this Inquisition set their Hands and Seals the day and year and place above mentioned Signed by David Collins - Foreman John Malston -Coroner and the aforesaid Jurors.'
There is also a newspaper report in the Cornwall Chronicle of Wednesday 14 February 1872 of the Thrashing Machine Accident at Evandale.
A shocking accident occurred about six o'clock on Saturday last, at Evandale by which a man named John Cocker lost his life. The deceased was employed as a feeder to Mr Bryant's thrashing machine engaged at Mr. Easton's Cambock and it appeared from the evidence taken at the inquest (which was held at the house of Mr. P. Mullane, Macquarie Hotel before John Ralston, Esq, coroner, and a respectable jury, on the afternoon of Saturday that the deceased had just finished emptying he headings out of some bags into the drum of the machine, and was scraping the loose stuff with his foot, when the men engaged with him were startled by a cry, and looking round saw the deceased in the machine, the belt of the wheel immediately flew off, but not before the left leg of the poor man, as far as the thigh was literally smashed or ground to atoms.
His fellow workmen set to work to extricate him, which occupied about six or seven minutes. He spoke a few words whilst they were so engaged, but after they got him out he never spoke. He died in a few minutes. The only person on the drum of the machine with the deceased was his son, who was engaged cutting the bands and passing them to his father who was feeding. He stated in his evidence that the last bag of headings had just passed through, and his father had thrown him thee empty bag. He saw his father scraping the loose straw together.
When he turned round to throw the empty bag on the ground he heard his father cry out, and looking round saw him in the machine, and he called out to stop it. Before the driver could stop it the belt flew off. The son went to assist to take him out, whilst taking him out he said 'Don't; let me alone; I'm all right' He never spoke afterwards. Dr Stewart was examined; and deposed that he saw the deceased immediately after the accident. He was quite dead. He found that the bones of the left leg and the muscles, and also part of the muscles of the thigh were torn off by the machine. He attributed his death to the loss of blood and the shock. On examining the machine, large portions of the flesh and bone were seen. The deceased wore green spectacles at the time of the accident to prevent the wheat striking his eyes.
He had two sons with him at the time - one was engaged in driving the engine and the other in cutting the bands of the sheaves. Verdict-'Accidental death from injuries received from falling into the drum of a thrashing machine whilst at work.' Deceased was a hard-working man, and has left a widow with nine children living at Kentish Plains. A subscription list was opened at Evandale on Saturday night to raise funds for the funeral, and to assist his widow and family, when in a very short time over 12 Pounds was collected.