Unsolved Murders

Harry Graham

Age: 58

Sex: male

Date: 7 Sep 1944

Place: Rooley Lane, Bradford

Source: www.truecrimelibrary.com

Harrison Graham was killed in his taxi.

He was found in the early hours, about 5.30am, of 7 September 1944 dead in the back of his taxi-cab with a fractured skull opposite the Bowling Cemetery gates in Rooley Lane. He had been hit on the back of the head.

No money or valuables were found on his body.

He was also known as Harry Graham and was a native of Durham. He had served in the KOYLI in the previous war and had been discharged just before the armistice after which he worked at a number of Yorkshire collieries before moving to Bradford in 1930. He had lived in North Wing in Bradford.

He had been driving taxi-cab HL7692 at the time and the police appealed for anyone that had seen it after 7.30pm.

He had only just bought his taxi-cab in July 1944 and only just secured the transfer of his licence on Friday 1 September 1944.

He had plied for hire on the rank at Forster Square Station and it was thought that he might have picked up his assailant there.

His wife said that he had left home at about 7.15pm on the Wednesday evening 6 September 1944 and that she had expected him home by about 3am the following morning. However, she was informed by the police of his murder at 8.30am on the morning of 7 September 1944 and then identified his body at the mortuary.

The post-mortem concluded that he had died from meningeal haemorrhage and shock due to the nervous system after a severe external blow on the skull. It was said that his injury was compatible with a blow from a heavy blunt instrument, possibly a piece of iron, a spanner, or a hammer.

During their investigation the police said that they were keen to interview a couple of other men.

The first was a man that had taken a cab to Currer Avenue, which was not far from where Harrison Graham was murdered, on the night of 7 September 1944. It was heard that the man had questioned the driver closely about the amount of money that taxi-men were reputed to carry with them, and had also asked him if he drove for himself or an employer. He said that the man also enquired about when he paid his fares in and commented that it was dangerous for taxi-men to pick up passengers at night.

The man was described as being about 45 years old, 5ft 11in tall, of medium build, wearing a fawn raincoat and a trilby and with having a particularly deep voice.

The police said that they were also looking to trace a civilian and a serviceman who, on the night of the murder, engaged a taxi to take them from Firster Square to Bierley. The taxi actually broke down at the junction of Market Square and Bridge Street.

The police also said that they wanted to trace a man who was generally referred to as, 'the man with the torch'. It was heard that at about midnight on 6 September 1944, as Harrison Graham was driving an airman in his taxi near the YMCA in Bradford when the man with the torch shone it at his taxi. It was said that Harrison Graham then got out of his taxi and spoke to the man and then later made a remark to the airman which the airman later reported to the police. It was later suggested that the man was a friend that Harrison Graham had known.

On 17 September 1944 the police broadcasted an appeal to over 40,000 sports fans by loudspeaker at football and cricket matches as well as at dog racing tracks but with no responce.

The police noted in October 1944 that they thought that people that had information were scared to come forward. A police spokesperson said, 'I am informed that there are persons in Bradford who could give information which might materially help the inquiry, but that those persons are afraid their names will be disclosed to the public'.

Harrison Graham's inquest was held on Tuesday 16 January 1945 at Bradford and returned a verdict of murder by person or persons unknown.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 19 September 1944

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Friday 08 September 1944

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Friday 08 September 1944

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 07 September 1944

see Sunday Mirror - Sunday 17 September 1944

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 16 January 1945

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 03 January 1945

see Lincolnshire Echo - Monday 02 October 1944