Unsolved Murders

Vera Rainbow

Age: 21

Sex: female

Date: 11 Nov 1916

Place: River Avon, Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Vera Rainbow was found dead in a river near Rugby having vanished shortly after parting with her fiancee.

Her fiancee was charged with her murder but The Crown entered a nolle prosequi and he was discharged.

Her body was found in the River Avon on Saturday 11 November 1916 in Lawford Parish.

Vera Rainbow's fiancee said that after she had left him on 8 November 1916 his attention was attracted to the swinging gates near the river and when he didn't see her around he jumped in the river to find her but could not.

After her body was found and a post-mortem carried out it was stated that she had not died from drowning, although the cause of death could not be ascertained.

Her fiancee said that he had parted with her 600 yards from her home and had turned to go home himself when he heard a gate slam and a dog bark which he said caused him to hasten back. When the coroner asked why such countryside noises should cause him apprehension he said that 6-7 weeks earlier Vera Rainbow had been stopped on her way home by a man but had broken away and had run back to him. He said that he had heard her screams and also run back to her but said that he could not find the man. He said that as he ran back he found the dog barking in the middle of the field and followed it to the river. He said that he saw an object in the water and went in but when he came up he found he had rushes in his arms. He said that he thought he had seen Vera Rainbow in the water and had dived to the bottom to save her but the current was too strong and the pool too deep. He then went to Vera Rainbow's uncles house dripping with water and asked if Vera Rainbow was there and when he was told that she was not he told them that he thought that she was in the river.

Vera Rainbow had been engaged to the man who was a well known amateur footballer and an electrical fitter, and they had been planning as early a marriage as possible.

The fiancee said that Vera Rainbow had seemed upset on the Wednesday after he told her that his mother could not have her living with them at Newbold and said that she had said 'It seems nobody wants us.'.


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


see Coventry Standard - Friday 23 March 1917

see Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 08 March 1917

see Evening Despatch - Tuesday 14 November 1916

see Daily Mirror - Wednesday 14 March 1917 (contains photos)

see Coventry Standard - Friday 17 November 1916