Unsolved Murders

Emma Millard

Age: 45

Sex: female

Date: 23 Jun 1914

Place: Grand Junction Canal, Brentford

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Emma Millard was found with her head smashed in on the Grand Junction Canal in Brentford.

It was thought that she had been kicked in the head and then thrown into the water but had got caught up in the rushes. Her legs were in the water but her trunks was resting on a ledge.

The autopsy showed that she had a fractured skull caused by some kind of blunt instrument.

She had been drinking at a pub and after leaving was attacked by the canal. Her body was discovered by a dealer who had slept on the canal side on the Saturday night. He said that he woke up, between 4-5am to find a strange man near him who walked away. He said that the man was lying next to him asleep with a newspaper over his head but that when he got up the man also got up and walked away. He said he then decided to go for a dip and found the body about a dozen yards away in the rushes. He said that when he first saw the body he thought it was a coat in the rushes. He then went and told some cardplayers close to hand who were playing cards in the meadow.

The card players, of whom there were 11 in total, corroborated the man's story and said that the man was drunk and that they thought that he was a detective. One of the card players said that they were afraid because they thought he was a detective at first but then one of them passed the word 'There is no need to pack up. Keep calm and cool'. They said that the man passed them first and then came back and said 'Boys, excuse me, but there is a woman in the water'. When the coroner heard this evidence he asked 'Why excuse me, was he quite sober' and was told that the man was drunk. The coroner then said 'I thought no sober man would say excuse me under such circumstances.'. The man later said 'I was drunk, but that has fetched the beer out of me'.

When the man was asked for his name by the police he said 'Don't think I done it'.

A night watchman said that he had seen Emma Millard soon after midnight on Sunday on the Isleworth side of Brentford Bridge adding that he knew her as she used to prowl about there.

A doctor reported that there were obvious wounds incised and punctured on the forehead and back of the head which suggested the use of a blunt instrument with great violence. It also concluded that death was due to fracture of the base of the skull, haemorrhage and shock.

She was a local dealer and was well known in the area. She was also known as Kate Millard, Emma Miller or Kate Miller. She was also known as Hoppy Emma. A man who said he had known her for 40 years said that he was not aware that she ever did any work.

She used to live in Brentford but had been away for some time and then returned to start business as a dealer. She had also worked in the fruit fields of the district.

At the coroner's inquest the jury recommended a police night patrol for the towing path on the Brentford side owing to its evil reputation.


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


see Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 23 June 1914

see Liverpool Echo - Monday 22 June 1914

see Dundee Courier - Monday 22 June 1914

see Birmingham Mail - Tuesday 23 June 1914