Date: 21 Aug 1915
Sydney George Hawker was found dead on a staircase at a shop.
He was supposed to have fallen down the stairs but blood and hair was found on the wall and staircase landing indicating a struggle.
The doctor stated that there were several wounds on his scalp and others behind his right ear with three fractures of the skull and brain lacerations which were in his opinion the result of violence by some other person.
It was heard that he had been the first at the shop and no one else was seen there until his dead body was found.
He had gone to work at the normal time leaving his home at 7.30am. A passer-by noticed him in the office passage at 8.30am and 20 minutes later his body was found on the first floor. This happened just before the hour when the occupants of the offices on the first and second floor ordinarily arrived for their day's duties.
He had access to the building for cleaning utensils but had no reason to go upstairs. However, it appeared that he had fallen down some narrow stairs from the second to the first floor.
A postman had said that as he was delivering letters he saw two men apparently hiding in the passage into which the office side door opened.
He was employed as a porter by Maynards Limited, a sweatmeat firm and confectioners.
Sydney Hawker lived at home with his mother and it was said that he had not a single enemy.
It was noted that his injuries bore a remarkable coincidence to those of William George Jefferies who was found dead in a river in Bristol a few miles away in August 1915. The doctor who carried out the post-mortems in both cases said that they were both the same, adding that both skulls had been fractured and that they both appeared to have been inflicted from behind with a sharp-pointed instrument. He also said that it might have been only a curious coincidence.
see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Saturday 21 August 1915
see Aberdeen Journal - Saturday 21 August 1915
see Sunday Post - Sunday 22 August 1915