Unsolved Murders

Ernest Parrett

Age: 20

Sex: male

Date: 30 Jul 1900

Place: Gravesend Barracks, Gravesend, Kent

Ernest Parrett was stabbed with a bayonet near his camp in Gravesend where he was a militiaman.

He was found with a bayonet wound to his left side and died within a few hours. At the time he was stabbed soldiers in a tent heard him cry 'Murder, I'm stabbed'. He was then found in one of the tents bleeding from a deep wound.

A bayonet was found outside the tent with blood on the blade.

When he was asked who had done it the only thing he could say was 'Connaughts'.

There was no direct evidence as to how and by whom he had received his injury.

Ernest Parrett had been a Private in the 3rd Middlesex Regiment, B Company.

It was said that another member of the same regiment had confessed to stabbing him but later at a special sitting of the Gravesend magistrates, held on a Saturday at the Town Hall, the man, who had been held in custody for a fortnight, was discharged.

It was said that some soldiers had been making a disturbance outside the canteen and that when they were driven off Ernest Parrett was seen running away followed by the man that was charged.

A man said that he had seen the man charged with murder in the canteen with some other men who all had bayonets shortly before Ernest Parrett was killed.

A Private said later that he saw the man charged go round one side of a tent and Ernest Parrett round the other. He said then that the man charged went into the tent and came out with a rifle and bayonet. He said that meanwhile Ernest Parrett had run off and the man charged pursued him and that he then saw the man drive the bayonet home into Ernest Parrett's body. He said that it was a blow with a lunge with both hands. He said that before he stabbed him he had heard the man charged say, 'Fix bayonets and charge'. When questioned, the man said that he had no doubt whatever about what he had seen.

However, the man charged said, 'I am perfectly innocent of the charge, and the statements made against me are false'. The man then called a drummer to say that he was in his tent at 11.30pm but the drummer said that it was not until 12 midnight at roll call that he had seen the man charged.

Another man that saw Ernest Parrett fall said that when he fell he saw nobody near him.

Ernest Parrett was due to marry on the following Sunday.

Gravesend Barracks was officially called Milton Barracks but was closed in 1969 and has since been developed on.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Northants Evening Telegraph - Saturday 18 August 1900

see Banbury Advertiser - Thursday 30 August 1900

see Western Gazette - Friday 10 August 1900

see Bury and Norwich Post - Tuesday 21 August 1900

see Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 14 August 1900

see Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 15 August 1900

see Northampton Mercury - Friday 03 August 1900

see Wikipedia