Unsolved Murders

Baby

Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 21 Feb 1914

Place: Headland, Pelsall

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The body of a new born male child was found in a field in Pelsall.

The body was found by a labourer at 10.15am in a field known as the Headland. When he went to have a look he found that it was lying on its back and not covered by anything at all and was very dirty. It was about 30-40 yards from the public road.

It had been about 2-3 weeks since they had last been working in the field.

The labourers were bringing in clover which they were carrying in from the field. They said that it had been harrowed the day before and nothing had been seen then.

When the police went to have a look they found that the baby was about 2 yards from a gutter or ditch and was covered in dirty leaves and soil and 2 yards away there was a hole big enough to bury the child about 4-5 inches deep. It looked like it had been dug by hand and a sod had been removed and then replaced to cover the hole. it was thought that the child had been buried but then dug out by some kind of animal. The policeman stepped the distance from the baby to the public footpath and found it to be about 70 yards.

Three midwives from Pelsall, Norton Canes and Brownhills were questioned but all the children born were accounted for.

When the doctor examined the child he found it to be a male and said that it was terribly decomposed. He said that there were marks of injuries from gnawing on the left leg and right arm and a hole in the abdomen near the division of the ribs which passed through the body right up to the chest. The whole of the right lung had been eaten away and the liver was entirely gone.

He said that the child had probably been dead for several weeks.

The doctor said that it was not possible to tell if the child had had a separate existence but he thought it probable.

A verdict was returned that the body was found dead in a field but that there wasn't sufficient evidence to determine the cause of death.


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


see Walsall Observer, and South Staffordshire Chronicle - Saturday 21 February 1914