Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: female

Date: 11 Sep 1918

Place: Taunton Station, Taunton

The body of a newly-born female child was found enclosed in a cardboard box at the parcels' office at the GWR Taunton Station.

It had been received for delivery from Bristol on 5 September 1918 in the normal way and was addressed to a woman at an optician in North Street, Taunton but was refused by the person there. After delivery was attempted on 6 September 1918 it was returned to Taunton Station where it was set to one side in the office.

However, on 7 September 1918 the parcel started to smell and when it was opened up it was found to have contained the body of a baby.

The parcel had arrived at 7.33pm on 5 September 1918 and had been handed to the carman the following morning. It had been first found on 3 September 1918 on No. 4 Platform at Temple Meads Station.

When the body was examined by a doctor it was found to be in an advanced state of decomposition. There was no evidence that the child had been attended to at birth and there was a swelling over the right eye which gave the appearance of it having been bruised. The lungs floated in water indicating that the child had breathed and had had a separate existence.

The doctor said that he was surprised to hear that the child had only just been discovered in the last few days as judging from the child's condition he thought that it had been dead for at least 2-3 months.

It was noted that the body had been well wrapped up and kept dry.

The baby was wrapped up in a piece of grey cloth, apparently part of a woman's underskirt, and had been inside a cardboard box wrapped up in brown paper.

When the parcel had been delivered it was delivered to an optician whose name was the name on the name on the parcel in Taunton but she had said that she had refused it as it had smelt bad and had thought that it was probably stale food and that she had no knowledge of the handwriting on it and was not expecting a parcel from anyone.

The police were unable to get any clue from the handwriting.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 11 September 1918