Unsolved Murders

Vincent Fovargue

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 2 Apr 1921

Place: Ashford Manor Golf Links, Ashford

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Vincent Fovargue, also known as Richard Stanton was shot at Ashford Manor Golf Links.

A note was left on him saying 'Let all spies and traitors beware - IRA'

He had earlier been to an Irish Dance on the evening of 2 April 1921.

At his inquest 7 people, including the jurymen who were involved in the inquiry received threatening letters declaring that there 'would be bereavements in their families' if a verdict of a certain character was returned.

A man who was formerly a clerk in the Irish Guards and acted as the secretary for the Fulham Branch of the Irish Self-Determination League from 1917 to March 1921 said that he had first met Vincent Fovargue at a weekly dance that the League ran at Calverton Hall in Fulham about 4-5 weeks before he was murdered. The man said that Vincent Fovargue introduced himself as Richard Stanton. The dances were open to the public and anyone could enter without question once they had paid.

The man said that he next saw Vincent Fovargue at a meeting of the League at Fulham Town Hall on 16 March 1921 at which Vincent Fovargue introduced himself to the man. He said that he last saw Vincent Fovargue on 2 April 1921 in the outer lobby talking at 8.30pm on the Saturday night with some men who he didn't know adding that he could not say whether they were members of the League or not.

Vincent Fovargue was found shot day in the morning after the dance and the police found a ticket for the previous night's dance in his overcoat pocket.

His body was identified by his cousin, a 20 year old book keeper who said that she had last seen him alive between 6.30 and 6.45pm on the Saturday night.

Vincent Fovargue was found on the golf course at 9.50am on the Sunday by a caddie.

The police were called and then a doctor who stated that the time of death was probably about 6-8 hours earlier.

He was lying on his back with his hands crossed over his chest and there was earth and grass on his knees.

He had two bullet wounds through his body. The doctor said that one could have been self inflicted but not the other. He also added that there was no sign of a struggle.

In his possession was a small pocket diary issued by the Lancashire Insurance Company in which under the 4 January 1921 entry there were some figures. He also had a cinema ticket with the words 'Ivy Series, one shilling' stamped on it.

Police found full and empty cartridge cases at the scene but were still of the opinion that he had been shot elsewhere and had been taken to the golf course in a motor car. It was thought that he had been shot with a .45 revolver.

Examination of the soil on his clothes found samples that corresponded to the soil at the golf course as well as that from the roadside where he had been dragged through a hedge but noted that there were other samples that bore no resemblance to that in the vicinity. However, the samples did match soil from a piece of waste ground in Fulham near the place where the dance was held.

Vincent Fovargue was described as a prominent Sinn Feiner who had been on the run having disappeared several months earlier. Detectives thought that he was murdered because of a Sin Fein vendetta. Later on 4 April 1921 Sinn Fein meeting places in London were raided in connection with the crime.

At the time Vincent Fovargue had been a much wanted Sinn Feiner who had been arrested but had escaped in an ambush. He was being taken from Kilmainham Gaol to Dublin Castle on 31 January 1921 in a motor car when 6 Sinn Feiners opened fire on the car on the South Circular Road. His arrested had been significant as he was known to have been an active force in the rebel movement.

There had been a thick mist on the night which would have helped his murderer or murderers to go to the golf course and then return to London unseen.

The flying squad had picked up a trail which had led them to Wimbledon and it was thought that he had been lured by a note to the Sinn Fein quarters in London.

it was noted as a curious point that the police had issued a local warning that Sinn Fein activity might occur and rick fires were feared and the Fire Brigade was asked to be ready at a moment's notice.


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

see Western Times - Thursday 21 April 1921

see Northern Whig - Wednesday 20 April 1921

see Dundee Courier - Thursday 21 April 1921

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 07 April 1921

see Western Daily Press - Thursday 07 April 1921

see Northern Whig - Wednesday 06 April 1921

see "Unsolved Murders." Times [London, England] 28 Dec. 1922: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 4 Mar. 2013.