Unsolved Murders

George Madge

Age: 64

Sex: male

Date: 21 Nov 1922

Place: Walson Moor, Bow, Devon

George Madge was found shot on Walson Moor.

He was a farmer and was found dead not far from his house on Tuesday night, 21 November 1922.

His son said that George Madge had gone out on the Tuesday afternoon saying that he was going to fix some fences on Walson Moor and had told him that he was taking his gun with him in case he got a shot at a rabbit. He said that his father frequently went to Walson Moors and sometimes took his gun with him.

George Madge had told his son that he would be back for tea at 4.30pm but when he had failed to return by 8pm the son went to his brother's farm, Spestos Farm, to see if he was there but he wasn't.

George Madge's son then became alarmed and he and his brother and two other people went out looking for him and found him on the moor beside a fence that divided one part of the moor from another with his gun lying nearby.

The gun was lying parallel to his left side with the butt resting on the bottom bar of the fence and its muzzle stuck in the mud. He had a gunshot wound on the right side of his head just below his ear which had blackened skin around it.

It was noted that he had no financial worries and had been in excellent health and had not mentioned killing himself.

The police arrived at about 11pm and found that the gun contained two cartridges, one loaded and one discharged with the left trigger still cocked. The police said that because of the blackened skin and the way that the left side of George Madge's face and jaw was completely shattered, that the gun must have been close to his neck when it had gone off.

The coroner said it was difficult to say whether the wound was self-inflicted or whether it had gone off accidently as he was climbing over the fence when something had touched the trigger and an open verdict was returned.

There are newspaper reports from 12 November 1921 relating to George Madge or George Madge jun. of Spestos Farm being summoned for selling milk to the Alderney Dairy in Exeter not of the substance and quality required.

Later newspaper articles in February and March 1923 after his death relate to the selling off of his estate including six lots of freehold property comprising the Spestos Estate with possession at Michaelmas, Nymett Vila with meadows near Church, a cottage residence with an orchard and two meadows adjoining the Waslon Road. An earlier auction in February 1922 had been held in a field near to the Railway Hotel in Bow to sell off fifty loads of Mangolds in three lots, two ricks of hay, a rick of firewood and an excellent collection of nearly new implements, machinery and harnesses etc.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Western Times - Friday 24 November 1922

see Western Times - Friday 02 February 1923

see Western Morning News - Friday 24 November 1922

see Western Times - Saturday 12 November 1921

see Western Times - Friday 09 March 1923