Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 5 Feb 1917

Place: Chesterton Cemetery, Cirencester

The body of a newly-born infant was found in a field near Chesterton Cemetery in Cirencester.

The body of the child was found by the caretaker of the cemetery when he was coming back from a dog kennel opposite the cemetery. He said he saw a rook pecking at something in a grass field and thought that it was a dead pigeon. He climbed over a wall and found a duster tied at four corners and when he undid it he found a child's body.

He took the body to his shed and then went for the police.

The parcel had been found about five yards from a public footpath and about five feet from the wall.

It was thought that the parcel had been placed in the field before the Sunday when there had been a snow storm and that it was thrown over the wall with the intention that it would fall amongst the thorns.

The body had been wrapped up in the duster that was doubled up. There were no marks to identify it on the duster.

The child's right ear had bird peck marks, and it was thought that it had been in the field for about 2-3 days.

When the doctor examined the child he said that it was in a frozen state and doubled up.

It was determined that the child had been born alive and had breathed but had probably been thrown into the field soon after its birth. It had no food in its stomach.

The cause of death was given as neglect, cold and exposure, however, the doctor said that it was also quite possible that the child had died before being taken to the field.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Gloucestershire Echo - Wednesday 07 February 1917