Unsolved Murders

Reginald Hart

Age: 20

Sex: male

Date: 26 Dec 1924

Place: Starcross, Exminster

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Reginald Hart was found dead on a GWR railway line.

It was thought he had fallen out of the train. He had gone to Exeter from Barnstaple to see a football match. The train he was thought to have fallen off was a Plymouth train although there was no known reason why he would have gone to Plymouth.

His skull was fractured and his right arm dislocated. A doctor said that his injuries were consistent with him having fallen off of the train and not of having been run over. He was found a short distance below Exminster on the 27 December 1924, a Saturday.

The police were appealing to anyone that had travelled on the 10.44pm and 10.59pm trains off St. David's, Exeter to Plymouth on the 26 December 1924.

Reginald Hart was described as being 5ft 6in tall with a full face, clean shaven and wearing a dark grey mixture suit, nearly new black boots, a cap, soft white collar, a blue tie and a black and white scarf.

A woman who said that she saw Reginald Hart on the evening of 26 December 1924 in the Castle Hotel, Exeter said that he had had a few drinks but was not drunk. She said that he had stood drinks to everyone in the room and that he was lively. She said that he had told her that he came from Devonport and that he was going back there but had not mentioned Barnstaple. She said that at 10pm they went to the bottom of Castle Street together where she left him opposite Bedford Street saying that Reginald Hart had told her that he had to see some friends that were going back by train.

He had left Barnstaple with a friend on the morning of Boxing Day at 9.47am. However, the friend had left him outside a pub when they had got there although he did say he saw him later in the Castle Hotel around 9.40pm. The friend said that when he saw him he was in the side bar and that there was no one with him although there were some women in the room that he was talking to and that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. He said that he heard Reginald Hart tell the women that he was a Devonport man and that he worked in the dockyard there although he said he never heard him saying anything about going to Portsmouth. He said that when he saw him he saw him with two £1 notes and some silver.

At his inquest an open verdict was returned.


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


see Western Morning News - Tuesday 06 January 1925

see Western Morning News - Monday 29 December 1924

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 06 January 1925

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 31 December 1924

see Western Times - Friday 09 January 1925

see Western Times - Friday 02 January 1925