Date: 2 Jun 1925
Place: Exmouth Railway Station
The mummified body of a child was found stuffed up a chimney at the old Exmouth Railway Station during its demolition.
It was thought that it had been placed in the chimney in the general waiting room at the station
It had been there for some time and was said to have been slowly cooked and preserved like a ham.
Attached to its body were pieces of newspaper which contained an announcement of the death of the stationmaster at St Pancras and it was noted that he had died in April 1924.
The body was found by a workman on 2 June 1925 who had been digging on the old wall of the station amongst some bricks and rubbish. He said that as far as he could tell it was found lying by what was formerly the entrance to the old platform from the general waiting room and ticket hall.
A policeman who examined the body said that the body appeared to have been there for some time and must have been near to a fire as pieces of the chimney, soot and ashes fell from it.
A Southern Railway permanent way inspector said that measurements indicated that the nearest chimney to where the body was found in the debris caused by the demolition of the old station was that of the booking hall 12 feet away whilst the chimney of the ladies waiting room was 20 feet away. He said that it was probable that the chimney dropped that way and that the body had dropped with it.
The doctor said that body was of a fully developed female child but due to its mummified and shrivelled state he was unable to to make an internal examination. however, he said that he was of the opinion that the child had not lived five days and that he had a strong suspicion that it had had a separate existence. He said that the fact that the child's arms were drawn up and across the chest indicated that it had been put in the chimney within 48 hours of its birth.
At the Coroner's inquest the police inspector asked the doctor if he was certain that the child had been stuffed up a chimney and that the heat, draught and dryness had caused it to mummify in 15 months and the doctor said that he was.
The Coroner stated that the fact that it was mummified was obviously due to the fact that it had been placed in the chimney and added that it had really cured like a ham from the smoke.