Unsolved Murders

Wallace Raynor Whipp

Age: 43

Sex: male

Date: 13 Feb 1931

Place: Stanton Crossing, Stroud

Wallace Raynor Whipp was found dead on the GWR railway line at Stanton Crossing.

He had lived on Bisley Old Road in Stroud and was a single man.

There was no evidence to show why he had been on the railway line and an open verdict was returned.

Wallace Whipp was a head cellar and warehouseman for the Stroud Co-operative Society and had been in employment for some time.

He had lived with his brother who said that his health, hearing and eyesight were good. He said that as far as he knew, Wallace Whipp had no worries.

However, his brother did say that their landlord had told them that they had to get out of the house they were living in on the Friday. He said that the ejectment warrant was executed on the Friday but said that he was unaware of the warrants existence at the time.

He said that he last saw his brother on the Thursday evening when he went off for work as normal. He said he next heard that his brother didn't go into work the following day.

He also said that he had never heard his brother make any threats to take his life.

A bus driver that lived on Acre Street in Stroud said that he knew Wallace Whipp and saw him at 6.45am on the Friday near the viaduct between Butterrow and Stroud walking towards Stroud. He said that he wished him good morning and that Wallace Whipp mumbled something to him as he passed.

An engine driver for the Great Western Railway said that he was the driver of a rail car that left Chalford at 7.01pm for Gloucester. He said that before reaching Stanton's crossing between Ham Mill and Bowbridge Mill he sounded his whistle. He said the speed of his car was about 25 miles an hour and that as he passed over Stanton's crossing he felt a bump which he said was unusual. He said then at Bowbridge Halt he examined his car but found nothing. However, he said that he reported the matter on his arrival at Stroud Station.

A foreman with the GWR then went off to the crossing in an engine and found Wallace Whipp's body in two pieces on the down line about three or four yards from the crossing on the Stroud side. He said that the legs and lower part of the body were lying alongside the outer rail and the upper part of the body was between the inner and outer rail. He said then that with assistance he removed the body and that on the way back to Stroud he met a policeman who he informed of the occurrence.

It was noted that there were no warning bells at the crossing as such bells were placed only at halts where rail cars stopped to pick up passengers.

A policeman said that he was informed at 7.40pm that a man had been knocked down on the line between Bowbridge and Ham Nill Crossings and said that he went to Stanton's Crossing and searched the line. He said that he found a brown trilby hat lying between the rails on the down line four feet from the crossing on the Chalford side. He said then that he found human flesh on the inside and outside of the outside rail about four feet from the crossing on the Stroud side. He said that he found more blood and flesh nine feet on the Stroud side of the crossing caused apparently by the severing of the body. He said that then, about fourteen feet on the Stroud side he found the legs lying alongside the outer rail with the feet towards the bank and said that the head and body were close by.

The policeman said that on examining the body he found that it had been severed at the waist. He said that there was also a bruise on his forehead that might have been caused by his head coming into contact with the rail car and that his left arm was broken.

When the Coroner summed up he said that there was no evidence that Wallace Whipp had ever threatened to take his life. He also said that it was seen that he had died at the crossing and that if he had been knocked down some distance from a crossing then that might indicate suicide but that that was a matter for the jury who then returned an open verdict.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 21 February 1931

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 17 February 1931