Unsolved Murders

Pauline Mildred Cadwallader

Age: 19

Sex: female

Date: 29 Nov 1922

Place: Old Lane Wood, Somerford, Brewood, Four Ashes, Wolverhampton

Pauline Mildred Cadwallader was found dead in Old Lane Wood at Somerford, Brewood near Four Ashes near Wolverhampton on 29 November 1922

Her body was found by a gamekeeper on the Somerford Estate In undergrowth about 100 yards inside the wood, off a road.

It was said that she was found in a natural position on one side and with her head pillowed by her arms. It was said that it was apparent that she had taken off her outer clothes, which were found about six yards from her body, before lying down.

It was said that her undergarments had almost completely rotted away and that it was only by means of her outer clothing that her remains were identified by her father.

She was a domestic servant at Rakegate Farm in Oxley where she had been for the previous three years and had been missing since the middle of August 1922 and had lived about two miles away from where she was found. She was the daughter of a gardener on a local estate.

The medical evidence stated that there was nothing to show the cause of death as all the organs had disappeared. A doctor said that he could not determine her cause of death said that he found no evidence of foul play and said that he thought that she might have died during her sleep in the bushes.

She had vanished after going home for a week. She had left her place of employment in Oxley on Saturday 12 August 1922 for a weekend holiday and was last seen by her family on 14 August 1922.

She was later seen by a police constable two days later on 16 August 1922 at Four Ashes Station and appeared to be about to take a train to Wolverhampton.

She was not reported missing until the following Sunday, 20 August 1922.

At the inquest, a night watchman said that a girl, who had been wearing the same clothes that were found with Pauline Cadwallader's remains and shown at the inquest, had come to his cabin on midnight in August 1922 and had had a cup of tea with him and had told him that she was writing a book about her life, and then vanished.

A married daughter of the mistress for whom Pauline Cadwallader worked said that Pauline Cadwallader was in the habit of sometimes going into the fields to read and smoke.

The jury heard that she didn't have any lover or young man but had wanted one.

Her employer said that Pauline Cadwallader was fond of reading about murders and suicides. She said that when once there was a suicide in the parish that Pauline Cadwallader had said to her, 'Salts of lemon would not take long to do it' and said that she told her not to talk like that again.

She said that Pauline Cadwallader was of a quiet disposition and a little inclined to be mopish and much given to reading and knitting. She said that Pauline Cadwallader had a great fondness for reading tragedies reported in the newspapers, which she said was a tendency that she had commented to her about.

She said that Pauline Cadwallader was quite at home with her family at the farm and was a 'wonderfully good girl', but said that for some weeks before she had gone away that she had noticed that she had been moping.

Pauline Cadwallader's employer said that on the Tuesday following Pauline Cadwallader's departure that she received £3 in notes in an envelope that was addressed in Pauline Cadwallader's handwriting and that had been posted from near to her home. However, she said that she had no explanation for it, but said that she understood that the money had been received by Pauline Cadwallader for milk accounts.

Pauline Cadwallader's mother said that she could think of no explanation for her death and said that because she had been missing for so long that they thought that she might have gone abroad.

The Coroner noted that it was evident that after leaving home Pauline Cadwallader had been sleeping out some nights and that it was possible that she had died in her sleep from exhaustion. He said that there didn't appear to be any foul play as there was still money in her pockets.

It was said that near to her body, which had been reduced practically to a skeleton that there were several articles of apparel including an empty bottle, some unused matches and some clothes. The bottle was said to have been an empty quart bottle and to have resembled those in which certain brands of port wine were sold. Money amounting to a few shillings was found in her pockets.

Her clothing had consisted of a brown cloth coat, a knitted woollen frock, a straw hat and a pair of boots, which were the same clothes that she had been wearing when she had left Rakegate Farm.

A verdict of 'found dead' was returned.

She was one of nine children.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Monmouthshire Beacon - Friday 08 December 1922

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 01 December 1922

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Monday 04 December 1922

see Western Morning News - Monday 04 December 1922