Unsolved Murders

John D Rees

Age: 67

Sex: male

Date: 5 Jun 1922

Place: Chesterfield

John D Rees died after falling from a train at Chesterfield.

He was a member of parliament.

On the Thursday he had dined with a woman at home in London and then taken the night train from St Pancras for Glasgow saying that he would return on the Saturday evening.

A train attendant said that he had been into the compartment in question at Bedford and found a gentleman there asleep, full length along the seat with a rug over him and a pillow under his head. He said that the man had been sleeping soundly and had to be woken up so he could see his ticket.

The Coroner asked if it would have been possible for him to have woken up and gone out of the door thinking that it was going into the corridor and the ticket inspector said that he thought it was improbable because he would have had to have double turned the catch on the outside door before it would have opened.

His wife said that John Rees was curiously helpless and singularly unobservant of anything in the way of technical contrivances and was helpless in manipulating a blind, a catch or anything mechanical and that it had been a joke in the family.

A guard in charge of the express train said that the train was pulled up for some minutes just after passing through Chesterfield and a shunter reported to him that there was a door open in the rear of the train. When he went to look, he said that the compartment was empty although there was some luggage in it. The compartment was described as being quite orderly with no signs of a struggle.

He was found by a parcels porter in the six-foot way in a sitting position at about 3.30am still alive and said, 'Move me away from here. Get me away somewhere'. He had a terrible gash to the top of his head, but the wound was not bleeding much, and he was taken to Chesterfield Hospital.

A slipper, a cap and 7s 9d in silver and copper were found nearby on the line.

He said nothing as to how he came to fall out of the train.

A resident surgical officer at Chesterfield Hospital said that John Rees was admitted at 3.45am on the Friday suffering from lacerated wounds of the scalp, fracture of nasal bones, a fractured dislocation of the left shoulder, bruises on the left forearm and contusion to both eyes. He said that John Rees was in a delirious and semi-conscious state and said nothing about how he had come to be on the line. The resident surgical officer said that John Rees had said, 'Lift me up. I am in great pain'.

His wife said that John Rees's health was extra-ordinarily good and that he was full of energy although she said that he was a highly-strung man.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Northern Whig - Monday 05 June 1922