Unsolved Murders

Samuel John Smith

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 16 Mar 1922

Place: River Teign

Samuel John Smith was found in the River Teign a month after he went missing.

He had been a postal clerk in Exmouth.

He was last seen on 14 February 1922 at about 10.25pm by a policeman walking towards Chepel Street who said that he thought that he had gone off towards the pier and slipped off as there was no fencing around it. He said that he had frequently seen him walking about between 10pm and midnight in the area.

On the Tuesday Samuel Smith had started a few days leave from the Post Office and during the evening he had gone with a friend to the Exmouth Inn where an euchre match was being played. A 10.15pm Samuel Smith was said to have asked his friend if he wanted to accompany him on his usual walk that he was in the habit of taking after having been in doors all day although his friend said that he had refused. His friend said that Samuel Smith might have had a couple of pints but was none the worse for it. He said that Samuel Smith had changed 10s before the inn.

He was found by a postman by Shaldon Bridge. His body was too badly decomposed to allow a post-mortem.

When he was found his boots and socks were missing. He had 8s 10d in cash on him, a pince nez and a wallet which was marked 'S. J. Smith, Post Office staff, Exmouth'. However, a gold chain that he had was not found although it was not known whether or not he had been wearing it.

The Coroner asked whether Samuel Smith had ever threatened to take his own life but was told that he was too jolly for that.

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 Western Times - Thursday 16 March 1922