Unsolved Murders

Edward James Gillard

Age: 52

Sex: male

Date: 13 Jul 1922

Place: Langdon Hole, St. Margarets, Kent

Edward James Gillard was found dead at the foot of the cliff at Langdon Hole.

He was an engine driver for the Midland Railway and had lived on Dundee Road in Plaistow in London. He had been an engine driver for 40 years.

He was said to have had some notes on him when he was last seen but when he was found he only had a few shillings in his purse.

He was last seen by his son who he lived with on the Tuesday morning, 11 July 1922 at 10am. His son said that Edward Gillard was on his annual holiday and that the Monday was the third day of it and that on the Monday afternoon Edward Gillard had been to a matinee at the Paladium. His son said that Edward Gillard had said something about going to a matinee at the Coliseum on the Tuesday but had said nothing about going to Kent.

He said that Edward Gillard had had six privilege railway tickets to use during his holidays and had used on on the Monday to go from Plaistow to Charing Cross and had made out another for Southend on the Wednesday but said that he had no idea how he had got to St. Margarets.

Edward Gillard's daughter-in-law said that she last saw Edward Gillard on the Tuesday morning between 10.00am and 10.15am saying that he seemed quite cheerful and ordinary and had mentioned that he was going to the Coliseum. However, she said that he never returned.

The doctor that carried out the post-mortem said that death must have occurred thirty-six hours previous to the body being found putting the time of death at about mid-day on the Wednesday. The doctor also said that he was convinced that he had not died on the Tuesday.

At the inquest a couple of men that had been to see the body at the mortuary said that they thought that they recognised him as a miner that they had seen around the area. They said that they had seen the man sitting on the edge of the cliff and that they had said hello and that the man had replied 'Hullo' in a strange manner and that they had thought that he was strange. They said that he had had his boots and socks off. However, they were not sure whether it was the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and the their evidence was quite vague as they had at first appeared to have said that they had not seen the man before and had then said that when they had seen the body his face had been part covered with a dicky and they had not recognised it straight away.

The Coroner said that he did not think there was any doubt that the body that they had seen at the mortuary was the same body that had been found at the bottom of the cliff. He also said that their statements made no difference to the case and 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 Dover Express - Friday 04 August 1922