Unsolved Murders

Sidney Longford

Age: 19

Sex: male

Date: 4 Jun 1931

Place: The Wash, Boston

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Sidney Longford was found drowned.

When his body was recovered it was thought that it had been in the water for 8 to 10 days.

At his inquest, his girlfriend said that he had threatened to strangle her.

His cause of death was given as drowning and there were no anti-mortem wounds and nothing to indicate foul play, although his body was in an advanced state of decomposition.

Sidney Longford was a pleasure boatman and had lived at 32 Duke Street.

He was last seen alive on 29 May 1931, a Friday, when he was said to have been in perfect health.

His brother said that there was no reason why he would take his own life although it was noted that he had recently had several differences with his young lady.

His brother said that he had been with him on the Friday when they left the boathouse at 7.15pm and said that he had been with him until about 9.20pm when they had parted. He said that Sidney Longford had been in good spirits and said that his last words were 'OK chief' which was an expression that he often used.

He was later seen at his girlfriend's house when he came in to wash his face at 10pm. He asked if his washing had been done as he wanted it. He said, 'I want it, I'm off'. He then rushed out saying that he was going to fetch his brother. His girlfriend's mother said that she tried to stop him but was unsuccessful. His girlfriend's father said that he immediately informed the police and asked them what he could do and said that Sidney Longford had seemed very excitable owing to differences with his daughter but said that as far as he knew there had not been sufficient reason for him to take his life.

The father said that Sidney Longford didn't appear drunk at the time although he might have had a glass of beer or so.

His girlfriend said that they had been keeping company for about a year and that they had met in the early evening on 29 May 1931 and had been together for five minutes. She said that they had not quarrelled but that Sidney Longford had told her what a girl in Skegness had said about her and that Sidney Longford had then asked her if she wanted to go for a walk but that she had said no as she had some work to do. She said that he then said that he was going to see his brother and added that he would not be home late.

She said that she didn't know what time he got home as she was at a neighbour’s house but said that she came in at 9.30am and he was there and that they then went to a shop in the street during which time he threatened to strangle her. She said that she didn't take his threat seriously and had told him not to act silly. She said that he then said that he was going to put an end to it. She said that before he left at 10pm he had jumped up and had threatened to strike her mother but she had told him not to be silly and to stay back. She said that when he left he seemed very excited and had said that he was going to fetch his brother. His girlfriend said that she had only seen him that excited about a few months before.

He was then found by a fisherman on 4 June 1931 who was returning home in the smack Sunbeam, near the Gas Buoy about a mile from the river and about seven miles from Boston. He said that he got into a small boat and then went out to put a line round his body and then towed him into Boston.

The Coroner said that the only evidence was that Sidney Longford was found dead on 4 June 1931 and that there was no evidence to show when or how he died other than that he drowned. The Coroner said that the evidence that Sidney Longford had been very excited on the night of 29 May 1931 was not sufficient proof that he had committed suicide and an open verdict was returned.

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

see Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian - Saturday 13 June 1931