Date: 20 Nov 1932
Place: River Tyne
Patrick Hamill was found drowned in the River Tyne.
He had been on a business trip from Belfast to Newcastle and disappeared the day after he arrived on 29 November 1932. He was a commercial traveller and regularly visited Newcastle on behalf of his firm Messrs Remhats, of London, a firm of milliners.
His body was found two months later on 28 January 1933.
He was said to have been a total abstainer and to have earned about £1,000/year.
His disappearance was said to have been mysterious and it was noted that he had no business or private worries.
He had registered at the Royal Turk's Head Hotel on 29 November 1932 and then gone out to arrange an interview with the buyer at a Newcastle shop.
He left the shop at approximately 5.55pm and seemed normal and had arranged to call the following day to show them his samples.
About twenty minutes later the licensee of the St. Peter's Inn about 200 yards from where his body was found said that he had visited her inn in a state of nervous tension and drank two whiskies. It was said that he later appeared to go towards the river where he was seen by a ferryman who asked him if he wanted a boat. The ferryman said that Patrick Hamill said no and that he went off, and that when he came back Patrick Hamill had gone but said that he found an overcoat in his boat. Another report states that the overcoat was found wrapped around the railings of St. Peter's ferry landing and that his hat was found in a boat alongside the railings.
His body was later found at No. 13 wharf which was a mile or so upstream from the ferry landing where his hat and coat were found.
It was noted that by a remarkable coincidence his brother, who was a former Manchester United and international footballer had arrived in Newcastle on the Wednesday night 27 January 1933 and had stayed at the Royal Turk's Head Hotel and was actually involved in searching the river for his brother whilst the police were wiring for him in Belfast, after having just found Patrick Hamill's body.
He said that he had had a premonition that his brothers body would be found.
The brother said 'I was absolutely convinced, I can hardly say how, that his body would be recovered from the river. I left my sick wife in Belfast and arrived in Tyneside last night. Early this morning I went down to the river to recommence the search. Eventually I met a boatman, who told me that I should ring up the river police. I did so right away and was told that my brother's body had just been found'. He said that he didn't suspect foul play.
Patrick Hamill's brother had been involved in the search for him before Christmas, but that search had been unsuccessful.
The doctor that carried out the post-mortem said that Patrick Hamill had appeared to have suffered from pleurisy and tuberculosis and said that there were no signs of any injury likely to have caused his death. He concluded that his death was due to drowning.
An open verdict of found drowned was returned.
see Western Daily Press - Thursday 02 February 1933
see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 28 January 1933
see Shields Daily News - Saturday 28 January 1933
see Leeds Mercury - Thursday 02 February 1933
see Leeds Mercury - Saturday 28 January 1933