Date: 30 Jul 1918
The body of a baby was found on a grid at the inlet to the settling tanks of the sewage system of the RN Cordite Factory.
The body was found by a sewage works attendant at the factory on the previous Tuesday afternoon as he was clearing the ground of one of the settling tanks which received sewage from the works.
He said that the child's body was found on the grid and that it had had no clothing on it. However, he said that when he had cleaned the grid at about 10am earlier that day the body had not been there.
He said that he had been near the grid during the day but was away at dinner time and said that he could not say for certain that the body was not brought and placed on the grid during the day while he was not there.
A clerk of works at the factory said the pipe was the outlet for the entire sewage system inside the railings of the works, and also from the police quarters, temporary cottages, and permanent factory cottages outside the railings. He said that the farthest point of the collection from the grid was about a mile away.
A doctor that had examined the child's body said that it's abdomen was almost in a state of putrefaction which might have been caused by pressure, a blow or by ordinary decomposition. He said that the child was in such a state that that it was impossible to say if it had lived.
The leader of the women patrols at the factory said that about 1,500 women and girls were employed at Holton besides the women and girls who lived at cottages adjoining the works and that enquiries had been made through the agency of the patrols, but no information could be found.
The jury returned a verdict to the effect that there was no evidence whereby to ascertain the parentage of the child, or to show whether it was or was not born alive, and, if born alive, there was no evidence to show the cause of death.
see Western Gazette - Friday 02 August 1918