Unsolved Murders

Martha Catlow

Age: 38

Sex: female

Date: 26 Jun 1933

Place: Water Street, Accrington

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Martha Catlow died from an illegal operation.

She died in Accrington Victoria Hospital. Her cause of death was given as septicaemia

At her inquest, her next door neighbour was called to the inquest, but after independent legal advice he declined to give any evidence or answer any questions that might incriminate him. He said that he didn't want to give anything more than he had already given to the police. When the coroner summed up he noted that it was a shame that the inquest had not heard from the neighbour noting that at the previous hearing he had been eager and anxious to give evidence and noted that he presumed that he had taken legal advice. He also instructed that jury that they must not look at him with any prejudice because he had not submitted himself to cross-examination.

Martha Catlow's 13-year old daughter said that when she got home on Monday 15 May 1933 Martha Catlow complained of pain. She said that when she got home from school she saw their neighbour who said, 'Your mother is ill in bed. I was going out to the pictures when I heard a knock'.

After Martha Catlow was taken to the hospital a nurse said that as she prepared Martha Catlow for an operation she said to her, 'You've been doing something, haven't you?' and said that Martha Catlow replied 'Yes, nurse, I have', and the nurse said that she asked, 'Who else has been with you?' and said that Martha Catlow replied 'Another woman'. At the inquest, the Chief Constable asked the nurse whether Martha Catlow made any allegations against a man, but the nurse said 'No'.


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


see Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 26 June 1933