Unsolved Murders

John Conner

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 2 Jul 1910

Place: Doxey Railway Bridge, Stafford

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

John Conner was attacked in the street.

Three men were tried for his manslaughter but acquitted.

John Conner was an Irishman and had come over to England with a friend to work on the harvest.

They had left Doxey on 2 July 1910 to go to Stafford and paid two visits to pubs in the evening and then returned home at about 11pm.

John Conner's friend said that as they got to Doxey railway bridge they were overtaken by two men who they didn't know who were going in the same direction and that as the men were passing one of them called out, 'Irish pigs', and that then almost immediately one of the men struck John Conner in the face with his fist. The friend said that John Conner then fell down with the man that had hit him on top of him.

The friend said that he went over to John Conner and helped him up and that they then went across the road but said that two other men then came over and that one of them struck John Conner on the head with a belt and that John Conner then ran off. John Conner eventually got onto a railway line where he was seen by a signalman with a wound in his head. Assistance was then obtained for John Conner who was then taken to Stafford Infirmary where he died a few days later from septic meningitis.

The doctor said that the infection was the result of the wound to his head.

At the trial the men on trial said that as they were approaching the railway bridge they had heard a disturbance at the top of the bridge and that when they got there they were attacked by two Irishmen. They said that they could not account for how the injuries were caused other than in a general fight and said that John Conner and his friend had been the aggressors and that they had acted in self-defence.

A doctor said that it was possible that the injury to John Conner's head might have been caused by coming into contact with the bridge, and an architect said that the bridge was a dangerous one and that he had known people to sustain injuries by coming into contact with the bridge parapet.


see Lichfield Mercury - Friday 18 November 1910

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Friday 22 July 1910