Unsolved Murders

Ellen Astbury

Age: 13

Sex: female

Date: 25 Feb 1934

Place: Handsacre

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Ellen Astbury was found drowned in a canal on Sunday 25 February 1934.

She was found at 3.30pm on 25 February 1934 in the Trent and Mersey Canal adjoining the wharf at Handsacre.

She was found to be scantily dressed and it was thought that the fact that she was not able to dress like other children might have affected her mind. When she was found she was fully clothed except for her hat.

She had lived in Station View in Handsacre.

She was said to have been a very healthy girl and not of an excitable nature. She had been doing housework for a woman before going to school and at night.

She was last seen on 22 February 1934 at about 5pm when she went to the woman's house to do some housework. Her employer said that on the evening she was last seen when she came to work for her, Ellen Astbury had failed to pay an account for which she had been sent out although she said that she had always found her honest and straightforward, although a little forgetful. She also said that she had not found Ellen Astbury out in any dishonest act before.

The woman said that she had given Ellen Astbury half a crown and sent her across the road at 6pm to make a small purchase, and to pay a small account of one and threepence. The woman said that when Ellen Astbury returned, she gave her the correct change. However, she said that shortly after she happened to rub up against Ellen Astbury's coat, which was hanging up, and heard some money rattle in her pocket. The woman said that she asked Ellen Astbury, 'What's this money in your pocket, Nellie?' and said that Ellen Astbury replied, 'I've got to get a postal order for my mother'. The woman then said that she asked Ellen Astbury if she had paid the small account and Ellen Astbury replied, 'Yes, I am sure I have paid her'. The woman said that she accepted that as being true but later found that it was not. She said that she said to Ellen Astbury, 'Well, I am going across to see the woman tonight and she will tell me'.

The woman said that Ellen Astbury left her house at about 6.20pm after she gave her one and a penny to take a parcel to Armitage Post Office and bring some labels. The woman said that she asked Ellen Astbury to come back quickly, and said that Ellen Astbury replied, 'All right, it won't take me long'. However, she said that Ellen Astbury didn't come back. She said that there was no need for her to go near the canal in order to go to the post office.

When questioned, the woman said that Elle