Unsolved Murders

Lilian Moorcock

Age: 39

Sex: female

Date: 10 Dec 1934

Place: Rose and Thistle Pub, Argyle Road, Reading

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Lilian Moorcock died from a head injury.

She was found dead that the Rose and Thistle Pub where her husband was the licensee.

It was thought that she might have died as the result of a fall, although it was also suggested that she might have attacked her husband whilst drunk and that he had defended himself.

Her husband said that he heard Lilian Moorcock fall and then found her downstairs. He said that he then propped up her head and found that she was unconscious and then called for her sister. He said that the bruises on her wrist might have been caused when he had had to restrain her to get her out of the bar. He said, 'I have never used any undue violence to her at all'. He said that he didn't think that Lilian Moorcock had been seriously injured when he found her at the bottom of the stairs and said that he put a pillow under her head. He said that he had seen her moaning and groaning so many times that he thought that it was a drunken bout and just made her as comfortable as he could with the pillow.

When the husband was asked how he thought she had received her injury he said that he thought that she was attempting to mount the other stairs when she had fallen back.

Her husband said that she had been drinking heavily since August 1934 and that he had suggested that she should go into an institution.

A doctor that called to see Lilian Moorcock on 15 August 1934 said that it was obvious that she had been drinking heavily and had suggested that she ought go into an institution at once but said that she refused. The doctor said that Lilian Moorcock then asked him into another room and then showed him bruises which she said had been caused by her husband. However, her husband said that the bruises had been caused whilst he was restraining her.

The doctor said that he found Lilian Moorcock in a similar condition on later visits and had told her that if she continued to behave as she did that she would be dead in three months. He said that he thought that Lilian Moorcock was bordering on hallucinations and said, 'I took it that she attacked her husband and he had to protect himself'. He added that when she was drunk, she was in such a condition that it would be necessary to use restraint.

A doctor said that he could not suggest how her fatal injury had been caused but said that her other bruises might have been caused by Lilian Moorcock falling whilst under the influence of drink.

Her cause of death was given as subdural haemorrhage due to a head injury, but it was stated that there was insufficient evidence to show how the injury had been caused.

The Coroner said, 'I fail to see how you can find direct evidence of any violence towards Mrs. Moorcock. There is the possibility that the woman fell off the stairs leading to the bedroom. That seems to me to be the most consistent idea, taking into consideration the position in which she was found'.

An open verdict was returned.


see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 01 January 1935

see Leeds Mercury - Tuesday 01 January 1935

see Portsmouth Evening News - Monday 31 December 1934

see Sheffield Independent - Tuesday 01 January 1935

see Illustrated Police News - Thursday 10 January 1935