Unsolved Murders

Samuel Compton

Age: 66

Sex: male

Date: 8 Jan 1937

Place: Wilnecote

Samuel Compton died from a stab wound.

He had said that he had fallen on his knife, but the Coroner said that he refused to believe that and an open verdict was returned.

He was a bankman and had lived at 39 Green Lane in Wilnecote.

He was found near an open penknife and there was evidence that he had been sitting on a low rail.

A policeman said that he went to the footpath leading from Green Lane in Wilnecote to the Wilnecote football ground at about 1.30pm and that when he got to the gate he saw Samuel Compton lying just inside the football field, parallel with the rails. He said that he was lying on his right side and that his chest was soaked in blood and that there was a large pool of blood by his side and an open pocket knife within three feet of him covered with blood. He said that when he saw him, Samuel Compton told him, 'I came over giddy and fell'. He said that Samuel Compton then lapsed into unconsciousness.

A farm labourer who lived in Manor Cottages on Hockley Road said that at about 1.10pm he had been walking along the footpath leading from Green Lane and had seen Samuel Compton sitting on the lower rail at the side of the entrance gate. He said that his knees were drawn up under his chin and that he was smoking. He said that he said, 'How do?', to Samuel Compton and that Samuel Compton gave a similar reply. He said that he then went across the football field to the field in which he was working. He said that while he was working there another man came up to him and said, 'Who is the old man there? He seems in a fine mess with blood all over his hands'. The farm labourer said that he then went to the gate where he found Samuel Compton kneeling on the ground. He said that he had fallen off the rail but that his left arm was still over the rail and that that prevented him from falling further to the ground. He said that there was a penknife lying underneath him and that there was a pool of blood. He said that he spoke to Samuel Compton but got no answer.

At the inquest the Coroner asked how Samuel Compton had come to be in a lying position and the knife three feet away, and the policeman said that he had moved Samuel Compton onto his back to see what the matter was. The policeman said that he had seen Samuel Compton sitting on the rail with his hands covered in blood and said that he must have fallen before then.

After Samuel Compton was found injured he was taken to Tamworth Hospital. His son wet to see him at 4.25pm on the Friday that he was stabbed and said that he asked him what had happened and said that Samuel Compton told him that he had been cutting a pipe of tobacco when he felt faint and fell on his knife. His son said that he then went on to add something about trying to clean out his pipe but said that his words then became faint.

Samuel Compton later died at 9.45pm the same day.

He was first seen at the hospital at 2pm. The medical evidence showed that he had two wounds, one half an inch long but only skin deep, and the other, which was close to the first wound, being deep into the pit of his stomach where it had communicated with the left pleural cavity.

His cause of death was given as being due to shock from haemorrhage.

It was also noted that he had had a bad heart.

When the Coroner summed up he said that he was always reluctant to bring in an open verdict but said that he was unable to swallow the theory that he had fallen ten inches onto very soft ground and onto a very blunt knife and to have received the injuries that he had. He also added that there was absolutely no evidence of suicide.

An open verdict was then returned stating that there was insufficient evidence to show how his injuries were received.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Tamworth Herald - Saturday 16 January 1937

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Tuesday 12 January 1937

see Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 16 January 1937