Unsolved Murders

Victor Lane

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 15 Dec 1936

Place: Alston Fields, Beckford

Victor Lane was found in the road 300 yards from his home and then taken to the Cheltenham General Hospital where he later died.

He was found on the Tewkesbury-Stow Road on the Tuesday and died on the Wednesday.

He had lived in Alston Fields near Beckford, and worked at Langley Hill Farm and was said to have been in very good health and happy in his home life. He had left home early on a lady's pedal cycle and was said to have had a very small quantity of cider to drink during the day. He had then left to return home at 5.15pm with a small bag with his food in it on his handlebars and was expected home by his wife at 6pm.

A woman said that she saw him cycling along between 5.30pm and 5.45pm on the main Tewkesbury-Stow Road between Alston and Hobnails Inn, saying that when they passed he had said goodnight to her and that she had recognised his voice. She said that she could not remember any other vehicles passing her at that time.

Victor Lane was found by a policeman at about 5.45pm as he was driving a police patrol car along the Tewkesbury-Stow Road about a mile from the Teddington Cross Hands on the Stow side when he saw the small light from Victor Lane's bicycle burning on the grass verge. He said that he then found Victor Lane lying close to the gutter on the near side of the road facing Tewkesbury. He said that Victor Lane had a wound to his forehead and that there was a pool of blood under his head with his bicycle lying about eight feet away on the grass verge with his bag still on the handlebars.

The policeman said that Victor Lane was still conscious at the time but was unable to say anything. He said that he then stopped a passing motor-van and had Victor Lane taken to the hospital.

It was noted that a 14-foot-long and 11 inch wide plank was found about 50 yards further up the road. The Coroner said, 'This plank may or may not have something to do with the case. It is a coincidence that a man should be found in this condition on one side of the road, and on the other side a plank. There may be a connection between the two'. The Coroner suggested that the plank might have been carried on a vehicle and that Victor Lane might have somehow come into contact with it. A mark was found on the plank, but it was later shown not to have been blood. However, at the inquest it was heard that the jury dismissed the theory that the plank was in anyway connected with his death.

The doctor that examined Victor Lane said that he had a compound fracture of the frontal bone, a laceration of the brain and a fracture of the lower jaw. He said that there was a hole right in front of his forehead and his brain was exposed. He said that his injuries were consistent with having been made by something sharp.

An operation was carried out on Victor Lane at the hospital, and although he revived after the anaesthetic, he died the following day at 1.30pm from a lacerated brain.

At his inquest, a theory was suggested that he had fallen from his bicycle and had landed with his fists clenched in such a manner that they impacted and penetrated his forehead and caused his injuries.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see The Tewkesbury Register, and Agricultural Gazette. - Saturday 09 January 1937

see Gloucestershire Echo - Saturday 19 December 1936

see Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 26 December 1936

see Gloucester Citizen - Saturday 19 December 1936

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Saturday 09 January 1937