Unsolved Murders

Mary Elizabeth Comins

Age: 33

Sex: female

Date: 21 Mar 1943

Place: Vine Street Bus Garage, Scarborough, Yorkshire

Source: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Mary Elizabeth Comins was killed in a disused bus garage at Scarborough, Yorkshire, on 21 March 1943.

Her body was found in a few inches of water in an inspection pit in the garage by a little girl that had been playing in the garage on the night of Wednesday 24 March 1943.

Her injuries were described as minimal, but she was found to have been strangled.

She was last seen on the Sunday 21 March 1943 at about 11pm and it was thought that she had died within a few hours after her last sighting. Her body was not found until three days later.

The bus garage had been occupied by military authorities up to a few hours of the murder.

She had been wearing a black lambswool coat and a small grey felt hat and was fully dressed when found. There were no signs of a struggle and it was thought that she had gone into the garage voluntarily.

She had been out the previous evening with a friend and two soldiers and was last seen later that night with a soldier who was not traced, and it was thought certain that the soldier she had been with had gone off with her and killed her.

It was reported that the police were investigating a tangled 'Number 7' clue that they found in the bus garage. It was said that the 'No. 7' had a forces origin.

The police said that they had extended their search to Richmond, the Midlands and Wiltshire. It was thought that Mary Comins might have had a secret friendship with a temporary visitor to the town and police sought to examine all late-night passes and weekend passes that were issued between 20 March and 22 March 1943.

She had lived in Wrea Lane in Scarborough and her husband had been serving in the Middle East at the time.

Her father, who lived alone in Vine Street, Middlesbrough, was an old man and it was reported that, so he could spend his last days with peace of mind, he was not told about Mary Comins's murder. One of his sons said, 'We are determined to keep the news of Mary's death from father. He has had a stroke and is dangerously ill, and we fear that the shock of hearing of her death might kill him'.

Mary Comins had worked as an assistant at a grocer's shop.


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


see National Archives - MEPO 3/2249

see The Scarborough News

see Daily Mirror - Tuesday 30 March 1943

see Liverpool Daily Post - Saturday 27 March 1943

see Evening Despatch - Thursday 25 March 1943

see Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 27 March 1943

see Newcastle Journal - Monday 29 March 1943

see Daily Record - Monday 29 March 1943

see Manchester Evening News - Thursday 25 March 1943

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 27 March 1943