Unsolved Murders

Julia Wigley

Age: unknown

Sex: female

Date: 29 Mar 1910

Place: Southchurch, Southend

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Julia Wigley was found under peculiar circumstances on a beach near Southchurch.

A soldier was arrested and charged on suspicion with causing her death but later discharged.

It was heard that they had been on the beach together and had been involved in a struggle and that she had then drowned.

Julia Wigley was a married woman and had lived in High Street, Smethwick.

She had been working in a drapers shop in Fulham some years before when she had met the soldier and they had become engaged. However, Julia Wigley later went to work in another drapers shop in Battersea where she had met another man who she then married.

The soldier then went off to South Africa and when he returned he went to Birmingham where he renewed his acquaintance with Julia Wigley, staying there for three days, after which he enlisted in the army again and went off to India with the Bedford Regiment.

Whilst in India it was heard that Julia Wigley had written to the soldier telling him that she was very unhappy with her husband and the soldier came back to England to see her and she then left her husband and went to Fulham with the soldier with whom she associated with there.

After Julia Wigley left her husband, the husband found her out in Fulham and it was heard that there was a stormy incident between him and the soldier.

After the incident in Fulham, Julia Wigley and the soldier went to Southend where they bought something from a chemist shop. The soldier said that Julia Wigley had been taking drugs. He said that they then went to the theatre and then afterwards went for a walk and then went to the sea wall where they sat down and took off their hats and talked about the incident in Fulham. He said that Julia Wigley told him that she thought that her husband had had a revolver in his pocket and that he was going to track them both down and kill them. The soldier said that Julia Wigley then got up and walked about in front of him and that she suddenly ran off into the water. He said that he then ran after her and said that there was a struggle.

The inquest heard from a man that said that he had been aroused by the soldier who told him that a woman had drowned and said that the soldier was wet through and that he had appeared to have been mad.

When the police arrived and found Julia Wigley dead they also found an empty bottle of laudanum in the sand. The soldier said that Julia Wigley had taken drugs for toothache. The policeman that arrived at the scene said that when he did so he found that the soldier appeared to have been drinking.

Her death was stated as having been due to drowning. The doctor said that there was nothing to show that she had died from poison.

At the inquest, Julia Wigley's husband denied the allegations that the soldier had said that Julia Wigley had made against him regarding the gun.

It was also heard at the inquest that it was found that the soldier was a deserter and he was afterwards remanded.

An open verdict was returned.


see Weekly Irish Times - Saturday 09 April 1910

see Dundee Courier - Monday 04 April 1910

see Globe - Friday 01 April 1910

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 31 March 1910

see Illustrated Police News - Saturday 09 April 1910

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 02 April 1910

see London Daily News - Saturday 02 April 1910