Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 7 Mar 1937

Place: St Mildreds Bay, Westgate-on-Sea

The body of a newly-born child was found on the foreshore at the extreme end of Westbrook Promenade, near to St Mildred’s Bay in Westgate-on-Sea.

It was found by a labourer that had been walking along the foreshore on the Sunday morning, 7 March 1937 at about 11am. He said that the child was lying nude on a heap of seaweed.

The man then went and informed a policeman that he saw cycling along the Royal Esplanade who then came and took the body away.

It was noted that the tide had been out at the time and it was thought that it had been put there during the morning.

The policeman said that the body was wet because it had been raining. He said that it was below the high-water mark and about 18 feet away from the sea wall. He noted that at the high-water mark the tide would rise 12 feet up the wall.

At the inquest, the doctor that had examined the child's body said that its skull had fractured in several places. He said that the injuries to the child could not have been caused by accident.

The police surgeon that carried out the post-mortem said that the child had been born alive and had been a well-nourished child. He said that the condition of its lungs and heart showed that it had not died from drowning.

He said that there were six fractures of the skull and the brain surface was congested. He added that he did not think the injuries could have been caused by the child falling head first to the ground at birth due to their extent and gravity. However, he said that if the child had been dropped from a height of 15-20 feet then he would have expected to have found other injuries as well.

He added that it would have been possible for a woman to take the body to the sands so soon after birth. He also added that it was evident that no professional man had attended the birth.

He said that death was due to shock from haemorrhage of the brain following multiple fractures to the skull.

The Coroner said that there was a very strong suspicion that the child had been murdered but said that if there had been a crime then there was no evidence to show by whom it had been done and 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 Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 09 March 1937

see Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 16 March 1937

see Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 13 April 1937