Unsolved Murders

Caleb Chapman

Age: 13

Sex: male

Date: 2 Sep 1938

Place: Pikes Meadow, Westerham Hill, Kent

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The skeleton of Caleb Chapman was found in a field at Pike's Meadow in Westerham Hill near Seven Oaks in Kent.

Caleb Chapman was described as a typical gipsy, and head been first reported missing on 25 June 1938 and was found in a wood near Westerham Hill in Kent on 2 September 1938.

After he went missing, a police appeal was made for information regarding any sightings of him after 3pm on 25 June 1938 by the BBC in a news bulletin.

His body was found among nettles that were five feet high on a piece of wasteland that was only a short distance from his caravan home. His clothes were found in rags.

He had gone missing after having left his caravan to go and visit his brother in Westerham.

It was thought that his death might have been part of a gypsy feud that had been settled with knives. It was reported that the theory of a murderous fight with knives was supported by the fact that his parents had said that he was remarkably strong and healthy for his age, and unlikely to have been the victim of a sudden and fatal illness.

His parents identified his remains solely by a lucky charm that was found round his neck.

It was reported that although his parents had reported him missing, Caleb Chapman had run away to live with other gypsies.

However, the jury at his inquest came to the conclusion that the cause of his death was unascertainable, and an open verdict was returned.


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


see Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser - Friday 23 September 1938

see Dundee Courier - Friday 09 September 1938

see Nottingham Journal - Monday 05 September 1938

see Gloucester Citizen - Monday 05 September 1938

see Hull Daily Mail - Monday 05 September 1938

see Northern Whig - Friday 09 September 1938