Date: 23 Apr 1940
Michael Duggin was found drowned in a canal.
He had a small wound behind his ear which could have been produced by a blow or a fall.
He was last seen on 9 April 1940 when he left his lodgings drunk and was found in the Grand Union Canal at Maida Vale on 23 April 1940.
Michael Duggin had been employed in a government office in the city and had lived in Delamere Terrrace in Paddington. He was described as being about 40-years-old and unmarried.
His landlady said that Michael Duggin received an army pension and believed that he had been gassed in the previous war and that his health was poor.
She said that he borrowed some money from her on 8 April 1940 and then again on the following day.
A fellow lodger at Delamere Terrace said that Michael Duggin tried to borrow money from him as well on the 9 April 1940 and that they had gone out to a pub in the evening where they drank and that when they returned at 9.00pm, Michael Duggin was drunk. However, he said that Michael Duggin went out again at about 9.30pm and he didn't see him again.
The policeman that recovered Michael Duggin's body from the canal on 23 April 1940 said that nothing was found on him relating to his death.
The pathologist that carried out his post-mortem said that he thought that Michael Duggin had been in the water for at least a week, and probably longer.
He said that he had a small wound behind his ear that might have been caused before his death and that might have been due to either a blow or a fall.
He said that his cause of death was asphyxia from drowning.
The Coroner returned an open verdict stating that the most probable explanation was that Michael Duggin had been drunk and had staggered and fallen into the canal or that he might have thrown himself in. He added that there seemed to be no suspicion that he had been attacked but that as the circumstances in which he had got into the water were unknown, he could not reach a definite conclusion.
see Marylebone Mercury - Saturday 04 May 1940, p5
see Kensington Post - Saturday 04 May 1940