Unsolved Murders

Christopher Brandon

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 31 Aug 1940

Place: Evesham-Cheltenham Road, Evesham

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Christopher Brandon was found dead on the road.

It was said that his injuries were consistent with him having been run over by a lorry.

His inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.

However, the coroner said that he was not satisfied that two soldiers that had been witnesses had told him everything they knew.

A lorry driver that ran Christopher Brandon over was exonerated at the inquest, and the judge noted that it was the second inquest in the last six weeks on soldiers that had been serving with that particular unit and who had been in the condition of having had too much to drink.

A Private said that he had been walking along the Cheltenham Road in Evesham on the Friday evening when he overtook Christopher Brandon who was talking to another soldier. He said that they were both on bicycles. He said that there were four soldiers present, including himself and said that the other soldiers were trying to get Christopher Brandon home for his own safety. The Private said that he then saw Christopher Brandon push one of the other soldiers. The Coroner noted that the Private had been fencing with the questions that were being put to him.

The other soldier that the Private had said he had seen Christopher Brandon with said that he and Christopher Brandon had each had two pints of beer together and had then started off home on their bicycles, noting that Christopher Brandon had been a bit wobbly on the road. He said that they later came up with two other soldiers but said that they did not take part in the squabble.

A man said that he had ridden a little way with two soldiers and that as he had got in his gate he heard two bicycles fall, and then saw them both lying in the road. He said that four soldiers were talking and that two of them wanted to fight each other but that a third soldier was trying to stop them whilst a fourth soldier was suggesting that one should hit the other. The man said that he did not know about the two soldiers that had been walking, but said that he did not think that the two soldiers on bicycles were drunk and incapable, but did say that they appeared to have been drinking.

He said that about half an hour later he heard the sound of an impact and then found Christopher Brandon lying in the road.

Another man that lived nearby in Cheltenham Road in Evesham said that at about 12.40am on the Saturday morning he heard a thud and said that when he went outside he saw Christopher Brandon lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the road.

A woman who lived in Cheltenham Road said that she heard a bicycle fall and then saw a motor-lorry approaching. She said that as she saw the lorry approach, she saw a dark shape lying in the road near the cycle. She said that the lorry swerved slightly and that she then heard a bump. The woman's husband said that she heard his wife scream and that he then saw Christopher Brandon lying in the road. He said that the lorry driver then said to him, 'I never saw him until I was on top of him, but I did not knock him down'.

A policeman that came along said that Christopher Brandon's head was 2ft 6in from the white line on the road and that his feet were 2ft from the kerb. He said that the lorry was considerably scratched and that when the lorry driver made a statement, he had told him that he had been driving at about 18mph.

The policeman noted that Christopher Brandon had had only one penny in his pocket even though he had been paid that day.

The lorry driver said that he could see 50 yards ahead of him but not immediately in front of him and said that Christopher Brandon had been 3 or 4ft in front of him when he first saw him.

Christopher Brandon had lived in Harding Avenue, Bebbington in Cheshire.

see Gloucestershire Echo - Wednesday 04 September 1940, p4

see Gloucestershire Echo - Friday 06 September 1940, p4