Unsolved Murders

William Sillwood

Age: 46

Sex: male

Date: 6 Nov 1909

Place: Monks Wood, Epping Forest, Loughton

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

William Sillwood was found dead in a ditch or pond in Monks Wood, Epping Forest near Loughton.

He was found by a search party in about 6 inches of water.

He had been out on night duty at the time.

His cause of death was described as a mystery.

William Sillwood had been a Corporal-Major in the 1st Life Guards and a Sergeant-Major in the Essex Imperial Yeomanry. He had also been in the Household Brigade in South Africa where he had been involved in several engagements and was awarded for his bravery at Sanna's Port where he had assisted in the re-capture of several guns from the enemy, receiving the medal for distinguished conduct in the field.

A few weeks earlier he had been presented with a substantial sum of money by members of the Essex Yeomanry as a mark of their esteem.

He had recently been appointed as one of the forest keepers a month earlier. It was heard that William Sillwood was not fully acquainted with the intricacies of the forest and that he had only a few days earlier remarked jocularly to a friend that he had already lost himself in the forest twice and that in future he would keep to the roads.

He had been missing since the Monday 1 November 1909 and was found the following day, Tuesday 2 November 1909.

It was thought that he might have accidently tripped up and been stunned by his fall. However, it was also heard that he had cuts on his hat that suggested that he had received a blow from behind although the doctor said that he could not find any corresponding signs of a blow on his head.

The coroner remarked at the inquest that there had been suggestions of foul play.

A friend of William Sillwood said that he had seen William Sillwood a few days before his death and said that William Sillwood had a risky job and that at the time he had had a poaching case on with the Epping boys.

William Sillwood was married and had nine children.


see Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 06 November 1909

see Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 05 November 1909

see The Tewkesbury Register, and Agricultural Gazette. - Saturday 13 November 1909

see Buckinghamshire Examiner - Friday 31 December 1909

see Exmouth Journal - Saturday 06 November 1909

see Essex Newsman - Saturday 06 November 1909

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Thursday 04 November 1909