Unsolved Murders

Eric Norman Humphries

Age: 35

Sex: male

Date: 7 Oct 1941

Place: Croham Hurst Golf Course, Croydon, Surrey

Eric Norman Humphries was shot whilst he was playing golf on the Croham Hurst Golf Course in Croydon.

He was shot on the twelfth green as he was about to putt.

He was shot in the stomach and taken to hospital where he later died. Before he died, Eric Humphries said, 'I don't know who shot me. It came from the woods. My friend did not do it, and I don't know anybody who would do this'.

At his inquest it was disclosed that a second shot had also been fired.

An open verdict was returned.

Eric Humphries had been a paper buyer for ICI and had lived in Cudworth on Upper Selsdon Road in Sanderstead, Surrey.

A commercial traveller that had been playing golf with Eric Humphries said that he had just finished putting when he heard a shot that appeared to have come from Croham Hurst Woods, saying that it was like a rifle shot or something heavier. He said that he thought that the shot had come from a long way off.

He said that immediately after he heard the shot, he heard Eric Humphries cry out, 'I am shot, shot in the stomach'. He said that Eric Humphries said that several times and that he was still on his feet but swishing about and holding his stomach with his hands.

The commercial traveller said that he didn't see anyone, but said that he had seen three young girls earlier playing near the eleventh hole. He said that they had come out of the wood and onto the fairway like they were playing soldiers and that they ran along and then lay behind a bunker just as soldiers would do to take cover. He said that sometime later he heard the shot.

Another man said that he heard a second shot, saying that it sounded like it had come from a spinney near the course.

An architect that had been playing a foursome on the course said that he had been walking through the spinney when he heard a shot that sounded as though it had been fired from about 100 yards away.

Soldiers were used to search the golf course for clues, but none were found.

It was noted that the whole of the golf course was surrounded by woods.

The police said that no trace of the bullet was found but thought that the wound could have been caused by a .303 round from a service rifle. At the inquest, the pathologist produced a .303 bullet and said that it matched the holes in Eric Humphries's wind jacket and the band of his trousers. He said that only two other bullets would have fitted the holes in his clothes, one being a .300 rifle bullet which he noted was used in certain parts of the country.

Following their investigation, the police said that they thought that the shooting of Eric Humphries might have been an accident. They said, 'In all probability the person who fired the rifle was unaware that he had hit anyone'.

Eric Humphries's father said that he did not think that Eric Humphries had any enemies and that he didn't think that he could make enemies. He said that he thought that everyone that Eric Humphries met was his friend and said that Eric Humphries was always good company and good entertainment.

The man that Eric Humphries had been playing golf with said that Eric Humphries was a difficult man to quarrel with.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Birmingham Mail - Tuesday 07 October 1941, p3

see Gloucestershire Echo - Tuesday 07 October 1941

see Daily Record - Tuesday 16 September 1941

see Liverpool Echo - Wednesday 17 September 1941

see Shields Daily News - Wednesday 17 September 1941

see Belfast News-Letter - Thursday 18 September 1941

see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Tuesday 16 September 1941