Unsolved Murders

Gladys Merrick

Age: 16

Sex: female

Date: 8 Feb 1943

Place: Reform Club, Goldthorpe

Gladys Merrick was found strangled on a piece of waste ground on Monday 8 February 1943 at about 11.15am by a pensioner who was taking his usual morning walk along the path at the back of the Reform Club in Goldthorpe.

She was found semi-nude with her clothing was torn and she had marks on her throat. She was said to have still had on her socks and shoes. The land she was found on was described as a piece of waste land which was behind the Reform Club in Goldthorpe by the common.

She was a munition girl and had lived at 38 Briton Street in Thurnscoe.

She was about 5ft 3in tall with fair hair and grey-blue eyes.

She had left home the previous evening, Sunday 7 February 1943, at about 7.15pm, wearing a blue blouse and skirt, a three-quarter length brown coat, blue overalls, a brown scarf with yellow stripes, and a yellow scarf which she had worn as a turban. When she was found her clothing was found strewn about her.

It wasn't until later on the Monday that she was identified. Her mother found out after hearing some women talking about the murder in a queue, and when she asked who the girl was, she found out that it was her daughter.

The Reform Club was just off the main road and Gladys Merrick was found lying about 15 yards from the road.

The doorkeeper at the club said that he had not seen Gladys Merrick enter the club on the Sunday and said that only one woman, who had been wearing trousers, had entered.

The Club Steward whose bedroom window was about ten yards from where Gladys Merrick's body was found said that he had been up until late on the Sunday night but heard nothing fom outside.

Another woman that lived nearby said that heard the sound of a person running and a scream, and another woman who lived in a bungalow next to the plot of land where Gladys Merrick was found said that she thought that she heard a scream at about 9.15pm on the Sunday.

However, it was also heard that it was not uncommon to hear screams and the shouts of girls at about that time.

Her mother said that when Gladys Merrick went out she promised to be back by 9.30pm which was the time that she was specified to be back by. However, when she failed to return, her mother said that she was not too concerned and made no enquiries as she knew that Gladys Merrick was in the habit of visiting her grandfather who lived at the other end of Goldthorpe.

She said that Gladys Merrick used to go out and stand by the doorways to the local dance halls and watch the dancers.

A neighbour said that Gladys Merrick came into her house just before 7pm on the Sunday 7 February 1943 to see her husband to ask him to cut out some soles for her shoes, saying that she had 'somebody to see'.

It was not known what she had done between leaving her home and being murdered.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Saturday 13 February 1943, p5

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Friday 26 March 1943

see Week 42

see Made in Thurnscoe