Unsolved Murders

William Ritchie Chalmers

Age: 31

Sex: male

Date: 7 Oct 1943

Place: Grimsby

William Ritchie Chalmers died from phosphorus poisoning.

He was a gunner.

He had gone to the cookhouse to make some cocoa for the night watch. He then became ill and was put to bed.

A sergeant said that they had all drunk the cocoa that William Chalmers had made for them without suffering any ill effects.

The following morning an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital, but he died before arriving.

Following his post-mortem his death was stated to have been due to an irritant poison but although tests had failed to establish the nature of the poison, it was thought that there was every indication that it was phosphorous.

His Captain said that a phosphorous preparation spread out on papers in the officers' mess had been used to kill beetles. He said that the paper slips were gathered up each morning and destroyed. He added that William Chalmers had no access to the phosphorous.

William Chalmers was described as a non-smoker, a non-drinker, a good athlete and a good soldier.

He was from Kirkcaldy and had been a joiner before joining the army 15 months earlier.

He was good at football and whilst in Barrow-in-Furness he had been on Barrow FC's book and later played for Bournemouth and Raith Rovers.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 16 October 1943