Age: 22 months
Date: 28 Feb 1943
Place: Broxton Manor, Four Elms
Maureen Ritchie died from a fractured skull.
She had lived at 17 Market Field Road in Redhill with her mother but her mother had taken her to Broxton Hall in Four Elms in September 1942 after seeing an advert in a paper for a home for children whose mothers were on war work or could not devote their full time to them.
When Maureen Ritchie's mother took her there she had been fit and well, but her mother received a telegram on 1 March 1943 as well as a telephone message asking her to come to the home at once and when she did she found that Maureen Ritchie was dead.
She had died from a fractured skull and an open verdict was returned.
The woman that ran Broxton Hall said that she had rented it since 1942 and that she was not a qualified nurse. She said that she inserted an advertisement in the newspaper and that as a result Maureen Ritchie was brought to the home. She said that Maureen Ritchie had one or two fits during her stay as well as another one on 28 February 1943 and said that she then sent for a doctor but by the time he arrived she was dead.
She added that she had never hit Maureen Ritchie on the head.
The doctor said that he saw Maureen Ritchie some time before Christmas and said that her health at that time was good. He said that he sent her to Tunbridge Wells for an X-Ray as she had something the matter with her arm and said that it was later found that she had a fractured skull as well as a new and an old fracture of the arm. He said that he didn't see her again until after her death.
The radiologist at the Kent and Sussex Hospital said that Maureen Ritchie had had a fractured skull and arm but said that he could not say how recent they were.
The pathologist carried out a post-mortem on 2 March 1943 and said that he found numerous bruises on Maureen Ritchie's body, a fractured skull, and a fracture of both bones of her forearm.
However, the coroner's jury said that there was insufficient evidence to show how the fracture to her skull was caused and an open verdict was returned.
see Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 09 April 1943
see Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser - Friday 09 April 1943