Date: 6 Dec 1943
George Edward Hulme died from a fractured skull he received mysteriously in a lavatory at a dance hall.
He was a soldier and had been out drinking with a friend.
A corporal said that he went out with George Hulme on 3 December 1943 to several public houses where they had drinks and that after that they went to the Centenary Hall where a dance was taking place. He said that after they arrived and bought tickets they went into the lavatory, however, he said that whilst in the lavatory, he turned around and saw George Hulme lying on the floor. He said that he then carried him downstairs and took him home by train.
At the inquest the coroner asked the corporal, 'Did it occur to you that he might have been attacked by someone?', to which the corporal replied, 'No'.
The corporal noted that George Hulme might have hit his head on a ledge when he fell in the lavatory.
The manager of the Centenary Hall said that he saw the corporal helping George Hulme down the stairs at the dance hall, saying that the corporal told him that he was taking George Hulme out for some air, and that when they got outside he saw the corporal slide George Hulme down, and that as he did so, he heard a terrific crack, and added that there was no doubt in his mind that that was caused by George Hulme hitting his head on the blast wall. However, a man in the Royal Navy said that he had helped to get George Hulme down the stairs at the dance fall and said that he was quite sure that George Hulme had not banged his head against the blast wall when they got out.
The corporal said that he carried George Hulme back to the station and took him on the train back to his house and said that whilst doing so he had no recollection of George Hulme banging his head on the way. He said that he had no recollection of George Hulme banging his head against the blast wall when he was put down, or falling off his shoulder and banging his head. He said that he had tried to revived George Hulme when he found him on the floor in the lavatory, but without success. He said that as he carried him to the station on his shoulder, George Hulme slipped off once, but said that only his feet touched the ground. He said that when the train arrived, he had assistance in getting George Hulme out of the train and that he telephoned for transport to get him home and that when they got back George Hulme's brother helped to undress him and put him to bed.
The corporal said that it wasn't until later that he heard that George Hulme had died.
George Hulme's brother said that the corporal woke him up bringing George Hulme home and told him that George Hulme had passed out through drink and that they then put George Hulme to bed. However, he said that when he was later awakened by George Hulme's irregular breathing, he called for a doctor.
The manager of the Centenary Hall said that after he saw George Hulme carried out by his friend, he asked the doorman how he had come to let George Hulme into the dance in the condition that he was in, and said that the doorman replied, 'It's the quickest one I have ever seen. They were all right when they went in'.
A gunner said that he helped the corporal to put George Hulme, who was unconscious, onto the corporal’s shoulders and said that he then followed them for a while. The gunner said that at one-point George Hulme fell off the corporals shoulders and that there was a thud as though he had fallen on his head.
A doctor that examined George Hulme said that he found no bruise or external injury visible on George Hulme's head and said that he thought that some injury must have been caused in the lavatory. He said that some degree of violence would have been needed to have caused George Hulme's skull fracture, but that it was difficult for him to associate it with his head hitting the blast wall. He said that he could not see how George Hulme could have hit his head on the rough brick blast wall with sufficient violence to cause his injury without leaving any external marks.
George Hulme died from cerebral abrasion and hemorrhage due to a fractured skull.
An open verdict was returned.
see Western Gazette - Friday 07 January 1944