Unsolved Murders

Charles Wotten

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 10 Jun 1919

Place: Liverpool

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Charles Wotten was found dead in the Liverpool docks following a race riot.

An open verdict was returned.

He was a negro and was said to have been involved in the race riots.

There had been ongoing race riots in Liverpool at the time and the day before two white men were stabbed by several negroes. It was reported that the feeling existed that unless the negroes left the city that the whites would hunt them out.

It was also reported that one negro had waved an iron bar and shouted, 'Down with the white race', but he was arrested soon after and later fined £2.

Another coloured man was fined £2 for insulting behaviour and sentenced to three months imprisonment for attempting to stab a policeman. It was reported that he had defied the crowd, and whilst exhibiting a knife, had shouted, 'Me kill any white man'.

On 10 June, the day that Charles Wotten died, it was reported that thirteen coloured men, several with bandaged heads, were remanded at Liverpool on the Saturday on the charge of attempting to murder a policeman who was shot. They were also charged with rioting.

It was said that the rioting had begun in the cosmopolitan quarter where the coloured population had rapidly increased when some negroes had attacked and stabbed some Danes as they left a public house.

It was said then that an incensed mob chased the negroes, including Charles Wotten, to the Queen's Dock where they tore Charles Wotten from the police and threw him in the water from where his dead body was later recovered.

There had also been race riots in Hull, Cardiff, London and other areas.


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


see The Scotsman - Tuesday 10 June 1919

see Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 11 June 1919

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 10 June 1919

see Shepton Mallet Journal - Friday 20 June 1919