Unsolved Murders

John Lewis Marchant

Age: 51

Sex: male

Date: 12 Jan 1945

Place: Whitton Road, Hounslow

John Lewis Marchant died after being found injured in Whitton Road, Hounslow just opposite the North Star public house.

He was carried into the pub by two men and taken to Hounslow Hospital where he later died.

The barman said that the two men that brought John Marchant into the bar told him that they had picked John Marchant up on the pavement on the opposite side of the road at which point it was noted there was an ambulance call box. The barman said that they undid John Marchant's clothes and that he vomited blood from his nose and blood and alcohol from his mouth.

The barman said that he then took the name and address from one of the men but the police later found that the details were false.

The barman said that he knew the men by sight but had not seen them since.

An ambulance was called at 10.34pm and it arrived at 10.38pm. The ambulance attendant said that when he asked two men what had happened, they told him that John Marchant had walked across the road and then fallen down and collapsed by a lamp post and that they had then brought him into the public bar. The ambulance attendant said that John Marchant was unconscious when he was placed on the stretcher.

A man that lived in Southfield Gardens, Strawberry Hill, said that he and John Marchant and another man left work at 6pm on 12 January 1945 and went to the Red Lion Hotel in Hounslow where they remained until just before 10pm. He said that during that period John Marchant drank about six or seven pints of bitter and that when he saw John Marchant leave he thought that he was going home, although said that he didn't tell him that and that that was the last he saw of him.

The man said that he knew that John Marchant carried a hypodermic syringe, but didn't know why, noting that John Marchant had shown it to him in the bar. He added that John Marchant was not a quarrelsome fellow.

A policeman said that he had received information by phone to the effect that there had been an accident and that a man had been taken to hospital and said that he arrived at the North Star public house at about 11.30pm but was unable to find out what had happened.

The police said that after they made further investigations, they determined that John Marchant had left the Red Lion Hotel between 10pm and 10.10pm on 12 January 1945, noting that the under-manager of the hotel had told them John Marchant had been slightly unsteady on his feet when he had left.

However, the police said that they could not account for John Marchant's movements between leaving the Red Lion Hotel and his discovery just over half-a-mile away, noting that it would have taken him about 20 minutes to have covered the distance.

The police added that they believed that a hypodermic syringe was found in John Marchant's possession.

A woman that lived in the same house as John Marchant said that John Marchant had suffered from asthma, but that during the 18 months that she had known him she had never seen him very bad with it. She said that he carried the hypodermic syringe, but not always the adrenaline that he used to inject into his arm for the asthma, noting that he kept one bottle at home and another at work. She said that he used the drug once or twice a day, and never more. She said that she had never seen John Marchant drunk or unsteady on account of drink, and noted that he usually drank bitter when he was in her company and said that he usually only drank between three or four pints and never more and that she had never seen him consume six pints.

When the coroner summed up he said that there was no evidence to show whether John Marchant had fallen accidently, whether someone had bumped into him and caused him to fall, or whether he had been attacked and an open verdict was returned.

John Marchant had been a toolmaker and had lived at 155 Haliburton Road in Isleworth.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Middlesex Chronicle - Saturday 03 February 1945

see Middlesex Chronicle - Saturday 20 January 1945