Unsolved Murders

Olive Gwendoline Rowe

Age: 4

Sex: female

Date: 11 May 1945

Place: 24 Campbell Road, Walmer, Kent

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Olive Gwendoline Rowe died from a fractured skull.

Her stepfather said that he sent her upstairs and shortly after heard a bump and when he went up to see, he found her on the floor making gurgling sounds.

The doctor that carried out the post-mortem said that he found extensive markings, bruises and abrasions all over her body and said that her cause of death was cranial haemorrhage due to two skull fractures. He said, 'I thought there had been three blows on the head. They could not have been caused by a fall. I thought the abdominal bruises were weal’s from a stick. In my opinion the two fractures of the head were caused by separate blows'.

Olive Rowe's stepfather and mother said that they had scolded Olive Rowe and slapped her hands for bad table manners.

The stepfather said that he had been cleaning the house whilst his wife was out and had sent Olive Rowe upstairs as he did so. He said that soon afterwards he heard a bump overhead and that when he heard no other sounds, he went upstairs and found Olive Rowe lying on the floor near her bed making gurgling sounds.

When questioned about her injuries, the stepfather and mother said that Olive Rowe had at various times fallen off her stool, which was a rough home-made structure barely a foot high.

When the coroner summed up he said, 'A curious feature of the case is that the child was marked very extensively with bruises, none of which was material to the cause of death, so there could be no doubt she had received some rough treatment'.

An open verdict was returned.


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


see Dover Express - Friday 11 May 1945