Date: 31 Mar 1916
Place: Marlciose Farm, Yeovil
The body of a newly born female child was found in a pond.
The child was found by two boys employed at Marlciose Farm in Yeovil as they were seeing to mole traps.
They said that as they were by a pond by the side of an occupation road leading to Brimsmore Farm when they noticed the parcel floating in the water near the bank. They said that their curiosity was aroused and that on raking the parcel in with a stick they were horrified to find that it contained the body of a baby.
They then called a policeman who arrived to find the child floating in the water naked about six feet from the bank. The policeman said that he then got the body out and found that it was the body of a newly-born female child.
He said that by the side of the pond he found some tissue paper that was green and rotten.
When a doctor carried out a post-mortem examination of the child, he said that the child was full term and that her lungs were full of air. He said that there was considerable discolouration of a post-mortem nature attributable to petrification of the head and abdomen. He said that her abdomen was a good deal swollen and her head was especially very much discoloured. However, he said that beyond that he could find no marks to indicate violence and found that none of her bones were broken.
He said that he thought that the child had been born alive and had lived possibly for a matter of minutes and that her death could have been caused by some form of violence to the head. He said that he thought that her body had been in the water for several days.
The jury returned a verdict stating, 'that the female infant died from shock, the result of violence applied to the head at birth, but whether such violence was caused by accident or by deliberate intention there was no evidence to show'.
see Western Chronicle - Friday 31 March 1916