Unsolved Murders

David Thomas Davies

Age: 61

Sex: male

Date: 10 Apr 1946

Place: Lillie Road, Fulham, London

David Thomas Davies died after a stolen car hit a bus and then knocked down a pillar-box that then fell on to him in Lillie Road, Fulham at the junction with North End Road around 10 May 1946.

He was taken to Fulham Hospital where he died three weeks later. He was said to have initially made good progress but died unexpectantly in his sleep from a blood clot.

The bus had been a number 74 that had come along the road from Putney.

David Davies had been standing outside his dairyman’s shop at the time awaiting a delivery of milk when he was hit by the pillar-box.

He had suffered a fractured breastbone and several fractured ribs but his cause of death as a clot of blood that had detached itself from a bruised area of the leg and entered his blood stream causing a pulmonary embolism.

The stolen car had had three or four men in it and after it crashed into the bus the men in the car were seen to leap out and run away. It was said that the men had jumped out of the car leaving it driverless before it then careered driverless across the pavement and crashed into David Davies's shop window.

It was said that the car had been trying to overtake at the time just beyond the North End Road crossing in Lillie Road.

At the inquest the a detective inspector said, 'Our chances of finding the driver of the stolen car seem very remote'.

The police had taken the stolen car to Walham Green police station where Scotland Yard fingerprint experts carried out a minute examination of it. It was said that extensive inquiries were made to trace the occupants of the car who had got well away in the darkness.

A porter with the Ministry of Supply who had lived in Halford Road who saw the crash said that he saw the bus approaching from Putney at a normal speed and that coming in the same direction at a rapid speed was a car. He said that he then heard a crash and saw three young chaps aged between 20 and 25 running away.

The bus driver, who had lived in Tooting, said that he had heard the screech of brakes and that the car, which he described as going 'flat out', then hit his cabin and that the steering wheel was wrenched from his hands and the bus mounted the pavement and embedded itself in the shop front. He said that the car itself 'took a broadside' and struck the pillar-box and that four medium sized young men, without hats on, got out.

A policeman that spoke to David Davies before he died said that David Davies said to him, 'I was attending to the milk-cans when I was struck from behind. I think it was the letter box'.

After hearing the evidence the Coroner said that he would return an open verdict which he said would not tie the hands of the police in the event of any further facts coming to light.

David Davies had been a dairyman and had lived in Lillie Road where he had run a business at 86 Lillie Road for 26 years. He was said to have been well known at the Welsh Chapel in Effie Road.

He was married and had two daughters.

He was buried at Brompton Cemetery. There were nearly 50 wreaths laid. Amongst the doners were neighbouring traders and tenants and children of the Peabody Estate where David Davies was said to have been very popular.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Fulham Chronicle - Friday 17 May 1946, p3

see West London Observer - Friday 10 May 1946

see Fulham Chronicle - Friday 10 May 1946