Unsolved Murders

Nellie Frances Manners

Age: 27

Sex: female

Date: 26 Jan 1948

Place: Grand Union Canal, Willesden

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Nellie Frances Manners was found dead in the Grand Union Canal.

She had been out drinking earlier in the evening, but she was not seen by anyone after she was seen by a porter at Harlesden Station.

When she was pulled out of the canal her blood was found to have contained a high alcohol content.

Nellie Manners was single and a shop assistant, but she had not been in a regular job for about a year, having worked in various factories.

She had lived in St Mary's Road in Willesden and had a seven-year-old daughter.

A master butcher that lived in Albany street said that he had first met Nellie Manners about three years earlier but that since 1 April 1947 he had tried to avoid her because she would not reform and was making scenes.

A man who lived in Blandford Square said that he met Nellie Manners at about 6.30pm on Monday 26 January 1948 near Marble Arch, and that they visited two bars. He said that Nellie Manners had six glasses of gin and two glasses of beer whilst they were together but that he left her at about 10pm.

He said that when they met, he went to a bar where Nellie Manners spoke about love. He said, 'When I first met her, we went to a bar. She spoke about love. I said I was not looking for love, and that if she wanted to be friends, I would go with her for a walk or to a bar'. He said that they then went to another bar where she told him that she wanted some money because she had to pay her rent of £2 the following day. He said that he then gave her £1 and left her at about 10pm.

Nellie Manners was last seen by the railway porter at Harlesden Station later that night. He said that he saw her leave a train and stagger along the platform. He said that he watched her to see whether she would fall on the line and get electrocuted. He said that she went up the stairs for two or three steps and then tried to grasp the handrail and then fell back onto the platform and then went off upstairs.

The police said that no one had come forward to shed light on what happened to Nellie Manners after that. However, they noted that the fur-type coat that she had been wearing had not been traced.

An open verdict was returned. The jury concluded that she died from asphyxia due to drowning but that there was insufficient evidence to determine the circumstances in which the immersion occurred.


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


see Hull Daily Mail - Monday 16 February 1948

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Monday 16 February 1948

see Gloucester Citizen - Monday 16 February 1948

see Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 16 February 1948

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 16 February 1948