Unsolved Murders

Edward Lawrence McCloskey

Age: 36

Sex: male

Date: 26 Apr 1947

Place: St Johns Grove, Preston Road, Hull

Edward Lawrence McCloskey was found in St John's Grove off Preston Road in Hull.

He was found in the road shortly before midnight on 25 April 1947 and taken to the Royal Infirmary where he died about three hours later in the early morning of 26 April 1947.

He died from a fractured skull and it was later noted that he had had an abnormally thin skull. A doctor said that his injuries could have been caused by him being struck by a passing car.

Papers that were found on him showed that he was a corporal in the army and that he had lodged at an address in Euston Road, Watford but that he was from Londonderry. He had been attached to the 4th Holding Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

He was found by a cyclist that had been cycling along Preston Road towards Marfleet Lane. He saw him in the light of his cycle-lamp and found him to be bleeding from a wound to the back of his head.

Edward McCloskey had been stationed at Catterick at the time and had been on 48-hours leave and had gone to Hull to visit friends.

A girl later said that she had seen him walking along and that she saw him fall and hit his head on the ground.

The police said that they determined that Edward McCloskey had had about seven pints of beer at a variety of public houses earlier in the day with a sergeant from the West Yorkshire Regiment who said that he last saw Edward McCloskey when they left the Anchor Hotel in Southcoates Lane. The sergeant said that whilst they had been in the hotel that Edward McCloskey had sung at the concert, mounting the platform and singing an Irish song, and that after they left he appeared to be insisting on accompanying a woman home.

The girl that he was addressing said that Edward McCloskey had insisted in seeing her home and said that she told him that she was married and crossed the road but said that he followed her and joined her. She said that when they reached the corner of St John's Grove at Southcoates Lane, she asked him where he was going and said that he replied, 'I am seeing you home'. She said that she then told him that he had better return to his pals or he was likely to get lost in the district if he was a stranger and that she then walked home alone, saying that when she last saw him he was at the corner of St John's Grove.

A youth who had been returning from the cinema at 10.40pm with his girlfriend said that he passed a house in St John's Grove, although he didn't know which number it was, and said that he heard a click and saw two men come out of a house, saying that one was tall and the other a bit smaller. He said that when he looked back, he saw the shorter man's head jerk back and then saw the man fall into the road. He said that he then saw the other man walk back into the house. He said that he hung around for a short time but didn't go near the man as he was a bit scared. He noted that he saw no blows struck. When he gave evidence at the inquest, the coroner pointed out to him that he thought that his duty as a citizen would have caused him to have investigated.

The girl that he had been with however gave a different story. She said that when she looked over the youth's shoulders, she saw one man supporting another on his shoulder and said that the man staggered into the road and dropped the other man who then fell heavily and that she then heard a crack. However, she said that they didn't stop walking for another 20 yards and then waited for a cyclist to come along.

The cyclist then came by at 11pm and after finding Edward McCloskey in the road called for the police. The cyclist noted that when he found Edward McCloskey, he had had both of his hands in his pockets

However, at the inquest, the coroner said that the evidence of the youth and the girl was unsatisfactory.

Edward McCloskey was described as a fresh-complexioned man with grey eyes and dark-brown hair and about 5ft 5in tall.

When his clothing was searched the police found a railway ticket for Darlington dated 25 April 1947.

When the coroner summed up, he said that there was insufficient evidence to show how Edward McCloskey came by his injury and an open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 26 April 1947

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 30 April 1947

see Hull Daily Mail - Monday 28 April 1947