Unsolved Murders

James Finlay Sowden

Age: 6

Sex: male

Date: 19 Sep 1949

Place: Seaham Road, Houghton, Sunderland

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

James Finlay Sowden was found injured in Seaham Road, Houghton and later died in Sunderland Children’s Hospital.

He was found in the roadway bleeding badly from a cut in his body at 5.30pm on 19 September 1949 by a man from Holly Avenue whilst he was on his way to feed hens at a nearby allotment. He was then carried unconscious to the house of a doctor who called the police.

It was thought that he had suffered wounds caused by a broken bottle or jar or had been involved in an accident. He had two wounds in his body, a two-inch laceration in the groin and a slight graze on his left leg.

He had lived in Dunkirk Avenue.

His stepmother said that when James Sowden arrived home from school, she told him to change his blouse and that he was then given a piece of bread and butter and told to play in the garden until tea was ready. She said that the next that she knew was that he had been found on the Seaham Road and rushed to hospital.

It was heard that the scene where he was found was only a short distance from Newton Infants' School where James Sowden had earlier in the day acted as monitor for the serving of school meals.


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


see Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Tuesday 20 September 1949

see Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Tuesday 04 October 1949