Unsolved Murders

Alastair John Grice

Age: 12

Sex: male

Date: 20 Mar 1949

Place: Toton Railway Sidings, Toton, Nottinghamshire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Alastair John Grice was found dead in a tree with a dog lead around his neck in the early hours of Sunday 20 March 1949.

He had lived at 44 Dale Avenue in Long Eaton. He left his home at about 5pm on the Saturday afternoon, 19 March 1949 to take his crossbred Alsatian dog for a run. When he had not returned by 10.30pm, his father informed the police at Long Eaton police station.

He was found at about 12.50am by a railway shunter who then summoned the police. He was attracted to the tree by the persistent barking of his dog. He said that he had been warned on the Saturday night to keep an eye out for a boy with a brown dog. He then said, 'It was a misty and frosty morning, and everything was quiet on the sidings. There was no shunting at the time. At 12.50am I heard a dog yapping in the field near the cabin in which I was on duty. I peered through the mist and saw a dog come to the fence and whistled it. The dog ran away but came back again. He did this two or three times, and then I wondered whether this was the boy's dog. I took a lamp and went towards the dog, which ran in front of me barking all the time. It kept going ahead and then coming back to see if I was following. The dog led me to an old tree in the osier beds and there I saw the boy in a fork of the tree with a dog lead around his neck'.

After the police arrived, they carried out some investigations, but later said that they were satisfied that there was no foul play.

The police said that they thought that he had died at about 5pm on the Saturday 19 March 1949.

The tree was said to have been a favourite playground for the children of the neighbourhood and was said to have been in the loneliest part of the sidings.

Alastair Grice was one of six children and had been a pupil at Tamworth Road Council School, Long Eaton.

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

see Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 21 March 1949

see Nottingham Journal - Wednesday 23 March 1949