Date: 29 May 1949
Richard Hugh Jones was found dead in room 47 of a railway hostel in Craven Street, London.
He had an injury to his nose from which he died following blood inhalation.
Richard Jones was a railway fireman and shared room 47 at the hostel with another fireman. The other fireman said that he was asleep when Richard Jones returned from night duty on 28 May 1949 and that he left the following morning at about 10.05am leaving Richard Jones still in bed. He added that there was no question of there having been a quarrel between them during that time.
A while after the other fireman left, a cleaner at the hostel was told at about 11.30am by a housemaid that she could not open the door of room 47and so she went to have a look and found that there was something behind the door. She said that she managed to push the door open a little and peeped in round it and saw Richard Jones stretched out on the bed with his head on the floor, adding that it must have been his head that had been in the way of the door.
The house porter was then called. He said, 'I opened the door and found the body on the floor, face downwards. He was completely naked'.
The pathologist that examined his body said that the injury to his nose might have been caused by him falling or by the door being opened on to him, or by him having struck his face on a bedrail or other object. The pathologist concluded that Richard Jones death was due to inhalation of blood into the air passages from the injury to the nose.
Although his death was described as a mystery, a detective sergeant suggested that Richard Jones had been trying to get to his clothes that had been hanging on the door and had fallen. He said, 'In my opinion, he was reaching, probably, towards the jacket for his cigarettes, which were slightly out of the pocket at the time, and he over-balanced and struck his head on the door or on the lower drawer of the wardrobe, which had a projecting knob'.
A verdict of accidental death was returned.
see West London Observer - Friday 17 June 1949, p1