Unsolved Murders

Reuben Smith

Age: 43

Sex: male

Date: 9 Jan 1951

Place: Birdlip, Gloucester

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The remains of Reuben Smith were found in the thick undergrowth of a coppice on a hill at Birdlip on Monday 8 January 1951.

All that remained was his skeleton which was found by a man that had lived in Pilley Crescent in Cheltenham whilst he was out for a walk searching for rabbits through the coppice near the Air Balloon Inn, a centre for visitors to the Leckhampton Hills.

Reuben Smith had lived in Elmfield Road in Cheltenham and had vanished from there on 3 April 1951. He had been an electrician and was last seen when he went off for work at 7.45am.

After he vanished a countrywide search was made for him, with no result.

Articles of the clothing found with his remains were shown to his wife who identified then as his. His clothing included a sports coat.

When he had left home, he had gone off on a woman's bicycle, carrying his tools with him, but neither his tools nor bicycle were found near the location where his body was found. The police said that the problem of his missing bicycle and tool bag were a puzzling aspect to the case.

It was heard that the place where Reuben Smith's remains were found was in about five acres of very rough and overgrown ground which was situated not far behind a high stone wall and it was thought unlikely that anyone would have thought of taking a bicycle over it.

The police added that they were not sure whether or not Reuben Smith had worked on the day that he had disappeared, but said that they were certain that he wouldn't go to any job in the direction where his remains were found.

Some coins were found near his remains and the police took them off for examination.


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


see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Wednesday 10 January 1951

see Western Mail - Wednesday 10 January 1951