Unsolved Murders

Arthur Francis Phillips

Age: 61

Sex: male

Date: 9 Feb 1956

Place: Nash, Clee Hill, Ludlow

Arthur Francis Phillips was found dead in a brook near his home.

He was a farmer and had lived at Whatmore Court in Nash, Clee Hill.

An open verdict was returned at his inquest. The pathologist gave his cause of death as being due to drowning.

His step son said that he last saw Arthur Phillips alive at 8.15pm on the Sunday.

He was noted as being missing on the Monday after breakfast by his brother and sister and they went out to search for him and soon found him submerged in a stream about 150 yards from the house.

The stream was noted as having been about 30 inches deep at the point that he was found and 3 feet wide.

His step-son said that Arthur Phillips had not appeared unduly depressed at the time and did not think that he had committed suicide and said that he thought that he had probably slipped and fallen into the stream owing to the river banks being muddy.

He noted that he had lived with Arthur Phillips at the farm for 23 years and that in the previous May 1955 Arthur Phillips had fallen down in the road and injured his back and that since then he had complained of pains in his back. He added that Arthur Phillips had slipped and fallen again in January 1956 in the yard and injured his ankle and that he had been in consequence unable to do much work.

Another step-son said that he saw Arthur Phillips in the farm yard at about 7.30am on the Monday morning but said that he had not been near enough to speak to him.

A step-daughter said that Arthur Phillips had continually complained about pains in his back but said that he had never threatened to take his life.

She said that he had seemed quite normal the night before at 11.15pm when she had taken him a hot water bottle but said that she didn't hear him getting up on the Monday morning.

Arthur Phillips's doctor said that he had attended Arthur Phillips for the previous 20 years and said that Arthur Phillips had badly bruised himself the previous May 1955 when he had fallen down in the road and added that he had also later had a slight fracture of the ankle which he had put in plaster after a fall the previous month. He said that he thought that if Arthur Phillips had fallen into the stream that it would have been more difficult for him to have got out than it would have been for a normal man owing to his previous back and ankle injuries.

A policeman that examined the area around where Arthur Phillips was found in the stream said that he didn't find any footmarks on the banks but said that it was possible that he might have slipped into the brook which he said was deeper at that point than anywhere else in the field.

When the Coroner summed up he said that the facts of the case did not point to suicide, and said that in fact it was hardly more than a possibility, and so concluded that his death was due to downing 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 Birmingham Daily Post - Thursday 09 February 1956, p5

see Kington Times - Friday 10 February 1956