Date: 19 Oct 1957
Doris Evelyn Owen Hattersley died from an unknown cause on 19 October 1957.
She was found unconscious at the Minerva Ladies Club in Brunswick Square, London and died 14 hours later in Westminster Hospital.
The pathologist that carried out her post mortem said that he could not determine her cause of death, noting that in 20 years he had only encountered two or three cases where he could not do so.
He said that she died from a coma of an unknown origin and that the most exhaustive tests known had been applied resulting in nothing that could offer a definite explanation.
A scientific officer with the Metropolitan Police who analysed her remains said that he found traces of phenobarbitone but said that it was a very small medicinal dose. He added also that he had been able to exclude other poisons known in his experience. The pathologist that carried out her post mortem said that he was satisfied that her death was not due to an overdose of barbiturates.
Doris Hattersley's daughter said that Doris Hattersley had returned from South Africa six months earlier and had gone to live in the Minerva Ladies Club whilst she moved flats.
A friend of Doris Hattersley who had known her for about a year said that Doris Hattersley had come to live with her about two weeks before her death and said that whilst her mental health was good that her breathing was getting worse. She said that Doris Hattersley had got some pills from a doctor but said that they had been too strong for her and so Doris Hattersley had phoned the doctor.
The assistant manageress at the Minerva Ladies Club said that Doris Hattersley had arrived at the club on 18 October 1957 but that the next day she had been unable to wake her up.
When she was taken to Westminster Hospital the doctor there said that he thought that she had received some cerebral damage but that he could not form any opinion as to the possible cause of her coma.
When the pathologist was questioned by the Coroner at the inquest he said that he could not offer any suggestions as to her cause of death that satisfied him, but noted that at the time that there was a fair amount of Asian influenza about, but added that he did not think that it had any bearing on her death.
An open verdict was returned.
see Chelsea News and General Advertiser - Friday 15 November 1957