Age: 6 weeks
Date: 9 May 1957
Place: 9D Married Quarters, Berwick
Maria Ann died from asphyxia due to strangulation.
She was the daughter of a private and his wife that lived in married quarters in Berwick. They also had two sons.
A doctor that lived at 35 Castle Terrace said that he was called out at 8.30 on 29 April 1957 on what was described as a 'very urgent' case. He said that when he arrived he found the baby lying on a double bed and on examination found her to be dead. He said that he made no further examination and reported the matter to the Coroner as he could find no cause for her death.
When another doctor carried out a post mortem he concluded that her death was due to asphyxia. She said that her examination of her body revealed indentations about her neck, but said that he did not attach much importance to that because there were marks on other parts of her body as well.
She said that he thought that her death could have been caused by something over her mouth or constriction of the neck and considered it probable that she was strangled by her clothes twisting whilst she was asleep. The doctor pointed out there were no bruises or scratches present that she thought would have been there if there had been violence.
When the Coroner summed up he said that he was satisfied that her cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation but said that there was insufficient evidence to show how that had taken place and that as such he had no option but to return an open verdict.
see The Berwick Advertiser - Thursday 09 May 1957, p1