Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 20 Dec 1923

Place: Basford Sisings, Hyson Green

The body of a male child was found under the seat of a first-class railway carriage at Basford sidings on 20 December 1923.

A passenger guard on the train said that he recalled a woman getting on the train at Nottingham at 3.50pm with a brown paper parcel and then getting off at Basford without it.

The guard had worked for the London and North Eastern Railway Company and had lived at 546 Vernon Road in Basford.

He said that he had been in charge of the train when it left Nottingham at 3.50pm on Thursday 20 December 1923 and that his attention had been attracted to a woman that hurried to the train when it was on the point of leaving the station. He said that the ticket examiner opened the door of a third class carriage for her, but that she had said, 'I want a first', whereupon the official hurried down the platform and opened the door of a first-class compartment for her, which she entered.

He said that the woman had been carrying a brown-paper parcel under her left arm with a coat over it, in a hanging position.

The guard later said that he was quite satisfied that the same lady alighted at Basford, but that she had not the parcel with her. He said, 'When she got to my brake van she almost stopped, and gave me a most extraordinary look so that I was as near as anything saying to her, 'Lady, haven't you left a parcel?', but I did not say anything as I might have been mistaken, though I was almost certain I was not'.

He said that the train then proceeded to Pinxton, stopping at every station and that it was more than likely that the particular carriage from which the woman alighted was not occupied by anyone else.

He noted that he had never seen the woman before. When he was asked whether he would be able to identify the woman again, he said, 'I would not be certain, but I should have a very good idea'.

The police surgeon that carried out the post mortem said that the child had weighed 5½lb and that the body had been in an advanced state of decomposition. He said that it was wrapped up in two pieces of sheet, and them covered by brown paper and that some string, in two pieces, had been wrapped five times round the child's neck. However, he said that the decomposition was too great for that to indicate anything.

He said that the child had only been dead for between seven and ten days, but that the body had evidently been kept in a place favourable to decomposition.

He noted that there were two large bruises on the left side of the child's head, and on the back of the head.

When the Coroner asked whether that meant that the child must have been struck by something heavy, the police surgeon said, 'Either the floor or with something really hard'.

He said that he presumed that the child had had a separate existence.

When the police surgeon was asked whether, in his opinion, the child had met with a violent death, he said, 'The bruises on the skull were too large to have been produced by a mere fall at birth'.

When he was asked whether the injuries to its skull were sufficiently severe to have accounted for its death, the police surgeon said, 'Oh, yes, they were very large bruises'.

The jury returned a verdict that the child had been murdered by some person or persons unknown.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 28 December 1923