Unsolved Murders

Bertha Davies

Age: 56

Sex: female

Date: 27 Mar 1962

Place: Queen Street, Oldbury

Bertha Davies was found dead on some waste ground near Oldbury town centre on 27 March 1962.

She was found by a man that had lived only a few yards away at back of 13 Queen Street. He said that he saw her body with her clothing disarranged.

She had been wearing a red raincoat.

Bertha Davies had lived in Tonks Street in Oldbury.

A pathologist said that her cause of death was an injury to her head. He said that his examination showed an extensive area of bruising on the left side of her forehead that was not caused by a rough or jagged instrument, but which was consistent with having been made by a fist, with quite a considerable amount of force having been used.

The pathologist added that he thought that Bertha Davies was more likely to have been hit where she was found rather than to have walked there after being hit or to have been carried there.

He also told the Coroner:

To hit a woman on the head with his fist is not a thing which a reasonable man would expect to cause death.

An Indian man that had lived in Queen Street at the time, close to where the body was found, said that he had been with Bertha Davies and some other Indians in a public house on the night of 26 March 1962 after which he, Bertha Davies and another Indian went back to Queen Street where Bertha Davies had more to drink. However, he said she became abusive and was told to go home but that she wouldn’t go and that the other Indian man pushed her out. However, he said that as far as he could recall she received no blows. 

He added:

She was very drunk when she left the house.

The Coroner then noted to the jury:

You have no evidence of how the blow was sustained. There is no evidence that the other Indian man gave the blow.

A woman that had lived in Portway Road, Oakham, said that she saw a woman in a red coat in Wesley Street, Oldbury, with an Indian. She said:

She kept stopping as if she did not want to go and he kept pulling her.

A man that lived in the same house as Bertha Davies said that she had had a number of blackouts, resulting in her falling down in a faint, noting that he thought drinking had caused the backouts.

Her inquest returned an open verdict.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Birmingham Daily Post - Wednesday 09 May 1962

see Birmingham Daily Post - Wednesday 28 March 1962