Unsolved Murders

William Leslie Page

Age: 7 months

Sex: male

Date: 15 Jun 1924

Place: Boughton

William Leslie Page was found dead in a brook.

His mother was tried but acquitted.

When her mother was charged, she had said:

I don't remember anything.

William Page and his parents had lived at 11 Heath Terrace, Boughton Heath.

William Page's father said that he went to bed after supper on 15 June 1924, leaving his wife and William Page downstairs.

Shortly afterwards his wife was seen going down the road with a perambulator.

At about 4pm a labourer that had lived at 1 Chapel Lane in Boughton, said that he had been walking along the meadow at the end of Bachelor's Lane when he heard a moan and that when he looked through a hedge, he saw a woman lying in the water with her face upwards. He said that he then immediately went to the spot and pulled the woman out of the brook and then ran to the lane and sent two boys for assistance.

He said that he then called another man over and they went back to the brook  where the woman was partially revived and they escorted her to Tarvin Union.

He said that he didn't attempt to get the baby, but that as far as he could see, the baby was dead. It was noted that at that point, William Page's mother sobbed into her handkerchief and said:

They told me he was not dead.

The brook was said to have been about nine inches deep and then there was mud.

A police constable said that he went to Batchelor's Lane and met the two men with William Page's mother who was wet and covered in mud. He said that he was then told what had happened and that when he heard about the baby he rushed off to the brook at the far end of Batchelors Lane and found the baby in a ditch, face up. He said that he pulled it out and commenced to try artificial respiration, but noticed that the body was cold and clammy.

An open verdict was returned at the inquest and when William Page's mother appeared at the Chester Assizes on Monday 7 July 1924 on charges of murder and attempted suicide, the judge ruled that her statement was not admissible and the jury, without hearing the defence, returned not guilty verdicts on both charges.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 65/28/6

see Chester Chronicle - Saturday 21 June 1924

see Northern Whig - Tuesday 08 July 1924