Unsolved Murders

Henry Sharpe

Age: 50

Sex: male

Date: 9 Oct 1915

Place: Halifax Road, Hurstead

Henry Sharpe was found unconscious in Halifax Road and later died.

At his inquest, it was heard that the evidence was conflicting and an open verdict was returned.

He was found at about 7.25pm on the Saturday night in an unconscious condition in Halifax Road, Hurstead.

It was heard that it could not be determined whether he had received his injuries by falling down or by being knocked down by a passing vehicle.

His widow said that she last saw him alive on the Saturday at about 6.55am when he left home to go to work in Little Nook, Littleborough. She said that he was in good health when he left.

A house surgeon said that Henry Sharpe was admitted at 9pm on the Saturday in a semi-conscious state and noted that his breath smelt of drink. She said that he had a scalp wound on the left side of his head and a bruise on his right temple and a wound on his left knee. She said that his death was caused by concussion of the brain resulting from haemorrhage on the right side of the brain. She also said, in answer to the Coroner, that in her opinion, Henry Sharpe had not been run over and said that he could have received his injuries by falling over.

He was found by a motor cab proprietor who had been engaged to take a man from Townhouse in Littleborough to Rochdale. He said that he was driving along when he saw a black object in the roadway. He said that when he saw it, it was about eight yards directly in front of him. He said that at the time he had been driving no faster than 10mph as he had been cautioned when he set off to drive slowly. He said that Henry Sharpe was about four yards from the footpath.

The motor cab proprietor said that the man in his car, as well as some other people that came by and rendered assistance, then moved Henry Sharpe to a shop close by and that he then went off for a doctor.

He said that he didn't notice the smell of drink about him.

However, a gardener said that he had been on the Halifax Road at about 7.25pm on the Saturday evening when he had seen the motor cab proprietor's car coming along the road at a slow speed. He said that the motor cab proprietor sounded his horn as he passed him and then went along. He said that he looked along the road and saw an object about ten yards away, saying it looked like a big dog and said then that the motor cab proprietor drove over it and then pulled up.

The gardener then said that when the motor cab proprietor got out he distinctly heard him say, 'I tried to swerve out of the way, but I could not'.

Another man said that he saw the motor cab proprietor's car approach the shape, noting that it had looked like a dog on all fours, but said that he was confident that the motor cab proprietor's car had not driven over Henry Sharpe as he was in the same position after the motor cab proprietor's car had passed him as he was before.

The man from Townhouse that had caught the cab said that the first that he was aware of the situation was when the cab put on its brakes and swerved to the right. He said that he could not say whether the cab had touched Henry Sharpe, but he said that he was certain that it had not run him over as he would have felt it. He also confirmed that the cab had been driving slowly at no more than ten miles per hour.

Henry Sharpe had lived on Promenade Street in Heywood and was a clogger by trade and employed by the Rock Nook branch of the Littleborough Co-operative Society.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Rochdale Observer - Saturday 09 October 1915