Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: female

Date: 15 Aug 1935

Place: River Tweed, Todholes, East Ord, Berwick

A headless baby was found in the River Tweed.

The body was found on the Tweedmouth side of the Tween near Todholes, East Ord in Berwick on Thursday on 15 August 1935 at 10.30am.

The man that found it said that he didn't know what it was at first. He said that he saw an arm projecting from a piece of cloth and that when he touched it with his foot he came to the conclusion that it was the body of a baby. He said that it was lying among the wrack about the high-water mark. He said that there was nothing that attracted his attention to it and that he just happened to come across it as he was walking along the river side. He said that the tide had turned for about four hours and the cloth was wet and added that he thought that the tide had washed it in or else he would have seen it before.

A policeman that examined the body said that it was wrapped up in a white cloth like a piece of linen.

When a doctor examined the body at 2.45pm he said that it was the body of a newly-born female child minus the head and the left foot. He said that he thought that it had been in the water for some months and said that it was in a very bad state of decomposition. He said that the loss of the head and leg had been caused by putrefaction.

He said that the child’s lungs had never been extended, being small and shrunken and noted that the heart, which he noted took a long time to putrefy, was very decomposed.

He said that it was very difficult to say if the child had had a separate existence but was inclined to say in the legal sense that there had not been a separate existence. He also noted that the cord had not been separated naturally and that the child had never surfacely fully breathed.

He said that the child’s body might have been in the river for as long as a year and that it might have floated up or down the river. He also said that it might have been washed in from the sea. He noted that there was weed attached to it.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Berwickshire News and General Advertiser - Tuesday 20 August 1935, p7