Date: 12 Nov 1939
Charles Edgar Lawrence was found dead in a courtyard off Thrawl Street and Lolesworth Street in Stepney by a baker.
He was first thought to have been the victim of a gang attack, but it was later said that the police didn't think that he was the victim of a gang war, saying that new information led them to te belief that his death had followed a brawl after he had become mixed up in a dispute that ended up in a bitter fight.
It was thought that the attack had been made under cover of the black-out
It was thought that he must have put up a brave fight for his life.
He died from a fractured skull.
The knuckle of one of his fingers was dislocated, his face was scratched, and one side of his head was severely injured.
It was also noted that he had an old scar that was apparently from a wound inflicted with a razor.
It was thought that he had died at about 3am 12 November 1939. The man that found him said that his head was covered in blood. He said, 'I called a special constable. The man was hatless. His hands were folded behind his back'.
Charles Lawrence was a dock labourer and had lived in Westgate Street in Hackney and it was not thought that he ordinarily frequented the area. The police said that they were of the opinion that his body had been dumped in the courtyard following an attack elsewhere.
His neighbour said that he was a very quiet man who didn't often go out in the evenings. She said, 'He spent most of his time at home with his mother, with whom he lived, and I have never heard of his having been implicated in any gang affairs'.
see Gloucester Citizen - Thursday 30 November 1939, p5
see Edinburgh Evening News - Monday 13 November 1939
see Birmingham Daily Post - Monday 13 November 1939
see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Monday 13 November 1939
see Dundee Courier - Monday 13 November 1939
see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Monday 13 November 1939