Date: 8 Dec 1941
Place: Grosvenor Bridge, Battersea
Frederick Charles Stride was found dead on a railway line at Grosvenor Bridge, Battersea, on 8 December 1941.
He was a boarding house keeper at 13 Farquharson Road in West Croydon.
He was last seen by his step-daughter at 8.30pm on the Sunday night on 7 December 1941 at Victoria where she saw him off on a train home to West Croydon. She said that she believed that Frederick Stride had had a return ticket on him at the time and said that when she left him he was quite sober.
The police said that they made inquiries about trains that had passed the spot where Frederick Stride was found on the night of 7-8 December 1941 but were unable to find any instances where doors had been found open.
They said that trains never came to a standstill at the place where his body was found.
The police also searched the line along where Frederick Stride was found and said that they found no railway ticket.
They said that there was a network of railway lines at the point where Frederick Stride was found and said that if he had walked there, he would have come into contact with electric rails. They noted that there was nothing to suggest robbery and nothing missing.
The guard on the 8.30pm train that left Victoria on the 7 December 1941 for West Croydon said that it was a three-coach train and said that there was nothing abnormal about the journey whatever. He said that the train stopped at Battersea Park, but not between Victoria and Battersea Park for either signals or any other reason. He noted that the train had been pretty well packed and that it was unlikely that any man would have been in a compartment by himself.
A doctor that examined Frederick Stride's body said that he had a skull fracture that was compatible with a fall from a railway carriage and that he had a gravel rash on his head. He added that there were no injuries to suggest that he had been attacked and said that Frederick Stride had been a reasonably healthy man and that there was nothing about him to suggest that he might have suffered from fainting attacks.
When the coroner summed up, he said that it would not do to attempt to solve the problem. He said that Frederick Stride had been seen off on a Sunday night from Victoria station, apparently in good health and quite sober, on his way to West Croydon. He said that they did not think for a moment that he could have had a compartment by himself and said that before he got to Battersea Park Station he had somehow or other managed to fall out or get out of the train and fall on his head. The coroner then said that Frederick Stride then lay there on the railway lines at Grosvenor Bridge until he was found the following morning. He then said that no evidence had been produced to say what had happened and that they didn't know what had happened. He noted that the Railway Police and the Criminal Investigation Department had made full inquiries but without any result. He then said that the verdict would be that Frederick Stride died from a fracture of the skull, but that there was no evidence to show how he came to his death and returned an open verdict.
see Chelsea News and General Advertiser - Friday 02 January 1942, p4
see Chelsea News and General Advertiser - Friday 19 December 1941