Unsolved Murders

Mary Flanagan

Age: 16

Sex: female

Date: 31 Dec 1959

Place: Wallace Road, Newham, East London

Mary Flanagan went missing in Newham on 31 December 1959.

She had lived in Wallace Road, Newham.

She was described as:

  • 5ft 2in tall.
  • Medium build.
  • Hazel eyes.
  • Dark wavy hair.
  • Tanned complexion.
  • Irish and Catholic.

At the time of her disappearance she had been working at the Tate and Lyle sugar refinery in Silvertown although she also occasionally worked at Haymes Optical Frame shop in Stratford, and volunteered with the Blind Association. However, after her disappearance it was found out that she had not been to work for the previous two days and the company said that they had presumed that she had been off sick.

He had attended Holbrook Road Secondary School.

Her family thought that she might have eloped with a man that she had been seen with frequently in the last few weeks before she vanished. It was thought that she had been an Irish immigrant and had been in the merchant navy, however, the police were unable to find any trace of him. The man was said to have been in his early 20s. It was thought that she had had an argument with the man on 30 December 1959 after she discovered that he was living with his mother as it was thought that he had told her that he was living in lodgings. It was said that they had been heard arguing, using raised voices and the event had caused Mary Flanagan to sleep in on the morning of 31 December 1959. Her sister said that following the argument that Mary Flanagan had told her that she was going to end her relationship with the man.

She had been due to attend a staff party at her works in Silvertown that night and was last thought to have been seen hear West Ham tube station. It was said that before she had gone that she had told her sister that she was going to work and that she was then going to the works party.

After she failed to return home her family said at first that they thought that she had been staying with a girlfriend overnight.

It was also thought that she might have been pregnant at the time.

Her family described her as a 'confident young woman who knew her own mind'.

Her sister said in 2013 that she 'knows in her heart' that Mary Flanagan is still alive.

In the same year the police released a photograph of what they thought Mary Flanagan would look like then, aged 70.

Her case was described as the longest-running missing person case in the Metropolitan Police’s history.

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