Date: 14 Aug 1948
Margaret Susan Regan was found dead on a railway line on Saturday afternoon, 14 August 1948.
She died from multiple injuries. It was reported shortly after her death that it was not clear whether a wound in her thigh was caused by a bullet or whether she sustained the injury as she fell. However, her inquest on 19 August 1948 returned a verdict of 'suicide while her mind was temporarily unbalanced'.
She had fallen from a train 50 yards south of Norwood Junction into the path of an oncoming train. The police initially said after finding her body that foul play could not be ruled out and the carriage was taken out of service and sealed for inspection by fingerprint experts.
She had been on the 4.44pm train from Charing Cross to Caterham, also referred to as the London Bridge to Purley service.
She had lived at The Grange off Grange Road in Bermondsey. She was said to have been singing earlier in the morning as she had gone off to work.
A passenger on the train who lived in Overgrange Drive in Prittlewell near Southend said that he saw a woman 'dive' from the next compartment in front of an oncoming train. He said, 'I turned to my wife and said, 'Suicide''. He added that it did not enter his head to pull the communication cord.
The pathologist who examined her body said that she had an 'exit type' wound in the small of her back and another small wound on her left hip which he described as 'something which was not quite consistent with the entry of a projectile'. He said that although it was possible to pass a probe between the two holes, there was no penetration of the bone between them.
He said, 'I think that the hole was caused by the body swinging round some structure, and in so doing the whole of the backbone was pushed down and partly dislocated. It is a freak injury. I have done a lot of railway fatalities, but I have never seen an injury like this up to now'.
see Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 16 August 1948
see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 16 August 1948
see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 16 August 1948
see Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 16 August 1948
see Western Morning News - Thursday 19 August 1948