Date: 2 Jan 1951
Place: Pendley Wharf, Berkhamsted
Harriett Eva Free was found dead in a canal near Pendley Wharf in Berkhamsted on 2 January 1951.
Her inquest heard that there was no evidence to show how she had come to be in the water. It was also noted that there was no evidence to suggest that she had committed suicide.
She had lived in The Row, Berkhamsted and had worked as a part-time domestic worker.
Her body had remained unidentified for over a week until one of her sisters reported her missing to the police. The sister then identified her from photographs and clothing.
The sister told the inquest that Harriett Free's absence from home had not caused them to worry at first because she had been sleeping at the house where she was employed in the village.
When the coroner asked Harriett Free's sister whether Harriett Free was quite a normal person, the sister replied, 'No, she was sort of vacant and lived more or less in a world of her own mind'.
Harriett Free's sister added that she had never heard Harriett Free threaten to take her own life, but said that she had appeared to have been upset recently after a woman who she had worked with for eight or nine years died. She said that after the woman died, Harriett Free had thought that she was not needed so much.
An open verdict was returned.
see Bucks Herald - Friday 26 January 1951