Unsolved Murders

Samuel Hammond

Age: 61

Sex: male

Date: 26 May 1955

Place: Highfield Road, Chasetown, Burntwood

Samuel Hammond was found unconscious next to his bicycle in Highfield Road, Chasetown, about midnight on Monday 23 May 1955. He was taken to Victoria Hospital in Lichfield where he died on Thursday 26 May 1955.

He had lived at 4 Commonside in Brownhills and was a lamphouse man, working at Wood Colliery. The distance between his home and place of work was about four miles and he had been riding his bicycle to work for about two years although had not been doing so recently until the day he was found injured as he had had a bad cough.

Samuel Hammond had been working alternately on the afternoon and night shifts and was expected home on the Monday at about midnight after finishing his shift.

A policeman that got to the scene at about 12.15am said that he found that Samuel Hammond had been moved from the road to the pavement. He said that he was unconscious at the time and being given first aid. He said that when he examined the scene he saw blood spots about a third of the way across the road. He noted that if Samuel Hammond  had been coming from his work at the time that he would have been going down a slight incline at the time he came off his bicycle.

His bicycle was examined for damage and found to have none. However, it was noted that the front brake was useless and the rear brake less than efficient. His bicycle lamps were found to be in order.

The pathologist that carried out the post mortem said that his cause of death was laceration of the brain due to a fracture of the base of the skull. He said that his injury could have been caused by Samuel Hammond falling off his bicycle on to the road, but said that it was probable that he fell backwards.

He suggested that it was possible that Samuel Hammond might have suffered from a minor form of epilepsy which would not be revealed and that he might have been subject to fainting fits.

Samuel Hammond's son said that Samuel Hammond didn't appear to him to be a healthy man, but said that he had never known him to have giddy turns.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Lichfield Mercury - Friday 03 June 1955