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Amy Irene Tolton

Age: 47

Sex: female

Date: 5 Jan 1955

Place: 55 Mill Road, Worthing

Amy Irene Tolton was found suffocated in her bed on Wednesday 5 January 1955.

She was found dead in her bed by her husband who was a retired insurance secretary.

An open verdict was returned.

She was a mother of a notable Worthing swimmer.

Her death was revealed by the post mortem to be due to asphyxia due to suffocation. Her post mortem noted that there was no internal evidence of her having taken an overdose of any tablets.

It was noted that she had been taking some tablets for high blood pressure but that she had not been prescribed an phenobarbitone tablets.

Her husband said that Amy Tolton had had a stroke in 1950 following a time in which she had had high blood pressure and that she had had two major operations and had been in hospital for five or six weeks and that for a time she had made good progress.

He said that in 1952 her health had varied and that she had sometimes seemed unable to cope with things and later saw a doctor at Worthing Hospital and went for treatment at Summersdale in Chichester, coming back home in December 1954.

Amy Tolton's husband said that Amy Tolton seemed better after that but had told him that she felt worse.

He said that on 4 January 1955 that he and Amy Tolton and their daughter went to Brighton by bus, noting that he thought Amy Tolton appeared to have enjoyed the trip although it had been a tiring walk round the shops. He said that on the return journey he and his daughter got off the bus at the King Alfred swimming baths but that Amy Tolton stayed on the bus and went home.

He said that they all later had supper together at home and went to bed early as they were tired.

Amy Tolton's husband said that when he went to his wife's room the following morning he was alarmed when he got no response from her, noting that her head was on the pillow.

When Amy Tolton's husband was questioned by the Coroner at the inquest he said that Amy Tolton had once complained to him about not being able to sleep and had said, 'I will take a lot of these tablets to see what happens' and that she had once said, 'If I don't sleep I shall go mad soon'.

Amy Tolton's husband noted that he found no letter from Amy Tolton.

After the pathologist gave his evidence, he was questioned by the Coroner and said that he did know of a previous case in medical history in which a woman had suffocated herself by pulling bedclothes over her face, but said that it was very unusual.

After hearing the evidence the Coroner returned the open verdict stating that there was no evidence to show whether Amy Tolton had died from misadventure or whether she had killed herself whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed.


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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Worthing Herald - Friday 14 January 1955

see Worthing Gazette - Wednesday 12 January 1955