Unsolved Murders

Walter Vernon Scott

Age: 62

Sex: male

Date: 29 Dec 1959

Place: Durrington-on-Sea, Worthing, Surrey

Walter Vernon Scott was hit by a fast Portsmouth-bound train at Durrington-on-Sea station at 2.10pm on 29 December 1959.

He had lived at 24 St Dunstan's Road in Worthing and it was not known why he was at the station.

At his inquest the Coroner said, 'It is difficult to understand what he was doing at Durrington Station'.

A doctor at Worthing Hospital said that Walter Scott died as the result of multiple injuries.

He was a retired licensed victualler but only seven days before his death he and his wife had taken over the Foam Club at Ferring and had planned to move in a fortnight later.

He had left home at 1.05pm which was the time that he ordinarily went for a drink at the Down View Hotel. However, he didn't go to the Down View Hotel and neither did he go to the Golden Lion in Durrington-on-Sea.

His wife noted that on the morning of his death Walter Scott had been checking over the receipts from the Foam Club, but had not seemed worried about them. It was however noted that when he died that he had been carrying papers dealing with the new business at the time and his wife suggested that he might have been going to the Inland Revenue office at Durrington-on-Sea. The driver of the train that hit Walter Scott, who lived in Lovat Road, Copnor in Portsmouth, said that his cab was almost opposite a gap in the wall at Durrington-on-Sea station through which access to the Inland Revenue office could be gained at which point he saw something go across the front of his train cab after which he applied the emergency brake.

The ambulance driver, who lived in Queen Street, Worthing, who took Walter Scott's body from between the rails said that as he did so he saw papers scattered over a large area around his body.

The police said that they checked at the Inland Revenue offices where it was said that security offices took the name of every caller, but said that they found that Walter Scott had not been there on the day of his death.

Walter Scott's wife noted Walter Scott had not had any disappointments over the new business and had never mentioned anything to her about being worried. However, she said that he was a highly nervous person and might have suffered from shell-shock, for which he received a war pension.

Walter Scott's brother-in-law was a chief-inspector. The chief-inspector said that that Walter Scott was 'an acute sufferer of vertigo', such that even if he just stood on a chair that he would completely lose his balance and that as such it was Walter Scott's nature to never stand on the edge of the platform.

However, a porter at Durrington-on-Sea station, who lived in Warren Gardens, Offington Avenue in Worthing, said that after the 2.05pm train to Brighton had left the station that there was no one on the platform.

A policeman added, 'No one saw Mr Scott near the station prior to the accident'.

The jury at his inquest which was held on Friday 22 January 1960 returned an open verdict.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Worthing Gazette - Wednesday 27 January 1960

see Worthing Gazette - Wednesday 06 January 1960