Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 24 Jul 1903

Place: Woodlands Farm, Narberth South, Pembroke

A newly born child was found at a farm in a pond.

The childs mother was tried for its murder but acquitted.

The mother had been living at Woodlands Farm, Narberth South, Pembroke where she was employed.

On 30 June 1903 the farmers wife said she went to the pig fair in Narberth in the morning at 9.30am leaving the mother at the farm. When she returned at 12.30pm she found the mother in the kitchen and asked her if she was ill. She asked her what was wrong and Miera Lewis said that she was unwell and had had her monthly period. The farmers wife advised her to go to bed which she did.

The farmers wife then noticed some blood on the floor in the kitchen which had been partly wiped up. Later at 3pm she went into the yard where she noticed a bag floating in the pond. She took the bag out of the pond and found the dead body of a child. She said that the body was in the middle of the pond and she pulled it out because it was not usual to put things in the pond. She then left the body in the pond and went upstairs to see the mother and said 'Oh what have you done?' and then the mother said 'Dont say anything, the child was born dead'.

The farmers wife said that she couldn't keep it a secret and then asked where she had had it and the mother said that she had given birth to the child out in the field whilst taking out the ashes.

The farmers wife then went to call the police and whilst she was gone the mother took the body and hid it in the pigcot. The farmers wife saw her there when she returned and Miera Lewis told her that she was going to bury the child.

When the police arrived they went to the field and found on the manure heap. The police then went into the pigcot and searched the inner portion behind the door and found the child hidden in a square hole about 13 inches square.

The childs head and shoulders where dirty and her hands clenched and thumbs indrawn. The policeman said that he had seen cases of drowning and said that the clenched fists were a symptom of drowning. The child was 20 inches long and 6.5 pounds in wieght. The autopsy showed that the lungs flaoted in water and that there was air in the stomach as well as muccus and dirt. The autopsy determined that the child had breathed and was born alive. The autopsy stated that the dirt had got into the stomach by swallowing and concluded that the child died from drowning.

However, at the Carmarten Assizes on 14 November 1903 the mother was found not guilty and discharged.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 72/29/3

see Gloucester Citizen - Friday 24 July 1903

see Belfast News-Letter - Monday 16 November 1903