Unsolved Murders

Margaret Ellen Nally

Age: 7

Sex: female

Date: 4 Apr 1915

Place: Aldersgate Station, London

Margaret Ellen Nally was found dead in the ladies waiting room of Aldersgate Station.

Her last movements where detailed as follows:

3.30pm: Left home in Amberley Road to visit her aunt.
4.20pm: Arrived at the house of her aunt on Carlisle Street, Edgeware Road.
6.30pm: Returned to her aunt's after going to her grandfather's.
7.30pm: Went out with her little cousin to buy sweets.
8.00pm: Cousin returned home alone saying that 'Maggie has gone home.'.
10.00pm: Presumed time of murder in Aldersgate Station.
11.53pm: Discovery of the body.

The last person to see her alive was her cousin who was 5 years old.

Carlisle Street ran parallel with Edgeware Road and was about a mile from her home on Amberley Road in Paddington. However, she was in the habit of making the journey because her grandfather lived on Carlisle Street.

The aunt had been lying down upstairs with a bad headache and was unable to bear the discord that the children were making and so she gave them a penny and told them to go off and spend it. Margaret Nally and her cousin then went off to the sweetshop at the end of the street. Margaret Nally was wearing her hat and coat which she had never taken off and led her smaller cousin by the hand who was hatless and had golden curls. However, only the cousin returned carrying a halfpenny worth of sweets. When the aunt asked where Margaret Nally was the cousin replied that she had gone home. However, by that they assumed that they had meant her grandfathers on Carlisle Street and it was not until Margaret Nally's father came looking for her that any alarm was felt over her safety.

When the cousin was later questioned she was asked if Margaret Nally had been with a strange man and the cousin said, 'Yes'. When asked where, she said, 'In the street'. When asked what kind of man he was the cousin said 'An old man'. And when the cousin was asked if Margaret Nally had gone off with him she said, 'Yes'.

The owner of the sweetshop on Burne Street which was a continuation of Carlisle Street and ran down the side of Edgeware Road and the Metropolitan Railway which was almost opposite the station said that on the Sunday night she saw an old man giving some pudding to some children in the street. She said that she ran out of the shop and told the children not to take it but said that the old man had said, 'Oh, it is quite good, and I will not do them any harm'. However, the sweetshop owner said that she refused to let the children eat what they had and told them to run away.

The sweetshop owner said 'I saw the little girl's photo in the paper this morning. For the first time I recognised her as having been in my shop on Sunday evening. I cannot say exactly what time it was except that it was evening. She bought some sweets called cream mixtures and then she went out. I saw no man about just then.'.

It was noted that Margaret Nally had only spent half a penny in the shop with the intention of spending the other half penny at another shop and as such it was thought that the half penny that was found on her when she was found dead at the station was the same half penny that she had been intending to buy sweets with and as such she was probably intercepted shortly after leaving the first sweetshop at about 7.57pm and never made it to the next sweet shop.

The doctor said that Margaret Nally probably died at 10pm and it was thought that she had been decoyed away for the previous 2 hours and had possibly gone to the picture theatre.

An examination of Margaret Nally revealed that she had been outraged.

She had had a piece of undervest stuffed into her mouth by which she was suffocated and had been terribly maltreated before her death.

When she was found her body was still warm. She was found by an inspector at the station doing his rounds.

She had blue eyes, a full face, brown hair tied up with a pink ribbon and was wearing a grey coat with brown half-collar two metal buttons, and two side pockets, a white pinafore, a bright flowered sash tied under the pinafore, a dark red frock with a white pearl button at the back, black button boots with patent toes, nearly new, and black socks.

The police noted that the fact that a lady attendant was not at the station throughout the whole of the day was probably known to the killer. It was also said that it was out of the question that Margaret Nally could have been murdered in one of the open corridor trains of the underground and therefore it was almost certain that she had been taken into the waiting room alive.

On the floor of the waiting room the police found a half penny which it was thought her killer had given her to entice her away or was from the change she had got at the sweet shop.

Inquiries were also made in relation to another attempted abduction in Angel where a man had gone up to a little girl aged 11, that had been sent out to buy a paper on the Good Friday morning. He had spoken to her and then then induced her to go on a tram with him and took hold of her hand but she had slipped away. However, he had followed her and offered to take her to a picture palace. The little girl had said that she was frightened and the man had said, 'Walk along to the Tube Station with me, I am meeting my sister there'. He had led her quickly towards the station but when near she had escaped him and run off home. After the girls brother had gone out looking for the man but didn't find him.

Also, on 5 April 1906 a man in the Edgeware Road neighbourhood said that his little girl had been accosted by a strange man who had asked her to go to the picture palace with him and had led her away by hand but she had started to cry and he had let her go. He was described as being about 21 years of age, 5ft 10in high and dressed in dark clothes and wearing a black and white check cap.

Margaret Nally's mother said :

She was the flower of my little flock, and now we have lost her. She was the dearest little kiddie God ever put breath into. She had bright blue eyes and brown curly hair. I cannot understand how anyone could have enticed her away, because I had always warned her about following or going with strange men, and I am sure she would do what I had told her to. I do not think that he could have carried her away either because she was a big sturdy child. It is awful. I cannot believe that she has met such a death. It must be a maniac who has done it. To think that Saturday was the little dear's birthday, and now she is dead.

The Saturday would have been Margaret Nally's seventh birthday.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Tuesday 06 April 1915

see Daily Record - Wednesday 07 April 1915 (includes photo)

see Western Mail - Tuesday 06 April 1915

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Tuesday 06 April 1915