Gassed By Exhaust "Crookesmoor Sensation" - Sheffield 1925

The Manchester Guardian dated 2nd November 1925 carried the following report

The local paper The Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported the tragedy in greater detail. Under the title





A double tragedy which took place in the Crookesmoor district of Sheffield in very unusual circumstances was discovered in the early hours of yesterday morning

Lying in a small garage at the rear of 216 Crookesmoor Road the police found a man and a woman lying dead apparently suffocated by the deadly fumes from the exhaust of a small motor car, in which it is presumed they had previously driven into the garage. The engine of the car was running when the bodies were discovered, and it appeared as if the couple had been suddenly overcome by the poisonous atmosphere.

The victims were :-

DOUGLAS WILD, a bachelor aged about 40 plumber and electrician of 30, The Nook, Barber Road, Crookesmoor; and

KATHLEEN SENDALL (25), single woman, of 64 Oxford Street, Sheffield

The scene of the tragedy was a small garage, one of five, at the rear of 216 Crookesmoor Road, also known as Ivy Close. The garages are in line, and they are rented by various people who have no accommodation at their houses for garaging cars. Wild had a two-seater car, and in July of this year he took over the garage. He was a familiar figure in the district where he had been in business at 244 Crookesmoor Road as a plumber and an electrician. His premises consisted of a lock up shop and he resided with his brother My Haydn Wild, an architect, and his sister, Miss Wild who looked after the house.

A most pathetic feature of the tragedy is that Wild's sister is at the present time lying dangerously ill in a nursing home in the city.


Miss Sendall, who was not identified until late last night by her father Mr John Herbert Sendall, a foreman engineer at the Corporation electric power station at Neepsend was on a visit to her parents for latterly it is stated she has been residing in the South of England mainly at Margate. She is said to have a sister at Wimbledon near London and also was described as a vivacious and attractive young woman.

It is seems that on Saturday night Wild was with his brother until about nine o' clock when it is stated that they visited their sister at the nursing home. At eleven o'clock he was heard to drive his small car up the narrow lane which leads from Crookesmoor Road to the garage in Ivy Close. From that time until the discovery was made no further movements were heard. A man in the vicinity of the garage  when he passed just after eleven o'clock did not hear the engine of the car running, but on passing the building a second time he heard the purr of the engine.

Just before one am Mr. Haydn Wild finding that his brother had nor returned home became anxious as it was an unusual occurrence for him to be away from home a\t such an hour. the natural thought was to see if the car had been brought to the garage and Mr Wild immediately proceeded there.


On entering it Mr Wild was met by the smell of fumes and investigating further he made a terrible discovery. In the small garage - it is about 8 yards long by 5 wide - the car was standing with its lights on. The building was full of poisonous fumes, the engine of the car was running, and the strong concentration of gas was no doubt due to the confined space.

Just inside the door on the left hand side the light shone on the body of Miss Sendall who was in a sitting position on the floor with her back against the wall and her head resting against it.. Wild was close by his body being partly against the wall and partly on the door and it appeared as if he had slipped to the ground after being overcome by fumes. Neither was wearing a hat.

Mr Wild rushed down the lane to bring assistance and in a short time Mr S Beresford, the caretaker of the garage who lives in the lane, and the police were on the scene. the Fire Brigade ambulance was also summoned, with Dr M A Greenwood of Crookesmoor Road. The doctor examined both bodied but found that life was extinct, and they were remove  to the mortuary.

During yesterday the police were engaged in trying to establish the identity of the girl. A card was found on her which indicated that she had been in Margate, and up until the evening there was no suggestion that she was a local girl. In fact a description of her had been issued. In the evening the police got in touch with the girls father and she was identified him at the mortuary at half past seven.

Wild was a member of a well-known Sheffield family. His parents are dead but he had lived at Crookesmoor for nearly 20 years and his tragic death has caused a sensation in the district.

The members of Miss Sendall's family were unaware of the tragedy, and the police notification came as a terrible shock"

The garages are where the tragedy are no longer there. Ivy Close is still there (to the left) but the immediate area was extensively developed a few years back, and now hosts a number of flats and apartments

The scene of the tragedy - photo taken October 2010

The rear of 216 Crookesmoor Road - the lane leading to Ivy Close. photo taken October 2010 

The Nook, Barber Road Sheffield - Photo taken August 2010 - The road is a cul-de-sac but you can see the gable end of house on Ivy Close where the tragedy occurred


The Manchester Guardian dated 2nd November 1925

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph

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This page was last updated on 15/11/10 13:25