A Family Tragedy - Winifred Frith and her Children September 1924 Sheffield

The first report is from the Nottingham Journal dated Friday 12th September 1924 and refers to a discovery that was made the previous evening at 57 Bowland Road. 

Nottingham Journal dated Friday 12th September 1924

The Inquest was held the the day after the tragedy - the coroner was Mr. J. Kenyon-Parker. The Nottingham Journal reported the findings of the inquest and also the verdict.  

 

Nottingham Journal dated Saturday 13th September 1924

The Echo dated Saturday 13th September 1924

When I first read the reports of the inquest and the verdict - that Winifred had "willfully murdered" her two young daughters Joyce and Sheila and then committed suicide I was taken aback. Winifred had been depressed and in poor health since the birth of Sheila seven months earlier, and in the last three months received hospital treatment. But the coroner and the jury disregarded this evidence. They concluded that "at the time there was not a shred of evidence" that pointed to Mrs. Frith being out of her mind. In fact there was plenty of evidence to the contrary. And when you look at it it from that perspective, they are correct - the planning and the content of the letters all point towards a rational deliberate act. There is no evidence that she was "out of her mind". 

The fact that Winifred was in all likelihood suffering from chronic post-natal depression and had in effect a nervous breakdown was not a factor in their deliberations.  

Winifred and her two daughters were buried together on Tuesday 16th September 1924 at Sheffield's Crookes Cemetery. This is their burial record

FRITH, Joyce Annie (Child of Stanley, age 5).
Died at 57 Bowfield Road; Buried on September 16, 1924 in Unconsecrated ground; Grave Number 3972, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

FRITH, Sheila (Child of Stanley, age 7 months).
Died at 57 Bowfield Road; Buried on September 16, 1924 in Unconsecrated ground;  Grave Number 3972, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

FRITH, Winifred Susan (Wife of Stanley, age 34).
Died at 57 Bowfield Road; Buried on September 16, 1924 in Unconsecrated ground; Grave Number 3972, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

The family were re-united in December 1928 when Stanley was laid to rest alongside them

FRITH, Stanley (Traveller, age 37).
Died at 177 Upperthorpe; Buried on December 7, 1928 in Unconsecrated ground; Grave Number 3972, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

You are left wondering whether or not the awful tragedy that befell Stanley was responsible in some way for his early death at the age of 37.

Sources

Nottingham Journal dated Friday 12th September 1924

Nottingham Journal dated Saturday 13th September 1924

The Echo dated Saturday 13th September 1924

Sheffield Indexers

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