The Strange Death of Grace Watkins - Neepsend, Sheffield February 1927

Wilson Street Neepsend Sheffield circa 1965 - this is where Grace lived with her parents.   

This cutting is from the Manchester Guardian dated 19th February 1927.

I have to admit that I am puzzled by the verdict that was arrived at by the Coroner Mr J. Kenyon-Parker. He was satisfied that there was no foul play involved and that the death was not accidental. In addition there was no legal evidence of insanity. He then assumes that the death must have resulted from suicide and that Grace's actions were the result of her suffering the after-effects of influenza. But the evidence that is provided mitigates against such a verdict. She was "apparently in no trouble (sic pregnant), happy and interested in Sunday School work." Her father testified that the influenza had occurred a month ago and that she had started work again and seemed quite well.  

It was, as the Coroner states a "most extra-ordinary case," but the coroner should have returned an open verdict because that is what the actions and evidence presented at the inquest demanded. There is just no proof that Grace committed suicide   

The Ball Street bridge over the River Don, Sheffield.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] Copyright Dave Pickersgill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Grasce was buried in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery

WATKINS, Grace (daug of Owen, age 16).
Died at 42 Wilson St.; Buried on February 23, 1927 in General ground; Grave Number 2371, Section MM of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, S.Sandercock: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

Sources

Sheffield Indexers

Manchester Guardian 19th February 1927

 

 

Sources

UK CENSUS

Army Record for John William Frith

Sheffield Indexers

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