Joseph Mellor (1904-1929) - The Death of a French Legionaire - Sheffield November 1929

The first report appears in The Manchester Guardian dated Friday 22nd November 1929 and referred to the death the previous day of Joe Mellor at his home in Nightingale Street, Darnall, Sheffield. Joe had only arrived back in Sheffield on Tuesday 19th November 1929 after being invalided out of the French Foreign Legion. 

From the report which must have been filed very soon after Joe died, it appears that the cause of death was a self-inflicted knife wound to the throat. 

But was I found surprising is that the inquest into Joe's death was held less than 24 hours after he died. The Manchester Guardian dated Saturday 23rd November 1929 referred to the inquest that was held the previous day. The verdict of "suicide while of unsound mind" was to be expected but the coroner's indifference towards the French Foreign Legion seems to be at odds with his duties as a coroner. The ill-health that Joe had contracted whilst serving with the Legion in North Africa was certainly a factor in his depression and his eventual suicide.

The Sheffield Independent carried as always a fuller report of the inquest. This is from the edition dated 23rd November 1929. There does seems to be a slight dispute about when Joe returned to Sheffield. The Manchester Guardian states Tuesday afternoon but The Sheffield Independent states Wednesday afternoon. His father Charles states that it was Wednesday afternoon when he met Joe at the LMS station in Sheffield.  

Nightingale Street Darnall Sheffield (1974) - the road no longer exists


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Manchester Guardian dated 22 - 23rd November 1929

Sheffield Independent dated 23rd November 1929

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