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Author Topic: Frederick Holman - railway suicide (was he caught with his fingers in the till)  (Read 74 times)
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Craggs
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« on: May 14, 2017, 09:06:56 AM »

I came across this whilst searching for something else in the newspaper archives.  The article is handy as it allows me to link into another Horley resident who died.......  but this makes interesting reading on its own.  Frederick Holman's body was found on the railway lines.  There didn't appear any reason for him to have killed himself - but then, during the course of the Coroner's inquest it turns out that he ran the local savings club and there was a lot of money missing.  The Coroner, sitting without a jury,  didn't believe that it was a factor ! ! !

Surrey Mirror - Friday 19 December 1919

HORLEY MAN'S TRAGIC END.

INQUEST STORY.

The inquest on Frederick Holman, of Albert-road, Horley, a munitions worker, whose shockingly mutilated body was found on the Brighton Railway Company's line at Horley, was held by the Coroner (Mr. F.J. Nightingale), without a jury, at the Council Officers, Horley, on Monday morning. Set-Sergt. Bear represented the Brighton Railway Company.

Richard Holman, Shipley Bridge, Burstow, identified the body as that of his son, aged 37. He was a munitions worker and lived in Albert-road, Horley.  Witness saw him last a week ago; he then seemed perfectly alright and did not complain of any trouble.
The Coroner : Was there anything at all to worry him, as far as you know ?
Witness : I know of nothing.
Witness added that the deceased seemed to be in his usual health, but he thought Dr. Williamson had been treating him for some considerable time.  Deceased had not been able to work lately.  

William Dobson, Chestnut-road, Horley, employed on the Brighton Railway as a plate layer, said on Thursday morning at about 7 o'clock between the Balcombe-raod bridge and the gas-house, he found the body of the deceased.  The body was about 65 yards south of the bridge, and there was no footpath at the spot.  The body was lying in the four-foot way.

Henry Graham, of the "White Swan" public house, Horley, said that the deceased was at his house on Wednesday evening.  There was nothing unusual in his manner, and he seemed quite cheerful.   Deceased was playing cards.  Witness saw him leave the house at 10p.m., but he did not know which way he went.

Julia Nalder, Station-road, Horley, said the deceased came to her fish shop at 10.15 on Wednesday evening.  He bought some fish and chips and took them away with him.  She noticed nothing unusual about him.

P.S. Galloway said deceased did not go back to his lodgings that night.

Thomas Robert Wallace, landlord of the "Gatwick" public-house, Station-raod, Horley, said he last saw the deceased on Wednesday from 12 o'clock to 1.30.  Deceased was secretary of the Slate Club, and also secretary of the Loan and Investment Society carried on at witness's house.  He had been secretary of the Slate Club since 1911, and this was his third year as secretary of the Loan and Investment Society.
The Coroner : Did he have control of the money ? - He received contributions from the members and handed them over to me as treasurer.  I sent for Mr. Pickard, the schoolmaster, to come and see the accounts, and he went through them yesterday.  I received this statement from him.   The Slate Club accounts are perfectly correct but on the Loan and Investment Society there is a deficit.
The Coroner (examining the statement) : There is a deficit according to this of £122 14s 2d.
Witness said that Mr. Pickard could not check the accounts absolutely, as he had not received all of the contribution cards from the members.  There would be a share out on Friday.
The Coroner : Did the deceased mention anything to you ? - Nothing.  He has been most regular in his attendance at meetings.
Witness produced the books in connection with the banking account, and said the banking account corresponded with the amount of money the witness had received from the deceased.  What amount deceased took from members he did not know.

The Coroner said that the statement which the witness has produced was some account made up by someone and the alleged deficit might be capable of explanation.  It did not necessarily follow that there was any defalcation.
Witness :  He did not hand over all the money that he received and that might be the cause of committing the rash act that he did.  He was always the same when he came to the meetings, never flurried, and everybody had perfect confidence in him.  No one had any reason to suspect him until this happened.

Dr. Williamson said that he had attended the deceased for influenza.

The Coroner said that he was not going to take this matter into consideration at all.  It had to be proved - there might be or might not be a deficit, and it might be capable of explanation.  He was not going to say there was a deficiency or not, as the witness had said the investigations were not yet completed.  He (the Coroner) had to decide how this man came by his death, and having regard to the evidence he came to the conclusion that he committed suicide.  The more difficult question was to decide as to the state of his mind.  There is some evidence that he had been ill.  Without coming to any definite conclusion or saying there were defalcations there might have bene some trouble, and the deceased having had influenza he came to the conclusion that he was insane at the time.  There would be a verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane.
_____________________________________________________

I'm still looking through the newspapers to see if there was any outcome for the examination of the Loan and Investment Society's accounts.  The witness, Mr Thomas Wallace, stated that there was going to be "a share out on Friday" - that would make it the last Friday before Christmas and I think that the deceased, Mr Frederick Holman, knew that he was about to be rumbled.  Clearly he has committed suicide - but not because he was unwell or insane - because he realised that he had been caught with his fingers in the till ! ! !

One of the other witnesses, Julia Nalder of Station Road, Horley, ran the local fish and chip shop.  She is related to Private George Nalder who is buried in St. Bartholomew's churchyard  - I'll do a post on Private balder in due course.  ( edit comment - post now done, please use the link on his name if you wish to )
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 17:39:16 PM »

Frederick William Holman

Born 1883 Burstow, Surrey. Baptised 26.8.1883
 he married Fanny Friday 28.10.1905 at Horley(his father shown as Richard). His wife died 1911*.

In 1891 with parents Richard & Sarah & 3 younger siblings. At Burstow, where his father was a Groom/Coachman.   
In 1901 still with parents. At Rippleside, Charlwood. His  father was a  Brickyard Labourer, and he a Brick Pl layer’s(sic) Labourer.

*Burial Record She was buried 8.3.1911—(shown as sister of James Friday, and her abode 143 Albert Rd, Horley)
James buried 4.3.1911

Cannot find Frederick in 1911(taken 2nd/3rd April)(not surprised having lost his wife & brother in law)
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 19:42:58 PM »

marriage cert

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holman 1.jpg
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