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Author Topic: An Unsolved Murder Mystery At Chartham?  (Read 203 times)
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Man of Kent1
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« on: May 15, 2017, 12:27:54 PM »

I'm calling this a probable, unsolved murder for the time being as I can find no report on the incident apart from this:
I've been given a *book of childhood reminiscences recently published by a lady living in the village of Bridge, near Canterbury.
In it she writes about attending the local school in the 1930's and, specifically, refers to the visit of the Schools Inspector, 'a very stern-looking man who spent the day sitting in on each class to check our academic progress'......, and so on.
Then she drops this bombshell:
'A shocking incident occurred during one of the inspector's visits to our locality.  He was found dead in his car with horrendous head injuries.  Because this had happened in a lane running alongside St. Augustine's Asylum at Chartham, it was presumed that the murderer may have been one of the patients.  However, as far as I know, that crime has remained unsolved. '
Her memory seems fine to me as, in all other respects, she recalls the names of people, places and events with remarkable clarity, making her 138-page, well-illustrated book a very good read!
She doesn't give the name of the 'victim' and I've accessed all known sites of unsolved homicides in Kent without success.
Perhaps somebody on this site might be able to throw some light on the matter, please!

* 'Skylarks, Spitfires and Swallows: Memories of my Childhood In Bridge' (Dorothy Stevens, 2016)
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Craggs
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 18:08:45 PM »

Since you first posted the 'murder mystery'  I've been looking through the newspapers to see what I could find.  There are, as far as I can see, only two murders in the 1930's connected to or near to St. Augustine's Asylum at Chartham, which is referred to as Chartham Mental Hospital.  One solved and one not solved.....  but no mention of a schools inspector.  The basics are attached for your perusal - but I don't think it is what you are looking for.. .. .. .. .. still .. it makes good reading and maybe the start of a new post (or two) by someone.......

The first is from the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Wednesday 30 November 1938

The second is from the Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 18 November 1939

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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 23:18:38 PM »

Thank you, Craggs, for this information.  If it proves one thing then at least we now know that some murders did occur in the vicinity of the mental hospital!
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Craggs
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 07:32:06 AM »

I also went through the 1920s and also the 1940s just in case the author was slightly mistaken in her dates / years.  I still can't find anything matching her description of what happened.  There were a few patients who were arrested for murder or attempted murder but they had committed their alleged crimes elsewhere - they newspapers just mentioned that they were 'residents' of the asylum.
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 23:21:31 PM »

Thanks again, Craggs. The author attended school from 1931 to the early '40's, as I understand it.  I've since lent the book to another elderly lady, a one time resident of Bridge for many years, in the hope that her memory might be jogged!
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