Conisborough Man’s Suicide – Identification Difficult

October 1925

Mexborough and Swinton Times, October 31 1925

Conisborough Man’s Suicide
Found Floating at Mexborough
Identification Difficult

The body of a man identified as Arthur Cutts, carter, aged 35, of 73 Lime Grove, Conisbrough, was found floating in the canal near Pasture Bridge, Mexborough, last Friday afternoon.

Cutts is a married man, separated from his wife, and had been missing from his lodging, since October 12.

The body was badly decomposed, and a brother living at Whiston Rotherham, failed to identify it, stating that he had not seen his brother for several years. The man’s landlord however, identified the clothing and some articles in the pocket. He also produced at the inquest a note found in the man’s pocket as at his lodgings from which the coroner, without disclosing its contents to the court, concluded that there was clear intention to commit suicide.

The inquest was held at the Mexborough Cemetery on Saturday afternoon by Mr Frank Allen.

Thomas Cutts, farm labourer, of Whiston Grange Cottage, near Rotherham, said he had a brother named Arthur Cutts, and he was about 35 years of age. Witness had seen the body but could not identify it. He heard on October 16 that his brother was missing. He had not seen his brother for three or four years, and did not know his address until he was reported missing, though he knew that he lived in Conisborough. His brother was married but had been separated from his wife for some years.

Another brother present was applied to, but said he could not identify the body “in that position.”

Arthur Sidway, miner of 73 Lime Grove, Conisborough, said that Arthur Cutts and lodged with him for the last four or five years. He was employed in carting coal for the Yorkshire Main miners living in the Conisborough district. Witness last saw him alive in the forenoon of October 16, when he delivered some call to a neighbour and then came into the house for a “snack.”

Witness’s wife saw him last on the evening of the same day. She went out with the children to the picture house leaving Cutts lying asleep on the sofa. Cutts was out when the family retired to bed that night, and during the night witness went to his room and found the he had not come in. Next day he enquired of the man’s employer, Edward Lawrence, who knew nothing of his whereabouts. Later he found in a pocket of Cutts working clothes which he now produced and handed it to the Coroner who, having read it, said to witness: ”You would judge from this that he had gone off to drown himself?

Witness: I practically tipped it from the first.

The Coroner: I don’t want that: when you read the note you thought he had gone to commit suicide? – Yes

When did you notify the police? – Wednesday morning, October 14.

During the time he was with you was he in any trouble? – His wife had left him.

But that was some time ago – before he came to you?

Yes I heard she had gone off with a man, buried him, and got another.

Well, you wouldn’t waste much sorrow about her?

That is what I used to tell him, but he had two children; one of them used to be with me.

Did he ever used to say he was in trouble? – No

Do you know of any trouble that he had?

Well there has been a bit of trouble over the coal carting.

Was he likely to be sacked? – No, but things had gone wrong a bit.

Did he ever threaten to take his life? – No sir.

With regard to the body are you certain that it is his? – Yes

Oswald Fleetwood, 14, Hirstgate, Mexborough, Foreman at the trackless bust deep for at the Mexborough Toll Bar, said that on Friday afternoon he saw the body of a man floating in the canal and drifting towards the Pasture Bridge. He got a trolley stick and try to reach the body but failed. A barge came along and the boatman pushed the body towards him and he was able to bring it to the bank. He then sent for the police.

Police Constable Tully said he found the body at the side of the canal and had it moved to the mortuary. There were no marks of violence. The pockets were a latchkey, a leather purse, and a metal cigarette case. (These items were identified by Sid way), a tram ticket and 2s 2d in money.

The Coroner (to Thomas Cutts): Are you satisfied that the body is that of your brother?

Cutts: Well, it seems so.

The Coroner: Seems! It is certain, unless Sidway is not speaking the truth, and I see no reason to doubt it. I find that your brother committed suicide while of unsound mind.