Conisborough Tragedy – Body Found in Lime Kiln

November 1915

Mexborough Times, November 6, 1915

Found in a Lime Kiln
Widow dies from Starvation and Exposure
Sequel to Broken Health

An enquiry was held at the Castle Inn, Conisbrough, on Monday, into the circumstances surrounding the death of Alex Marie Derry (38), who disappeared on Friday from the home of her sister in law, and whose dead body was recovered in an old Limekiln near the viaduct at Conisbrough on Saturday night.

Mrs Marion Kendall, of 2 Station Road, Conisbrough, said deceased, who was her sister-in-law, had been a widow for eight years. Her home address was at Andoversford, Gloucestershire, but she had lived for some time with her husband, who had been an assistant collery deputy, at Denmark Villas, Piper Hill, Leeds.

Deceased had recently held a domestic situation in Lichfield, but was found wandering abroad near the Trent Valley railway station and had been taken to the workhouse infirmary. Witness had her removed from the infirmary to home in Conisbrough three weeks ago, and she had been living there since.

She had been attended by Dr Forster and other medical main for nervous breakdown and depression, but she never threatened to commit suicide. The last time witness saw her alive was on Friday at 12:30, when witness left her in a shop in Conisbrough to wait for a parcel of goods. It appears deceased took that parcel home, prepared dinner for a larger, and left the house about a quarter past one and never returned. A search was instituted by the relative, but to no avail, and the matter was reported to the police the same night.

PC Knowles said enquiries were made, and in consequence of a report  a search was made in the lime kilns on the canal side near the viaduct. The body, which could not be seen from the path, was lying in the Fire hole of one of the kilns. All the hairpins had been taken out of deceased´s hair, which was lying loosely over her shoulders, and two sets of false teeth had been taken from her mouth and laid in a hat by her side. There were no traces of poison, and no marks of violence whatsoever.

The coroner said he thought the jury would be justified in returning a verdict that the deceased died from exposure and starvation and the verdict to this effect was accordingly returned.

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