Conisborough Woman’s Pathetic End

February 1916

Mexborough Times, February 5, 1916

Goodbye For Ever
Conisborough Woman’s Pathetic End
A Sad Story

An exceedingly tragic story of a woman’s suicide at Conisborough on Monday night was told to the Doncaster Borough coroner, Mr R.A.H. Tovey, yesterday (Thursday). The deceased was Mily Bailey (34), wife of William Henry Bailey, a traction engine driver, of Braithwell.

The Husband´s story

The husband, who is employed by Mr Boomer, Braithwell, said they had five children. On Friday he asked the deceased if she had paid an account, and she said “yes.” He said then he had better see the receipt, she replied that she had not got it in the house. She made several excuses, and witness naturally thought she sent it to Doncaster, where the money was only, for them to see, to show she had paid it.

He naturally thought it was their mistake. It was an account for some curtains for his master, amounting to £1 17s 6d. The postmaster gave his wife the money last July. The firm had written his master saying the account was very much overdue. He told his wife she had better go to Doncaster and get the matter settled. She’s decided to go, and she set off about 2.30, and the next day he saw the telegram he got Friday night, at seven o’clock saying “fetch pony from Woolpack, Doncaster.” Then he got his master to telephone, asking them to take care of the pony and trap, and went next morning. He found a note from his wife on the seat of the trap, and it read as follows:

“Dear Bill, I am sorry to put you soon in trouble, but I cannot help it. It is for what you said to me this morning, and by the time you get this I shall be dead. One thing I ask you is to take care of my children and my dear little Freddy.; so goodbye, ever. Don’t forget my children.”

The coroner: Were you surprised to receive it? – Yes I was. There was nothing for her to go away for. I thought she might have gone to her parents.

Did you think she meant what she said? – No I did not.

Did you think she had done it to frighten you? – I don’t know, I am sure, because she was just as usual when she went out. She never stayed away like that before, not for a single night.

And yet you did not think it was true?

No sir, because we had been so comfortable.

What did you do between Saturday and Monday? – I did not search. I didn’t know what to do. I did not want to make anything to do about it.

On Monday night he reported the matter to the police at Braithwell. On Tuesday morning he got a note from his sister-in-law at Conisbrough, asking him to go over. He went at once and found his wife downstairs on the sofa very ill, very bad indeed. He got a taxi cab and took her to the infirmary. His sister-in-law accompanied him. On the way he asked his wife what she had taken that stuff for, and she replied “Oh don’t talk! Don’t talk!” Her sister-in-law told him in the note she had taken spirits of salts. He did not see her again alive

Money Matters

Have you been told your wife owed money? – Yes I have heard it.

Did she ever complain that you did not allow her enough? – No not particularly. Since the war everything has being very dear, and sometimes she said she was short of money.

Did she complain she did not receive it when you had any? – Oh no, I handed her everything I could.

You did? – Yes, I always did. In fact she received it nine weeks out of 10.

When did you hear your wife had more drink than was good for her? – Only after she had disappeared.

Did your wife say anything to you when you’ve got to the infirmary? – No sir

Did She? – Well, when I came out, I said “Good afternoon,” and she said “take care of the children”

Visit to Conisbrough

Elizabeth Morton, wife of John Morton, a soldier, who is now an active service in France, 39, Don View Terrace, Conisbrough, sister-in-law to the deceased, said the deceased did not come to see her very often, and as far as she knew the deceased and her husband lived happily together. She never complained of shortage of money.

On Monday night witness went out, returning about 10 o’clock. She found deceased in the house. It surprised her to see her there. She told her she was locked out. Witness thought perhaps there was something wrong, and that she had come away for the night, and that she would go back in the morning. Deceased would not go upstairs to bed, preferred to remain on the sofa. Witness had no suspicion that she intended to commit suicide. About 5.30 in the morning she heard a moaning noise, and she shouted downstairs. She heard the noise again, and upon going down asked the deceased if she was ill and she said “No” at first, and then she said “I have taken something,” and she gave her a bottle out of her pocket.

Spirits of salts

Sergeant Wyldes, the coroner’s officer, here produced a 6 ounce bottle nearly full of spirits of salts.

Witness continuing said she asked what she had taken it for, and she replied that she was in trouble. She asked what it was, and she replied “Oh don’t talk to me.” She was suffering very great pain. Witness called in two neighbours, and sent for Dr McClure. Deceased vomited a lot of blood. The doctor gave her some medicine, and ordered her removal to the Doncaster infirmary. Witness then sent a note to the deceased´s husband, who came, and they took deceased to the hospital. Deceased, when she first came to her house on Monday night, did not look distressed at all.

Dr P.Kane, house surgeon at the infirmary, said the deceased was admitted to the institution suffering very great pain from poisoning. She was confined prematurely about midnight, and afterwards got worse, collapsed and died about 6.30 on Wednesday morning. She told one of the Sisters she had taken poison and she seemed to have worried about the children. She also complained about the dearness of things since the war. So far as they could gather she did not want the baby to live.

The jury returned a verdict that death was due to poisoning and there was no evidence to show the state of the deceased´s mind at the time