Denaby Tragedy – Suicide forethought – Moored himself to River Bank

January 1935

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 4, 1935

Suicide forethought
Moored himself to River Bank
A Denaby Tragedy

Depression due to unemployment was the reason for suicide put forward at an inquest on William Sudworth (62) 19 Barnburgh Street, Denaby, conducted at Conisborough council offices on Monday by the Doncaster District Coroner Mr W.H.Carlile

Florence Sudworth, the widow, told the coroner that she last saw her husband alive at 9:30 AM on Saturday when he was giving the children their breakfast. He then appeared to be in good health. Witness left to go to the Fullerton hospital and returning about 9:50 AM found deceased had left the house and had told their son that he had gone to visit his brother at Grimethorpe

The coroner: Has he been all right lately?

He has worried a lot. You see he has been out of work two years and because he had been used to doing a lot of work, it had preyed on his mind. He was used to having plenty of money in his pocket and enjoying himself. He could not do that lately

He has threatened to drown himself on several occasions, has he not? – He has read of cases in the papers and he has joked that it would be his end. He has laughed it off

Witness added that her husband had often walked to Grimethorpe for weekends. He had not left a note explaining his action. She had never expected him to do this as he was “a jolly man.”

Wilford Dudhill, 15 Station Road Conisborough, said that about 11:25 AM on Sunday he was walking on the riverbank at Conisborough, when about 200 yards from the viaducts he saw a man’s overcoat and bowler hat on the bank. Looking into the river he found a man’s body floating near the side. Witness went for the police

PC Bowman spoke to having recovered the body from the river. The place was known as the ‘Sergeants Well’ and was about 9’6” deep. The dead man had fastened the muffler to some willows and the other end round his neck. If that had not been done, the current would have carried away the body

The Coroner: He went to a bit of trouble to do this? – Yes

Witness further stated that Sudworth was a big man. There were no marks on the body

Dr D J Clark, who examined the body at the mortuary, said the cause of death was drowning

PC Bowman, recalled, said he had searched the man’s clothing, but found nothing

The Coroner recorded a verdict of “suicide with insufficient evidence to show the state of the man’s mind at the time,” said the fact that the man and left clothing on the bank and had taken steps to make sure his body would not be carried away, was clear proof of suicide