South Yorkshire Times January 21, 1950
Conisbrough Man Who Went for a Walk
A verdict of “Found drowned,” with no evidence to show how he came to be so drowned, was recorded by the Doncaster District Coroner, Mr. W. H. Carlile, at a Conisbrough inquest yesterday on Walter Smith, (38), collier, 17, Burcroft Hill, Conisbrough, who was found in the River Don at Conisbrough on Monday, twelve days after he had left home to go for a walk.
Mrs. Doris Hardy, 17, Burcroft Hill, Conisbrough, who identified the body, said Smith had always enjoyed good health. He had been off work for about a fortnight before Christmas and had resumed work the week before Christmas.
In reply to the Coroner, Mrs. Hardy said Smith liked a drink and occasionally drank too much. He came home drunk about 12.30 a.m. on New Year’s Day and had an argument with her husband. Her husband told him to “get fresh digs.”
Mrs. Hardy said Smith had been under notice several times before. Her husband’s remarks were not intended seriously. The subject was not mentioned again after her husband had spoken to him. And everything had since been normal. On January 4th Smith left home about 10.30 a.m. to go for a walk.
“He did not say where he was going. When he did not return I thought he might have gone to his sister’s at Retford,” said Mrs. Hardy, who added that on January 8th she reported to the police that he was missing.
P.c. Freil, stationed at Conisbrough, said an identity card, notebook. ready reckoner, and comb were found in Smith’s Pockets. There was nothing in the notebook.