Strange Story Of Suicide – Man’s Queer Conduct – Hanged Himself At Friends House

June 1938

Mexborough and Swinton Times June 24, 1938

Strange Story Of Suicide
Denaby Man’s Queer Conduct
Hanged Himself At Friends House
Woman’s Scare

Recording a verdict of “Suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed” on George Evans (27), an engine driver, of 12, Braithwell Street, Denaby, who was found hanging in the cellar kitchen of a house on Bank St, Mexborough, on Tuesday morning, the Doncaster district coroner (Mr WH Carlile) said it seemed from the evidence given that Evans complained of severe pain in the head and had not been in his normal state of mind that morning.

No Troubles

Alice Mary Evans, a widow said that her son lived with her at Denaby. Between four and 5 o’clock on Monday afternoon he went out, saying he would spend the night with his friends, the Calladines, at 4 Bank St, Mexborough. He was then cheerful and seemed perfectly well, though lately he had complained of pains in the stomach and had received a doctor’s note referring to his heart. So far as she knew he had no troubles and had never said anything about being bored with life. She could offer no explanation of his action, adding that “I never thought for one moment that he would have done a thing like this.”

Florence Calladine, of 43 Bank Street said that Evans had been friendly with her husband, William Calladine, since Christmas and since then he had been coming to their house nearly every day, often staying the night. He came in about 4:30 PM on Monday and asked for her husband if he could stay the night; her husband agreed although Evans gave no reason for wishing to stay. Evans stayed in the house all the evening and when they asked him if he was going out he said “If you gave me £’s I could not go; my head is that bad” they went out, leaving him in the house with a lodger, and when they returned at 11 p.m. Evans said his head was still bad, although he outwardly seemed quite cheerful.

“Looked Terrible.”

The next morning, witness’s Husband got up to go to work at 4.30 and the lodger got up at 7.30. She herself went downstairs a few minutes later get the children off to school and at 8.30 went nextdoor to a Mrs Mason. She remained main there until about 11 o’clock when she heard a knock on the house wall, and going back to her house found Evans in the kitchen. He looked terrible, his face being as white as a ghost and his lips blue. Witness went on “He ran for me and I was frightened and ran into Mrs Mason’s house, when I almost fainted.”

Evans followed her into the house and apologise for finding out; he asked her to go back, saying he would not hurt her. Mrs Mason however, was present, told to go back home to Denaby. A quarter of an hour later they asked Mrs Mason’s lodger, a Mr Wilkinson, to go and see if Evans was still about. He later came in and told them he had found Evans hanging in the cellar kitchen.

Marjorie Mason, 47 Bank Street, wife of Thomas Mason, corroborated Mrs Kelly Dean’s evidence with regard to their conversations in her house between 830 and 11 on Tuesday morning. At 11 o’clock she said there was a knock on the wall and Mrs Calladine went back to her own house. She returned within a few minutes looking very frightened and on the point of fainting and Evans followed her. She asked Evans what he had done to Mr Kelly and he replied “nothing”; he then heard him asked Mrs Calladine to go back and she refused saying “I will tell Bill.” Witness told Evans to go back to Denaby to his mother and then he left the house. When Evans came into the house, Mrs Mason added, he seemed to have a queer look in his eyes.

“Seemed Calm”

James William Wilkinson, a miner, who lodged with Mr and Mrs Mason, said that when Evans came into the house after Mrs Calladine, he seemed quite calm and walked quite steadily, but he did not see his face. Shortly after this Mrs Calladine asked him to go and see if Evans was still on the premises. At first he could not find him but then saw his bicycle and his jacket on the kitchen chair. He tried the cellar door and found that it was fastened; bursting it open he found it to be wedged with a bicycle. Then forcing his way through he saw Evans hanging by a clothes line from some rafters. He cut the body down and try to revive it, but was unsuccessful.

Doctor J.J.Huey, Mexborough, attributed death to a sophistication due to hanging. He had the, he said, been called to the house at 12:20 p.m. on Tuesday and found that Evans was then dead. His injuries were consistent with the evidence that he had been found hanging.