BURTON HANGING TRAGEDY
GRUESOME FIND IN WOOD
Northampton Mercury 24 July 1936
How he found a man's head and arms hanging from a tree in a lonely wood, was described by a young farm labourer at an inquest at Burton Latimer on Monday.
The inquest, which was conducted by the East Northamptonshire Coroner, Mr. J. C. Parker, in the Council Chamber, was on Albert Edward Jarvis (35), a carpenter, 1, Orton-road, Belgrave, Leicester
Supt. G.W. Brumby, of the Kettering Divisional Police, was in attendance.
Rosa Cooper, wife of Frank Cooper, boot operative, 35 Alexander-street, Burton Latimer gave evidence of identification. Jarvis was her brother and was a carpenter. He called on her on June 20.
The Coroner: Did you expect him? No. He came to spend the week-end and stayed at my house for the night. She added he appeared in good health, and left her house at 9 a.m. next morning. He had no breakfast and did not say where he was going.
IDENTIFIED BY WATCH
The Coroner: You expected that he would return? - Yes. But he did not do so, and I communicated with his wife.
In further reply to the Coroner she said Jarvis was dressed in a light sports coat with flannel trousers, but wore no hat.
The Coroner: Did he take anything with him? - Only a watch, a cheap one with illuminated hands.
Witness said she was able to identify him by the watch and handkerchief which had her daughter’s husband’s name on it. Jarvis had an insurance card on him.
The widow, Edna Jarvis, said that her husband left home on June 20 saying he was going to see his sister at Burton Latimer for a week-end. She did not see him again.
The Coroner: Was he in work? - He was to have started on the Monday.
In reply to the Coroner she said Jarvis had been to the County Mental Hospital at Narborough three and a half years. He has been suffering from neurasthenia
The Coroner: Had he any suicidal tendency? - Yes, he had.
Had he attempted suicide? - Yes he attempted it twice in one day before he went to the hospital. He cut his wrist with a razor on two occasions, but the wounds were slight. He left the institution on June 17 last.
The Coroner: Did he appear to have recovered? - Yes, quite. In further reply to the Coroner she said her husband was born in Burton Latimer. Witness said she recognised the unemployment book produced as belonging to her husband. She did not, however, recognise the watch or pen produced which might have been borrowed. She believed the watch had been borrowed from Mrs. Cooper.
Mrs. Cooper, recalled, said the watch belonged to her daughter’s husband. She lent it to Jarvis when he came to stay with her.
SOMETHING IN THE TREES
John William Neal, Wold Farm, Burton Latimer, a young farm labourer, said that on Sunday evening at about seven o’clock he went for a walk with two other men. When near the “Osier Bed Spinney” - a small wood he saw something hanging in the trees. “I did not take much notice of it at first,” he said, “thinking it was only a coat. My pal and I went closer and then saw there was a face.”
The Coroner: The whole body was not there? - No, the body and legs were missing. In further reply to the Coroner he said the wood was an isolated spot and where few people would go.
Witness added he informed his father and the police were also sent for.
HANGING BY TOWEL
P.C. Allen, Burton Latimer, said that at 7.30 on Sunday evening he was called to the small wood off the Wold-road and saw part of a body apparently that of a man hanging from the branch of an elderberry tree. There was a white towel around the neck and tied to the branch. Only the neck, head and arms remained.
The Coroner: What about the chest? - That had gone and the remainder of the body was lying in the ditch about three feet from where the head was hanging. There was very little flesh on the bones which had evidently been eaten by insects etc. Hanging from the remains on the branch were a shirt and collar to match and a green striped tie. Witness removed the body to the mortuary. Later he found a sports coat near the scene. It had been washed away by the floods. In a pocket were the insurance cards produced, bearing Jarvis’s name. The towel produced had a number on it.
The Coroner: Had you any notification from the Leicester police that the man was missing? - No, sir.
The Coroner: I have no difficulty in finding from the remains of the man that he hanged himself. There is ample evidence of his mental affliction. He has been in a mental institution for three and a half years and has shown suicidal tendencies. The only difficulty is as to when this took place. I am inclined to think that this took place on June 21. It was evidently a long time ago, judging from the decomposed state of the remains. Had it not taken place then he would have been seen by someone in Burton Latimer. I find that he committed suicide whilst temporarily insane if anything more than temporarily insane.”
Click here for the page with an account of his funeral