Sturgess, Eva

Sturgess, Eva        1918 October 25th

Girl Affected by Recent Bereavements

A sad story was related to the Deputy Coroner for the City, Mr F H Trethowan, who held an inquest in the Council Chamber yesterday (Thursday) without a jury, relative to the death of Eva Kate Sturgess, whose body was found in the Avon on Wednesday.

The girl’s brother, Thomas George Sturgess, of 20, Albany Road, said she was 20 years of age, and was employed as a clerk at the Southern Command. She lived in Devizes Road with her aunt and he thought she had been affected through the loss of her brother, who was killed last August. He went with her to the Isle of Wight to attend a sister’s funeral and returned on Monday. He went straight to business, and she went to Devizes Road. Later the same evening he heard from her aunt, saying that the girl had gone out and had not returned. He gave information to the police.

The Coroner : You think her mind must have been affected? Oh, certainly, sir.

Mr H G Percy, of Cowslip Farm, said that on Wednesday he was going to one of his meadows and saw a coat with a hat on top near the river. He called one of his dairymen, and they searched for two or three hundred yards downstream, but they could not find anything. The water was rather shallow where the coat was found, as his horses and cattle drank there. He added that he saw a gentleman in the city the previous day who said he had seen the girl in the train and that she appeared very depressed.

Violet Olivia Dale, a boat attendant, of 2, Avon View, Castle Street, said that at 10.15 on Wednesday morning she noticed something in the water about 30 yards below Found’s bridge, and going out to it in a boat discovered that it was the body of Miss Sturgess.

PS Millett said that he went to the spot and found the body in about four feet of water. Nothing had been found in the clothing, such as letters, which threw light on the matter.

Dr Armitage said he saw the body at the mortuary. There were no marks of violence on it and death was apparently due to drowning.

The Coroner returned a verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind.

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