Unknown infant

Unknown infant     1919 May 23rd        Bulford

Baby in a Ditch

Soldier’s Startling Discovery at Bulford

While walking in a plantation near Bulford Camp two soldiers noticed in a ditch near a side-stream of the river a bundle wrapped in a mackintosh. It contained the body of a female child. Enquiries have been initiated as to who put the child in the ditch but they have been unsuccessful so far.

Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts) held an inquest at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Bulford, on Monday.

Dr Browne deposed to examining the body which was in a state of maceration, and had probably lain in the water some weeks. There were no signs of violence, and it was impossible to say whether it had a separate existence.

Ptes. Cooper and Flint, of No 1 Depot Company, (MT), RASC, the soldiers who made the discovery, were called. Cooper said that his companion said he thought the bundle contained the body of a child.

PC Maslen, of Bulford, deposed to taking the body out of the water. The mackintosh bore the words “J C Cording and Co., Ltd, 19, Picadilly, and 55, St James’ Street,” and “Kathador.” The next wrapping was a khaki overall such as worn by women of the WAAC. There was no name or number on it. About two feet from the bundle was a man’s woollen undervest and tab “Kaiadoi.” There was nothing else which threw any light as to who put the child there, and enquiries had not elicited anything. There was considerable doubt as to whether the mother of the child could be discovered owing to the fact that a large number of women who were employed at Bulford Camp had left the district.

A verdict was returned that the child was found dead, but there was no evidence to show whether it had a separate existence.

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