Heron, Ralph

Heron, Ralph         1920 January 8th         Westminster

Salisbury Lady as Good Samaritan

At the Westminster Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, Mr Ingleby Oddie held an inquest into the death of Lieut Ralph Arnold Cripps Heron, RFA, who was found to have poisoned himself with chlorodyne in his rooms at the Picadilly Hotel, London, on Sunday morning.

The officer was recently stationed at Sutton Veny camp, and had seen active service, having been wounded in Mesopotamia and gassed in France. He was married but his wife had been staying with her own people in Norfolk, because she could not get any accommodation at Salisbury. From her evidence it appeared her marriage was not altogether a happy one. This was corroborated by the evidence of Miss Pepper, of Salisbury, who testified to the fact that the lieutenant had been a guest at her mother’s house (where during the war constant hospitality had been dispensed to officers) and had confided to her the fact that he loved another woman, who lived near Warminster, whom he could not forget. With a view to help him out of his difficulties she lent him £22. A letter was forthcoming which he had written to Miss Pepper expressing appreciation of her kindness to him in his distress, and criticising himself for having borrowed money from her, and instructing that it should be repaid out of his credit balance. In the letter he also pathetically alluded to the fact that he had been a failure in life, and it was testified by a brother officer that he drank more than was good for him.


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