1921 suicide in Langdale Avenue explained

9th June 1921 from Pall Mall Gazette

DEAD BODY IN FOOTWAY TRAGIC DISCOVERY AT MITCHAM.

The dead body well-dressed man, with a revolver by his side, was discovered early to-day in the footway of Langdale-avenue, Mitcham. The revolver was a large six-chambered one, with four full cartridges and two spent ones. The dead man has since been recognised as a former resident of Albert-road, Mitcham. Revolver shots were heard late last night, but no notice was taken of them the time.

Source: Pall Mall Gazette – Thursday 09 June 1921 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

This death was then explained at the inquest, when the suicide note of the dead man was read out:

EXPLANATORY LETTER POLICE.

Suicide’s Precaution “To Save Mystery.”

“My Brain Is Gone.”

A long letter addressed to the police was read at the inquest on the man named Hunt who was found shot the street Mitcham. In this he said –

To save any mystery, I am Percy John Hunt, late of Lynn Road, Balham.

If you make inquiries at Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, or Lynn Road, Balham, you may find out the whereabouts of my wife.

She deserted me last year after thirty years of married life, and is now touring, I believe, with the eldest daughter on the music-hall stage. Since my wife left me I have felt fit for nothing. She seemed to obsess the whole of being, and, try as I would, I could not shake it off. Only by drinking in the day time have I been able to carry on. My nights have been hell. I am doing this now to save something else, as wife may tell you.

Mrs Hunt said she certainly believed that his idea was “to do me as well as himself.”

She last saw her husband on January 19, but had written often since. A recent letter to their daughter asked for money, and she sent £4.

In reply to the Coroner (Mr Nightingale), Mrs. Hunt said her husband must have reached the end of his resources. He had sold up the home and lived on the proceeds. He had been drinking terribly. She had had a fearful life the last few years.

She was living in Lynn Road, Balham, and her husband’s address was Elmhurst Mansions, Clapham.

They lived formerly in Albert Road. Mitcham, within view of the spot where the body was found.

From a farewell letter addressed to the wife the Coroner quoted the following sentences :— It has taken something bring me to this — a strong, healthy man of 50. My brain has gone. l am no good.

A verdict of “Suicide while of unsound mind” was returned.

Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Monday 13 June 1921 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

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