The Century Newsletter: Taking readers, day by day, back through the Great War of 1914-18.
2nd-8th February 1915
Brides in the bath
by David Hargreaves
A week of local fighting on the Western Front was in sharp contrast to great lurching movements in the east. The Turks made an unsuccessful foray to capture the Suez Canal while, within Britain, fear of Zeppelin attacks continued to exercise the local population.
A MORE TRADITIONAL entertainment than the increasingly familiar and arid diet of mortal combat in Flanders was bestowed this week upon the British people. On 5 February, the Daily Express breathlessly informed its readers:
BRIDE’S BODY EXHUMED
SECRET CEREMONY IN A LONDON CEMETERY
“The body of Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd, who was found drowned in a bath at Highgate on the evening of the day following her marriage, was exhumed at midnight on Wednesday in East Finchley Cemetery.
“The exhumation was carried out with great secrecy. Only a few officials were present. They included Dr Spilsbury, the Home Office analytical expert, Divisional Detective Inspector Neil, and two other detectives, and certain witnesses who were there to establish the identity of the body after its removal from the grave to the local mortuary. Certain organs of the body were afterwards placed in receptacles and sealed…
“Mrs. Lloyd was the second wife of John Lloyd, or George Smith, who was charged at Bow Street Police Court on Tuesday, in the name of Smith, with causing false entries to be made in his marriage certificate. The marriage took place at Bath on December 17 last. On the following evening the bride was found drowned in a bath in a house in Bismarck Road, Highgate, and at the inquest held at Islington a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.
“Smith’s first marriage took place at the latter end of 1913. The bride, who was the daughter of Mr Burnham, of Aylesbury, was found dead in her bath at Blackpool.”
As George Orwell was later to suggest in one of his greatest essays, the British loved a good murder...
Read in full (http://back.thebrowser.com/introduction/brides-in-the-bath) .
News of the Week
Vossische Zeitung English "Kultur"
In the years before the war many of our citizens seemed to be suffering kind of English disease. The origin of the malady lay, no doubt, in their frequent journeys to England, whence they returned with a kind of pride, as if they had really been somewhere near the stars...
Kolnische Zeitung An English Globe
The German, even in times of peace, holds bread in honour. The Englishman as a prisoner actually plays football with it. The Englishman has long been playing football with all kinds of objects—with the truth, with the liberty of subjugated nations, with the sovereignty of neutral countries, and with international rights...
Daily Express Bride's death in a bath
A sensational and dramatic development occurred yesterday in connection with the death in her bath, the day after she was married, of a woman named Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd...
Letter of the Week If England mends her ways she could join us
My dear good Heinrich, do not attack your fatherland for now defending itself with
all its strength – it desired only to show loyalty to its own allies and was pushed into the struggle which may kill it – or so the enemy wishes...
Daily Express Great British liner seeks protection of US flag
The Cunard liner
Lusitania is stated to have flown the American flag while passing through the Irish Sea. This remarkable incident is officially regarded both in London and Washington as justifiable under international law...
Daily Express What the people of Munich think of the war
Citizens are strictly forbidden to enter into conversation with soldiers going to the front. This was the announcement painted in red and black letters which met my eyes the moment I emerged from the Munich Central Station...