BODY IN DAM ECKINGTON – find ends search for Mosbro’ Man


A verdict of “Found drowned” was returned at the inquest at Eckington on Tuesday on Fred Moorcroft (39), unemployed, 9, Queen Street, Mosbro’, whose body was discovered on Sunday in Fields Wheel Dam, Eckington. He had been missing since March 22nd. Rose Emma Moorcroft, widow, mother of the dead man, told the Chesterfield and District Coroner (Mr. F. D. Worthington) that her son was unmarried and had lived with her all his life. He was not strong but had fairly good health. After leaving school in 1914 he worked for a time at a local pit, and then as a casual labourer. He had been unemployed for the last two years and had received 5s. a week under the Means Test. On March 22nd witness last saw her son alive. He seemed to be in his normal health when he came into the house at about 8 pm and went out ten minutes later. Witness went to bed, leaving the door unlocked. Her son was in the habit of going for a walk in the evening, and she thought it possible that on this night he went for a walk by the Dam, which was about 20 minutes’ walk from the house. Next morning, she noticed that his bed had not been occupied.




In reply to the Coroner, witness said that on a previous occasion her son had left home and was later found with relatives. He had not been unusually depressed and had tried hard to get work. He had never threatened to take his life. John Batty, licensee of the Blue Bell Inn, Mosbro, said he was walking near the dam in Eckington Woods on Sunday and saw the body of a man standing upright in the water. The water was about five feet deep, and he could just see the top of the head. He called the keeper, Joe Wall, who obtained boat, and the body was recovered and taken to the boat house. John Robert Dawson, Beighton Hollow. Eckington, unemployed labourer, said he was a friend of Moorcroft and spent most of March 22nd in his company. Moorcroft was at witness’s house from 11.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. playing dominoes and darts. After tea he appeared depressed, and asked witness if he would go a walk with him. They went into Mosbro’, and Moorcroft left witness about 7.45 p.m., turning into Queen Street as if he were going home. They had been friends for a long time, and Moorcroft had no troubles that witness knew of.




P.c. Roberts said the body was fully dressed, and there was no clothing on the bank. The pockets contained three pennies and an unemployment card. No note was left. A public footpath ran beside the dam. The Coroner said that while the evidence tended to suggest that this unfortunate man took his own life, the evidence pointing to suicide was purely circumstantial, and he could not eliminate the possibility of him having got into the water by accident. It was impossible even to say the exact day of his death. He would accordingly return an open verdict. The interment took place in Eckington Cemetery on Wednesday, conducted by Mr. Fred Newton. Mourners were: — Mrs. R. E. Millward, Mr. H. Millward. Mr. A. Hancock. Mr. and Mrs. E. Millward, Dennis Millward, Peter Millward, Mrs. Boldrey and Irene, Mrs, F, Stubbins, Mr. T. Moorcroft, Mr. J. Woodhead, and Mr. S. Cooper. Bearers: Messrs. E. Millington, Taylor. R. Davidson, and L. Cooper. Flowers were sent by the mourners mentioned, also: —Mr. and Mrs. Sears. Mosbro; Adjutant and Mrs. Wilkinson (SA).


BNA © (Typed up by Linda Taylor nee Staton) January 2021