From 1889 and 1896 – Murder and Affray in Greenside Road, Shepherd’s Bush, W12

Colin Woodley (ESSEXURs) kindly sent me the following two articles relating to two separate incidents in Greenside Road in the late 19th Century. The first one appeared in the ‘Illustrated Police News’ on 23rd February 1889:

‘At the Hammersmith Police Court Walter Clarke, who was described as a barman, was finally examined on a charge of having been found in the back yard of 91 Greenside Road, Shepherd’s Bush, in the occupation of Robert Davies, supposed for the purpose of committing a felony.

He was further charged with violently assaulting Police-constable Moran in the execution of his duty. On this occasion William Ashby, a labourer, was brought up on a warrant charged with assaulting the constable at the same time.

It appeared from the evidence of the constable who was unable to attend at the first hearing through the violence used, that on the night of the 30th, he was on duty in plain clothes in Greenside Road, when he saw the prisoner Ashby and two other men on some waste ground near the house. As he approached, all three men ran across the waste ground in the direction of Westville Road.


He walked on and then saw the prisoner Clarke come out of the back yard. He asked him what he was doing there. He replied, “What is it to do with you !” He said he was a constable. The prisoner said, “Oh, you are a constable, are you ?” and struck him two violent blows in the mouth, stunning him. He then ran across the waste ground in the direction the three men had gone.

The constable followed and caught the prisoner in Westville Road. There was a struggle, the prisoner turning round and striking him in the eye, knocking him down. The three men then came up, two catching hold of each shoulder of the constable and dragging him along the ground. While Clarke was kneeling on the constable’s chest Ashby kicked him on the hip and used other violence.

Ashby and the other two men ran away, but Clarke was secured and taken to the station. A warrant was granted for the apprehension of Ashby, who was charged before Mr Curtis-Bennett on Tuesday, and remanded, to be brought up with the other prisoner. The defence set up on behalf of Clarke was that the constable had made a mistake. He was returning from the Wheatsheaf public house in the Goldhawk Road, and when near his house in Westville Road the constable attacked him.

Witnesses were called, who gave Clarke a good character. Mr Paget said he could come to no other conclusion than that the prisoners were guilty of the charge. He committed Clarke to prison for four months, and Ashby for three months, both with hard labour. The prisoner Ashby said they would suffer the punishment innocently. He was in bed and asleep at the time. Clarke said he was innocent. He knocked the constable down in self-defence. Mr Norman, on behalf of Clarke, gave formal notice of appeal.’

The second article appeared in the ‘Sheffield Evening Telegraph’ on 21st January 1896:

‘Yesterday afternoon, just before two o’clock, a police constable on duty at Starch Green Pond heard screams from Greenside Road. A little girl came running to him, and said her mother was being murdered.

He went to 12, Greenside Road, and found a woman lying in a pool of blood in the basement passage close to the breakfast parlour. By her side was a shoemaker’s knife, and her throat was cut from ear to ear.

The officer sent for assistance, and on the arrival of a doctor he found the woman lifeless. In addition to her throat being cut she was severely injured at the back of the head. Police-Sergeant Gant soon after arrived, and observed that there were footprints from the pool of blood up the staircase. On going upstairs to a bedroom on the second floor, he found a man, said to be named Pearson, who was in the act of changing his clothing.

From appearances the officer took him into custody, and conveyed him to the station. The woman’s name is given as Mrs Chambers.’

Steve Russell

6 thoughts on “From 1889 and 1896 – Murder and Affray in Greenside Road, Shepherd’s Bush, W12

  1. Thank God things had settled down by the time Kerrins and I came on the scene just around the corner!
    Rough times in the late 1900’s with some previously high class homes let to numerous tenants as that was all the tenants could get in deprived times.

  2. Sorry should say late 1800’s!
    Interesting that one was reported in a Sheffield Newspaper.

  3. Not quite as rough as when I attended the 28th Hammersmith wolf cub meetings in the Church hall at the top of Greenside Rd in the late 1950’s..Ahem yes 1950’s NOT 1850’s lol

    Strange that it was reported in a Sheffield newspaper.

    Quite an infamous crime. I had not heard about that before.

    • Maybe I should have left the date as late 1900’s with that admission!!
      Interesting there was waste ground between Greenside and westville.
      Unfortunately I left Cubs after one visit after I realised you had to go to Church Parade!Football in the park was more important.

  4. Colin church parade was only once a month..and if you had a good excuse you could miss it!

    28th Hammersmith wolf cubs at Greenside Rd church was OK but once you reached the age of 11 you had to move on to the Boy Scouts..I did not like that and left soon after.Sulgrave Boys club was far better.

    That church is still there and I understand is now strongly supported by the Polish community.

    I wonder if that waste ground area decades later became the site of Westville infants school.

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