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The Times (28/Oct/1933) - Film actress's death: inquest on Miss Lilian Hall-Davis

(c) The Times (28/Oct/1933)



The inquest was held at Hendon yesterday on the body of Lilian Hall-Davis, a film actress, who was found dead at her home at Cleveland Gardens, Golders Green, N.W., on Wednesday.

Henry Charles Davis, a Post Office engineer, of Cleveland Gardens, Golders Green, said that he was a brother of the dead woman. She was the wife of Mr. Walter Pemberton, an actor, and was 35 years of age. The witness last saw her alive on Wednesday morning, and later in the day heard of her death. She suffered from neurasthenia, and had seen a Harley Street doctor about her nerves.

Replying to the Coroner (Dr. G.A. Cohen), the witness said that it had depressed her very much. She had been in hospital only a few days ago.

The witness identified a razor of the open type as his, and also a letter as being in his sister’s handwriting. He said that his sister had never threatened or attempted suicide before.

Mr. Walter Pemberton said that he was away from London at the time of his wife’s death. He confirmed what Mr. Davis had said about her depression.

Mr. Herbert French, a neighbour, said that he was summoned to the house, and got into the kitchen by breaking a window. There he saw Mrs. Pemberton lying on the floor with her head in the oven. An old-fashioned type of razor was clasped in her right hand, and she had a wound in her neck.

Mrs. Lillie Barnard said that she lived opposite to Mrs. Pemberton, who was a friend of hers. She last saw her alive on the day before her death. She had been very depressed.

The CORONER. – Did her little boy come to you with this note? – Yes.

This note was not read in court.

The CORONER. – Had she ever said she would put her head in a gas oven? – She told me that she would a few days ago.

Did you believe she meant it? – No. She seemed all right within the next five minutes. Afterwards she said she would not do such a thing.

When you got the note did you go to tell Mr. French? – I went over to the house, and smelt gas. I asked Mr. French for his hammer, and got through the window myself.

Did you go into the room? – I just went in.

Police-constable Putt said that he was called to the house by telephone and fetched a doctor, who certified that Mrs. Pemberton was dead.

Dr. Temple Gray was asked by the Coroner if Mrs. Pemberton died from coal-gas poisoning or from hemorrhage. The witness. – She died from the wound in her throat.

Did the gas have any bearing on her death? – No.

The CORONER recorded a verdict that Mrs. Pemberton died from a cut throat, and that she took her own life while of unsound mind.