The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pauline Plumb

One normally hesitates to treat matters as recent as sixty years ago as history, since relatives are still around, and memories are long. However, the following sad tragedy of Pauline, a local girl, is particularly poignant, and her living relatives are happy for her story to be retold.

October 2nd 1947.

The story of an 18-years-old Pentlow girl’s last meeting with a young with a young ex-Polish Army corporal with whom she had been associating an her suicide within a few seconds of leaving him was told to the Nottingham District Coroner (Mr C.A.Mack) at an inquest on Saturday at Mansfield Woodhouse near Mansfield.

The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide while the balance of mind was disturbed”, after hearing evidence that the girl, Pauline Patricia Joan Plumb, of Pannell’s Ash farm, Pentlow near Sudbury, had deliberately walked in front of a bus.

The tragedy occurred outside as miner’s hostel at Forest Town near Mansfield where the Pole, Wojtylo Kazinierz, is stationed, at about 11-30 on Wednesday night. Kazinierz said they were lovers.

Joseph Plumb, farm labourer, said his daughter was employed in a Sudbury corset factory and he last saw her on Tuesday, September 23rd. She went to work but never returned, but he thought nothing of it as sometimes she stayed the night at a friend’s. She was of a happy disposition and quite a normal girl. She had never threatened to take her life and he could think of no reason why she should do so. He knew she was friendly with a Pole when he was stationed in the neighbourhood.

Edgar Hufffen of “Lyndale”, Skegby Lane, Sutton in Ashfield a passenger on the bus which was conveying miners home from work said he saw the girl step into the path of the bus when it was six or seven yards away. She gave no indication but seemed to hesitate and turn her face towards it. The driver swerved and did everything he could to avoid a collision, “ but I got the impression that she intended to be hit by the bus”, said the witness.

Kazinierz told the Coroner that while stationed at Sudbury last March he met the deceased at a dance and they met quite frequently and corresponded after he was demobilised and he went North to train for coal mining.

On one occasion she visited him and stayed at a hotel for five days while he was in a camp.

He moved to Forest Town hostel in September 21st and wrote telling her. By that time they were lovers.

In a letter he asked her if it was true that she had been meeting other boys as he had heard. She sent a telegram to him to say she was coming to see him and on Wednesday night was waiting at the hostel when he returned from work. He told her if it was true she had been meeting other boys she had better not write to him again. She denied it said the witness and went on to describe how deceased said that no one knew she was coming and that her father would be very angry if he learnt of her visit.

They went for a walk and as they passed over the bridge of a small stream she said “it would be a nice place to jump in” I asked why she said that and she replied “I have nothing to live for now”.

Deceased suggested he should marry her, said the witness, but he told her he could not discuss marriage until he had saved enough money. He left her in order to go back to the hostel.

He was looking back from about 80 yards when he saw the bus and heard it stop suddenly and he saw the girl lying under it, he ran into the hostel for help.

The driver of the bus, Leonard Dickenson, was exonerated.


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