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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


BrianW Report 1 Jan 2013 19:40

I have a death certificate from 1908 which states:
"Violent haemorrhage from self inflicted wound in throat with a razor.
Suicide whilst of unsound mind"


Rosamund Report 1 Jan 2013 15:30

yes, I've had problems with incorrect family stories before, it just adds to the difficulty and confusion.
thanks everyone for your input.


JMW Report 31 Dec 2012 12:22

Rosamund. I think it is safe to assume that 'family stories' are not correct here and this was not a suicide. If it had been it would not have had someone as the informant as it would have had to go to the coroner for inquest and no informant would then show as the information is taken from forms from the coroner without an informant being present. The fact there was a post mortem means that the doctor attending was not sure of the cause of death, or the family requested a PM for some reason, or there was no doctor in attendance during the last illness and it had been some while since a doctor had seen the patient.

Janet 693215

Janet 693215 Report 31 Dec 2012 00:11

That is most certainly not the cause of death to appear on a suicide. Even if he had partially hung himself and later died of the other causes brought on by the suicide attempt the certificate would say so.

My grandmother cut her throat but not sufficiently well enough to die. She was hospitalised and contracted pneumonia dying 12 or 13 days later. There was an inquest and the cause of death is given as "Pneumonia brought on by incised wound to throat. Verdict- She killed herself"

Don't think that the newspapers during the war would neglect to print this sort of thing. There were such heavy reporting restrictions that most things war related went unreported. I learnt this when trying to find a report of my civilian great aunt's death from "War operations" in 1940. There was absolutely nothing printed in the local paper and after trawling through several editions it suddenly hit me that no war related deaths were reported unless they were overseas.


greyghost Report 30 Dec 2012 22:28

Taken from the website below

When post-mortems are carried out

A post-mortem examination will be carried out if it has been requested by:
a coroner, because the cause of death is unknown, or following a sudden, violent or unexpected death
a hospital doctor, to find out more about an illness or the cause of death, or to further medical research and understanding


MarieCeleste Report 30 Dec 2012 19:51

Newspaper Archives go up to 1950 but nothing coming up.

I do think that the transcription of the more recent years is less comprehensive so may not have been scanned yet.

Another thought is that it was during the war years - papers would be full of war related items and things that would have been news worthy during peacetime may have fell by the wayside.


brummiejan Report 30 Dec 2012 17:34

Well, the two proposed causes of death are a world apart aren't they. If he did hang himself I am not sure why a post-mortem would have been necessary, but then I don't know about these things! Does seem very strange.
Will be interesting to know if any newspaper reports emerge.
Just wondering if by any chance it was a different family member who committed suicide, and the story got confused?


Rosamund Report 30 Dec 2012 17:14

thankyou all so much for the help and ideas. I never expected so many replies.

his name was Richard Patrick Lane, and he died in London march 16 1943. there was a post mortem, and the cause of death islisted as heart failure,cardiac fibrosis, coronary atheroma . the informant was his sister.

according to family history, he hung himself.


MarieCeleste Report 29 Dec 2012 14:34

Rosamund - if you want to give his name and when he dies I'm happy to take a look in the newspaper archives ......


DazedConfused Report 29 Dec 2012 14:13

I have seen some where it just states 'death by carbon monoxide poisoning' and no mention of suicide, yet it was commonly known in the family that it was a suicide.

You do sometimes have to be a bit more of a detective, and although the coroner report may not mention suicide. If inquest reported in local press the fact that it may have been suicide could be mentioned.


Andysmum Report 29 Dec 2012 12:13

I have a cert. (1954) which gives cause of death as: asphyxia due to inhalation of domestic gas. (Did kill herself).

I agree with JMW - it depends on the local coroner how the cert. is worded.


JMW Report 29 Dec 2012 11:25

As all 'suicides' are referred to the coroner and go for inquest, it will depend on the local coroner. Many use the term 'took his/her own life'. How they did it will appear as there has to be an actual cause of death.


Malcolm Report 29 Dec 2012 11:04

I have one, pre 19th century "Suicide by Hanging".

It was a shock to me as i'd followed this extensive family for two years however putting it together, the poor mans wife had died young and he'd remarried quickly (3 months) logical as they had 5 kids. After a few years two of the children died and shortly after, his second wife. Three weeks later he took his own life. Very sad tale. :-(


lancashireAnn Report 29 Dec 2012 09:53

perhaps it depends on when the death was as to the wording. Both mine are pre 1900.
Life insurance not perhaps as strict or as popular then.

"In the mid-19th century, the percentage of those with life assurance was still relatively small – the majority came from the landed, professional and commercial classes."

IGP yours does not actually contain the word suicide but it does say 'did kill himself' which is surely the same thing.


InspectorGreenPen Report 29 Dec 2012 07:10

I think some might pay out but may have conditions.

I had a policy some years ago that only paid the sum assured on suicide after it had been in force for a specified number of years. I think from memory, they would have refunded premiums paid less an admin charge had it occurred sooner.


Penny Report 29 Dec 2012 06:37

Until recently, ( maybe still the case) a life insurance policy wouldnt pay out after suicide, so if it could be avoided i guess it was, out of kindness to thoe left behind.

I knew of a bloke who amost cetainly commited suicide but his death was recorded as misadventure- the insurance did pay out.

His wife said that he wouldn't have deliberatley taken his own life - 2am walking along the main trainline, miles from home with car in the station car park? Debatable.


InspectorGreenPen Report 29 Dec 2012 06:29

The wording for Cause of death on a cert I have in my possession is

1a Asphyxia due to
1b Hanging
2 Recent Coronary artery thrombosis
(Did kill himself whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed)

There is no mention of the word suicide.

The box for Name and surname of informant states

Certificate received from [Name], Coroner for [Place] Inquest held ddmmyyyy. The informant address and signature boxes are blank and ruled through.

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 28 Dec 2012 23:43

I have a death cert (issued in 1959) for a relative who committed suicide. The method and cause of death is stated followed by the wording 'suicide'.


lancashireAnn Report 28 Dec 2012 23:34

both the death certificates I have for someone who committed suicide contain the word 'suicide' within the cause of death which in both cases cases also listed the method of suicide and the certificate was issued by the coroner


Reggie Report 28 Dec 2012 23:33

Actually, it's not as unlikely as it seems...........

I know of a man who committed suicide about 15 years ago, but that fact was not recorded on his death cert, as the verdict at his inquest was 'manipulated'