Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

From the Folkestone Herald Published 6 July 2000


RESEARCHING your family tree there’s no telling what you may discover. Family feuds, scandal, mysteries - even murder. And thats just what housewife Mrs Brenda Howlett, of Wheatley, Halifax, found out.

Murder victim

MURDER victim Mrs Margaret Bauldry, left, as a laundress. Right, her husband, William, arrives at the inquest by horse-drawn cab under escort. He is handcuffed and looks as though he has a ball and chain. Both pictures are from the Folkestone Herald of the time.


“It was a dreadful shock,” she told me “when I found a report in the old Hythe Reporter newspaper for October 17,1908 that a great aunt or cousin, it hasn't quite sunk in which, was murdered in a rented room of a newly-built Saltwood property, Franklyn Cottages, by her husband William.” The unfortunate victim was Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Bauldry (nee Cloke), 33, who used to work at the Metropole Laundry, Hythe.

That such a thing should happen in one of the normally quiet and one of the prettiest villages In the area came as a shock to most people.

The old Hythe paper, like the Folkestone Herald and another contemporary, the Folkestone Express, that I consulted, naturally went to town on the story of the brutal murder and carried several photographs, including one of the alleged murderer. And Mrs Howlett is wondering If any Memories reader has an original photograph connected with the Incident such as one of the Metropole Laundry staff. Her phone number is 01422 362207.

In 1980 papers were not restrained so much by the law protecting people’s rights, as the press is today.

An inquest on the dead mother was held within a couple of days of the murder and the papers were full of it.

The house in which the killing took place was just off the road leading to Sandling Junction Station.

Scenen of murder

SCENE of the murder and key witnesses Mr & Mrs Wraight.


No. 1 was the home of Albert and Nellie Wraight, and also Mrs Bauldry, and her son Stephen, aged about two, who had been found a room there after she was separated from her husband. Her mother lived nearby.

Previous to their separation the couple had lived In Horn Street, Seabrook.

According to the unrestrained reports in the newspapers the couple’s marriage had been most unhappy. The Express said “the husband at times was extremely quarrelsome, and altogether life for the woman was scarcely worth living, owing to his bad temper.”

There were continual bickerings, Mrs Bauldry's health suffered as a result of a miscarriage while working in the hopfields at Chilham and “Her husband was unemployed, and certainly not a man who appeared willing to do much to gain a good livelihood.”

Bauldry, 41, an ex-Bedfordshire Regiment soldier, took the three oldest children to live in his mother's house in Boxley Square, Hythe.

Things came to a head after Mrs Bauldry sent her husband a note about the ‘bad boots’ she had seen their daughter May wearing in Hythe, asking him to keep her in doors until she, the mother, could send her a new pair for she feared the child would be crippled.

Attacked landlord.

Incensed, Bauldry went to the Wralghts’ house where he had a heated row with his wife In the presence of Mrs Wraight. Eventually Mr Wraight arrived and when he remonstrated with Bauldry about the quarrelling the accused attacked him, a violent blow on the back of the head knocking him to the ground.

Mrs Bauldry rushed from the kitchen with her child in her arms and Mrs Wraight saw Bauldry fumbling about in a pocket as he followed his wife and caught hold of her.

Mrs Wraight called to her husband that the woman was being murdered and then ran out to call In a neighbour.

When Mr Wraight went Into the kitchen he saw the woman being held down at the bottom of the stairs by Bauldry who held a knife.

“He attempted to pull the man off the women, but finding that he could not, he ran for the police constable's house, about two minutes away.”

“On his return he saw that the woman had a deep cut in the throat. A neighbour by then had taken the baby, unhurt, from its mother's arms.

“There was blood on the floor where the woman had been dragged across It. The husband at once decamped, but later went to his mother’s home.”

Pc George Willson who went to search for Bauldry arrested him in the taproom of the "Gate Inn," Market Street, Hythe and arrested him on a charge of cutting his wife's throat, not knowing then that she had died.

Bauldry, who had worked for several years at the Hythe School of Musketry, seemed unconcerned about the serious position he was in.

in the course of Inquest evidence Bauldry blurted out: “I must admit I done it, but ...." However, he was stopped by the Coroner from saying any more and urged to only ask questions of witnesses. He also claimed his wife fell on the knife.

Bauldry was tried at the Assizes at Maidstone in November when the prosecution described the killing of Mrs Bauldry as “a dreadful and cold-blooded murder.” Bauldry pleaded not guilty, claiming the stabbing was an accident.

He said his wife had been very good to him and to their four young children. He had no reason to harm his wife. It made his heart break to think of the poor children, he said.

He claimed he had suffered for two years from a ‘‘diseased head” through no fault of his and had a heart condition causing discharge from the Army after eight years.

But he was found guilty after the jury had retired for half an hour to consider their verdict, although the foreman of the jury issued a strong recommendation for mercy, on the grounds that Bauldry did the deed in a moment of frenzy.

Putting on the traditional black cap Judge Ridley sentenced Bauldry to be hanged. Execution was at Maidstone Prison early in December.

Bauldry had hoped to see his mother and children before celebrated hangman Pierpoint dispatched him, but only his mother went to see him. And he went silently to his death.


Bridge Street Coronation

In Memories on June 22 I featured 1937 photographs of Bridge St Coronation tea party from Alan Taylor saying I would feature more of the photos made from old lantern slides and I hope to do so next week.


Spare horses excessive charabanc loads - plea.

WELL known townsman, Mr Adolphus Davis was appealing in the local press for more thought to be given to the welfare of horses used to haul the increasingly popular omnibuses and charabancs. He pointed out some vehicles weighed a ton without the weight of 30 or so passengers and yet a horse was expected to pull away from a bus stop on a sometimes fairly steep gradient like that in Sandgate Road near the Town Hall. Proprietor of the Dover Express Mr John Bavington Jones raised the matter of Dover-Calais cargo traffic at the Dover Chamber of Commerce when members discussed proposals for the transfer of this traffic to Folkestone, while passenger traffic remained at Dover. Mr Jones' asked If the Chamber of Commerce could do anything to persuade the railway company not to switch Calais goods to Folkestone. Congregational Church minister In Folkestone the Revd AJ Palmer, referred to the late Earl Radnor’s gift of land to build Canterbury Road and Radnor Park churches FA Hall, whose father was Cheriton rector before moving to Chevening, was killed in action at Faber Spruit on May 30, a few months after arriving In South Africa.



Three hurt in landslide at Newington road works

THERE was a serious accident at Kick Hill, Newington where Mears Brothers of Lewisham, on behalf the KCC were widening the road. Frederick Fox, of Dymchurch Road, Hythe and Ebenezer Charles Roberts, of Park Road, Cheriton were busied up to the waist as several tons of earth of a bank on a hill collapsed without warning, and John Paine, of Marshal! Street, Folkestone was thrown against the bottom of a skip. Comrades dug them out and they were taken to hospital where it was found Fox had a fractured pelvis. Roberts a fractured rib and Injures shoulder and Paine had cut on his right leg. Staff of the old Pleasure Gardens Theatre revived a custom of holding an ‘annual’ outing, with a 123 mile trip to Royston, Herts. The day's trip, through attractive countryside culminated In a fine dinner In a converted barn and, covering 250 miles in a day, was thought to be a local record for an outing by road. In an impressive ceremony flowers were laid on the graves of Canadian soldiers buried in the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery, many of the children taking part in none-to-fine weather, arriving by charabanc from Hythe, Folkestone Sandgate, Cheriton and Shorncliffe schools. A patriotic address to the children was made by the Colonel-Commandant A.B.E. Cator, CB, DSO.



Air crash that made war observer late for work.

LEADING observer of the local branch of the Royal Observer Corps, Mr E.J. Oram retired on reaching his 65th birthday in accordance with Air Ministry regulations, having been a member since 1939 and observed and reported many thousands of planes, both friendly and hostile, from his Martello Tower post at the west end of the Leas during the Second World War. A thank-you ceremony was held at the East Cliff Martello Tower. One of his memories was of spotting the first of Mussolini's Italian bombers as they came in on a raid. At first his identification was considered highly suspect. The bombers were “massacred" by RAF fighters. Mr Oram also recalled the one time he was late on duty. That was when a Junkers 87 dive bomber was shot down and he watched the air gunner bale out. His damaged chute failed to cushion his fall and he broke both legs, but despite a head wound crawled along Harcourt Road a short distance. He stood by until a nurse arrived. The airman died In hospital, while the dive bomber pilot was killed when his plane hit a high tension wires at Shorncliffe Crescent. Folkestone was mourning a Baron of the Cinque Ports, Albert Castle, 80, nine times mayor of the towns including most of the war years and a major local building contractor.



Warren hoverport base plan heads for the spike.

PLANS to use the Warren as a possible site for a vast hoverport were due to be scrapped after a meeting between district council officers and top British Rail officials. The Warren was one of several sites being Investigated by British Rail which was looking for an alternative site to Dover harbour. A Seaspeed spokesman could not confirm the Warren plan had been scrapped but indicated the most likely move would be to another site within Dover harbour. Sunday trading returned to Folkestone racecourse. The second Sunday Market to be sited at the course in less than two years was launched a little more than a year after the first, run by Hughland Markets, of Reading, closed after a stormy period operations. Local traders branded it as “unfair" because they were hot then allowed to open their shops on Sundays. And residents living near the course complained about the traffic, while a vicar likened it to a “permanent pop festival." Charity fund-raising Folkestone Carnival was under threat. And a big SOS went out to local firms to sponsor it otherwise the event would have to be scrapped. The warning came from the Carnival Committee chairman John Rendle. In 1933 the first year, a profit of 500 was made on an outlay of 1,600. In 1974 only 153 was made after expenses of 2,500. But the committee had once again taken a gamble and laid out the money to finance the event.


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