From the "Western Daily Press"
Son Identifies Skeleton Of
The mystery of the skeleton found in a cave in the loneliest part of Warleigh Woods, Bath, was cleared up yesterday at an inquest, when the jury found that the remains were those of Jabez Humphries (55), clerk to the Parish Council and assistant overseer of Freshford, Somerset, who disappeared in march, 1909, leaving no clue to his whereabouts.
The enquiry was conducted by the North Somerset Coroner, Mr. W. G. Burrough, in the quaint old Crown Inn at Bathford.
Two Bristol workmen found the skeleton in a cave, with a revolver beside it, on Monday, October 27.
Henry Humphries, of Freshford, said: "I have viewed the remains and have seen a silver watch, and identified it as the watch of Jabez Humphries, of Freshford, Somerset, who was a grocer."
He also identified as his father's a fountain pen, in which the red ink was still fluid.
The Coroner: You are quite convinced? - Yes. "He disappeared suddenly on March 23, 1909," continued the witness. Inquiries were then made, but without effect.
Answering the Coroner, witness said he knew of no reason for his father's going away. He had no troubles or worries and was on good terms with everybody so far as he knew.
Hole in Skull
Dr. J. M. Harper, police surgeon for the city of Bath, said he was called to examine the remains, which had been discovered in a cave.
The was an aperture near the right temple bone of the skull, which might have been caused by a bullet.
He concluded that the man had got there himself - it would have been difficult for anyone to place the body in such a position.
Death was due to gunshot wounds.
Sergeant March produced a revolver, which he warned the Coroner, was still loaded and could not be opened.
Edwin Sly, of Knowles, Bristol, a post office engineer, described the finding of the remains. Having discovered a cave, he and his friend got a lamp and climbed down.
They saw two large bones and they investigated, and subsequently told his inspector what happened.
Albert George Henry Brown, of Wick, corroborated his evidence.
Sergeant March said the revolver contained one spent bullet and five live ones.
21 Year Old Entry
The officer produced a book dated 1905 from which he read: "Missing from home at Freshford since the 23rd inst., Jabez Humphries aged about 55 years; height 5ft. 6in., fresh complexioned, hair light brown, whiskers and moustache: dressed in dark suit and hat and dark overcoat. This man is Clerk to the Parish Council and Assistant Overseer, 24th March, 1909.
Inquiries had been made and the books and minutes of the Parish Council examined, and the rating book, but there was no evidence of anything being wrong with the books.
He found an entry asking that a letter of condolence should be sent to Mrs. Humphries.
The jury returned a verdict of "Found shot."