Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (24/Feb/1896) - The Disappearance of a Huddersfield Man

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



On Saturday afternoon a gentleman's dark grey mixture overcoat and a black silk umbrella were discovered amongst the rocks by the side of Holmstyes Reservoir, near Holmfirth. The discovery was made by Herbert Beaumont, a labourer, of Holmstyes, at a spot which is not much frequented. He communicated with the police, and the articles were taken to Holmfirth Police Station. In the pockets of the overcoat were a pair of brown kid gloves, a silver-mounted pipe, and a tobacco pouch. The cane stick of the umbrella has a surmounted bone knob handle. On Sunday afternoon the overcoat and umbrella were identified as having belonged to John Ralph Cuthbert, of 107, Church-street, Paddock, who disappeared from Huddersfield on the 17th of January. Mr. Cuthbert's son, who identified the coat and umbrella, was not able to speak as to the pipe and tobacco pouch. The missing man was over 50 years of age, and had been for more than 30 years in the employ of Messrs. Woodhead and Barker, woollen merchants, Huddersfield, a good portion of the time as cashier. The painful circumstances under which he disappeared after having been detected as the person who, it was alleged, had sent certain letters and sketches through the post to a young woman in Huddersfield were recorded at the time. An endeavour will, of course, be made to find out whether the reservoir contains the body of the person to whom the articles found amongst the rocks belonged, but the search will be no easy task.

Our Holmfirth correspondent writes :— It is feared Mr. Cuthbert has committed suicide at Holmfirth. On Saturday afternoon a boy, named Herbert Beaumont, found an overcoat and umbrella on the side of Holmestyes Reservoir, at a part that is not frequently traversed on account of its difficult accessibility. The matter was reported to Police Constable Barker and to Mr. Lewis Hinchliffe, the manager of the Holme Reservoirs. Mr. Cuthbert was in the habit of fishing at the reservoir, and in the pockets of the coat was a programme of a young men's entertainment held at Paddock Congregational School early in December last. It will be remembered that shortly after Mr. Cutbbert's disappearance he was last seen by a man between Honley and Holmfirth, and the whole circumstances are very suspicions. Yesterday a hat was found at the top end of the reservoir, and the overcoat and umbrella were identified as Mr. Cuthbert's. The most remarkable feature is that the coat and umbrella have the appearance of being deposited at the place within this last day or two, and although Mr. Cuthbert has been missing for five weeks he has not been — in the meantime — seen in the neighbourhood of the reservoir. The police intend to commence dragging operations. Mr. Cuthbert would not visit the reservoir at this time of the year for the purpose of fishing, as this is the close season, and the worst is to be feared. There is 60ft. of water in the reservoir, and the dragging may be protracted on account of the rough nature of the bed.