It’s not only difficult to say who killed 11-year-old army cadet Gerald Griggs, it’s even difficult to why he died. Gerald was found face down in a field near Westerham, Kent, on Thursday, February 5th, 1920, having been strangled with his own tie. There were signs of a struggle – his cap and badge were found some distance away from the body, his clothes were muddy, and there were scratch marks on his face.

The day before the inquest on February 16th a local mole-trapper who was due to give evidence was severely beaten up and robbed by someone he described as “an army cadet, wearing khaki.”

One suggestion that Gerald may have tied his tie to a fence to “strangle” himself as a dare, and another that it was suicide, were ruled out by the coroner. It was also suggested that someone may have pulled his tie and in a panic the boy ran off, stumbled and fell, and that at that point an unusually large gland on his neck broke, contributing to his death.

The jury decided that the boy was strangled but not by his own hand, and that there was insufficient evidence to say whether it was murder or manslaughter.