British Executions

Gilbert Oswald Smith

Age: 35

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 26 Nov 1912

Crime Location: Rockstowes, Dursley

Execution Place: Gloucester

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


Gilbert Oswald Smith murdered his wife Rosabella Smith 30 at Rockstowes, Dursley on 21 July 1912.

Gilbert Smith had been working at Marsh Farm, Ulney and on Saturday 20 July they were due to do haymaking but they couldnt because of the wet weather so he was paid 15s and went off to the Dursley fete where he met his wife and several friends. Gilbert Smith had a history of cruelty towards his wife havig the police called out twice but had never been arrested or convicted.

At the fete had had been drinking and was on bad terms. Whilst in a  refreshment tent Rosabella Smith accused Gilbert Smith of plotting to waylay her but he denied it asking who had told her that saying that her sister was behind all such stories. When alone Gilbert Smith said that her husband had been giving her a cursing all day and had told her what he was going to do to her that night.

After the fete they all went to the Star inn in dursley. Rosabella Smith went with a friend to do some shopping before going to the pub. Later, Rosabella Smith asked a friend to go out side taking her parcel so that she could leave without making it look like she was going home and she would then collect her pacel from her friend and head off home thus slipping away and escaping her husband.

After leaving the pub between 10-11pm Gilbert Smith was quite drunk and was walking down the street complaining that his wife had given him the slip saying that 'some morning you'll find that i've made a job of it. I shall do for her and myself'. The friend said he shouldnt say such things but Gilbert Smith kept repeating it.

She got home and explained that her husband had threatended her. The next morning she went out and then came back in and then went out with a friend but Gilbert Smith was in the street and he slit her throat and then attempted to slit his own.

see National Archives - ASSI 6/47/3, HO 144/1234/229728

see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 03 August 1912