British Executions

William Quayle

Age: 52

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 3 Aug 1943

Crime Location: 132a Bath Row, Spring Vale, Birmingham

Execution Place: Birmingham

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


William Quayle murdered Vera Clarke 8 at 132a Bath Row, Birmingham on 5 May 1943.

She was later found naked under a pile of bricks in a bombed house in Spring Vale having been assaulted and mutilated.

William Quayle was a works policeman.

On the day of the murder Vera Clarke had been seen standing on the steps of William Quayle's house at 132a Bath Row after she had left school. A witness saw Vera Clarke take a piece of white paper from William Quayle and go on an errand and later come back with some potatoes. She was last seen again standing on his doorstep with a skipping rope under her arm.

When she didn't return William Quayle's house was searched following certain information and the police found Vera Clarke's coat hidden behind the cellar door. Later her skipping rope was found in an armchair at his house.

When he was questioned at Broad Street police station, Birmingham he denied knowing anything about the girl and said that he had never seen the coat or skipping rope before. He was detained and later on in the day he said 'Oh, you want to find her dont you.' and offered to take the police to where her body was. He said that he did not know the name of the road but he took them to a bombed out building in Spring Vale and pointed to a pile of bricks.

She was naked except for her socks and left shoe and had been grossly maltreated with evidence of interferance before she died. She had ligature marks around her neck and died from strangulation.

William Quayle said that he had been drinking over the previous days and said that when she came back something came over him and he seemed to rush at her all at once. He also described himself as having a brainstorm. He said he hardly remembered it saying that he then left her on the kitchen rug. He said he didn't interfere with her.

He later put her in truck and wheeled her to the bombed out building.

He blamed the drink and his wife leaving him.

see National Archives - HO 144/21871, ASSI 86/66, PCOM 9/997, DPP 2/1129, and ASSI 52/728