Mabel Hall [1892 - 1945]

[1892 - 1945] MFM

Born: 24 July 1892, Gamlingay CAM

Birth Certificate:

Registration District Caxton
in the Sub-District ofCaxton
in the Counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon
When and where born24th July 1892, Camlingay Cambs
Name of Father Joseph Hall
Name of Mother Louisa Hall formerly Meeks
Profession of FatherFarm Bailiff
InformantLouisa Hall, Mother, Gamlingay
When Registered15th September 1892

Father: Joseph Hall

Mother: Louisa Meeks

5-generation pedigree

Siblings: (For dates, etc, see the extended family)

  1.   Mabel Hall
  2. Mark Walter Hall (monument)
  3. Harold Frank Hall
  4. Henry Howard Hall
  5. Catherine Mary Hall (photograph)

Married: John Berriman, 11 April 1917, Gamlingay Baptist Church (photograph)

Marriage Certificate:

Registration DistrictCaxton
Solemnized atThe Old Baptist Meeting House
in the District ofCaxton
in the Counties ofCambridge and Huntingdon
When Married11 April 1917
Name and Surname Mabel Hall
Rank or Profession-
ResidenceGamlingay CAM
Father's NameJoseph Hall
Father's ProfessionFarmer (deceased)
WitnessesLouisa Hall, Doris Ingle, William Berriman, Mark Walter Hall
bride's mother or aunt, bride's cousin, groom's brother, bride's brother?


  1. John Hall Berriman
  2. Luke Clifford Berriman
  3. Myrtle Elizabeth Berriman
  4. Joy Rosemary Berriman

1941 The Berriman family, circa 1941

with her dog With her dog

pic Photograph

Died: 23 November 1945, Colchester Probate record

Death Certificate:

Registration DistrictColchester
in the Sub-District ofColchester
in the County ofEssex
When and where died23 November 1945, Shaws Farm, Parsons Heath
Name and SurnameMabel Berriman
Age53 years
OccupationWife of John Berriman, Engineer Packus Charge Hand
Cause of deathAsphyxia due to strangulation by a ligature. Suicide whilst balance of mind disturbed. PM
InformantCertificate received from O. Thompson Smith, Coroner for Colchester Inquest held 30 November 1945
When Registered1 December 1945

Newspaper: Essex County Standard, Friday 30 November 1945:

Woman found hanging

A milk-roundsman calling at Shaw's Farm, Parson's Heath, Colchester, on Friday morning, found the occupier, Mrs. Mabel Berriman, hanging in an outhouse.

Mrs. Berriman, who was 53 years of age, was the wife of Mr. John Berriman, who is employed at the Britannia Works. She had been in ill-health for some time.

The funeral

The funeral took place at St. John's Church on Wednesday, the service being conducted by the Rev. A. E. Howe, assisted by the Rev. Warwick Bailey.

The mourners were Mr. J. Berriman (widower), Mr. L. Berriman (son), Myrtle and Joy Berriman (daughters), Mr. and Mrs. E. Collins (Clacton, brother and sister-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. W. Berriman (brother and sister-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. P. Sloman (Solway Brook, brother and sister-in-law), Mrs. E. Berriman (sister-in-law) and Mr. and Mrs. J. Greenaway (nephew and niece). Mr. John Hall Berriman (son) was unable to attend owing to military duties. Mr. Howard Hall (Hull, brother), Mr. Harold Hall (Cambridge, brother) and Mrs. E. Coles (Rugby, sister-in-law) were also unavoidably absent.

Amongst the many wreaths were those from members of Wycliffe Chapel (Parson's Heath), Women's Friendly, Wycliffe Chapel, and Women's Welcome, Eld Lane Baptist Church.

Newspaper: Essex County Standard, Friday 7 December 1945:

Woman's death by hanging - sad story of ill-health

Was it an intentional or an accidental hanging? That was the question to be decided by the jury at the Town Hall, Colchester, on Friday, at the inquest on Mrs. Mabel Berriman (53), of Shaw's Farm, Parson's Heath, who was found hanging in an outhouse by a milkman on Nov. 23. Mrs. Berriman, who had been troubled by her mental condition for several years, was admitted to Severalls Mental Hospital in January, where she stayed for six weeks, but her condition did not greatly improve.

The Colchester Coroner (Mr. O. Thompson Smith) said that about 6.30 a.m. on Nov. 23 Mr. Berriman took his wife some tea in her room, and after breakfast he left for work. About 7.40 a.m. Mrs. Berriman awakened her daughter, who, when she was ready to leave for work about 8.45, could not find her mother anywhere. On arrival at work she had a premonition that something was wrong and telephoned her father to say that her mother was missing. About 9 a.m. Mr. G. E. Gladwell, a milkman from West Bergholt, delivered some milk to the back door of the house, and then, through the open door of the outhouse, saw somebody hanging there.

Nervous and depressed

Mr. Berriman, a charge hand at the Britannia Works, said that during the summer his wife was fairly well but in the autumn her health deteriorated and she became more nervous and depressed. She had often said that she wished she could die. He said that following the 'phone message he received from his daughter, he immediately went home where, on his arrival, he was completely stunned by the news of his wife's tragic death.

The theory that Mrs. Berriman might have accidentally hung herself was formed by a statement by Mr. Berriman. He said that his wife was fond of the garden and often used to work with a pair of gardening shears, which were kept in a box on a shelf in the outhouse. Mrs. Berriman would have to stand on something in order to reach the shears and presumably used a nearby oil drum. The rope by which she was found hanging was suspended in the form of a slight noose from two nails driven into the wall about two feet from the shears. In view of that statement it was thought that Mrs. Berriman might have been standing on the oil drum and reaching for the shears, when the drum tilted and she fell into the noose of the rope.

Dr. F. Guiver, of Ardleigh, who was summoned to the scene, was of the opinion that it was impossible to fall into the noose; the rope was more likely to have been pushed away. Medical evidence revealed that death was caused by asphyxia due to strangulation.

After retiring for a few minutes, the jury decided that Mrs. Berriman took her own life, and returned the verdict that she committed suicide whilst the balance of the mind was disturbed.


Three letters to her son John Hall Berriman cast some light on her death.

The first, dated 19 November 1945, is in two hands, that of herself and her husband:-

My dear son
Thank you ever so much for your letter & the photo's that I see were taken at home. Myrtle has Miss Laurie here this evening. She is the cub mistess
I am glad that you are pleased with your change although it was strange at first. I seem a good deal occupied keeping fires in without useing too much coal. I am glad that you were able to keep the flames down until the fire brigade arrived. I am ever so sorry that you have occassion to be green with envy about the photo's
Mr Mead has called to see me three times during last week. He wants me to leave everything to God so that I can be healed, so do I my dear. I have had the doctor again + some tablets for sleep. I am ever so sorry for you all that I am not well in the winter. Dad is wonderful, but he cannot be here always, Myrtle has had a cold
Auntie Kathie & Auntie May both came on Sunday & of course Marigold
We haven't had snow yet in fact it isn't very cold today. I am glad to know that you have a good fire
I hope my dear that you wont have to go back to Woods if you feel like that about it. I hope that you wont worry about it & that we shall all be have enough to be happy in our love for each other whatever comes. Luke & Joy expect to be back for Xmas & I feel sure Luke would be glad to leave the mines altogether.

Dear Hall. Myrtle has seen Miss Laurie on the last bus & I have just been to meet her, Mother has gone to bed, she had rather a bad turn this week end, & of course she varies tremendously from day to day, to day she seems fairly well again. I had a little trouble with big toe on right foot but I bathed it a few times & dressed it & it seems to be alright again, "No it wasn't that it needed washing, so there."
I repaired the ash pit on Saturday, & did some tidying up, & set some lettuce plants 24 in the frame, Sooty & I went to try for a rabbit, he caught one that was in a snare, a nice one, but he couldn't understand a rabbit being tied up.
The pullets have started to lay, & the hens about one a day again, they left off entirely while we had all that windy, & for a few days cold weather, it is rather milder now
Now we must get to bed, hoping you are safe & well & keeping warm even if it snows.
Your loving Dad

The second, dated 27 November 1945, is from John Berriman Sr:-

My Dear Hall
This is sad news for you. Mother passed away last Friday morning about 9.a.m.
She has really seemd a little better lately, & that morning I took her a cup of tea as usual at 7 & went down & prepared breakfast, she came down as usual & cut my sandwiches & packed them, then sat down having her breakfast, while I was preparing to leave for work, I was putting a parcel for Joy's birthday in my bag for posting, she said "Leave it if you cannot very well take it & I will post iy when I go shopping presently". I put it in my bag & kissed her good-bye & left.
When Myrtle was having her breakfast Mother said "I hope you won't be long because I want to get off shopping this morning" Then she went out & Myrtle did not see her again although she looked around where the poultry etc: are, & thought probably she had gone across to Mrs Sadlers, & as she was behind time hurried to work. After she arrived at work a feeling came over her that something was wrong, so she rang me up at 9.20 & I went home immediately to find the police, Dr. & the milkman here, the milkman found her hanging in the tool shed.
In my opinion it was an accident as when she was found her head was not in a noose, but just in a loop of a little rope that hung there. I think she had stood on an oil drum, to reach the garden shears, overbalanced & got hung. I phoned the Garrison Adjutant to try them flying you home for the funeral, he said when I phoned him again on Saturday, my request had been forwarded to War Office, & he thought probably you might get home but did not know. I wired Luke & Joy & told Luke to wire Joy what time they could meet at Waterloo & they both arrived Saturday about 8.45. Auntie Emily came Saturday afternoon, Auntie Kath, Ed & family Sat morn, Uncle Will came & brought Auntie mary during Friday morning, & they all & everyone around are most kind.
The funeral is to-morrow Wednesday at 11am St John Church.
My dear boy this is a sad blow to us, but we must remember in our sorrow she is now at rest from all her toubles, & in the Presence of the Lord, I pray God He may comfort & sustain you in this trial, Love from all
Your Loving Dad

The third, dated 28 Novenber 1945, is from Myrtle Berriman:-

Dear Hall
Mother was laid to rest today, we had a lot of wreathes, the service was very impressive we sang the Hymns "I heard the voice of Jesus say, Come unto me and rest" and also "God of the living in Who's eye". We also sang the 23rd Psalm. Mr Baily read the lesson and said the prayer at the grave, Mr Howe took rest of the service.
As you were unable to be with us I thought it would be nice to have photoes of the grave, so Dad and Luke have gone to cover the flowers, and Brian is taking the photoes tommorrow dinner time.
Auntie Emily is with us, Luke is not going back till after Christmas. Joy travelled from London with him, she is hoping to complete her course. Auntie Mary has helped a lit she cames and helped me with the washing and preparing the beds, and did a lot of cooking for today, Auntie Milly baked some very nice apple pastys.
There was almost a harvest festival Congregation at the church my cub mistress was there I know, but I'm not sure who else.
Weve received lots of letters from friends and my Guide Captain and Luitenant came up to see if they could be of any help directly they heard.
Pauline sent a lovely wreathe and also did the ingraving on the coffin plate.
Mother looked very peaceful and lovely as she lay resting there, her platts were hanging loosely as she always had then when she slept.
Mr Baily read Revelations 21 verses 1-7.
Well ol fellow were all not feeling too bad considering, and I fell for one rather than try and write any more about it, I would prever to talk with you when your home.
Im enclosing two photoes one of we three and the other of our office.
Ill write again soon, so cheerio
Your loving Sister


OfMabel Berriman of The Downs Parsons Heath Colchester
Dated15 August 1934
ExecutorsBarclays Bank, William Berriman (brother in law)
WitnessesA Y Adams bank manager, J B Ainsworth bank clerk
LegaciesPersonal effects left to Myrtle Elizabeth Berriman and Joy Rosemary Berriman.
Remainder to be held in trust for all four children, until the age of 21.


OfMabel Berriman
ToBarclays Bank Ltd
On16 May 1946
Estate£815 10s 9d

Electoral Roll:

Shaws Farm, Harwich Road, Colchester (as Mabel Berriman) 1923-36: Parsons Heath Ward, Colchester
1937-9: St Johns Ward, Colchester
The Downs, Harwich Road, Colchester (as Mabel Berriman) 1945-6: St Johns Ward, Colchester


1901Station Road, Gamlingay
1911Manor Farm, Gamlingay
1923 - 1939Shaws Farm, Harwich Rd, Colchester [TM030270]
1939 - 1945The Downs, Harwich Rd, Colchester [TM030270]

1941 unknown date unknown date

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