Liverpool City Police

Nurse Alice Jones 1919 by Dave Richards Retd.

The Murder of Nurse Alice Jones 22nd July 1919

On the evening of Tuesday 22nd July 1919 a Nurse named Alice Kate Jones, aged about 30 years who was attached to the staff of the David Lewis Northern Hospital, Liverpool was killed by revolver bullets on the steps of the hospital.

She had returned from her usual day of leave. She had been home to visit her parents and friends in Rochdale. She was the eldest daughter of Mr. Robert. Richard Jones, the surveyor of the Milnrow District Council, who lived at Woodbank, Huddersfield Road, Newhey, Rochdale. She had trained as a nurse at the Marland Hospital, Rochdale.

She had been working in the hospital in Liverpool for a number for years; and, having just passed her examination, had become a member of the staff. She was noted for her attention to duty and for the brightness of her disposition, and was held in high esteem.

On the day of the shooting she had left Rochdale on the 9.07pm train to Liverpool Tithebarn Station (Now Exchange Station), it was reported that she was in good health and spirit. About 10.30pm, on arriving at Liverpool she had proceeded, along Pall Mall to the side entrance of the hospital, as was her usual custom.

About 10.45pm the night porter of the Institution heard a succession of shots outside the door. He ran out and saw Nurse Jones lying on the footpath near the bottom step leading to the door of the hospital. Several people attracted by the shots had also arrived. They carried Nurse Jones into the hospital, but the doctor in attendance pronounced her to be dead. In a nearby side street the Police found an empty six chambered revolver. The assailant was said to be a Canadian Soldier named Hutty. Hutty later surrendered himself to the Police but made no statement.
The previous year he had been brought back from the front suffering from shell shock and had been treated at the Hospital by Nurse Jones with whom he had formed a strong friendship. It was stated at the inquest into her death that she and Hutty had spent time together at her home before he was able to fully walk, and had asked her father if he could “make it up with Kittty “ as she was known by family and friends. He had been advised that it would be in both their interests if he waited until she had completed her training and he himself was established in business. He apparently agreed and returned to Canada.

He had apparently arrived back in Liverpool some weeks prior to the shooting. On July 23rd Alice had written to him expressing the view that they could only be friends and nothing more. Her father stated that he had never viewed the friendship between Hutty and his daughter as anything other than friendship.

After that rebuff he was seen on several occasions in civilian clothes, outside the hospital by the porters, before the tragic shooting.
On the 25th July he appeared before the Liverpool Stipendiary magistrate where, when charged, he replied “ I shot Nurse Jones. I only hope she is dead” the Inquest into her death was held August 6th by the Deputy Liverpool Coroner Mr. F. J. Leslie and he was then committed for trial at the Liverpool Assize. In October 1922 Hutty was convicted of Alice Jones’s murder and sentenced to death ( case no HO 144/1738/392571 refers), however a petition to commute his sentence to life imprisonment due to his mental and physical state was accepted by the then Home Secretary (William Clive Bridgeman) and the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In January 1922 a report appeared in the Manchester Guardian that Hutty had hanged himself in his cell in Maidstone Goal.

Dave Richards
August 2013

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