Our canal babies story today comes from the Kennet and Avon Canal at Sydney Wharf, Bathwick, near Bath. On the morning of 21st May 1878 the body of a newborn baby boy was found in the Kennet and Avon Canal at Sydney Wharf. The terrible discovery was made by Thomas Hawkins, a coal dealer who lived at 2 Sydney Wharf. The poor little fellow had not been long in the water. He was wearing no clothes, and there were no clues as to his identity. It seems inevitable that he had been deliberately drowned. At the time he found the baby Thomas Hawkins was about 36 years old. He was married to Elizabeth, and had five children. Their youngest, Alice, was only a few months old, so it must have been especially distressing for him to find the poor little chap.
Rest in peace, little one.
Gloucester Citizen, Wednesday 22 May 1878.
The baby’s death was registered at the General Register Office (April to June 1878 in Bath, Volume 05C, Page 440).