Drive through Tintern and Llandogo, then just before the bridge which crosses the Wye into Gloucestershire, turn left into the maze of narrow country lanes that entwine the Welsh side of the river. In Whitebrook find a dilapidated grave in the precipitous cemetery below the Baptist Chapel, now a holiday rent. If it was not for the work of the Gwent Family History Society the identity of the grave and the story that it holds would be lost forever. Even in the short years since the patient cataloguing by Mary and Ellen Spencer-Jones and Sheila Matthews in 2008 there had been irreversible deterioration. The inscriptions are fading but it is still possible to distinguish the words. John and Amelia Pick are buried with three of their daughters who they lost in a terrible year – Gertrude, Hannah and their youngest, twenty years-old Violet. And poor Violet was murdered by Victor Jones in Monmouth in 1910.
The murder of Violet Pick created ‘intense consternation’ in Monmouth. It has never been the kind of place where such things happen. What seemed to make it worse was that she was well known in the town as ‘a pretty and charming girl.’ Now she lay dead on the historic Vauxhall Bridge over the Monnow. She’d been strangled.
You can read the rest of this tragic story in my book Grave Tales From Wales, Volume 2 published by Cambrai in April 2022
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