Grave 95
     

Eva Jablonski

1879 – 1917

Unmarked grave

The sad and violent end that came to Eva Jablonski is worthy of a Victorian melodrama. Although Polish by birth, she made herself out as a unmarried French woman, and 'spoke English fluently and dressed well, though quietly'.

Having apparently lived in London and then the fashionable resorts of Harrogate, Bude and Torquay during the war years, by 1917 she found herself in Bath where after a few days in the Carlton Hotel she took rooms in Laura Place and gave French lessons. 

A detective, checking on an apparent irregularity in her identity papers, had asked her to visit the police station. But a few hours before the appointed time, she was found dead at her own hand, lying dead on the lawn of Laura Place, the first-floor window open above her, and a terrible wound from ear to ear, apparently caused by a knife wound and then by falling on a clothes-line. An inquest was held, after which she was buried on 18 August with 'simple rites' in the presence of three relatives. 

The Bath Chronicle reported that 'in accordance with Jewish usage the coffin was of the plainest decoration, without even a breast plate and there were no flowers. The service, partly in Hebrew and partly in English was conducted by a Rabbi from Bristol. The mourners themselves, all with covered heads, assisted in the last rites, placing the first spadefuls of soil in the grave.' 

Her effects amounted to £246, which is about £17,000 in 2020. 

As a suicide, it is likely that the body will have been buried in an unmarked grave at the edge of the burial ground. We do not know the actual location of the burial.
Bath Chronicle 
WOMAN OF MYSTERY DRAMATIC SUICIDE BATH MUCH TRAVELLED RUSSIAN SUBJECT POSED AS FRENCH: HUSBAND IN GERMANY HER DREAD OF POLICE INQUIRIES. 

At Bath Guildhall late on Monday afternoon the City Coroner, Mr. F. E. Shum, held an inquest concerning the tragic death of Eva Jablonski, which occurred in Bath on Friday night or early Saturday morning. Marie Mandel, 43, Southside, Plymouth, wife of a Russian Pole, said, deceased was adopted by her father and mother and treated like sister by witnesses. Deceased was born near Lodz, in Russian Poland, now occupied by the Germans, She was about 37 years of age, and married. Whether her husband was alive or not, witness did not know. She came to England about the same time war broke out. Witness had lived in England some years. She told witness she came to England from Vichy. Her husband was in Germany. 

CAME TO BATH FOR THE CURE 
The coroner: Did she tell you what, part of Germany her husband was in? Witness: l don't know. To tell the truth," the husband ( had not corresponded with wife for some time. When the war broke out she received a letter from a sister with the Shanklin (1.W.) post mark saying she coming over to take the child. Witness did not answer it. Why not enquired the Coroner. “Because, answered the witness, she was a Russian, and her husband was living I didn't know where; so I did not answer at all. 

Last whitsuntide was the first time witness saw her sister ln England. She stayed with her in Bude. She then said that then she was going to Bath for the cure, and suggested that the witness go with her with her. Witness stayed in Bath for eleven days. She suffered from nerves. 

A week ago witness had a letter from her sister in Bath saying she was going to Eastbourne felt very lonely here. She told witness to write in English. Witnesses’ s brother-in-law explained that this request was made so that the letter might not be interrupted by censoring his sister-in-law generally wrote in the Hebrew characters of the Russian Pole. By the Coroner: Her sister had stayed in Eastbourne previously. She told witness she had not heard from husband since the war began. The Coroner:  How did she live; how did she get her money. 

GAVE LESSONS IN FRENCH
Witness: I tell you I believe she was giving ' lessons in different places. She had 2,000 marks in her name in a bank in Germany before the war and when the war came she transferred it to a English bank. Elizabeth Annie Olive, 8 Laura Place, said that this lady came to her on June 15th and took the back drawing room as a bed-sitting-room. She came to witness from the Carlton Hotel. She said that she came to Bath for the cure, but was not attend by a doctor at the house. She complained of being poorly most of the time, and took both the baths and waters. She said she was married but did not where her husband was. 

Witness was told by the deceased that she was French, and came from Nice. She said she had one child, a girl, who was in Russia but had been in England. Last Wednesday she told the witness she was going to Eastbourne; but then altered her mind and said she was going first to London . Witness saw her there on Friday, the last occasion being at 7.30 On Wednesday she told the witness she had to go to the Police Station Saturday about her registration papers. “Is that all she said” Yes sir. Did she say the police had asked her to come? No sir 

DISCOVERY OF THE BODY
Why was she going? She said there was something not clear. She asked me to go and see Mr Vauhgan Philipps (the Chief Constable) for her but I said I could not do that, but that I would go with her.’ I promised to be ready by ten O’clock on Saturday morning. “Did she object to going? She didn't make any comment. She said she was tired, that her that her head was aching and she was going bed. Witness said that about 7.30 a.m. on Saturday she looked out the pantry window and saw her lodger lying in the garden two or three yards away from the house on a grass plot. 

Witness at once called Mr. Fry of the Argyll Dairy, who was in Laura Place. He fetched the police. Witness identified the small table knife (produced), found in the garden. Knives, forks etc were kept in the room. Dr C. J Tabor, of 71 Argyle Street, who attended 8 Laura Place, said the body was quite cold, half dressed and death had occurred some time previously - more than three hours, it may have been much longer. There was a large gaping wound in the the neck, and great deal of blood around the body. No bones were broken and very little injury had been caused to the body by the fall. The coroner remarked that the fall was from a considerable height. 

Witness said the formed the conclusion, which he still held that in falling, the woman fell on to the clothes line which made the gash in the throat much larger and more pronounced The clothes line was snapped across. This would have broken the fall, and accounted for the absence of injury to the body. There was distinct evidence of trying get out of both windows and a person could not hare inflicted such a wound in her throat, and then managed to go to both windows in and fall out of one. From the quantity of blood found in the bedroom he thought the wound inflicted there would have caused death but she managed to get out of the window and the neck, coming in contact with the wire accentuated the Wound. So both the cutting of the throat and the fall were accountable for death. It was an extraordinary thing - he expected to find bones broken. 

DETECTIVE'S EVIDENCE 
D.S. William Marshfield, the City Police, said on June 6th he say the deceased, the day after she reached Bath. She then registered as Eva Jablonski, as of French nationality, having been born Havre; she described herself single, and having been born 16th May, 1879. She had an identification book, which every alien had to carry. In this she made no mention of a husband or child. Witness saw her two or three times while she was in Bath. 

On Wednesday last he called upon her, and told her had satisfied himself that the particulars given on the 6th June were not correct. He told her he had been making inquiries as to her nationality, and she made a statement then which witness put in writing. It was a long statement. Did the Coroner wish him to read it? "Oh, no," replied the Coroner. Witness said in this statement deceased said she was born Lodz, and not in France. On the Wednesday witness told her she could not to Eastbourne. j The Coroner: Why? 

FALSE STATEMENTS
Witness: I was not satisfied as 'her true nationality, and Eastbourne, being a prohibited area, it was necessary I should know exactly the nationality of any person going there. On Thursday the deceased came the Police Station to see witness. She said she had not been able to sleep all night, that what she told him on Wednesday was not correct. She asked him if he would destroy the statement she made Wednesday. He told her he could not do so, but that he would take down another statement if she wished. 

He took down another statement. In it she was married, and had two children, twins, boy and a girl. She made a long statement. On Wednesday she had said she had no friends or relatives in England, and on Thursday she said she had sister at Plymouth. 

The Coroner: Did she give any reason for making this statement to you? No, sir. After she had made this fresh statement, what did you say her? l asked her to come to the detective department at ten o'clock on Saturday I said d her she must there. Did you tell her why? No. I said possibly the Chief might there then. I went the house Friday evening, but did not see her. I told Miss Olive to remind deceased be at the Police Station the morning. Did she say thing about her husband?- She said she was not in communication with him. Did she know where her husband was? I think so. 

On the advice of the coroner the jury returned a verdict of felo de se

Bath Chronicle Weekly Gazette: Saturday 18 August 1917
Mme Jablonski Buried: Simple Funeral Rites at Combe Down: Eva Jablonski, the Polish lady whose tragic death formed the subject of an inquest on Monday was buried Tuesday Afternoon (14 August) in the Jewish Cemetery at Greendown Place, Combe Down. Only three near relatives attended, and the last rites were conducted with the utmost simplicity. 

In accordance with Jewish usage the coffin was of the plainest decoration , without even a breast plate and there were no flowers. The service, partly in Hebrew and partly in English was conducted by a Rabbi from Bristol. The mourners themselves, all with covered heads assisted in the last rites, placing the first spadefuls of soil in the grave. The Jewish community in Bath was represented by Mr R Somers. Mr A.E. Tanner of 6 Monmouth street carried out the funeral arrangements

Liverpool Echo 13 August 1917 
DEAD ON LAWN. MYSTERIOUS DEATH FOREIGN LADY
The death in mysterious circumstances of a foreign lady, who had been staying Bath for some weeks, will be investigated by the Bath coroner to-day. The lady was found on Saturday morning lying dead on the lawn of an apartment house in Laura-place, where she had been residing for some weeks. The window of her bedroom, fifty-four feet above the lawn, was wide open. In her throat was a terrible wound from ear to ear, and on a search being made in the garden table knife was found. 

The lady's identity is surrounded by considerable mystery (says the " Morning Post"). She was about thirty-eight years of age, and the few people who had made her acquaintance in Bath describe her as a vivacious Frenchwoman. She spoke English fluently and dressed well, though quietly. She had registered as Mademoiselle Eva Jablonski, single, born France in 1879. It has been ascertained, however, that she was not single, but the wife of a Russian Pole. How and when she came to England is as yet not known, but there is evidence she had moved about freely, travelling north, southwest, and east. She had been to London and several fashionable resorts, including Harrogate Torquay, recently. 

She was at Bude, on the Cornish coast, before going to Laura Place two months ago. She had spent a few days at the Carlton Hotel, Bath, stated that the police, without placing her under special surveillance, had kept watchful eye on this Frenchwoman with a Russian name, and had requested her to visit the detective department ten o'clock on Saturday morning in connection with an alleged irregularity in her registration papers. It is understood that magisterial proceedings were to follow. Whether she dreaded the result of the investigation is a matter for conjecture, but a few hours before the time fixed for the interview she was found dead. 

Sheffield Evening Telegraph August 1917 
WOMAN’S SUICIDE. Wife of a Man Now in' Germany. A verdict of “Felo de-se-” was returned at the inquest at Bath, on the mysterious foreign woman who, when asked explain her identity to the police, cut her throat, with a knife and then threw herself out of a window of an apartment house in Laura Place. The woman, who appeared to be French, had given her name as Mile. Eva Jablonski, and stated that she was born in France. The police ascertained, however, that she was Russian Pole and this was borne out at the inquest by the evidence of Marie Mendell, of Plymouth, who said that “Mile. Jablonski.“ her adopted sister, was born at Lodz, in Russian Poland, and was the wife of a man of means now in Germany. "Mile. Jablonski.’’ she added, came to England when war broke out, and travelled a good deal. She taught French, and had money her own. The woman, it is understood, had stayed in London, Harrogate. Torquay, and Bude, and detective stated yesterday that she had been prevented from moving to Eastbourne because the police were not satisfied about her nationality. He taxed her with discrepancies in her registration papers, and eventually she admitted that they were incorrect. Therefore he asked her to to the police station on Saturday morning. but, apparently, rather than do so, she killed herself. 

Yorkshire post 14 August 1917 

DEATH AT BATH
The death in tragic and mysterious circumstances foreign lady who had been staying Bath for some weeks was reported our later editions yesterday. The lady was found Saturday morning lying dead the lawn apartment house in Laura Place, where she had been residing for some weeks. The window of her bedroom, fifty-four feet above the lawn, was wide open, and she had apparently jumped from it. her throat was terrible gash from ear to ear, and on search being made in the garden table knife was found. Her identity is surrounded by considerable mystery. She about thirty-eight, and the few who had made her acquaintance Bath describe her a vivacious little French woman, who spoke English splendidly, and dressed well, though quietly. 

She had registered as Mademoiselle Eva Jablonski, single, born France 1879. It has been ascertained, however, that she was not single, but the wife a Russian Pole. How and when she came England is not yet known, but there is evidence she had moved about freely, travelling North, South, West, and East. She had been London and several fashionable resorts, including Harrogate and Torquay. Recently she was at Bude, on the Cornwali coast. Before going to Laura Place two months ago she had spent few days at the Carlton Hotel, Bath. The police, without placing her under special surveillance, had kept a watchful eye on this French woman with a Russian name. and had requested her to visit the detective department ten o'clock Saturday morning, in connection with an alleged irregularity in her registration papers, and understood that magisterial proceedings were to follow. 

Whether she dreaded the result of the investigations is a matter for conjecture, but a few hours before the time fixed for the interview she was dead. As far as the Harrogate visit is concerned, it appears that the lady arrived there October last year, coming from Edinburgh; and being accompanied by an old gentleman who was said to be her grandfather. They did not stay at the same place. The lady lived in a boarding establishment in the fashionable locality of Valley Drive, where her vivacious temperament made her somewhat popular amongst the other guests. She registered and reported regularly to the police during her stay, and her conduct gave no grounds for suspicion. The old gentleman and she left Harrogate for Torquay on 28. 
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Eva Jablonski
d1917