'The murder at Moat Farm' by Roger Johnson from Essex Police Museum

Wednesday 07 November 2018
20:00 to 22:00

After the discovery of a body at the remote Moat Farm near Clavering in north Essex on 27th April 1903, the farm was beseiged by a huge numbers of sightseers.  The body was that of Camille Holland who had disappeared 4 year earlier.  It was a case that gripped the public's imagination: the Essex Chronicle likened the scene at the farm to a village fair with noisy vendors selling refreshments and souvenir postcards of the farm.  These postcards, which showed holes in the ground left by the police investigation and the tent-like awning which concealed the grave, 'commanded an enormous sale' and the newspaper reported that 'a number of sightseers brought kodaks with them in search of effective snapshots and a still larger contingent were relic hunters'. Later in 1903, Samuel Herbert Dougal, a serial womaniser stood trial for the murder of Camille, who was described as a quiet, moneyed spinster.  Even today the case continues to interest those who encounter it and are fascinated by the different facets of the public interest, the police investigation and the subsequent widely reported trial.

At its November meeting, the South Woodham Ferrers Local History Society will be welcoming Roger Johnson, a volunteer assistant at the Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford, who will present an illustrated talk about this case.  The talk should provide an absorbing insight into a very different world, more than a hundred years ago. Roger's talk 'The Murder at Moat Farm' will take place on Wednesday 7th November at Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road CM3 5LJ commencing at 8.00pm. 

Visitors will be very welcome to attend (admission £3) and no booking is necessary. Alternatively visitors may choose to join the Local History Society at the newly introduced lower rate of £10 per annum that will give admission to this talk as well as the remaining 5 events in the Society's 2018/2019 programme. Any enquiries, please telephone 01245 321518.


Contact John Frankland
01245 321518
Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road
South Woodham Ferrers
(view map)
Cost Free for Society members, admission fee £3 for Guests