|Death: ||Oct. 3, 1922|
Greater London, England
Murder victim, he was the husband of Edith Graydon whom he had met in 1909 when she was just fifteen, and he was 18.
After a six-year engagement they were married at St Barnabas, Manor Park in January 1916. At first they lived in Westcliff (Southend-on-Sea) before buying a house at 41 Kensington Gardens in the then fashionable suburb of Ilford in Essex. With both their careers flourishing they lived a comfortable life.
In 1920, the couple became acquainted with 18-year-old Freddy Bywaters, although Bywaters and Edith Thompson had met nine years earlier when Bywaters, then aged nine, had been a school friend of Edith's younger brother. By 1920 Bywaters had joined the merchant navy. The 26-year-old Edith was immediately attracted to the 18-year-old Bywaters, who was handsome and impulsive and whose stories of his travels around the world excited Edith's love of romantic adventure. To Edith, the youthful Bywaters represented her romantic ideal; by comparison, 29-year-old Percy seemed staid and conventional. Percy welcomed the youth into their company, and the trio, joined by Edith's sister Avis, holidayed on the Isle of Wight. Upon their return, Percy invited Bywaters to lodge with them.
Soon after, Edith and Bywaters began an affair which Percy discovered. He confronted the pair. A quarrel broke out and when Bywaters demanded that Percy divorce Edith, Percy ordered him from the house. Edith later described a violent confrontation with her husband after Bywaters left, and said that her husband struck her several times and threw her across the room. From September 1921 until September 1922, Bywaters was at sea, and during this time Edith Thompson wrote to him frequently. Upon his return, they met again.
On October 3rd 1922 the Thompsons attended a performance at the Criterion Theatre in London's Piccadilly Circus and were returning home, when a man jumped out from behind some bushes near their home, and attacked Percy. After a violent struggle, during which Edith Thompson was also knocked to the ground, Percy was stabbed. Mortally wounded, he died before Edith could summon help. The attacker fled. Neighbours later reported hearing a woman screaming hysterically, and shouting "no, don't" several times, and by the time police arrived she had still not composed herself. At the police station she appeared distressed and confided to police that she knew who the killer was, and named Freddy Bywaters. Believing herself to be a witness, rather than an accomplice, Thompson provided them with details of her association with Bywaters.As police investigated further they arrested Bywaters, and upon discovering a series of more than sixty love letters from Edith Thompson to Bywaters, arrested her too. The letters were the only tangible evidence linking Edith Thompson to the murder, and allowed for the consideration of common purpose, namely that if two people wish to achieve the death of a third, and one of these people acts on the expressed intentions of both, both are equally guilty by law. They were both charged with murder, found guilty and suffered execution by hanging.[source Wikipedia]
Marriages Mar 1916
Graydon Edith J Thompson W. Ham 4a 158
Thompson Percy Graydon W. Ham 4a 158
Edith Thompson (1893 - 1923)
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium
London Borough of Newham
Greater London, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: geoffrey gillon
Record added: Feb 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85650649