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 David Blakely

Photo added by Iain MacFarlaine

David Blakely

  • Birth 17 Jun 1929
  • Death 10 Apr 1955
  • Burial Penn, Chiltern District, Buckinghamshire, England
  • Plot Plot 48 in the graveyard extension
  • Memorial ID 6532292

Murder Victim. The inscription on the tombstone reads "David Moffett Drummond Blakely, 1929-1955. He was great of heart, courtly and courageous." David Blakely was born in Sheffield in Yorkshire, the son of a Scottish doctor from Glasgow and his Irish wife from Ballynahinch. His parents later divorced. He was educated at Shrewsbury , but did poorly there, his only real interest being racing cars. After his National Service in the Highland Light Infantry, whose insignia appears on his tombstone, he tried for a career in hotel management, but he was fire from that career, so concentrated on his beloved car, the Emperor, and on his playboy lifestyle. In 1953, he met Ruth Ellis, the manageress of the Little Club in Knightsbridge, and entered into an affair with her. Not only was he openly unfaithful to her (as, it must be said, she was to him), he was physically abusive, too. On Easter Sunday 1955, he was leaving the Magdala public house in South Hill Park, Hampstead, North London, when Ruth ambushed him and shot him five times. The sixth shot from the .38 Smith and Wesson ricocheted off the pavement and wounded a lady bystander in the hand. At her trial, Ruth pleaded "Not Guilty". She testified of Blakely, "He only used to hit me with his fists and hands, but I bruise very easily, and I was full of bruises on many occasions." However, she admitted that "It was obvious that when I shot him I intended to kill him", and she was found guilty, and became the fifteenth woman, and the last, in the 20th Century to be hanged. Thomas L. Jones has written "The misfortune of Ruth Ellis was not just that she killed a man. Nor was it that his death resulted in her being hanged, the last woman ever by the British judicial system. The real tragedy of Ruth Ellis was that she died for the love of a man who did not deserve it”.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 21 Jun 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6532292
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Blakely (17 Jun 1929–10 Apr 1955), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6532292, citing Holy Trinity Churchyard, Penn, Chiltern District, Buckinghamshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .