David Blakely

David Blakely

Sheffield, Metropolitan Borough of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Death 10 Apr 1955 (aged 25)
Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Burial Penn, Chiltern District, Buckinghamshire, England
Plot Plot 48 in the graveyard extension
Memorial ID 6532292 · View Source
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Murder Victim. He received notoriety when he was murdered by Ruth Ellis and from the newspaper coverage that followed. He was 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 fired from that career, so concentrated on his beloved car, the “Emperor,” and on his playboy lifestyle. In 1953, he met Ruth Ellis, the manager of the Little Club in Knightsbridge, and entered into an intimate relationship with her. Not only was he openly unfaithful to her as 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 Ellis ambushed him firing at him with a gun. The first shot missed him, the second caused him to fall to the ground, and she fired three more while standing over him. At this point, she held the gun to her head, fired the gun but it jammed. She dropped the gun and it fired the sixth shot from the .38 Smith and Wesson, which ricocheted off the pavement wounding a lady bystander in the hand. At her trial, Ellis 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.” She was found guilty, and became the fifteenth woman, and the last, in the 20th Century to be sentenced to hanging until dead. 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


He was great of heart, courtly and courageous.



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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 .