Shortly after midday on a balmy August day – the body of a woman and that of her youngest child were recovered from the River Ouse in York.
And a story began to unfold so tragic that it would touch the hearts of many including that of the coroner who implored the media to use their influence to promote a better understanding on the subject of suicide.
The ONLY clear picture history accords Ms Mary Wilson is that of her death by poisoning one morning in May.
A scroll though our parish records and census returns have only added to the mystery of WHO Mary was, WHERE she came from and HOW she had managed to live independently well into her sixth decade!
On a typical Autumnal afternoon – a young woman carrying a tiny infant made her way on foot to a popular crossing separated only by a dual rail track.
Having opened the gate to walk across the path, she paused as a luggage train went past but less than two minutes later, she and the baby were hit by a passenger train – an accident which would have far reaching consequences.
What can POSSIBLY be told about a life of ONLY 5 weeks?
The death of little Sarah Ann Casper on Christmas Day in the year 1884 would shine a harsh and uncompromising light into the darkest crevices of York’s society as the pitiful story of this baby’s life unfolded…