On this day in 1945, Philip William Rayment (1913-1945) took his life in the final months of the Second World War – after killing his wife and two young children.
Philip, aged 32, shot his family with a German pistol he had borrowed from his soldier cousin before turning the gun on himself on June 13, 1945.
It was never established why he had murdered his wife Doris and daughters, Valerie, aged four, and Linda, aged two at their home in Islington, London.
An inquest into the deaths was told that a letter found in Philip’s clothing revealed that his state of mind was not normal.
In it, the inquest heard, he was ‘reviling himself for not being worthy of his family.
‘He was not on bad terms with them, but rather on bad terms with himself, so to speak.
‘He considered he was not good enough for his family.’
Philip’s father, Alfred William Rayment, told the hearing on June 20, 1945 that he had noticed a complete change in his son over the past 12 months.
The coroner asked him: ‘Did they (Philip and Doris) live happily together in the ordinary way of things?’
Alfred told him: ‘Yes, they lived like lovers’.
A brother interviewed after the killings said Philip had seemed to be ‘perfectly happy. The only thing we can think of is that the worry over the war and the Blitz brought on a brain storm.’
Verdicts of murder and suicide ‘while of unsound mind’ were recorded at the inquest.
Philip had been a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps for about three months and was stationed at Aldershot.
He was expecting a posting to Burma at the time of the tragedy.
He is commemorated at Islington Cemetery.
The Daily Mirror reported that Doris and Valerie had died just three days before they were to be matron of honour and bridesmaid at the wedding of a family friend.
Philip was the son of Alfred William Rayment (1884-1968) and Florence Amelia Jones (1885-1957). Florence was the daughter of William Jones (1849-) and Amelia Elston (1856-1894). Amelia was the daughter of William Elston (1813-1885) and Loveday Roberts (1819-1909). Loveday was the daughter of William Roberts (1791-1875) and Frances Hodge (1796-1873). William was the son of John Roberts (1766-1834) and Elizabeth James (1767-1861). John was the son of William Roberts (1738-), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Born on January 3, 1913 in Islington, Philip married Doris Ironside (1914-1945) in 1937 in Islington. In 1939, he was a builder’s clerk in Islington. Doris, the daughter of William Ernest Ironside (1887- 1921) and Sarah Ann Martin (1887-1964), was born on October 20, 1914 in Islington. She was 30 when she died on June 13, 1945.