May Windle was born May 1881 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia to Alfred Windle (1844-1922) and Sarah Rebecca Meades (1849-1927) and died 18 September 1899 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of Phosphorus poisoning. Ancestors are from Australia, the United Kingdom.


Offspring of Alfred Windle and Sarah Rebecca Meades (1849-1927)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ada S Windle (1869-1869)
Hannah Mary Windle (1870-1916) 19 October 1870 Chippendale, New South Wales, Australia 16 March 1916 Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia Thomas Williamson (c1874-1952)

Ada Sarah Windle (1872-1942)
Alfred Ernest Windle (1874-1942)
Alice Elizabeth Windle (1877-1960)
Benjamin Samuel Windle (1880-1880)
Elizabeth Caroline Windle (1880-1880)
Martha May Windle (1881-1899) May 1881 Randwick, New South Wales, Australia 18 September 1899 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Caroline Meads Windle (1883-1967)
Daisy E Windle (1885-1887)
Louisa Mabel Windle (1887-1888)
Lily Ruby Windle (1888-1975)
Elizabeth Emily Windle (1893-1985) 26 November 1893 Coogee Bay, New South Wales, Australia 29 April 1985 The Entrance, New South Wales, Australia Thomas Ohalam Smith (1888-1966)


Footnotes (including sources)

¶ Death
  • May Windle tragically died at the age of 18 in suspicious circumstances. She died in Sydney hospital after falling ill 5 days earlier. After a two day inquiry, the coroner found that she died of phosphorus poisoning but left an open verdict on how the substance was administered. Her death was devastating for her mother Rebecca and sister Caroline. Her mother wore a cameo with her photo for the rest of her life.

May was engaged to Patrick Walsh at the time of her death. At the inquest, her father Alfred tried to implicate Patrick in her death but a string of witnesses including her mother and sisters rejected this suggestion.

The following is a report in the Sydney Evening News from 26 September 1899:

THE RANDWICK CASE. A YOUNG GIRL'S DEATH, The City Coroner this morning resumed the inquest in connection with the death of Martha May Windle, 18, a single woman, who died in Sydney Hospital on the 18th instant. Deceased resided with her parents at St. Paul-street, Randwick, and had been employed in the same suburb as a housekeeper, sleeping at home at night. On the 13th instant she was taken ill, and Dr. Dick, who was called in, was told that she had been eating pork, and subsequently fruit, to which her illness was attributed. She told the doctor that there was nothing else the matter with her. As she grew worse, she was removed on the 17th instant to the hospital. There, as the result of an examination. Dr. C. Bowker asked her if she had taken any drugs, but she gave a negative answer. In reply to further questioning, she stated that a man had come home one night the worse for liquor, and had taken advantage of her. The doctor perceived symptoms which gave him the opinion that a certain event had previously taken place. He was of opinion that death was due to phosphorus poisoning. Dr. H. J. Brennand, who attended the patient, also expressed the opinion that the appearances were compatible with death by phosphorus poisoning. Dr. Dixson gave corroborative evidence in answer to a question by the coroner, he said that the symptoms in a case of ptomaine poisoning would be different. Dr. G. H. Taylor, who made a post-mortem examination, said that death was, in his opinion, due to phosphorus poisoning. The analysis of the stomach which had been made by the Government Analyst, revealed no trace of phosphorus, but the medical evidence was to the effect that that was not surprising, as all traces of the phosphorus would disappear in the period which had elapsed between the time of death and the analysis. (Proceeding.)

  • Newspaper articles. Birth and death records. Word of mouth handed down through the family.
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