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Dagmar Petrzywalski (1898–1946)

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  • Dagmar Petrzywalski (1898–1946)

    On October 31, 1946, Dagmar Petrzywalsi was murdered by Harold Hagger in a lay-by off the A20 at the top of Wrotham Hill just outside West Kingsdown village in Kent. She had been hitching a lift in a lorry heading for London. She was strangled with the man’s vest she was wearing as a scarf. Hagger dumped the body in the hedgerow further down the hill. Chief Inspector Robert Fabian (‘Fabian of the Yard’) investigated the crime and quickly secured an arrest. Hagger was convicted and hanged by Albert Pierrepoint in Wandsworth.

    A few weeks ago I was walking across the North Downs Way and detoured to visit the churchyard where Dagmar is buried. It’s the Church of St Edmund King & Martyr, West Kingsdown. It took me two hours rooting around on hands and knees to locate the grave. As you enter the lichgate, turn right and head over to the laurel hedge which forms the northern boundary of the churchyard. Just in front of the hedge you will see a granite kerbed memorial with square corner posts. There is no headstone and the grave looks untended. Moss has almost completely obliterated the inscription on the chamfer, but you can just make out: “Dagmar Petrzywalski passed away 31 October 1946 aged 48.”

    Diana Souhami has recently written an excellent book on the case, The Murder of Wrotham Hill (Quercus, 2012).

    Grave in St Edmund churchyard
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    Wrotham Hill (body found bottom of hill on left side of road)
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  • #2
    Thanks for that, Dave !
    Another highway murder ( makes me think of the A6 murder in 1963).
    Hope all is well...
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    • #3
      I would like to thank David Green for his efforts in locating Dagmar Petrzywalski's grave and providing such a clear description. This enabled me to walk straight to her grave on the 75th anniversary of her murder and place an artificial flower there to show she's not forgotten. I chose white to symbolise her purity as her killer tried to besmirch her reputation. The grave is still neglected but less so than 7 years ago it seems as my photograph hopefully demonstrates. I had to resize the photo to be able to post it so hope it isn't too small to see!

      Thanks David!
      Sue
      A geriatric amateur genealogist

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      • #4
        Susan:

        Welcome to the site.....and thanks for the photo which I've enlarged.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Susan Wright View Post
          I would like to thank David Green for his efforts in locating Dagmar Petrzywalski's grave and providing such a clear description. This enabled me to walk straight to her grave on the 75th anniversary of her murder and place an artificial flower there to show she's not forgotten. I chose white to symbolise her purity as her killer tried to besmirch her reputation. The grave is still neglected but less so than 7 years ago it seems as my photograph hopefully demonstrates. I had to resize the photo to be able to post it so hope it isn't too small to see!

          Thanks David!
          Thanks. That's a very nice gesture. The victims of crime are too often forgotten.

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