Some people may remember the Staff Hotel which used to stand on the corner of Park Street and London Road. The site is just visible in this modern photo and the Premier Inn has taken its place.
Valerie Norman very kindly reminded me of the following story, which can be found in local historian Ken Clarke’s book “Time Gentlemen Please”.
“In July 1909 a widow called Hannah Green, who lived at 13 Park Street, was found in her bed, having been strangled.
Her lodger, Edwin Cunliffe, who two months previously had arranged the funeral of her late husband, was missing, along with a bicycle.
He later returned to Camberley and went into the Staff Hotel, where he spoke to people in the bar.
He gave someone 12s 6d, which he requested be sent to his sister, saying: “It’s the last you’ll have with me. I’ve killed a woman in the night.”
Although this was treated by most as a joke, somebody, seeing a tear trickle down his cheek, took the matter seriously.
Sgt Lucas was summoned to the Staff to interview Cunliffe, who confessed and was taken to Camberley police station.
He had been popular in the town and local people had a collection to enable him to be represented by a solicitor.
In December the same year he was sentenced to be detained as criminally insane, and was finally sent to Broadmoor, where he died on August 9 1916.”