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City and East London Observer.
Saturday, 30 December 1933.

Poplar Photographer’s Death


A Poplar man, Joseph Martin, Canton Street, E14. who for more than forty years was the official photographer to the Metropolitan Police, was knocked down and killed by a motor lorry in the East India Dock Road on Wednesday last week and the East London Coroner (Dr. R. L. Guthrie) held an enquiry on Saturday into the circumstances surrounding his death.

A son-in-law said deceased was 84 years old. One of his eyes was slightly defective, but he never wore glasses.

Ada Parsons, Park Street, Poplar, said that about 5 p.m. on Wednesday she was crossing the East India Dock Road, when she saw an old man step off the kerb on the south side of the road. There was a motor lorry going towards Aldgate at a moderate speed and she saw its near wheel strike the old man. He fell to the ground on his face.

Dr. Percival, Poplar Hospital, said that death was due to multiple injuries. The man was dead when admitted.

The lorry driver, Charles Albert King, Wivenhoe Road, Shepherd’s Bush, said he was driving towards Aldgate at about ten miles an hour when he saw deceased come from behind a moving lorry four yards in front. Deceased appeared to run and witness applied his brakes, but could not avoid the accident. He had been driving for 18 years, had a clean licence and a silver Safety First medal.

Summing up, the Coroner said there was no doubt that the man’s eyes were defective and the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and exonerated the driver from all blame.


Mr. Martin until a year ago had held the position of official photographer to the Metropolitan Police for nearly fifty years. During his tenure of office it fell to his lot to photograph the bodies of women killed in Whitechapel by Jack the Ripper. He took innumerable photographs of the bodies of unknown persons killed in the Metropolis, including many who were the victims of murderers.

Mr. Martin had had for more than 40 years a photographer’s business in East India Road, Poplar.

Related pages:
  Joseph Martin
       Dissertations: Who was the Mortuary Photographer? 
       Press Reports: East End News - 29 December 1933 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 21 October 1933 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 23 December 1933