Ralph Douglas Binney
Life & Career
Binney served in the armoured cruiser Shannon from 1 March, 1910 to 31 April, 1911. Binney joined the staff of the Inspector of Torpedo Practice for Home Fleet Battle Practice on 20 August, 1913 and then assisted the staff of the Director of Naval Ordnance in compiling Blue Books until 13 February, 1914.
Binney married Ruth Frances on 6 November, 1918 in Broughton Parish Church.
Binney died at age 56 of injuries sustained in trying to stop "smash and grab raiders" in London who had made off with jewels valued at 3,500 pounds sterling. Binney had jumped onto the running board of the perpetrators' saloon car as they fled, but he lost this perch and was dragged under the car for a half mile and died at Guy's Hospital.
The driver of the car, a labourer named Ronald Hedley, was charged and found guilty of murder, the sentence being death by hanging. His accomplice, Thomas James Jenkins, welder, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years' penal servitude. Hedley was an experienced burglar, having been nicknamed "Silver" for repeatedly breaking into a jeweller's named Silver's in Bermondsey. The trial took six days and the two were convicted on 12 March, 1945. Hedley's subsequent appeal was dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeals on 13 April. However, Hedley was reprieved by the Home Secretary on 26 April, two days before his planned execution on 28 April. In October, 1949 the Metropolitan Commissioner of Police appeared before the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment and stated that he believed that the key reason for the rise of armed gangs after the war had been the failure to execute Hedley in 1945.
- "Marriages" (Marriages). The Times. Thursday, 7 November, 1918. Issue 41941, col C, pg. 9.
- "Naval Officer Dragged Under Car" (News). The Times. Saturday, 9 December, 1944. Issue 50012, col C, pg. 4.
- "Obituary" (Deaths). The Times. Monday, 11 December, 1944. Issue 50013, col E, pg. 6.
- "Funerals" (Deaths). The Times. Friday, 15 December, 1944. Issue 50017, col B, pg. 6.
- Thomas, Donald (2006). Villains' Paradise: A History of Britain's Underworld. London: Pegasus Books. ISBN 1933648171.
- The National Archives. ADM 196/51.
William R. Phillimore
|Captain of H.M.S. Marshal Soult
26 Sep, 1930
- Binney Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51.
- The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 7.
- Thomas. Villains' Paradise. pp. 179-180.
- The Navy List. (July, 1931). p. 253.