Born in Antigua and arriving in London after living in the U.S, Kelso Cochrane was steadily working towards his goal of studying law. He had only been in England for five years when his life was cut short at 32-years old in spring of 1959.
The Death of Kelso Cochrane
At the time, Cochrane worked as a carpenter while living in Notting Hill. This area was a hotbed for the far right Union Movement and White Defence League organizations during the 1950s. On the night of May 17, 1959, Cochrane was heading home after midnight when he was attacked by white youths.
In the assault, he was stabbed by one of the young men. Three men who noticed the disturbance showed up and ran the trio off before taking Cochrane to the hospital. Kelso Cochrane’s wounds would prove grave and he died shortly afterward.
Given the social climate at the time, the investigation into Cochrane’s death initially came to the conclusion that it was a robbery attempt gone wrong. The detective over the case pointed to Cochrane’s wallet being empty. This conclusion isn’t supported by the fact that Cochrane didn’t have money on him because he emptied it at home, according to his fiancee.
A Union Movement member would say that another member of the organization committed the murder. Parliament would initiate a probe into race relations in the country with Marcus Garvey’s widow, Amy Ashwood Garvey at the head.
Stanley Cochrane arrived in England in 2006 to look into the death of his brother and request another investigation. His journey was covered by BBC 2 for the documentary Who Killed Kelso Cochrane? In Mark Olden’s book Murder in Notting Hill, the murderer was said to have been Patrick Digby. There has been no further investigation into his death.
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