Both Hugh Wade and Arthur Jeffress heard about the shooting from a friend who rang them in the early afternoon of the next day. Wade does not name the friend but Jeffress does. He was John E. May (yet another man “of independent means”). He lived at Claridge House, 32 Davies Street. My guess is that it was he who also rang Wade. May must have known either Elvira or Michael Scott Stephen (probably both). He must also have known that Jeffress knew them and it does not seem unlikely that he was aware that Jeffress was with them both on the previous evening. It is also, then, at least possible that he was present himself, either at the cocktail part at William Mews, The Blue Angel or Arthur Jeffress’ late session – maybe all three. Claridge House is no more than a drunken stagger from Jeffress’  Orchard Court residence.

Claridge House, built in the 1920s

I can’t find anything much about John E .May (1909-1964) but he does seem to have travelled about a lot with one Clarence Belisha (1898- 1964). Belisha was a stockbroker who also lived at Claridge House. The two of them are together on passenger lists to Australia and New York in the early 1930s. I think we can reasonably add them both to Jeffress’ circle and possibly Elvira’s as well.

Contemporary reports talk of someone who rang the police on the same day, but who proved reluctant to put in an appearance at Gerald Road police station. Could this have been May?

I was initially hoping that John May would be Jack May, the notorious manager of Murray’s (Beak Street) and other clubs. Jack May was a major supplier of cocaine to the 1920s party set. Sadly, this is not the case.

Murray’s River Club, Maidstone

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