Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Thursday 27th January 1916: It is an oddity of war, where men face death every day, that some men choose a certain death, of their own making, rather than facing the strain of dreading death day by day. Such an incident happened yesterday near Fricourt where the 1st Battalion are in the trenches. The adjutant tells us that it was a quiet day but a man from C Company was found shot nearby where he had fallen out when coming up into the line the previous evening. He had almost certainly shot himself during the night rather than face another tour in the trenches. He was killed by the war as surely as a man shot by an enemy sniper(1).

Source: X550/2/5

(1) The only casualty who fits the bill is Private Arthur Gray who is listed as having died on 26th. He was born in Liverpool and lived in Derby. He now has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

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