Tuesday 21 June 2016

Casualties Whilst Practising

Lieutenant-Colonel Poyntz as a captain [X550/1/82]

Wednesday 21st June 1916: Raids and attacks need to be practised and, to be realistic, live ammunition is often used. We understand that 2nd Battalion has suffered two casualties whilst practising for a forthcoming raid. Lieutenant-Colonel Poyntz and the adjutant Lieutenant J W Hurrell had gone to Bray to supervise the training for a raid and witnessed Corporal W Eade killed by an exploding grenade. This man was an exceptional soldier, having been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry. Lance Corporal W Tyrrell was wounded in the same explosion.

By contrast with the tragic death of Corporal Eade, Corporal F Johnson, perhaps partly seeking to emulate the example of Private Chambers, whose death was reported yesterday, wounded himself in the left foot. He had only been with the Battalion for three days, having joined with a draft on 18th.

Source: X550/3/wd

(1) Corporal Eade, from Islington, is buried at Chipilly Communal Cemetery Extension. Self-inflicted wounds were a serious offence, carrying a maximum sentence of a lengthy period of imprisonment. Over 3,800 men were sentenced for this offence during the war. 

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