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Remembered Today:

Witley Camp Tragedy 1917 Suicide


BarbaraG

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The burial record  on Ancestry for William Gordon Adair, does not include details for the tragic event that took place.

Would this have been to prevent more distress to the family and make it possible for his burial to take place in the churchyard?

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/359901/w-g-adair/

Details of a Court of Inquiry at Witley include several witness statements which reflect ordinary events of army life in hut no. 54 at about 1 pm on 22nd November 1917, which was far from an ordinary afternoon.

'...cleaning my harness..' '...sewing buttons on my great coat..' '...putting on my sweater prior to taking a class in physical training..'

'..getting ready for afternoon parade..'

https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/359901?William Gordon Adair

Ref: Ancestry Burial Record Bramshott.png

Edited by BarbaraG
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From the south east history boards 

ADAIR, W G
Rank:Private
Service No:654308
Date of Death:22/11/1917
Regiment/Service:Canadian Infantry 161st Bn 
Grave Reference: I. D. 15. 
Cemetery:BRAMSHOTT (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD



William Gordon Adair enlisted in the Canadian Army in January 1916, arriving in England on the S.S. Lapland in November of that year. He committed suicide with his rifle in a hut full of men, leaving behind a letter which read:

"To whom it may concern. The sole reason for which I am doing this act is because I have to answer C.B. something which I never intended to do unless it was for a just reason. Why a Sergt swears falsely against a man it is time to cease to have anything to do with him."

 

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1 hour ago, BarbaraG said:

The burial record  on Ancestry for William Gordon Adair, does not include details for the tragic event that took place.

Would this have been to prevent more distress to the family and make it possible for his burial to take place in the churchyard?

Suicide has always been dealt with at arms length, for both religious and cultural (even insurance) reasons

Inquests virtually always record "temporary insanity" that caused someone to commit suicide

I have found 44 suicides among the 2100 ex-officers who joined the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary. And the vast majority have to be uncovered, rather than quickly found

But putting it differently if you son, father or husband had topped themselves, would you want it to be common knowledge

So I am not surprised that the burial record does not contain details

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2 hours ago, corisande said:

 

But putting it differently if you son, father or husband had topped themselves, would you want it to be common knowledge

 

Thank you for your reply. Having found one of my great uncles committed suicide fairly shortly after demobilisation, I agree.

Special thanks to Don Knibbs for use of his photograph of William's CWGC Headstone.PhotoCopyrightDonKnibbs.png.484d3d787bba10c2149cb799ea3f9b06.png

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73084872/william-gordon-adair

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wingham.png.4864d069b1e3f329a59088df4e7087ca.png

Newspaper clipping – From the London Free Press November 1917. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me

which can be found on the Canadian virtual war memorial website

Note the discrepancy

 The above newspaper clipping has W.G.Adair listed as a London man from Wingham, (erroneously listed and believed to be from Wingham Kent on the outskirts of London

W.G.Adaire was from Wingham Ontario Canada

Ray

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