This year, when the Great War was really making itself felt, shows a distinct increase in the caseload – 56 from January to June – so that I feel forced to split 1915 into two halves.

Obviously there were movements of soldiers, including some from the Empire – several cases featuring Canadian casualties – but there were also many cases featuring men working at the temporary Camps which had been built next to almost every village. For Salisbury, the closest camps were in the Nadder and Wylye valleys, and a number of cases enlighten these places.

The workmen came by train into Salisbury for shopping on a Saturday, and naturally frequented certain establishments – George Lye was found incapable and sleeping rough near his camp, while Herbert Wells and Ebenezer Griffiths were both caught taking short cuts along the line. Charles Hann told his wife he had been mugged and robbed before he travelled home by train and died, but the truth was not so sober. Robert Hardwick was also not sober when he ignored a cart in Fisherton Street, and neither were his two friends who would not allow him to be properly treated at the Infirmary. Percy Futcher disobeyed that well-known bus/railway rule about disembarking from a moving vehicle, but it is also stated that the workmen in the Camps fabricated for themselves railway-carriage keys to enable entry/exit where they chose. Meanwhile Harry Gray was hefting telegraph poles which he wasn’t paid to do, hence betraying the golden rule – never volunteer.

There were thousands of soldiers, some of whom also had mishaps, including Briscoe (who stood behind the targets at musketry practice), Colonel Sykes, Private Morris, and John Horrigan, who was accidentally stabbed to death. Alfred Ellis drowned in the dark in a poorly protected reservoir, while James Dowds was “accidentally killed” by a railway train at night.

Canadian William Campbell overturned his car on the still well-known dogleg railway-bridge at Winterbourne Earls. Drink featured again in the David Smith case, where a juror argued with the Coroner about the relevance of a question about when the soldier’s Mess in Wilton Road was open to serve alcohol. Private John Bennett died when he was caught in a fire of fifteen hay-ricks.

There are several obvious gun fatalities – surely Edward Taylor, Cary Coles and Stanley Dowsett would have lived on had the holders of the guns not been bearing them fully-cocked and pointing their way. I could not help debating the opinions of the doctor and witnesses in the Ernest Lander case, as it seems quite possible that the victim did perhaps hold the gun barrel and push the butt into the hedge to fire it.

Alfred Penny fell from a hay-cart that was going too fast down a slope, causing the horses to bolt, but the driver Moore apparently was not there to control the horses, or was he?

It is often forgotten that much of our Great War forces were reliant still on horsepower, but when two soldiers, including Walter Coleman, ignored instructions about the riding of their horses and indulged in an illicit pint or two, the result was inevitable.

Mundy, Walter                                         Steeple Langford

Long, Robert                                           Tisbury

Unknown male                                        Lower Woodford

Draper, Irene

Briscoe, R D

Sykes, William

Mitchell, Sidney                                       Dinton

Carpenter, Arthur                                      Kingston Deverill

Morris, Henry                                           Shrewton

Wells, Herbert                                         Codford

Lye, George                                            Codford

Gray, Harry                                             Larkhill

Horrigan, John                                         Mere

Burry, Caroline

Ellis, Alfred                                             Tilshead

Woods, Frederick                                   Woodford

Taylor, Edward                                       Chicksgrove

Downing, Dawson                                  Upavon

Hann, Charles                                         Yeovil / Corton

Deacon, Albert / Hiscock, James             Fritham

Harris, Emily

Dowds, James                                         East Dean

Coles, Cary                                             Winterbourne Stoke

Hardwick, Robert                                    Fisherton

Penny, Alfred                                          Tisbury

Campbell, William                                   Winterbourne Earls

Saunders, George                                    Wilton

Ridgeley, Amy                                        Stoford

Millard, Margaret

Wallace, William                                     Stoford

Dowsett, Stanley                                     Broadchalke

Coleman, Walter                                      Durrington

Smith, David

Gray, Charles                                           Mere

Winter, Frank

Topp, Rachel

Thomas, Thomas                                      Bulford

Yielding, Frederick                                  Fovant

Gatward, Albert                                       Durrington

Chalk, Mary                                             Morgan’s Vale

Burry, John                                              Middle Wallop

Blake, Alfred                                           Amesbury

Bennett, John                                           Kimpton

Futcher, Percy

Marland, Peter                                         Bulford

Griffiths, Ebenezer

Barter, Ebenezer                                      Donhead St Mary

Warren, John                                           Bulford Camp

Saunders, Charles

Cooper, George                                      Netheravon

Newbery, Reginald                                 Amesbury

Unknown Man                                         Amesbury

Lander, Ernest                                         Mere

Raymond, Reginald / Cockerton, Frank   Stourhead

Vincent, Austin                                       Codford

Simmons, John                                        Longbridge Deverill

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