Storar, Robert

Storar, Robert       1915 December 24th      Perham Down

A Young Officer Shot – Fatal Accident at Perham Down

The Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) held an inquest at the Officer’s Mess, Perham Down Camp, on Friday, in connection with the death of Second-Lieutenant Robert Archibald Storar, of the 19th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, who, according to the evidence died as the result of being accidentally shot. The gallant young officer had been at the front in France for six months and had escaped injury.

Captain James Storar, of the same battalion, said that Second-Lieutenant Storar was 19 years of age and his home was at Darlington. He saw the lieutenant at 8.45pm on December 16th when he seemed in his usual good health. He was absolutely convinced that death was due to an accident.

Second-Lieutenant Reginald Charles Davies, of the same battalion, stated that after mess on Dec 16th, between 9.30 and 9.50pm, he loaded his revolver, for no particular purpose, with one round of ammunition. The muzzle was pointing downward. He closed it with a snap, using both hands to do so, when the cartridge exploded. He did not think his finger was touching the trigger. He afterwards found that Mr Storar, who was about a yard from him, had been shot. He had hardly used the weapon before, and not at all recently.

Replying to the Foreman, witness said that he and Mr Storar were the best of friends. He had been shooting on the range and that was why there was ammunition in his room. He should not have had the revolver or ammunition there.

Lieut Harold B Watson corroborated. He added that they were all sober. As soon as the explosion occurred Mr Storar took his hands from his pockets and put them to his stomach and collapsed on the bed behind him. They realised that he had been hit and witness went for a medical officer, who came immediately. There was certainly no bad feeling between Mr Storar and Mr Davies.

Lieut J B Sim, RAMC, spoke to examining Mr Storar, whom he found with a wound in the abdomen and pulseless and quite unconscious. The symptoms showed that there was internal hemorrhage. His condition was hopeless, but another medical officer saw him. He died within half-an-hour of witness’ arrival, death being due to hemorrhage, which, in his opinion, was caused by a bullet wound.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.


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