Farrar, George

Farrar, George              1916 April 7th                Larkhill

Found with Cut Throat at Larkhill

A sad case of suicide was investigated by the Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) at Fargo Camp on Monday, George Farrar, a private in the 24th West Riding Regiment, having been found dead on Saturday with a wound in his throat, which a doctor concluded was self-inflicted.

Fred Farrar, a labourer in the metal plate works at Brighouse, Yorks, said that George Farrar was his son, and prior to joining the Army on March 24th last he lived with him. He was 39 years of age, and single. He was not unwilling to join up, and had attested under the Derby Scheme. His nervous system was easily upset and he had indigestion, otherwise his health was good. Witness received two letters from him since he joined and both were in cheerful tone. He could give no reason why he should take his life, unless it was the absolute change in his living conditions. For 23 years he had been at one job, working as dyer’s labourer. A friend of his at Larkhill told him he had been getting depressed.

George Drew, a general dealer, said that on Saturday, April 1st, he was passing the incinerator at Larkhill Camp and noticed a man lying down. He and his companion, Henry Brock, thought the man was asleep, but on walking across found he was dead. Other soldiers were called and an officer in the RAMC then arrived. The man’s throat was cut and a knife was found sticking in the ground. Farrar’s cap was discovered hanging on the door of a hut near by.

Henry Brock, sheeter’s mate, corroborated, and added that there were no signs of a struggle.

Lieut-Colonel William Smith-Kerr, of the RAMC, said he examined Farrar’s body on being called by some soldiers. He came to the conclusion that the man had died within the last hour. A knife was found three or four yards away from the body and he concluded that the wound in the neck was self-inflicted. There was one superficial wound which would not have proved fatal, and two punctured wounds which would have caused death.

The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind.”

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