Morris, Daniel

Morris, Daniel                 1916 June 9th                 Rollestone

Drunken Row at a Camp

Sad Sequel to a Sunday Scene

On Monday Mr F H Trethowan held an inquest at Rollestone on the death of Driver Daniel J Morris, 54th Divisional Train, ASC, stationed at Rollestone Camp.

Driver W H Cooper said that on Sunday, May 28th, he was with Morris and other men. Morris was drunk, and wanted to fight, but he was so drunk that no one would fight with him. He kept falling about, but witness saw no heavy blow struck. It was not true that he (witness) fought Morris with bare fists or challenged him, but he did fight with a man named Hughes.

Captain G T Blackwell said Morris was a native of Glamorganshire, and was 23 years old. On May 30th he was in hospital and made the following statement : On May 28th I had a row with Driver Cooper and we settled the matter by fighting with bare fists. I fell down twice, I think I hurt my leg when I had a wrestling match with Driver Wilkes later in the afternoon, when I fell over a bed. This wrestling match was in fun. We all had had a few drinks. Cooper challenged me to fight.”

A court of enquiry was held on May 30th, and he (witness) informed the Court of this statement. He had no definite evidence of Morris having received a blow below the belt.

Driver H Fauchard, ASC, said he saw Morris and Cooper fighting. He saw no blow struck by either below the belt, and he thought both men were too drunk to harm each other. On three occasions he saw Morris on the ground, and when he fell the last time it was after a slight blow which would not have caused him to fall had he been sober. After he fell he did not think he was seriously hurt but was in a kind of drunken stupor.

Lieutenant C S Panton, RAMC, said Morris was admitted to hospital at two o’clock on the morning of May 29th, very ill with some peritonitis. An operation showed that the trouble was due to a rupture of the bowel which must have been caused within a few hours. After the operation the patient went on very well at first and then got worse and died on Saturday from the peritonitis. He considered that the rupture which caused it was due to violence, as there was no disease.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


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