Norman, Arthur

Norman, Arthur         1916 August 11th           Fovant /Baverstock

Suicide on the Railway

The second inquest (see also Hardy, Cyril) took place at Fovant Military Hospital, on Wednesday, and related to the death of Arthur Norman, private in the 2nd Reserve Batt., London Regiment.

Lance-Corpl. Albert Williams said that he believed Norman was about 28 years of age, and his home was in Portland Place, London. On Friday he was in charge of the hut where Norman was quartered, and noticed that he was very quiet, and seemed to think he was going to be court-martialled, and that guards were following him about. He made no complaint of ragging, and witness had not seen anything of the kind, and had not heard anything from any other source.

Charles Dakey, of Exeter, engine driver on the South-Western Railway, said that on Monday he was driving the 6.45pm milk train from Salisbury to Templecombe. When nearly opposite the Penruddocke Arms a man suddenly jumped right into the four-foot way. There was no chance of stopping, as the train was travelling at 50 miles an hour, but he pulled up within 200 yards. In his opinion it was a deliberate attempt on the part of the man, who had apparently been hiding behind a bush waiting for a train.

Sidney Wilmington, of Yeovil Junction, deposed to finding the body in the four-foot way badly mutilated. He got it to the bank and left it in charge of a civilian.

Lieutenant W A Ferguson, RAMC, stationed at Fovant Military Hospital, described the injuries. The neck was broken, and there were several fractures of the skull.

The jury returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity, and expressed the opinion that no blame attached to any officer.

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