Proctor, William

Proctor, William               1916 July 7th                    Fovant

Killed by a Bomb

Young Soldier’s Sad Death at Fovant

Mr F H Trethowan held an inquest at the Military Hospital, Fovant, on Wednesday, in connection with the death of Rifleman William Tyerman Proctor, who was killed by the explosion of a bomb.

John Howell Stranson, Second Lieutenant in the 5th Reserve Battalion London Regiment, stationed at Fovant, said that about midday on Monday he was in the divisional trenches at Fovant, in charge of a detachment out for bombing instruction. After the course was finished they were looking for a bomb which had been thrown but had not exploded. While they were searching they heard an explosion and on going to the spot found Proctor lying on his back in the trench. He was bleeding badly and died about five minutes afterwards. The bombs were fully charged as in actual work, and the bombing course formed the latter part of a man’s training before he was eligible for a draft to the front. He thought it was quite probable that Proctor kicked the bomb accidentally and exploded it. He did not think it would have exploded if it had not received some jar.

Lance-Corpl. Ernest Gray said that Proctor was 20 years old, and formerly lived at Newton Abbott.

Dr Frank Jeffree, Captain to the RAMC, said that he went to the bombing trenches and found Proctor in one of them, quite dead. His injuries were consistent with a bomb having exploded at close range. A portion of the bomb had penetrated the brain and that would have caused death.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

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