Tidy, John

Tidy, John             1916 June 16th              Larkhill

Tired of Army Life

The Coroner for South Wilts (Mr F H Trethowan) held an inquest at the Fargo Military Hospital on Friday concerning the death of John Henry Tidy (27), a private in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was found with his throat cut and a razor lying by his side.

Frederick Hemmings, Company-Sergeant-Major, B Company, 2nd-4th KOYLI, stationed at No 10 Camp, Larkhill, stated that Tidy was in his company, and his home was at Radford, Nottingham. He joined the Army in March. He had become a good soldier, and did his work well. He was always cheerful when witness saw him, and he did not know that he had any trouble. If he had had any complaint about anything he thought he would have made it to him.

George Schofield, a private in the same company, said that on the morning of June 7th he went to one of the latrines, and heard a noise like groaning in the next one. He opened the door and saw Tidy with his throat cut and a razor lying by his side. He was unconscious. Witness sent someone for the Sergeant-Major, and waited outside the door until he arrived. He assisted him to put Tidy on the ambulance. Witness slept in the same hut as Tidy. He used to complain of pain in the head and eyes. He also said he was tired of Army life. He had no trouble with his work, and did not complain of the way he was treated in the Army. He had said on several occasions he would not “stick it” much longer and would “finish himself out,” but afterwards he had told witness not to take any notice of it, as it was only his “kid.” On the evening of June 6th between eight and nine, he was talking to him in the hut. He picked up a bundle where witness knew he kept his razor, and said, “This will be the end of me.” Witness told him not to talk so stupidly. He did not think he meant anything. He had previously told him that his father was not very good “pale” (pals) with him, and witness thought that worried him a little. He knew of no other home trouble.

Lieutenant William Bennett, of the RAMC, said he was attached to the KOYLI. He saw the man in the medical hut very shortly after he was found in the latrine. He was alive. His throat was cut. It seemed to be a right-handed self-inflicted wound. He received medical attention, and lived about a quarter of an hour after witness first saw him. He could not make any statement. The cause of death was hemorrhage and shock.

A verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind,” was returned.


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