Tragic death of a Jewish soldier at Aldershot
Extracted from an article in the Jewish ChronicleTragic death of a Jewish soldier at Aldershot
A sad fatality occurred at Aldershot Camp on Thursday afternoon, the 6th inst. A soldier named Brian, of the South Wales Borderers who had been placed in the Observation Ward of the Third Station Hospital owning to an attack of melancholis, was seen by Corporal Yates, in charge of the guard, to place the muzzle of a rifle in his mouth and attempt to pull the trigger, Corporal Yates closed with the would be suicide and shouted an alarm. In the struggle Brian succeeded in discharging the rifle, and the bullet struck Private David Scott, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queens Bays) who was running to the corporal’s assistance.
David Scott (whose name was correctly Cott, and was a former pupil of the Jews Hospital and Orphan Asylum) had been in hospital for a trifling ailment and was to have rejoined his regiment on Friday morning.
The jury (at the inquest) returned a verdict of wilful murder against poor demented Brian, in order that the tragic oversight may come before a Judge, and the whole question of the care of insane soldiers be treated by experts.
The sympathy and regard of Cott’s comrades made his interment, which took place at the little Jewish cemetery at Aldershot on Monday afternoon last, a solemn and affecting ceremony. He was accorded a funeral with full military honours. At two o’clock the procession left the hospital. First marched a firing party and escort of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, with arms reversed. After them came the fine band of the regiment; but in deference to the special request of the bereaved parents they abstained from playing the customary Dead March on the road to the cemetery. They were followed by a fully-horsed gun carriage on which was borne the coffin of the deceased, covered with the Union Jack. On the coffin were placed his helmet, sword and gauntlets and several beautiful wreaths from his squadron and fellow patients at the hospital.