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Author Topic: Attempted Murder, Followed by Suicide, at Sheerness Garrison. December 1903  (Read 2190 times)

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Garrison Tragedy at Sheerness.

An extraordinary tragedy took place in Sheerness garrison on Sunday evening. It appears that a corporal of Royal Artillery, named Purvis, was lying on his bed, when he heard a gunner say "I am a good a man as you," and immediately afterwards received a rifle shot in the thigh. Purvis jumped up and struggled with the man, who ran from the room. A gunner, named Pilkington, tried to stop him, but failed, and he received a blow on the head from the rifle. The assailant escaped to the wash-house and the door was secured. The police and military officers tried to induce the man to surrender his rifle, but without success. The fire hose was then turned upon him through the roof, in the hope that it would have the desired effect, but the man discharged the contents of the rifle into his chest, and died in a few minutes. Further particulars show that deceased when in the wash-house brandished his rifle and threatened to shoot anyone who attempted to take it from him. It is stated that Purvis had occasion to speak to the man on Sunday for not performing some duty, and this is supposed to have been the cause of the attempt on his life. Purvis is in the military hospital, and his condition is reported to be favourable.
The deceased's name is Frederick Lake, (Frederick Hamilton Lane) aged 29. He was attached to No. 17 Company Royal Garrison Artillery, and was employed as a blacksmith. The bullet fired at Purvis passed through the fleshy part of his thigh and then into his box at the side of the bed. Lane had been in the Army nine years.

      From The Cambrian 24th December 1903.


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