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Author Topic: A Drummer Boy murdered at Chatham - 1872  (Read 4593 times)

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King Chav

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Re: A Drummer Boy murdered at Chatham - 1872
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 22:53:16 »
My Father used to recount a story about the ghost of a headless drummer boy often seen on The Great Lines. Mind you, he used to like scaring us kids!


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A Drummer Boy murdered at Chatham - 1872
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 20:36:06 »
Drummer boy, George Thomas Stock, aged 16 and belonging to the 33d Company of the Chatham Division of the Royal Marines was murdered on Sunday, 30th June, 1872, by James Tooth, a 40+ year old Private of the 4th Company.

Just after noon on the Sunday, the two were alone in the library, attached to the non-commissioned officers recreation room, when Tooth went behind Stock and cut his throat with a razor, inflicting a great gash. The boy managed to rush out to the parade ground where a number of men rushed to his assistance. He was conveyed to Melville Hospital and promptly attended to by Dr Domville and other Medical officers, but died in about an hour. After commiting the act Tooth went to a washhouse and washed his face; blood was on his hands and he was subsequently arrested. At first he denied his guilt, but afterwards he confessed it,and produced from his pocket the razor he had used to kill George Stock. Tooth was brought before Mr W. Rother, deputy stipendiary magistrate, at the Chatham police-court a few days later. The prisoner did not question any of the witnesses, made no answer to the charge, and maintained a very quiet demeanour. The motive for the dreadful act is not very clear; it can only be guessed from what the prisoner said after his arrest. He said "Some little time ago,i got drunk, and he nearly got me into trouble. I lent him some money and i have since been determined to have my revenge, which i have now got." The magistrate committed the prisoner for trial at the Assizes at Maidstone, where James Tooth was found guilty of murder and had the death sentance passed on him.

George Thomas Stock was buried at Fort Pitt Military Cemetery on Thursday, 4th July. His body was conveyed on a gun-carriage with a Union Jack spread over his coffin. The full band of the Division played funereal music and a great number of Officers and men of the Division attended. The chief mourner was the brother of the deceased, a corporal in the corps. The deceased's late father had been a Marine in the Chatham Division. A large number of spectators lined the route and assembled in the cemetery, the untimely fate of the lad having excited much feeling in the neighbourhood.


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