Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 On the 14 February he was transferred to Codford again.
30/12/2015 On 16 January 1917 he was treated for scabies at Codford Military Hospital in Wiltshire
30/12/2015 On 7th November 1916 William Cross reverted back to being a Private at his own request.
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30/12/2015 Six weeks later, Lance Corporal William Cross embarked from Wellington, New Zealand (Unit 16th Embarkation) on 21 August 1916 on the vessel 'Mokoia' destined for Plymouth, England .
30/12/2015 Lance Corporal William Cross became part of the Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
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30/12/2015 From the Tyrone Courier dated 8 March 1917: 'A Drinking Bout - New Zealand soldier burned at Bovain'
30/12/2015 William Cross enlisted in Culverden, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st June 1916. He was 45 years old. He was described as 5 8.25 inches tall, 172 pounds, grey hair and dark brown eyes. It was recommended that he be given a trial before being enlisted.
30/12/2015 He had emigrated to New Zealand, where his war records report he worked as a railway labourer.
30/12/2015 By the time of the 1911 census William Cross was no longer at this address. His mother was still living.
30/12/2015 The 1901 census records William as 33 years old, living on the farm at Bovean, Drumaspil, His occupation was 'farmer's son.'
30/12/2015 Known family: Margaret Cross, William Cross (born 15th May 1871), James Cross (born about 1873), Sarah Cross (born about 1878), Ernest Cross (born about 1881).
30/12/2015 William Cross was the son of Margaret Cross. He was born on 15th May 1871.
30/12/2015 William recorded his next of kin as E. Cross (brother), Bovain, Moy, County Tyrone, Ireland.
30/12/2015 To Mt Barrington - the deceased was under the witness's observation from Robert left until he left himself. The burns may have taken place during the night while they were all asleep. The fire went out after the Hagans left.
30/12/2015 Dr F C Mann, hospital medical officer, Dungannon, said the deceased was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon at 2:15. The witness saw him on Wednesday morning and found him going on well. He told the witness he had 'blind drunk' and had fallen into the fire. The witness examined his wounds and concluded he had been burned probably by reclining on a smouldering fire. His feet and hips were the worst. He died on Thursday morning about 2 o'clock from heart failure caused by the absorption of poison from the burns and the lowering of his vitality from drinking.
30/12/2015 Dr J W Scott, Coalisland, stated he was called in on Tuesday morning and went about 11 o'clock. The deceased was in bed undressed. The burns were dressed. He removed the bandages and found that the body was burnt from the hips down on both sides, very deep and extensive. The witness dressed then with Carron oil and phoned for the ambulance. The deceased said he fell in the fire at Barney O'Neill's. The witness formed the impression that he was then absorbing septic poisoning. He had the appearance of having being drinking heavily. The amount of alcohol he had been consuming accelerated his death by lowering his vitality or there might have been a chance of his recovery. He seemed to have drink taken later than Sunday.
30/12/2015 To Mr Irwin The witness thought that his brother treated him properly. On the Monday he, the witness, could not say whether it would be advisable or not to send him to hospital. He didn't know he had power to send a military man to this hospital and enquired who would pay the fee.
30/12/2015 To the Foreman The witness saw his clothing burnt and cut them off with a pair of scissors. The right leg of the pants was badly burnt. Anyone could see it. He suffered more from shock than pain but was of a coarse nature and it was possible he could walk the distance stated.
30/12/2015 By direction of the jury, Dr Wright was sent for and examined. He stated that he was called in to see the deceased at 7 o'clock on Sunday evening and went at once. He found the deceased in bed in his own house. He was dressed in uniform. The witness cut it off him and found him burned all about the hips and back and legs. He looked like a man who had been drinking heavily. The witness felt his pulse. He called on Monday, but did not redress him. The witness was going to see him on Tuesday, but heard he was away to hospital. He might have survived only he was drinking brutally. He had got 10 from Mr Irwin and finished it all. He was doing well and said he would be up in two or three days.
30/12/2015 To the Coroner - O'Neill said that the deceased had been scrambling about, looking for a drink. The witness inferred that the burns occurred in his (O'Neill's) house.
30/12/2015 The last unit William served in was Canterbury Otago Regiment, 3rd Reserve Battalion .
30/12/2015 Bernard Hagan, Bovain, labourer, stated he was in Moy with his brother James about 10 o'clock on Saturday night. They overtook Robert Cross on the way home. He was middling drunk; all three went to O'Neill's. Robert said he had a couple of pints with him and treated his brother James. They all stayed in O'Neill's until 1 or 2 o'clock. The two Crosses, B O'Neill, the witness and his brother were there. The witness did not touch, but the others drank the pint and a half. All four were pretty drunk. O'Neill was not too bad. O'Neill came to the witness's house on Sunday afternoon. He said the deceased had left on Sunday morning and had got his puttee burnt.
30/12/2015 William died on 1 March 1917 back home at the Union Hospital, Dungannon, Northern Ireland . William Cross died of burns accidentally received on active service.
30/12/2015 Bernard O'Neill, farmer, Bovain, said he knew the deceased and on Saturday last he came to the witness about ten o'clock in the morning and remained all day. He wasn't sober and had a pint of whiskey with him and each took a drink. The deceased took tea and an egg and then slept on the sofa. Robert Cross was sent for and he came and took the balance of the whiskey and went to Moy for more. The Hagans came back with Robert and had some whiskey. They left about 1 or 2 o'clock on the Sunday morning. Robert also went home and the deceased also went away, the witness going with him to Bovain bridge. There was a small burn on his puttee about the size of a two-shilling piece.
30/12/2015 To Mr Barrington the witness sold the farm recently for 500 and the deceased got 10. It was this money they were drinking in O'Neill's. He saw three pints and part of a pint there and there were present O'Neill, two boys named O'Hagan, the witness and the deceased. Two pints were brought from the Moy on the Saturday night and they sat up till Sunday drinking the stuff. The deceased could have walked but didn't go home. The witness left O'Neill's between 8 and 9 o'clock on the Saturday morning and the deceased came home about 11 o'clock. The accident must have occurred between 9 and 11 o'clock. The witness sent for the doctor between 3 and 4 o'clock and he came at 7
30/12/2015 Robert Cross, Bovain, farmer was examined and stated he was a brother of the deceased who was aged about 50 years and was a bachelor. He was a private in the 1st Canterburys, New Zealand Expeditionary Force and had been on active service in France. He came home on leave on 12th February 1917 and stopped with the witness for a week and then was staying in Mr O'Neill's where he met with the accident. The witness saw the burns on Sunday 25th, when the deceased was going to bed and sent for Dr Wright, Moy, and called in James Rea, a neighbour. Dr Wright dressed the burns and came back the next day. The witness also sent for Doctor Scott, Coalisland. The witness and Dr Wright said he would see. The witness said there was no woman in the house to attend to the deceased. Dr Scott came on Tuesday and dressed the wounds and sent for the ambulance.
30/12/2015 An inquest was held in the Workhouse Boardroom on Friday afternoon before Mr John Malone, County coroner, and the following jury:- Messrs Thomas Lennon (foreman), T J Aiken J.P., Robert Cummings, Bernard Bennett, Eugene Connolly, Henry Haddock, Hugh Loane, Bernard Kelly, Adam Dickie, J Stewart, Edward Hayden, J Campbell, Alexander Smith and James Quinn. District Inspector R Barrington represented the Crown and Mr W J Irwin, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the next of kin.
30/12/2015 Private William Cross, 1st Canterbury Infantry, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, died in Dungannon District Hospital on Thursday from the result of burns accidentally received. He was the third son of the late Mr Thomas Cross, Bovain, Killyman, and belonged to a highly respected and well known old family. He had emigrated to New Zealand and on the outbreak of war had promptly volunteered. He had been for some time serving in France and had revisited his home on sick leave. It appears that during his visit, he received severe burns to his back and legs. He was medically attended to by Drs F C Wright, Moy and J W Scott, Coalisland, and afterwards removed to Dungannon hospital but his case from the first was considered hopeless.
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30/12/2015 The Coroner, in addressing the jury, said that all the doctors agreed that the death arose as much from drink as from the burns. It seemed to him that all the men in O'Neill's were stupidly drunk and could not tell what happened. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.
30/12/2015 To Mr Irwin the fire was raked up, but if a man rolled into it, he would be burnt.
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