REDCAR – Fatality Firing Large Gun Jubilee Day

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 02/07/1887.



          The remains of Gunner Smith, Volunteer Artilleryman, who was killed at Redcar on Jubilee Day by the explosion of a cartridge, were interred at the Redcar Cemetery on Saturday (25/06) afternoon with full military honours. The cortege which was nearly half a mile long started from the deceased’s residence in Newcomen Terrace, Coatham, at three o’clock headed by a firing party under the command of the Battery Sergeant-Major and Sergeant Instructor R. Allison. Next was the band of the Regiment playing the Dead March in ‘Saul’ and then the corpse. The coffin, which was of polished oak, with brass mountings, was placed on a gun carriage, drawn by four horses. Over the coffin was spread the Union Jack, with the deceased’s accoutrements laid thereon, the pall bearers being six of the deceased’s comrades?

          The mourning coaches containing the deceased’s relatives came next followed by the remainder of the regiment together with a detachment of the 4th Durham Light Infantry, who are at present encamped at Redcar and a number of the 1st North York Rifle Volunteers, who had been undergoing their week’s annual training, and had protracted their stay in order to take part in the mournful ceremony. After the foregoing came a company of the 1st Durham Rifle Volunteers, the rear was brought up by the officers and non-commissioned officers of the four regiments, among whom were Major J. V. V. Baker, R.A., adjutant 1st N.Y.V.A, in command: Major Ellerton, Captains Willman, and Bolsover, Lieutenants Poole and Williams, Quartermaster Henderson, Surgeon- Major T. W. S. Locke 3rd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, officers of the 1st N.Y. R. Volunteers and the 4th Durham Light Infantry, &c., &c. Then followed in double file were the members of the Redcar and Coatham Friendly Society, the Fire Brigade and ambulance class, the Free Gardeners, and the Oddfellows. The route was lined with people, and the tradesmen, to show their sympathy, closed their places of business, the blinds of private houses being also drawn, and flags from various places floating half mast high.

          The burial service was impressively conducted by the Rev. R. Renton, Wesleyan minister. At least four thousand persons assembled at the grave, amongst whom were Mr. J. C. Coleman, Cannon Riddle, the Rev. A. Elvidge (Penrith), Mr. Wm. Taylor, Surgeon Cree, Captain Williams, chief officer of the coastguards, &c., &c.

          After the funeral service had been read three volleys were fired over the grave. Gunner Smith was shortly to have gone to Aldershot for a month or six weeks course of instruction in cooking to qualify him for the position of master cook to the corps, an appointment which would have conferred the rank of Sergeant.

          After the funeral a court of inquiry was held by order of Lieutenant Colonel the Earl of Zetland to collect evidence and investigate the cause of the accident, the proceedings of which were forwarded to the officer commanding the Auxiliary Northern Division, Sunderland.

          A large number of wreathes had been sent by sympathisers from various parts, one given by the corps being conspicuously beautiful.


dean October 29, 2011 Redcar