William Bryan was the eldest child of Thomas William and Mary Bryan Davies of Welshpool in Montgomeryshire.
William was Commissioned into the Sherwood Foresters in January 1916 and joined the 1/6th Battalion in France on the 18th July of that same year. He was posted to the 139th Trench Mortar Battery on the 1st August along with 4 Officers and 12 other ranks of the 1/6th Battalion.
Sometime in early September William was referred to the ‘Officers Hospital’ at Lucheux. This facility was provided by the 37th Casualty Clearing Station and catered for ‘Sick Officers’.
During the afternoon of the 17th September William died “the result of a revolver bullet wound of the head, self inflicted, in our opinion during a state of temporary insanity”.
The proceeding investigation the Court of Enquiry heard witness statements from two Officers.
“I last saw the deceased at 12 noon today, he was then apparently in the best of spirits. he was absent from lunch and as he had not appeared by 3 o’clock and was due to return to duty I instituted a search party”
[Lt AF Grattan Guiness RAMC]
“For the last seven days I shared a bedroom with Lt Davies at the Officers Hospital Lucheux; he appeared quite normal all the time but rather quiet. We were both to return to duty today. His kit was packed up on his bed but he did not come to lunch and when the car arrived for us he was not to be found”
[Lt Frank E Rowe, 1/5th South Staffs R]
William was buried in Avesnes-le-Comte Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
His younger brother Idwal also served in France with the 1/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters from February 1915 until he was wounded and returned to England in June 1915.
A sad and tragic story. I often wonder how prevalent incidents like these were during the First World War. How horrible it must have been for this man to be returning to the Front that he should take his own life. Thank you for sharing.
Lest we forget.