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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 2 months 14 hours ago #75353

  • Rob D
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Please excuse my ignorance, but I seek clarification on ther term "In Train" when applied to a man who died of wounds.
Meurig Jones very kindly supplied the casualty list, for which I am v v grateful. The man I am interested in is:

2 Bn West Surrey Regiment Hillier, George 3246 Lance-Corporal; died 17/01/1900 Colenso [Watt] In Train Wounds - Died [ABWMP] [WO100] [NFF] Private NFF NK Battle HA 24. JS/B/34

Does In Train mean he died literally in the hospital train ?
Or that he died in transit e.g. on the way to the field hospital?

thanks!
Rob
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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 2 months 12 hours ago #75354

  • Dave F
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Hillier G 3246 Private 2nd Btn. Died of wounds at Colenso. 15 Dec 1899.
Source: Natal Field Force Casualty Roll, page 34 line 38

Hillier G 3246 Lance Corporal 2nd Battalion
Demise: Died of wounds 16-12-1899
Place: Colenso + In Train
Source: In Memoriam by S Watt

Hillier G 3246 Lance Corporal MID LG: 8 February 1901, page: 946. Source: General Buller. 30 March 1900. Re: Ladysmith

Clarification of dates required Rob
Good question, probably died in hospital train. I have a casualty who was wounded and on his way for treatment, then the train was derailed and his carriage was riddled by mauser fire and he was killed whilst travelling to hospital.
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Dave
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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 2 months 12 hours ago #75355

  • djb
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Yes, I think so, Rob.

Steve Watt's In Memorial (available via Name Search) has:

2nd Battalion
Demise: Died of wounds 16-12-1899
Place: Colenso + In Train
Source: In Memoriam by S Watt

Given it was the day after the battle, I would imagine he was being taken south to the hospital by train.

I have in mind the pictures of the hospital train drawn by Melton Prior.
Dr David Biggins
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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 2 months 12 hours ago #75357

  • LinneyI
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Rob
My copy of NFF for "3246 Pte. Hillier, G" of 2RWS shows "died, wounds, Colenso, 16/1/00". The other 2RWS casualties for Colenso show the date 15/12/99. I recall having seen the expression "in train" before in another context(s) and believe that it means "following" or "due to".
Regards
IL.
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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 1 month 4 weeks ago #75362

  • Rob D
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Many thanks! With those useful data, it's now clear that Lance Corporal Hillier died from wounds sustained at Colenso [dod 16 or 17 Dec], not on the upper Tugela a month later. Thus his being in the nearby hospital train makes perfect sense which it wouldn't have done 20 miles from the railway a month later.
I am trying to identify the grave of this soldier. The grave is south of the Tugela and several miles from Tabanyama, where the Queen's were in action; but it is alongside the wagon track leading from Trichardt's Drift to Surgeon Treves' No 4 Stationary Field Hospital at Spearman's farm.
I think I have narrowed it down to one of two men:
Private Edgar Dawson 3499
Private William Hands 3209
Both fell on 21 Jan in Walter Kitchener's ill-fated attack at Bastion Hill and both died of wounds. My assumption is that Maj Moir's 11th Bde field hospital near Bastion Hill could not cope with the surgical complexity of the case, and he was sent on to Treves, but he didn't survive the journey. The ambulance cart, being urgently needed, may have handed his body over to men on the road for burial, and hurried back to the battlefield.
[There's also an officer who died of wounds in the same battle, Capt Arthur Douglas Raitt, but to me it's not credible that the ambulance would have unloaded him for an unmarked burial on the roadside].
Most of the casualties of that day today lie buried at Rangeworthy Military cemetery, which is on the site of Maj Moir's field hospital, near the foot of the hill. The isolated outlying graves were disinterred in the 1960s, and the grave I mention is in this category.
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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What does "In Train" mean on casualty list? 1 month 4 weeks ago #75366

  • Dave F
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Hi Rob
With reference to Private Dawson and Private Hands.

On the UK Army Register of Soldiers Effect’s.

Private 3499 Edgar Dawson West Surrey (Queens) Regiment, place of death recorded as Ventner's Spruit 21/01/1900. Edgar left 15 pounds which was forwarded to his father.

Private 3209 William Hands West Surrey (Queens) Regiment, place of death not recorded (note states Natal roll 190) and regimental number recorded as 3609. On further investigation I found Private William Hands 3209 2nd Btn. Wounded (since died) at Spearman's Camp. 21 Jan 1900. William left 5 shillings and 6 pence which was forwarded to his father.

Both soldiers served in India in the 1st Battalion West Surrey regiment and were awarded the 1895 India Medal with 2 clasps Punjab Frontier and Tirah 1897-1898
Their medal roll QSA - 1 clasp - Relief of Ladysmith.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
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Dave
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