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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67585

  • BereniceUK
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While doing some research at Oldham Local Studies and Archives, I came across the article about Privates Kalichan and Lavin. Thanks to RootsChat I now have some bits and pieces about James Kalichan and his family.


1891 Census - Abbott Street, Oldham.
John Kelichen 50 Labourer Sligo, Sligo, Ireland
Mary Kelichen Wife 48
John Kelichen 18 Piecer Oldham, Lancashire,
Sarah Kelichen 16 Frame Tenter Manchester, Lancashire
James Kelichen 14 Padiham, Lancashire, England
William Kelichen 4 Oldham, Lancashire, England (possibly a grandson)

BROTHER AND SON AT THE FRONT.
Mrs. Kalichan, of West-street, Oldham, on Monday received letters from her son, Private Kalichan, of the Shropshire Light Infantry, who was recently reported missing, and her brother, Private Lavin, of the 2nd Dublin Fusiliers, a regiment which after taking part in Buller's Ladysmith relief operations was transferred to the other side of the country; Kalichan's brief note is undated, but the heading on the notepaper is Soldiers' Institute, Pretoria. He mentions that he has passed through ten general engagements and about 20 minor ones without a scratch. Lavin writes under date August 31st: - "I am not with the battalion now. I was sent to look after some baggage at a place called Vryburg, and the battalion went on to Mafeking. They have had a very hard time of it, marching night and day. When we got to Bloemfontein we were stopped by the Station Staff Officer, and sent to a place called the Rest Camp, and I am staying there now. I don't think I shall go to the front any more; I have had a 'belly-full' of it. I have got a job here looking after the sick and wounded; and it is better than sleeping on the hills at night and marching all day without anything to eat or drink. We have seen plenty of ups and downs during our eleven months in this country. We have been sleeping on the floor with only one blanket between two men, and the nights out here are very cold. I hope the war will soon be over."

Oldham Chronicle, Saturday 29th September 1900
________________________


From the 1901 Census: James Kalichan - age 22 - b Oldham, Lancashire - occupation soldier - a prisoner in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire

Wakefield Prison record - Sentenced to death, commuted to 2 years. What was his offence?




Discharged in 1902 as medically unfit, with intended residence being the West Riding Asylum, Wakefield. Ancestry lists, under Soldiers Effects, his death date as 24th June 1902. Private in Shropshire Light Infantry, birth place as St Helens (?) and he was insane.
Next of kin listed as John Kalichan (father), of 26 Downing Street, Royton, near Oldham, Lancashire.


The West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, became Stanley Royd Hospital, and is now closed.
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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67589

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Pte 5585 J Kalichan posted missing 18-08-1900 Brackfontein.

His papers survive on FMP and they make interesting reading with regards to the info, posted by Berenice.

Tried by CM three times 1898-1899, he left SA in Jan 1901, not entitled to SA01 clasp - not serving with the btn, in prison? Medal roll simply states "England 22-1-01"

He was discharged 23 June, 1902, intended place of residence - West Riding Asylum. Character "Bad", medically unfit. Where the soldier would sign his discharge papers it is marked "Unable to sign".

To have died the next day suggests suicide, and perhaps he committed his offence in South Africa?

Certainly more to be found.
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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67590

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Thanks, Meurig. Can you make out what the offence was? 'Drunk on his ….' - drunk at his post?

"Many Asylums had their own graveyards for the burial of those patients who died whilst at the asylum. At Stanley Royd, however, it seems that the asylum had a burial ground set aside for asylum patients within the nearby Stanley Churchyard (also known as St Peter's Church). Documentary evidence from 1862 and 1863 refers to the ongoing use of the Asylum burial ground at Stanley Church" Not sure if I looked up the burial ground referred to, but he's not in Stanley Cemetery. I'll try to get in touch with St Peter's. Those buried in the Asylum's burial ground may have been interred as paupers, with no named markers.

I also did a search of Wakefield Cemetery burials, and he's not recorded as being there. It's possible his family in the Oldham area had his body taken back there, but looking at their occupations as recorded in the 1891 census, that might have been beyond their means.

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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67593

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Hello Berenice,

The prison register reads "Drunk on his post" - the death sentence seems harsh for that even by their standards.

Nothing comes up in the newspapers for FindmyPast.

Have you seen that someone called Mark Davis has written a book about the asylum and its inmates? It seems Kalichan would have buried in an unmarked grave in the asylum graveyard.

www.mark-davis-photography.com/markdavisauthor/voices/
www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/analysis/hi...-forgotten-1-6629562
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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67594

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The book's actually about Menston, but the West Riding Asylum would have been pretty much the same. What I've found in some asylum and hospital graveyards is that a patient's grave would be marked by a small numbered stone; as many as three internments could be made in the same grave, one on top of another, and with three numbers on the stone. Presumably there'd be a book kept in the hospital/asylum with the patients' names and the corresponding numbers. So even if James Kelichan was buried in a grave with a numbered stone, it's unlikely that a record now exists. Not impossible though, maybe the West Yorkshire Archives in Wakefield would hold the records for deaths at the hospital.

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Private James Kalichan, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 24.6.1902 8 months 1 week ago #67595

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Sorry, got confused between "Stanley Royd" and "High Royds"!
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