Said to have been living in South Africa, served in a rifle corps there, and to have received a bullet wound in the back of the neck.
PAINFUL CASE OF SUICIDE. - A painful case of suicide was investigated by the Deputy Coroner for the city (Dr. W. H. B. Brook) at the City Sessions-house on Saturday evening. The deceased was Mr. Harry John Stainton DeAth, an engineer, aged 33 years, who lived with his parents at 11, Guildhall-street [Lincoln]. At the time of the South African war the deceased was representing Messrs. Robey and Co. in that country, and he joined a rifle corps, and went through the campaign. He received a bullet wound in the back of the neck, and since then he has been mentally depressed, and has been medically attended in consequence. On Good Friday, about half-past seven in the evening, when fully dressed, he threw himself from the top bed-room window at the back of his father's house, and falling in the area below fractured the base of his skull, death resulting. At the inquest p.s. Gray spoke to seeing deceased lying dead at the bottom of the area steps at the back of 11, Guildhall-street, and to finding nothing in the pockets but a foreign coin. - Mr. Stainton DeAth, deceased's father, stated that he was in a room he used for photographic purposes with a friend about 7.30 on Friday night, when he heard a rush and knock outside the window. They both exclaimed "What is that?" Witness hastened to the window, opened it, and on looking out saw his son lying on the ground, about 30 or 40 feet below. He was not aware deceased was in the bedroom. He was afraid his son could not have fallen out of the window. As the room was left he could not have got out of the window without getting g on the table. Deceased was in the Boer war, and was shot through the neck. Since his return home he had been a different man. He threatened to put an end to himself on Friday morning, and he had previously made such threats. When he first made such a threat, witness saw Mr. Chas. Brook. On Friday morning witness asked his son if he would like to come back to his old bedroom and live with them. He had been sleeping out, witness paying for a room for him, but he had his meals at home. - By a juryman: When the moon got towards the full deceased was generally a bit more queer than at other times. - Mr. Frank E. Derry, of 5, North-parade, who was with the last witness at the time, said he saw something pass the window, and immediately after heard a thud. Upon looking out he saw a body lying on the ground below, and it proved to be that of deceased, whom he had not seen for a week. - Dr. B. McFarland said he was called to the house by Mr. Derry, and found deceased in the area at the rear of the premises. He was still alive, but blood was flowing from his mouth and right ear, and he died a few minutes before eight o'clock from fracture of the base of the skull. Deceased was wearing an overcoat and gloves. At the back of the neck witness saw a scar from an old gunshot wound, and he believed the latter was the cause of his mental trouble. - The Deputy Coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity, and added that they thought the wound in deceased's neck was the cause of his mental depression. They expressed deep sympathy with deceased's family.
The Lincoln, Rutland, and Stamford Mercury, Friday 28th April 1905
His birth was registered at Lincoln in the first quarter of 1872; his mother's maiden name was Stainton.
A sad story. I had a check in Palmer under "DeAth H.J." and the closest I came was "809 Pte. H.J.DeAsh of the Kaffrarian Rifles" ( slightly wounded at Quaggavlei 27/6/01). Some similarity in surnames. I had a look in the KR nominal roll pages to check the surname spelling. The roll showed "809 Pte. H.J.DeAth, discharged 6/8/01"). So, it does appear that "he joined a rifle corps" - KR - and there is a distinct probability that "DeASH" and DeAth" are one and the same. In any case, "809 Pte. DeAth of KR" earned the clasp "Wepener" and others on his QSA. This threat may assist David in his "Wepener Roll" research.