....On Wednesday Mr. A. J. Morton Ball, coroner, held an inquest at the Board Room of the Union Workhouse, Cirencester, on the body of Frank Eyles (38), whose body was found in the Thames and Severn Canal on Monday evening. Mr. Thomas Mann was appointed foreman of the jury. ....Dr. C. Mackinnon said he had attended the deceased, who was discharged from the Army after sun-stroke in South Africa, and suffered from fits. He saw him on October 14th, when he complained that he was rather bad and got medicine. Deceased's memory seemed to fail, and at times he did stupid things and hardly knew it. Witness saw the body after its recovery from the Canal on Monday night, and found only a small abrasion on one side of the nose. Witness knew it was quite possible the man had a fit as he walked on the towing path and fell into the water. He had never seen the deceased in a fit, but only when he was coming round. ....Mrs. Ellen Howard, wife of James Howard, coal dealer, of Watermoor-road, said the deceased was her son, and commonly known as Francis Eyles. He was ten years in the army, and called up as a reservist, and he went out to South Africa after five years in India. He had sunstroke in South Africa, and was granted a pension of 2s. a day, and lived with her. He had frequent fits at very uncertain times, and this prevented him doing much work. On Monday afternoon he complained of being very unwell and unable to work at the allotment, saying that during the morning he had a "turn" there. He was occasionally brought home unwell. The place at which the body was found was ten minutes' walk from their home which he left at 5.30, and she was not anxious at not hearing of him until the police sergeant reported his death. Five years ago he was seen to fall into the canal in a fit, and was then got out at once. ....Tom Timbrell, labourer, of Querns Hill Cottages, said he knew the deceased by sight. At about six o'clock on Monday night witness was walking on the canal bank to Watermoor, and opposite the Workhouse he saw something in the water, and near by on the bank a hard hat. He went back and got to the edge of the water. A young woman came along and asked what he was looking for. Witness said he hardly knew, it was so dark, and the lady producing a lucifer struck it, and they saw it was the body of a man. The whole body was in the water, which was there and then between two and three feet deep. With assistance they got the body out, and the police were soon on the spot. ....The mother added that when deceased found fits coming on he always started running, and that often accounted for his hat falling off. ....P.S. Brooks said he knew the deceased, and that he was subject to fits. He got information of the recovery of the body, and with assistance removed it to the Workhouse mortuary. On first searching the body he found it warm. Except a small abrasion on the face, there were no marks on the body, which was well clothed and nourished. ....The jury returned a verdict of found drowned, deceased having probably fallen into the canal during a fit. ....The Coroner remarked that the Canal being "navigable water," as he supposed they may still call it, he would under the law pay Timbrell an extra fee; but in view of the state of the canal it may be the last time he should be able to do so. ....The jury gave their fees to the Workhouse children's Christmas treat fund. The Gloucester Citizen, Wednesday 6th December 1911
I think it could be Private F Eyles 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.
Francis Eyles regimental number 2634 / 2637 medal roll had him serving in the 2nd and 3rd battalions.
3 clasps Belmont, Cape Colony & 1902 clasp. Cannot find any detail of his time in India. However, on top of his sun stroke, he was also wounded at Belmont 23rd November 1899.
Also, there was a J Eyles regimental number 4332 who served in the same regiment. Possible relation?
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