Saturday, May 08, 2010

Private A Skett and HS Carruthers, Prisoners of War (died 6th April1917)

"On 6th April 1917 Private Skett, Coldstream Guards, was shot under the following circumstances. About 20 or 25 men , too weak to go to work, were left in camp in the morning. About 10 a.m. some 10 of them were taken outside by the Germans for fatigue. This consisted in moving the guards and officers' property from the old camp at Latchen to the new one. A hand cart was used for this purpose and the road was deep in mud.They completed one trip in the forenoon, and while returning from a second in the afternoon Private Skett collapsed several times from weakness. At last he was quite incapable of rising, and one of the German sentries went to him, put the muzzle of his rifle close to his breast, and fired, killing Private Skett where he lay. I was not a witness of this. I heard the shot from our tent, and the case was reported to me when the party came in 20 minutes later, bringing the body on the cart. No 645 Lance-Corporal M. Purdon, Gordon Highlanders, was with him at the time. The body of Private Skett lay outside the enclosure for 2 days more. Private Carruthers, 12th London Regiment, who had also been left in that morning too weak to go out and work, died during the 6th April . His body was placed beside that of Private Skett and both covered with a sheet of tin. I buried them both on the morning of the 9th about 100 yards from the hut. They were both simply human skeletons. I saw the wound in Private Skett's body just by the heart"

Alexander Gibb CSM No 6826, 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Scheveningen, Holland
7th February 1818

I found this very sad entry in some documents from the National Archives WO/161/100/557