HC Deb 24 May 1875 vol 224 cc784-5

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to the death of Richard Dickinson, a trooper in the 4th Dragoon Guards, who is reported in the papers to have died on Tuesday morning last from injuries received while assisting to extinguish a fire in the town of Carlow; and, if so, whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the circumstances attending his death?


Sir, on the 2nd of May, at night, a fire broke out in the town of Carlow. A detachment of the 4th Dragoon Guards attended with the garrison engine and worked hard in extinguishing it. In a neighbouring house the men were supplied with whisky, without the knowledge of the officer commanding, and apparently one of them, Dickinson by name, drank to excess. Before morning he was taken violently ill, and he died early on the 4th of May. There was no suspicion of violence; but there was reason to suppose that the whisky had been drugged for trade purposes to the extent of becoming poisonous, as two other men were taken ill and recovered after vomiting. The deceased's stomach and its contents were analyzed by the proper officer, but nothing was found beyond alcohol. A coroner's jury thereupon returned a verdict of "Death by congestion of the brain, produced by an overdose of alcohol."