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A tragedy ' occurred: at Trentham camp- yesterday afternoon as the result of an explosion, a Boy ! Scout being killed almost instantly and three.other Boy Scoiits seriously injured. Following are, details of the casualties: —

Kenneth Waugh,, killed. Thomas Voller, seriously injured with wound in left side. Raymond Drake, several wounds in side, amis and face.. Robert Clark, wound in right eye.

Details of the occurrence, as far as could be ascertained last night, are as> follows:—A party of Boy Scouts from the Lower Hutt and Petone were paying, a ;vißitvto..'Trentham camp in the afternoon hnd carrying out manoeuvres in. the trenches at the rear of the camp. In these trenches the lads came across a small store of explosives. Finding an empty shell-case near by, they set out with boyish enthusiasm, to see if they •could make a real live explosion. The powder was rammed home in the shell case, and a train laid to it. The deceased, Kenneth Waugh, then set fireto' the train, but was apparently unable to get away to a place of safety before the explosion took place, likewise the boys Drake, Clark, and Voller,. who were too near to the danger zone. A terrific explosion took place, and •when the smoke cleared away the four boys mentioned were seen to have been seriously injured. It appears that Waugh was so seriously injured that he died within a few minutes. The three other boys were removed as quickly as possible to the Trentham Hospital. Voller was reported to be in a critical condition last night. There was some doubt whether a portion of the shell penetrated his abdomen. The full extent of Clark's injuries is not'known.

It is stated that'there were between 16 and 20 boys in the vicinity when the explosion took place. - The report could be heard a mile away; The parents of the unfortunate boys were immediately communicated with. and everything possible done; hy the ' camp authorities for those injured. * : WELLINGTON, April 21. The inquest on Kenneth Waugh, who was killed by a bomb explosion-yester-day, was held at Trentham to-day. Th,<> Coroner delivered his finding as follows : —"I find that the deceased died at Trentham camp on April 20, the cause of death being injuries to the brain due to the explosion of a bomb constructed by deceased from explosives and a bomb case found in or near.'a, dug-out in the camp. At the time of the explosion deceased was one of. a, party of Boy Scouts encamped at Trentham Military Camp. Considering the construction of the dug-out and thp/ nature'.;df the fastening of the door I airi of-opinion that the dug-out should have been inspected immediately prior 'to the Boy Scouts being permitted to make use of the camp, and that the Scoutmaster -should • have, been informed of the location of stores of explosives and instructed to ■ keep the boys away from them. The evidence does not show when or by whom the dug-out-was brokfcn into. It appears to me th'l/' while the, dug-out may have been a sufficiently secure place of storage for guncotton and bombs during the* period when.the camp was in military occupation and visitors were more or less under supervision, it was not sufficiently secure at the time when the camp was no.longer in the same active military occupation, and parties of boys were allowed to have unrestricted use for a number of days of the" portions of the camp grounds where the dugouts were situated, unless the safeguards I have mentioned had been made use of. In view of the possibility of a, full enquiry being held by the Defence Department into the matter it, is not necessary or. desirable that I I should make a more detailed finding."'

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Bibliographic details

TRENTHAM TRAGEDY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9590, 22 April 1919

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TRENTHAM TRAGEDY Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9590, 22 April 1919

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