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WELLINGTON, May 7. The military inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Rifleman John Russell from the Alararoa while en route from Wellington to Lyttoltoii on October 24 last, was resumed at Wellington to-day. Evidence was given by John Hutchison, secretary of the Wellington Tramnay Union, a..cousin of the .deceased, who said that iiussell had returned from active service on October 8. He was ordered to Hanmer for curative treatment, but was granted fourteen days' leave: Russell seemed queer in his head'arid under the impression that people were following him. He hinted' frequently about doing away with himself. Witness endeavoured to get him placed in military confinement, but on approaching the .military police was told that there was no place in which to conline him, owing to the influx of returned soldiers. Great difficulty was experienced in getting Russell to. the steamer. Russell escaped from the boat and went to a friend's house. He then appeared to; be-in-a. worse state than before. Deceased passed a bad night and disappeared '• in the morning, but was recaptured after a long search and placed on the Mararoa under, escort. \ On the voyage down to Lyttelton he disappeared. Captain Brimsley was also examined. His evidence showed that Russell was sent away in charge of an attendant named Stephens." . Russell, got up ,a number of times during the night and early in the morning. Stephens accompanied him to the lavatory, from which he disappeared while the- attendant's back was turied. He was never seen again. Witness did not know that itussell was a shell-shock case. His papers showed that he was suffering from trench fever... \^ f ., The inquiry is proceeding. WELLINGTON" May 7. The Court inquiring into the disappearance of Rifleman Russell heard further evidence in the afternoon, and adjourned until to-morrow. The questions the Court has to form an opinion on' are:— (1) Is it reasonable to suppose that the above-named soldier lost his life between Wellington and Lyttelton on the night of October 24-25, 1918? (2) Was the above-named soldier's medical and mental condition such as to necessitate a special escort being detailed to ensure his safety on the voyage from Wellington to Lyttelton? , (3) Was an adequate escort detailed? (4) Did the escort, if one was detailed, discharge its duties efficiently? (5) \Vas any member of the N.Z.M.F. guilty: of negligence or in any other way culpable in connection with.the; disappearance of this soldier?, ■ :

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Bibliographic details

SOLDIER MISSING, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919

Word Count

SOLDIER MISSING Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919