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DateOriginal Topic
By Trevor
What did Francis Attwood DCM die of? Does anyone have any info please? I understand he died young and "suddenly"
15th April 2005Bill Millar
Hello Trevor
Attwood died a Sgt in the year 1884 February 20th. He died at the Military Hospital Plymouth,aged 38 yrs.he was buried at Milehouse cemetery 3 day's later.His head stone was smashed by german Bombers in a raid one night in 1941.Sorry cant seem to find cause of death? Hope that helps a little.
15th April 2005Trevor
Cheers for that Bill.
Survives the horrors of RD. Then dies 5 years later, at such a young age! How sad. Does anyone know if he left any family please???
15th April 2005Peter Ewart

A quick look at the 1881 census (LDS transcript) shows Sgt Attwood stationed with other ASC personnel (& some of their families) at "South Camp", Aldershot.

He is described as 35, unmarried, born London, Middx. Unless he married between then and 1884, it would appear likely that he died without issue.

15th April 2005Trevor
Thanks Peter.
Do you know what he died of please?
I'm not morbid. Honest!

Just wondered if his death was in any way related to RD?

He must have been fit to last the Battle of RD. Just seems very young 38.

Although I understand people died of illnesses then, that they would have survived today!

15th April 2005Peter Ewart

His death cert will reveal the cause(s) of death - you can obtain that from the local Supt Registrar in Devon or via a search at the Family Records Centre in Myddelton House, M'ton St., Islington. If there was an accident there may have been an inquest, in which case the local paper is your best bet - which means the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, N London, or the nearest County Record Office (Plymouth?) or Local Studies Centre in the Devon Libraries system (about which I know nothing but they'll both have a website).

I don't think it's at all a morbid thought of yours, but perfectly normal curiosity. Whatever he died of, the fact that it was only five years after R/Drift and that he was youngish, suggests a note may have appeared in the local paper - or papers. Although local obits were for the very few in 1884, if someone in touch with with the paper thought it interesting then there could be a decent account - circumstances of death, mention of R/Drift, obit and funeral report? Maybe spread over more than one issue.

Colindale also has its own website with an online catalogue, so identifying the relevant local rags would be simple. Also check the KLH site (links, left) for any details - even though his memorial is apparently now destroyed (see above). They may just have an account of the death anyway & you'll find them extremely helpful.

Again, the local library may have something on him - "celebrities" buried in their midst generally lead to articles in local journals eventually, so check their cuttings file - although it is perfectly possible that many years elapsed before anyone was aware of who they had buried there, especially as it seems there was no family locally. (For much of the last 126 years the affair at R/Drift has not had a profile anywhere near that which it enjoys today).

Finally, what about any ASC/RASC journals/magazines for an obit or later articles? Museum?

Go for it. Good luck.


P.S. In view of the many R/Drift/AZW soldiers whose memorials have been - or are to be - restored lately, perhaps someone knows whether Attwood's stone has ever been replaced or efforts are in hand to do so?
16th April 2005Bill Millar
The stone was never replaced for Attwood, infact the cemetery was never reopened after the war. In 1967 plymouth decided to enlarge the bus and electricity stations next to the Cemetery.All that were buried there were moved to Efford Cemetery north of the City.All placed in a Quarry and covered.A lot of headstones were placed around this location sadley Attwoods was not one of them. The stone at Efford Cemetery reads this stone is erected in memory of those formely buried at Milehouse Cemetery.Not very fitting for a R/DRIFT defender!! There is a memorial stone for him at the Stoke Emerald church in plymouth. I do have a picture of his grave stone if any one wants to get in touch with me via my email. Bill.
16th April 2005Trevor
Thanks very much guys.
I'm going to take your advice Peter!
If i can track the info down, I'll keep you posted.
Unless anyone beats me to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again.