Veteran of Crimean War and Indian Mutiny Died from Exposure

The following was reported in the local newspaper in 1909.  A sad tale of an Army veteran who had served his country and had seen action in Crimea and India.

6th February 1909



John Johns, aged 76, an Army pensioner, who; as gunner in the 2nd Brigade Royal Artillery, passed through the Crimean War [1853-1856] and the Indian Mutiny [1857-1858], was found lying in a back lane, Queen-street Neyland behind Mr. Herbert's shop, and died from exposure before he could be removed.

Mr. F. T. Allen, acting as deputy for Mr. Herbert Price, coroner, held an inquest on the body on Monday.

The old man was a native of Rosemarket, and served about twelve years with the colours.

In 1893, many years after he had left the Army, he was granted a special campaign pension of 1s a day.

He had no home, nor anyone belonging to him, save a brother at Rosemarket.

A good part of his time he spent in the workhouse.

The guardians deducted his keep when he drew his pension, and the old man often slept where he could when he had no money for lodgings.

It is believed that he was making his way to some sheds to sleep when he fell, and, being unable to rise, died from exposure.   He had been known to take refuge in the workhouse in Pembroke several times in his life.

He had become very feeble, and he got about with the aid of two sticks.

Dr Tolputt said that when he was called to the old man he was nearly naked and was in a filthy condition.

He sent for the ambulance, but the old man died before they could move him.

The verdict was that the man died from exposure.