The dangers associated with live ammunition training have been underlined following the death of a young officer from the South Staffordshire Regiment. Three other officers are in hospital after being wounded in the same incident.
It happened at St Peter’s Barracks during a demonstration on the use of rifle grenades. These weapons, fired from the barrel of a rifle, are a recent addition to the British Army’s arsenal. Second Lieutenant Gerald Dutton was demonstrating their use to a group of fellow officers when one grenade exploded as it left the gun barrel. Dutton, who was aged just 17 years and 10 months, was severely wounded in the chest and face. The young officer was alive but unconscious when the medical services first reached him and died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. He has been buried in St Peter’s Churchyard with full military honours.
The South Staffordshire Regiment have been stationed at St Peter’s Barracks since moving there in May 1915. The barracks are the Island’s largest military installation aside from Fort Regent and used to house and train both regular soldiers and members of the Militia’s 1st (West) Battalion.
L/F/08/F/23 is a photograph of the 1st (West) Battalion of the Royal Jersey Militia taken at St Peter's Barracks.