Old 02-13-2018, 06:16 PM   #1
Baobab
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Default Private George Alexander Anderson

Can anyone confirm that he died from a heroin overdose?

SOLDIER'S DEATH FROM DRUG.

At Shorncliffe on Saturday an inquest was held on the body of Private Geo. A. Anderson, of the Canadian Infantry, who, it was stated, had died from an overdose of heroin, a morphine drug given him by his friend and comrade, Private Floydd Williams. Both men had come home from the front wounded, but had recovered.

Captain Merseran, of the Canadian Army Medical Corps, said the bottle containing the powder was marked "Dangerous." The soldiers seemed able to get it in France, and took it because of its soothing sensation, and the fact that it seemed to banish fear. The method of inhaling it, which would be described in the evidence, was new. It acted more quickly that way.

It was stated that the soldiers called the powder, which was white, "snowstuff."

Williams, who had been placed under arrest, said that in the first instance both Anderson and he took some of the powder. Later deceased twice asked for more, and ultimately witness put some on the back of Anderson's hand. He told him not to take it all, but deceased sniffed it all up his nose. Witness was unaware that it was a fatal poison.

The verdict was "Death by misadventure."


Abergavenny Chronicle, Friday 22nd October 1915
http://newspapers.library.wales/view...79/4121485/78/
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:34 PM   #2
ludford101
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Yes, the service file of 11549 George Alexander Anderson (there were four men with that name, the other three enlisted after your subject) confirms death by heroin poisoning in several places throughout his service file.

http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?...&id=B0150-S026
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:01 AM   #3
Baobab
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Thank you. I was aware that there was cocaine-use by soldiers during WW1, but hadn't come across heroin before.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #4
ludford101
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It doesn't come across that it was for recreational use. Heroin, when patented by Beyer (the aspirin people) stated it was the best pain reliever ever. And non addictive!

It's still used legally in the UK as diamorphine for chronic pain and for palliative care.
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