THE RASCH FAMILY
Victorian Studio Photos
|Frederic Charles Louis||1843|
'A pathetic story of the suicide of Harry Louis Byas, a retired major of the Northern Rhodesian Police, at his mother's home in Chelsea was told at Westminster Coroner's Court. Deceased shot himself while in bed on Saturday afternoon. He lay there until Sunday morning and not until then was the fact discovered by a doctor. Mary Louisa Byas, deceased's mother, stated that her son intended to go to Margate on Saturday. When she knocked at the door of his room, which was locked, her son told her he was not well enough to open it. Ten minutes later he opened it and said that he had had an attack of malaria. She visited him during the day every half-hour or so.
Dr Bartlett stated that he was called to see deceased on Sunday. He complained of malaria. Witness suggested examining his chest. He turned back the bedclothes and saw that they were saturated with blood.
Witness said, "Good God! What have you done?"
The injured man replied, "I have shot myself".
Witness asked why and he replied, "I am sick of it". He said that he shot himself at two o'clock on the preceding day.
At the bottom of the bed was a loaded Service revolver, one cartridge of which had been discharged. There was a bullet wound just missing the heart.
A police constable said that when he was being removed to the hospital, deceased said, "I did it myself. I was fed up. I have had malaria, contracted in Rhodesia twenty-one years ago".
He died in hospital on Tuesday morning. The Coroner recorded a verdict of "suicide while of unsound mind".'