Thomas Jones

Sapper Jones arrived in British Columbia with the detachment off the Thames City, in April of 1859.

A few weeks later, on the evening of the 27th April,, while unloading cargo from steamer, Jones slipped and fell into the Fraser River.

"...The only death which has occurred amongst the men has been from accidental drowning whilst stepping from a vessel to the shore on a dark wet night."

-- Sanitary Report for 1860, J. V. Seddall

New Westminster, BC
22nd May, 1859

Proceedings of an Inquest held at New Westminster upon the body of a Soldier (Sapper Jones RE) which was found floating in the Fraser River by Thomas Pamphlet of the "Brig Cadborough" who reported the matter to the Stipendiary Magistrate.

A Jury having been summoned consisting of the following persons - W. J. Armstrong, John T. Scott. T. W. English, Ernest Picht, Thomas Moloney, R. Dickenson, Edgar Dewdney, W. G. Peacock, John Ramage, L. Hoys, E. Brown, J. Kennedy.

The Jury having been duly sworn the following evidence was taken -

1st Witness Thomas Pamphlet being duly sworn states, that being on board the Brig Cadborough this morning about 9 o' clock, he saw what he supposed to be a human body floating down the River, an immediately took a boat to examine it and found it to be the body of a Soldier in his working dress, he got assistance and took it on board the boat.

2nd Witness Acting Quarter Master Sergeant Osment RE having been duly sworn, states, he has examined the body, and by the general appearance of it and the initials on the stockings he believes it to be that of Sapper T. Jones, RE.

3rd Witness Sapper John Murray, RE, having been duly sworn states that on Saturday the 27 April, I came down to New Westminster from the North Camp in a boat under the orders of Quarter master Sergeant Osment RE the crew consisting of six sappers including Jones.  We went alongside the Steamer Beaver and put the baggage of Colonel Moody and Captain Parsons on board.  We then went to the Wharf and afterwards when crossing from the Steamer Governor Douglas to the Beaver, I being I advance, heard a slash in the water and the cry of a man overboard.  This was about 9 o'clock pm. and on the men being mustered we found that Sapper Jones was missing.  From the general appearance of the Corpse I saw today, I believe it to be that of Sapper Jones.

Dr. Seddall, Staff Assistant Surgeon in medical advice states, I have seen the body of the deceased and am of the opinion that he came by his death by drowning.  The contused state of the face and head would lead to the belief, that he struck against the side of the Steamer in his descent to the water. I  am further of opinion that eight or 10 days must have elapsed since the deceased met his death.

After mature deliberation we the above have come to the unanimous conclusion and return the following verdict - that the deceased met with his death by drowning accidentally.

Spaulding, JP and Coroner