Home Guard killed by Grenade – Bellingham

A verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest in Hexham on George William Glendinning, a 31 year old Forestry worker of Bewshaugh near Kielder who was killed by an exploding hand grenade during an exercise in Bellingham.

At 15:00 hours on Sunday, 24th May 1942, Glendinning was on duty at the cemetery in Bellingham when a hand grenade, which had been thrown by a member of an attacking force, exploded near him.

A soldier of the 6th Royal Scots Fusilier Carrier Platoon from Morpeth, who was a member of the attacking force, said that on approaching the cemetery at Bellingham, he was instructed by a Sergeant to lay a smoke screen through which they were to advance.

After the Sergeant had thrown a hand grenade over the cemetery wall as a warning to clear the way, the Sergeant and another solder jumped over.

The witness said that he saw George Glendinning, who was lying on top of the wall, get off and turn as if to go towards another corner of the cemetery. He took two or three steps, gave a shout, and fell to the ground.

George was transported to Hexham Emergency Hospital and admitted at 18:30 hours, he died there the following morning at 02:40 hours.

George Glendinning was the foster-son of Thomas Burn Humble and Ann Elizabeth Humble, of Shield Row, Stanley and the husband of Margeret Glendinning, of South Moor, Stanley. He is buried in Stanley New Cemetery, Sec. 2. Grave 396.

Also injured in the exercise was 14 year old Kenneth Philipson Shield of The Croft, Bellingham.