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1799 Letter
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Lieutenant Richard Bayly:
(12th Regiment)

Death of Lieutenant Thomas Falla

"...This evening (6th April) we were relieved in the trenches by the gallant 74th Regiment, who lost several men in their approach, and we were heartily rejoiced to regain the encampment after 24 hours' hard fighting, fatigue and fasting. In this brilliant affair eleven officers and 180 men were killed and wounded. One of the officers received so extraordinary a wound that I cannot refrain from relating the particulars. As he was entering the nullah, a shot from Seringapatam struck him in front of the right hip, lodging between the bone of the thigh. The Dooley men, or bearers of the machine on which he was carried to camp, complained of the great weight bearing on the right side. On examination of the wound the surgeons could not suppress a hopeless cast of countenance; on which the wounded officer (Lieutenant Falla) requested that he might have a bottle of port wine to keep up his spirits, and die like "one brave soldier" (he was a Guernsey man not well versed in the idiom of the English language); he was supplied with the strengthening cordial, and soon after died. The body was opened, and to the astonishment of all in camp a wrought iron shot of 26 pounds' weight was extracted from between the bones of the thigh, which had been completely covered by a swelling of the part affected, so that it was not discoovered any ball was beneath the wound until the extraction took place. This almost incredible fact was generally known, and the shot weighed and exposed to the public scrutiny of the majority of the officers of the army ...."

Bayly, R. Diary of Colonel Bayly 12th Regiment :1796-1803. London: Army and Navy Co-Operative Society, 1896 p. 87.