Sergeant David McKay


Colour Sergeant David McKay (aged 40) of the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Rocky Island near Haulbowline)

Date of incident: 3 Feb. 1919

Sources: CE, 5 Feb. 1919; II, 5 Feb. 1919; Inquest Book No. 2, 1897-1929 (TNA);; (accessed 1 Aug. 2014).


Note: A Scotsman, McKay died on 3 February 1919 at Rocky Island of a bullet wound that was self-inflicted. It was unclear to the inquest jury at Cobh whether he had shot himself accidentally or intentionally. In fact, there was said to be no evidence as to whether his death ‘was accidental or otherwise’. See CE, 5 Feb. 1919. McKay ‘was the sole survivor of one of the vessels at the Battle of Jutland’ in the North Sea near Denmark on 31 May-1 June 1916, in which fourteen British and eleven German battleships were sunk with great loss of life. McKay had earned several military decorations, including the French Croix de Guerre. See II, 5 Feb. 1919. Rocky Island lies very near Haulbowline and long contained a substantial gunpowder magazine.

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