Born in Scotland.
“ An inquest was held on Saturday morning by Mr. W. G. Eiddell, S.M., into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sergeant James Sandison, a member of the guard on Somes Island, who was found early on Friday, morning near the guardroom lying on his back with a service revolver in his hand and a bullet wound in his head. It was; stated in evidence that the deceased had been serving at the island for about twelve months, Major Matheson, Commandant at the island, stated that the deceased held the King's and Queen's medals for the South African War, and had left New Zealand in respect of the present war with the Ninth Reinforcements and had returned from England as being ever age. So far as the witness knew. Sandison was a man if steady habits, and his general health vas good, except, for nervousness or over consciousness in personal matters. Deceased had never given any indication that he intended taking his life, and so far as witness knew he had no financial worries. About four months ago deceased asked for leave of absence without pay as the position of senior sergeant which he held was too big a responsibility for him. At this time deceased seemed to be worried, and was granted leave with pay. Witness said that when he was informed that Sandison was dead he went to see the body. Deceased had left a note stating that Mr. James Moore, seaman's missioner was his next-of-kin, also stating: "Kind regards to the Mayor for all he has done for me." Deceased had 'been in suspense for a month prior to November 1, but the matter had been investigated and cleared up on the day before he was found dead. On October 31 witness had told deceased that he had absolute confidence in him. When deceased asked for leave of absence witness had discussed the matter with the medical officer, and they had come to the conclusion that he was worrying over trifles. Deceased was sergeant of the guard, and witness had found his books to be in perfect order up to about half an hour before the shot was heard. Lance-Corporal James Brown, also a member of the guard, stated that Sandison appeared to worry at times. Witness and Sandison occupied the same room. On November 1 deceased woke up at 1.15 a.m. to go on duty at 1.30. Deceased was dressed and spoke in his ordinary voice. He just woke witness up, and, in reply to a question told him the time. Witness went, on to describe his hearing of a shot and finding the deceased lying in the field just off No. 1 sentry beat, about 100 yards from the guardroom. The bullet wound was in the forehead. Constable O'Connor gave formal evidence as to taking charge if the body, on which there were no marks other than the bullet wound in the forehead. The Coroner, in giving his verdict, said there was some evidence of temporary periods of mental depression. He was of opinion that in one of these periods the deceased had taken his own life."
[Dominion, Volume 12, Issue 34, 4 November 1918, Page 8]
There are no public contributions written for this casualty
Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum