While the term ‘friendly fire’ was only coined in the twentieth century, accidents in war-time involving deaths or injuries caused by one’s own side, have long been a fact of military life.
An interesting memorial tablet, dating from 1796, commemorates Captain Peter Judd, of the 34th Regiment of Foot.
It tell us that,
His death was occasioned by a wound he received at the hand of a detachment of his own regiment in the island of St Lucia, in the West Indies.
The inscription, typical for its time, is very elaborate and focuses as much on the pain and mourning of those left behind, as the circumstances around the death of Capt. Judd. It ends,
He died, truly deplored by his afflicted family; beloved and lamented by his brother officers and fellow soldiers; esteemed and regretted by all who knew him. This monument was erected by his afflicted sister Catherine Judd; as a feeble testimony of her affection, and in commemoration of his virtues.