Crimes and Punishment - Military Style

Discussion in 'North Irish Horse' started by Gerry Chester, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    "Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline" was a catch-all putting chaps on a charge, or more seriously having to face a court-martial.

    Found guilty, the result was usually 'jankers' or being banished to the cookhouse to peel mountains of potatoes or some other menial task. I have two amusing incidents, one of which I was a witness to while training with 51st RTR, the other was told to me by Alan Hughes (that is he standing on the track next to me on Ballyrashane') concerning his brother David who served with the RA.

    [​IMG]

    To set the scene - Montgomery had just taken over command of 8th Army and was in residence at the first Shepherd's, a world-famous Swiss hotel that catered to foreigners - Egyptian mobs burned Shepherd's and destroyed many other buildings when they rioted against the Europeans in 1952.

    Monty and his entourage, on exiting a lift, was astounded to see a female being chased down the corridor by a naked man. His ADC bounded after the chap, a lieutenant enjoying a few days leave from his unit stationed at El Alamein, and promptly ordered him to be court-martialed.

    Now it must be explained, way back then and probably still is today, the court was chaired by a senior officer flanked on either side by three officers of the same rank as the accused as were both the prosecuting and defending officers. This is where David comes in, we British not having a Judge Advocate's Branch as does the US, with only the qualification that he was employed by the Gloucestershire County Counsel before joining the Army, was ordered to prepare a defence.

    The charge against the lieutenant effectively was that he "Conducted himself in a manner prejudicial to military discipline insofar that he was found to be in public place improperly dressed."

    When the Prosecuting Officer had finished presenting the facts of the case, David rose to conduct his defence, First, having successfully argued that Shepherd's Hotel ceased to be a "public place" after it had been requisitioned to accommodate officers and visiting dignitaries, he proceeded as follows.

    Armed with several copies of 'King's Rules and Regulations' and, after giving one to each member of the Court and to the Prosecuting Officer, asked they be opened to page so-and-so, the chapter laying down the rules relative to dress. It read something like this: "All officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks must at all times be properly dressed as hereafter stated.....that to be worn in the mess, by Beefeaters, on and on, etcetera, etcetera."

    From what Alan told me, his brother was in to amateur dramatics. Anyway, after a suitable pause, David asked that all present to turn KR&R to a later page, when all had done so David proceeded to read 'That the only exception to the rules previously stated, is that officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks may be dressed appropriate to the sport in which they are engaged,' "therefore members of the Court, I suggest the defendant was properly dressed for the sport in which he was engaged." Result, case dismissed - rumour has it that even Monty was amused!

    How true this story is I know not, but it was widely circulated at the time. So much happened at the hotel that my guess is that it is true,
    as can be seen in Major Lyons memoirs: BBC - WW2 People's War - Extract from the Audio Memoirs of Major LWA Lyons - The Desert - Part One - 1942
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Love it!

    The Aussies "I hear" did not care much for British Officers telling them what to do and ruffled many feathers in the early days in Egypt & Palestine.
     
  3. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    "properly dressed for the sport in which he was engaged." haha brilliant.
     
  4. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Made me smile. :D
     
  5. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    .... and so rests the case for the defence, M'Lud. lol

    Wonder if he was standing to attention when the ADC caught up with him. Stand easy. Present arms........
     
  6. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    "properly dressed for the sport in which he was engaged." haha brilliant.
    ...... could go down as a recreational activity that would come under sport wouldn't it. Titter not.
     
  7. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    True or not a brilliant story. Suppose he could have said he was preparing for short arm inspection.
     
  8. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    When recently posting about Char and Wads, reminded me that I had not followed up on my posting made in this Forum some while ago here.

    To set the scene, I was stationed at 57th RTR Training Regiment, Warminster, Wiltshire, being in the third week of my Army career.

    As was his wont, our "infamous" Drill Sergeant regaled us daily with dos and don'ts.
    One, which I chose not to repeat but more delicately put was: After consuming char and wads at the NAAFI be sure you flush your kidneys before returning to duty.

    Having followed this piece of advice, before I was able to exit the facility in came a 2nd Lieutenant whose Sergeant called the obligatory "Attention, Orderly Officer!"
    A chap, similarly engaged as was I shortly before, without pausing raised his left hand in salutation. The officer went bonkers, instructing the sergeant to put that man on charge and take this man's name (me) as a witness.

    In due course we all paraded before the Squadron Leader. Here I must mention there was a pretty WAAC taking notes. The charge went something like this: "Prejudicial to good order and military discipline Trooper so-and-so improperly saluted 2nd Lt so-and-so during Inspection Rounds." After the WAAC read the charge the Major asked the officer to explain what happened. While doing he was doing so, the OC's face got redder and redder until he told us to get out but "not you 2nd Lt. so-and-so." How pleased I was not having give testimony in the presence of an attractive young lady!

    Later we heard from our Troop Sergeant, William (Dixie) Dean of Everton FC fame, that the Major tore the strip-of all-strips off the 2nd Lt., who apparently had only just been posted to the regiment after receiving his one pip.
     
  9. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    When recently posting about Char and Wads, reminded me that I had not followed up on my posting made in this Forum some while ago here.

    To set the scene, I was stationed at 57th RTR Training Regiment, Warminster, Wiltshire, being in the third week of my Army career.

    As was his wont, our "infamous" Drill Sergeant regaled us daily with dos and don'ts.
    One, which I chose not to repeat but more delicately put was: After consuming char and wads at the NAAFI be sure you flush your kidneys before returning to duty.

    Having followed this piece of advice, before I was able to exit the facility in came a 2nd Lieutenant whose Sergeant called the obligatory "Attention, Orderly Officer!"
    A chap, similarly engaged as was I shortly before, without pausing raised his left hand in salutation. The officer went bonkers, instructing the sergeant to put that man on charge and take this man's name (me) as a witness.

    In due course we all paraded before the Squadron Leader. Here I must mention there was a pretty WAAC taking notes. The charge went something like this: "Prejudicial to good order and military discipline Trooper so-and-so improperly saluted 2nd Lt so-and-so during Inspection Rounds." After the WAAC read the charge the Major asked the officer to explain what happened. While doing he was doing so, the OC's face got redder and redder until he told us to get out but "not you 2nd Lt. so-and-so." How pleased I was not having give testimony in the presence of an attractive young lady!

    Later we heard from our Troop Sergeant, William (Dixie) Dean of Everton FC fame, that the Major tore the strip-of all-strips off the 2nd Lt., who apparently had only just been posted to the regiment after receiving his one pip.

    I can visualise that perfectly. What a twit!
     
  10. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    True or not a brilliant story. Suppose he could have said he was preparing for short arm inspection.
    Good job it wasn't loaded -titter not.
     

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