St. Venant War Crime against DLI during May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Tom, The author sent me a copy for free last year ;)
  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Drew5233 likes this.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Kyle - Did anyone go through the Q files in the end regarding this chap? I did pull one file to have a brief look at the format and there is shed loads of info in the one I pulled regarding the mistreatment of PoWs. The only trouble with them is the file I look at doesn't appear to be any sort of order so he could be mentioned anywhere in them - IIRC the file I looked at would probably contain over 500 pages.
  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hello Drew,

    From what I know of it the MoD claim they are unaware of Q80 or those Q files 57-80 which appear to deal with the last days in St Venant . I believe they said full Forms Q were not filed with the National Archives and their answer to where Form Q80 was a direct quote from their NA website "Forms 'Q' were not kept with the mainreport, but passed to the appropriate Allied authorities investigating alleged war crimes". From that no one appears to know where they are, each referring back to the other. I looked at Jims copy of the DLI missing men awhile ago and I`m no expert but I found it strange why a man who was `missing ` was not featured in any of their enquiry files? The sheet with `DEAD Q80` alongside his name suggested to me ,at least, that he was never `missing` hence the lack of an enquiry into his fate? The question is what happened in the two days between capture and death and he`s not the only one either is he.
    Something which I don't think has been picked up on is the mass grave outside of St Venant with the 90 bodies (which the CWGC denied despite it being in their publications and on their website) They dig a pit in a field to bury 90 men many who were killed around the bridge in St Venant next to the cemetery? Why didn't they bury them in the cemetery itself? Why transport them about? Like I said I only follow the progress and I really know nothing but something `stinks` a little here?

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I posted some examples of the Q Reports on here. They were quite detailed witness accounts from what I can remember. I'd suggest someone should go through them at Kew. This chap could very well be in one of them.

    I'm in France and Belgium next month for two weeks and will probably get to St. Vennant for a quick recce but I stopped the reserach on this after I started looking for a chap with a unknown grave who's medals I won in an auction last year. I suspect most of my time on this trip will be spent walking around where he was killed.
  6. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Card indices in WO353 and WO355 may be the place to look for added detail.

    It might be possible to make progress by finding the names of the witnesses in the witness cards in WO353,WO354,WO355. There may be an accused card somewhere. The common link should be the file reference MD/JAG/FS/7/5. You have to go in the Invigilation Room at Kew to view the cards that are available.

    JAG files I have seen are often missing papers, but I almost always look at Far East War Crimes investigations. For that reason the card indices are useful.

    In the newspaper report linked by Mr.Jinks the original file cover has the reference MD/JAG/FS/7/5. In this reference "FS" means "File Series". MD means Military Deputy's Department and JAG means Judge Advocate General.

    On the other hand "FIS" apparently means Field Investigation Section, War Crimes Group.

    Card Indexes in WO354 are retained by the Ministry of Defence under s3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958, which states as given lastly below.

    This is from the notes to the unavailable WO354 cards:

    " With regard to the complementary indexes in pieces 53-57, the relevance of the variety of CASE No/JAG UNIT references has only been established in certain cases. References prefixed 'Legal' (e.g. Legal:C2999) are to the Legal Section, WCG (NWE) 15228 Series files, mentioned previously under main index references (3). Where FIS appears (e.g. FIS:C573), this relates to a file of the Field Investigation Section, War Crimes Group (NWE) in WO 309
    It is probable that a systematic survey of all types of references employed in these indexes, and an exercise to compare them with the various elements which appear as former references in the several war crimes series would enable other links to be established with certainty.
    All the records in this series were opened in 1997 but required conservation work to avoid the alphabetical order being disturbed."

    WO354 may not be relevant, but I just thought I would mention it. I rather like the phrase: " systematic survey of all types of reference." That means a great deal of work.

    Public records selected for permanent preservation under this section shall be transferred not later than thirty years after their creation either to the Public Record Office or to such other place of deposit appointed by the Lord Chancellor under this Act as the Lord Chancellor may direct:

    Provided that any records may be retained after the said period if, in the opinion of the person who is responsible for them, they are required for administrative purposes or ought to be retained for any other special reason and, where that person is not the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chancellor has been informed of the facts and given his approval.
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  7. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Thanks for the pointers the cover of the War Crimes File in the photo deals with nine cases, none can be linked directed to Corkhill. The witness statements are in the file together with the translations only one soldier featured in the war crimes File has wounds similar to those of Pte Corkhill however the case preceeds Corkhills disappearance. there is of course the possibility that there was insufficient evidence/witnesses to proceed there is a similar case for Cassel-Hazebrouk WO299 another option is he MAY have been one of those who died in the hospital from his wounds but if that's so why not just say? Sorry something which the article left out was Corkhill was officially Dead on May 29th 1940 from 1941 so pretty early confirmation?

  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    For convenience I listed WO353 file card box numbers a long time ago but I only recall going to look at some cards once or twice. The list is as follows:


    1. Accused A - B
    2 .Accused C - F
    3. Accused G - H
    4. Accused I - K
    5. Accused L - M
    6. Accused N - Rope
    7. Accused Ropers - Snider
    8. Accused Sobczak - Whalen
    9. Accused Wibbelsmann - Z

    10. Witnesses A - Brzoska
    11. Witnesses Burbridge - Dixon
    12. Witnesses Dobbie - G
    13. Witnesses H - K
    14. Witnesses L - Mkatshwa
    15, Witnesses Moakes - Rhodes
    16. Witnesses Ricci - S
    17. Witnesses T - Z

    18. Dead Victims A - P
    19. Dead Victims Q - Z

    20. Place Names Index A - L
    21. Place Names Index M - Z

    22. PG ( Italian ) Stalags Working Camps

    23. Numerical Index of MD/JAG FS Files FS/1 - FS 20/ 599
    24. Numerical Index of MD/JAG FS Files FS20/600 - FS/77

    My suggestion is that you look at box of cards WO353/18 to see if there is a card for a Private Corkhill.

    Bear in mind that information was gathered from MI9 Q Forms, Casualty forms, Liberation Questionnaires, information from CAS.PW files now in WO361, and possibly direct correspondence from ex-servicemen to the JAG after the war. Also reports from senior officers, diaries kept whilst POWs, etc., etc.

    Sometimes the exact details of a man's name and service number were not known.

    My experience with Far East cases ( handled between JAG offices near Admiralty Arch in London and, mainly, but by no means exclusively, the Goodwood Hotel, Singapore ) is that details about "Dead Victims" can sometimes mean just a surname without anything else.

    However, the file you have seems to be quite detailed.

    Good hunting.

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  9. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Thanks John I will pass the info along.

  10. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Update;-Just heard back from Jim the card index was checked by a member on here (Brian Sim) a couple of years ago Anthony Corkhill is not listed :(

    Thanks anyway John

  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry to hear that a search for a card drew a blank.

    My only other suggestion is to ask Steve Foster from the Anthony Coulthard Long March thread if he has any thoughts. His man was in the Intelligence Corps, and hence their interest, but he knows the ropes and may be able to shed some light on procedures and documents still held by the MOD. I think I suggested WO353 to Steve but I cannot remember if it helped in his case.

    Mr Jinks likes this.
  12. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Thanks John, I`ll pass that down to them :)


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