WWII Punishment for an NCO charged with drunkeness and affray whilst on leave

Discussion in 'General' started by Old Git, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Looking for solution to a whatif scenario. A pre-war regular, (a Sgt) breaks the habits of a lifetime whilst on leave, gets drunk and into a fight with a couple of coppers and floors both of them. He's eventually nicked and arrives back at billets next day in the company of said couple of coppers.

    What's the likely outcome?

    Also, can someone point me in the direction of a website or book that deals with defaulter punishments in the WWII British army, say 1938 - 46?

    Pete
     
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Old Git

    You need a copy of KRRS (Kings Rules & Regulations)

    This lists a whole load of punishments and covers most crimes like to be comitted in the Army.

    Then have a look at this piece I penned on the BBC People's War Archives
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Getting your Army Records

    which includes the following:

    There, horror of horrors, was an item that read 'Deprived of 7 days pay for (1). Failing to comply with Bty Orders (2) AWOL from 2130 hrs on 17-6-43 to 0505 hrs on 18-6-43. Absent 7hrs 35 mtes.' (The place of this offence is shown as being in the 'Field', although I remember it being at Guelma in Tunisia and although we'd only nipped down to the nearby village wine bar we were charged as though we'd stayed out till the next morning roll call!)


    Finally, your imaginary Sgt would probably have been severely reprimanded or even demoted to Corporal to placate the civilian authorities and then had his rank restored as soon as possible by his CO.

    Another old Git

    ps
    I always forget that the book that I bought in a flea market postwar is actually entitled "Manual of Military Law" , see below
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Thanks Ron, that's pretty much what I had thought would happen. Presumably, if these events occured in September '39 then he'd have been restored to his former rank as soon as they reached France with the rest of the BEF.

    Presumably he'd have had a thorough dressing down from the CO, confined to barracks for a week and a loss of pay and privledges as well. However, as a Sgt, would he have been expected to do the usual defaulters punishment of showing up at the guardroom every morning at 6:00am (and again at 6:00pm) in full kit just so he could be told how bloody rubbish he looked, how bad his brasses were, etc. or would that have been deemed to demeaning for an NCO?

    Rgds

    Pete

    PS loss of pay for a couple of hours over the side for a quick snifter...harsh times eh. Especially when todays youth get away with all manner of stuff by blaming it on their upbringing, their parents, the state of the economy.

    pps I'm only a nominal old git (47 years old). I've been an 'Old Git' since I was 28 and leading a team of 18 year olds who were convinced I was past it at 28 and that I was also too hard on them (I expected them to start work as soon as they showed up and not spend 30 minutes having a cuppa and a chat about last nights activities), so they nicknamed me the 'Old Git' and it's stuck...but my wife & kids assure me that I'm growing into the name, LOL!
     
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Nominal ?

    From where I stand you are a mere babe in arms :)

    Regards

    Ron
     
  5. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon


    That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time, thanks mate!
     
  6. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    Surely this matter would have to be dealt with firstly ,by a civil court, unlesss of course the military had complete jurisdiction and had him released from civil jail and brought back to his unit under armed guard.Thereafter it is likely that he would betried and sentenced by his CO.

    jainso31
     
  7. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    My Dad was reduced from Sergeant to Corporal twice in his wartime service. The first time was in Scotland. He was training troops how to set off small explosive charges.Everyone wanted to go into town where a fair was in progress. So in the hole went the lot and the explosion was bigger than expected. Some damage resulted and Dad lost a stripe.
    I think the other occasion had something to do with a GI, my Mother and resulted in a bit of a do and a visit to a Magistrates Court and the loss of another stripe.
    After the war Dad turned into the personification of moral rectitude and and bored the pants off all of us.
     
  8. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    Just a small point, but after being arrested by the police, they would notify the army who would sent the Regimental Police to pick him up, rather than the civvy police driving him to the barracks.

    Pete
     
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Peter,

    I am pretty sure that the proceedure has not changed.

    I have to say that I have felt sorry for some of the soldiers arrested for AWOL etc, especially when the escort arrived! and I signed them over.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    I would think that the specific arm of service would play an important role in this too. I doubt the Grenadier Guards had quite the same attitude towards a drunken sergeant as did, say, the Royal Army Pay Corps.

    Best, Alan
     
  11. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    So, it's September 39, the eve of war, the Army has just been mobilised and the Civil Authorities are more likely to hand him over to the CMP for delivery to his unit with the proviso that he is dealt with accordingly.

    As the Army has just been mobilised the CO is most likely going to be seriously PO'd by one of his senior NCO's getting into trouble with the Civil authorities and causing him aggro when he least needs it. So, rocket well and truly delivered, he loses pay and a stripe. Back in the mess with the lads ignominy enough I suppose, but when will he get his stripe back? Is the CO likely to let him sweat it out for a couple months or will he see the better part of sense and give him back the stripe when they're enroute to France? I'm just trying to figure out if it would be at all likely if he'd stay a Corporal, commanding a section in the field, and then get his stripe back immediately after Dunkirk?
     
  12. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    I did give the wrong impression of who was responsibe for bringing the prisoner back to his unit -I have re read my text; and it does give the impression that the police brought their prisoner back to his unit -that is not what I meant-for which my apologies.

    jainso31
     
  13. mickykay

    mickykay Junior Member

    My father was in the 6th Guards Armoured Brigade, when they were in europe 1944, they parked the tanks for the night, one of the officers got drunk and when confronted by a higher officer ( sorry I do not know the exact ranks) pulled a pistol out and threatened to shoot him, my father and some other Guardsmen crept up behind him with a camoflage net and overpowered him, my dad said he thought the man was in big trouble, but the next day the whole incident was forgotten and they went on their way, had the man not been an officer it may have been a different story
     
  14. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    Old Git

    Not just back in the Mess, back in the Corporals Mess !

    I have a niggle about him getting his rank back (sorry) - someone else would have been promoted into his old job.

    Most likely chance of getting his job back would be if a combat related vacancy occured, gives the CO the excuse he needs to promote him.

    Pete
     
  15. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    As a young officer I had to become acquainted with KRRs and remember section 40 was the catchall one that was not covered by any other section, so you couldn't get away with anything. At the back were examples showing how to write out charges one went ' Private Atkins did divest himself of his belt, cast it upon the ground and said 'There I will soldier no more, do with me what you will'' Well educated bloke was Prvt Atkins.

    Jim
     
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Battle experience aside, an NCO would surely have to pass courses, that would take time.

    My father lost his stripes twice. Losing them didn't bother him, or his section, they carried on as before and he had the Bren. It was the acting unpaid bit that came straight after - in the same breath from the CO - which bothered him the most.

    The peculiarities of guards training he said also meant that "28 days field punishment was nothing - water off a duck's back" for most of those unfortunate enough - to be caught and found guilty. ;)
     
  17. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    Old Git

    You need a copy of KRRS (Kings Rules & Regulations)

    This lists a whole load of punishments and covers most crimes like to be comitted in the Army.

    Then have a look at this piece I penned on the BBC People's War Archives
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Getting your Army Records

    which includes the following:



    Finally, your imaginary Sgt would probably have been severely reprimanded or even demoted to Corporal to placate the civilian authorities and then had his rank restored as soon as possible by his CO.

    Another old Git

    ps
    I always forget that the book that I bought in a flea market postwar is actually entitled "Manual of Military Law" , see below

    Thanks for the reference to "Manual of Military Law" above Ron, sounds just what I need to find. I obtained my dad's military records a year ago and was surprised to find he'd gone AWOL - in Holland Nov '45. He was missing until Feb 46 when the MPs collared him. I was surprised as he was a regular (7th medium RA) from '37. He never mentioned it to anyone so I guess its something he was not proud of.

    What I am interested in (apart from where he was for four months!!!) is what exactly 'house arrest' meant for him - which lasted from Feb to June 46. Then he resumed duties as normal (BAOR)
     
  18. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Guards regiments have (as you would expect) a complex system. The manuals and publications used;

    King's or Queen's Regulations
    Manual of Military law
    King's/Queens Regulations for the Household Division
    Kings/Queen's Regulations for the Guards depot
    Kings/Queen's Regulations for the Scots Guards (GG.CG,IG and WG)

    Often said cannot get you with QRs then lets have a look in..........

    To frame a charge, this had to be drawn up by an NCO (officers may not charge soldiers) he would make a note of the offence take this to the CSM who would give the NCO the offence to charge him with , the catch all in the Manual of Military Law 1955 was Section 69 - Conduct Unbecoming. This hand written charge would then be taken to the Sergeant Major who would check to see if the charge was correct and, then with his stamp 'frame' the charge the charge would then be entered in the company report book. The defaulter at this level would be 'seen' by his company commander or the adjutant. If the charge was deemed by the Sergeant Major to be serious he would then order an AF B 252 to be completed and framed this would result in commanding officer dealing or remanded for courts martial . This use of the Report Book and AF B 252s was (is ?) unique to the Household Division.

    All Guardsmen on the NCOs Cadre course had to learn how to write up a 'Report' the soldier so charged was told 'you have lost your name' this meant you were going in the report book. One still makes me chuckle:

    Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline contrary to the Army Act 1995, in that he, at approximately 0900hrs (used approx time - exact time can be disputed!) did leave his place of employment without prior permission, contrary to Section 29a of the Army Act 1955. (from memory). This is Guardee for fainting!

    Drunken Sergeants? 1979 a new divisional medical officer (BAOR) put out a warning to all Guardsmen. The abuse of alcohol. He read the riot act. ha, a lot said - tosh! Within a week we had one Colour Sergeant offered a retirement package or settled at divisional level, He went as did a few more in the division.

    As a young Lance Sergeant I had to take an of escort four guardsmen as arresting party to a civil prison. The lad had committed a civil offence and was given time. The battalion was informed of his release. I had to arrest him as he left the prison gate and take him back to hand over to the regimental police. He was not charged with the same offence - charged with AWOL.


    Every company office had in the corridor a notice board where Battalion Standing Orders were published. A warning to read and acquaint yourself with these SOs. Often went unheeded - as some will remember. 'Failing to comply with a published Battalion Standing Order, an order he should have been aware of, or it is reasonable to expect him to have been aware of!' Try getting out of that one then. Oh, and yes they still applied in the field.


    I would like to point out a soldier can use witnesses when being 'tried' and could refuse punishment and request a higher court. Unique to the Scots Guards - defaulters are tried not in undress, belts and forage caps in wear. To remove part of a mans uniform suggests he has been found guilty before the trial.

    If anyone doubts the British have a sense of humour the old telephone code for the 'Home of the British army -Aldershot - was 0252! Would you liked to be charged for the call!
     
    dbf likes this.
  19. Panda880

    Panda880 Junior Member

    That's a facinating insight Wills.
     

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