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Thread: Court Martial Impacts

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    Default Court Martial Impacts

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    I had never really considered the different sentences of RAF Court Martial - Which (excluding prison sentence) for those for Guilty were

    Cashiered
    Dismissed
    Loss of Seniority

    For clarification re Cashiered and Dismissed

    To be cashiered differs from being dismissed the service in that, in the former case the officer concerned may enlist in the ranks, but may never have his commission restored.
    Dismissal does not preclude an officer from being restored to his rank if his Majesty sees fit to make use of his services again.

    Al these can be found in London Gazette and an example of these are below all from the same Court Martial in November 1926 at Duxford concerning various misdeeds by 5 officers over Mess Bills - Though all at same time, I feel that they cannot be all 'linked' to one case and I suspect that it might have been a case of similar carryings on to a certain extent elsewhere and an example it was decided was to be made

    They were

    Flight-Lieutenant Philippe Andre de Fontenay, D.F.C Cashiered #09181 -> fraudulently misapplying three small sums belonging to the officers’ mess
    Flight-Lieutenant Arthur Clunie Randall, D.F.C., to be dismissed the service -> Adjutant basically borrowing money from mess fund
    Flying Officer Harold Scott Davidson had been dismissed the service. -> False statement in relation to duties and mess secretary
    Flight-Lieutenant Cyril Richard Smythe severe reprimand and forfeiture of 104 places on the gradation list of the Royal Air Force list. -> not carrying out duties correctly in relation to mess finances'
    Pilot-Officer James Edward Welman forfeiture of seniority as if it bore date 10th August, 1926 and be severely reprimanded. - Bouncing cheques

    I get the impression de Fontenay was cashiered because affectively he 'stole' money and could have faced a prison sentence- the other 2 tried to cover up wrong doing or paid money back so only dismissed and the final 2 were not carrying out the role for which they were expected so were reprimanded and lost seniority


    What is interesting is that Philippe Andre de Fontenay (AIR 76/130/58) did serve in WW2 in a flying role - he was born in Mauritius and had a French Address and apparently worked in relation with the Free French in quite a senior position - but I cannot find him in RAF so maybe he was Free French


    Arthur Clunie Randall never served again AFAIK and supposedly moved to Dominica and died their circa 1948 in Délices, Saint Patrick, Dominica - However he may have be living in Surrey in 1939

    Harold Scott Davidson apparently did not serve again and died Jun 1991 Surrey, England

    Cyril Richard Smythe ended up as Wing-Commander (1899-1984)

    Flying Officer James Edward WELMAN resigned his commission. 31st Dec. 1935 and did not serve after that

    However, I also find it incredible that P/O Alexander Edward Taylor could be convicted of manslaughter when his car killed a motorcyclist on May 7 1927 (Ernest Arthur Strecks) and serve a 12 month prison sentence and apparently this had no adverse affect on his RAF career as he ended up a Group Captain...


    A couple of other Cashiered

    R.A.F. COURT-MARTIAL SENTENCE
    FLYING OFFICER CASHIERED. Flying Officer Denys Stanley Thomas, who was tried
    by court-martial at Henlow in June on charges in connection with crash near Barnet on May 3, has been
    sentenced to be cashiered. Aircraftsman Richard Frederick Mason, who was in an R.A.F. machine with Thomas,
    leapt from a height of 70 feet. His parachute failed to open, and he was killed instantly. The charges brought against Flying Officer Thomas were: —Flying in a manner ..
    likely to cause loss of life, making an unauthorised flight, and of drunkenness. He was sentenced to one year's hard labour.

    Date: 03-MAY-1929
    Time: day
    Type: Vickers 94 Venture Mk 1
    Owner/operator: RAF Home Aircraft Depot, Henlow
    Registration: J7280

    Published: Friday 02 August 1929

    R.A.F. OFFICER SENTENCED. Found guilty at a court-martial nine charge relating to unpaid cheques and absence without leave,
    Flying-Officer Henry Owen Fellowes, has been sentenced to cashiered and undergo imprisonment for six months.
    Published: Monday 23 December 1929


    Paul

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmcmillan View Post

    R.A.F. OFFICER SENTENCED. Found guilty at a court-martial nine charge relating to unpaid cheques and absence without leave,
    Flying-Officer Henry Owen Fellowes, has been sentenced to cashiered and undergo imprisonment for six months.
    Published: Monday 23 December 1929

    Paul
    I believe Fellowes was a Great War veteran (2/Lt- Seaforth Highlanders serving in France from 21-Jan-1916 and later Flight Lieut, RAF) born in 1895, resident in Nairn/Scotland and later Dorking/Surrey, known as Major Fellowes in later life, in 1949 married a girl 20 years his junior and he died 14-Mar-1959 Surrey. I noted his name after seeing him mentioned somewhere else possibly to do with the Grand National but sadly I cant see any reason why I noted it, age comes to us all LOL.

    cheers PeteS

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmcmillan View Post

    R.A.F. COURT-MARTIAL SENTENCE
    FLYING OFFICER CASHIERED. Flying Officer Denys Stanley Thomas, who was tried
    by court-martial at Henlow in June on charges in connection with crash near Barnet on May 3, has been
    sentenced to be cashiered. Aircraftsman Richard Frederick Mason, who was in an R.A.F. machine with Thomas,
    leapt from a height of 70 feet. His parachute failed to open, and he was killed instantly. The charges brought against Flying Officer Thomas were: —Flying in a manner ..
    likely to cause loss of life, making an unauthorised flight, and of drunkenness. He was sentenced to one year's hard labour.

    Date: 03-MAY-1929
    Time: day
    Type: Vickers 94 Venture Mk 1
    Owner/operator: RAF Home Aircraft Depot, Henlow
    Registration: J7280

    Published: Friday 02 August 1929

    Paul
    Having checked I see that Thomas was born in 1904 the son of an Exmouth solicitor, he married in 1928 in Barnes/Surrey while an RAF officer and died 15-Apr-1956 in Exmouth.

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    Any help appreciatted with my current research on Court Martial Experience that appears on a servicemans personal records.
    What does court martial experience mean ?
    Looking in detail at 08 July 1977 and this detail appears under the heading ROLE. 1 U/I Summary F1406
    Any thoughts on this detail appreciated.

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    It means that the officer in question was involved in a previous court martial. This may be as a board member, as an officer under instruction, or as a waiting member (i.e. a standby bod who could be inserted into the panel at short notice if the need arose). The service always tried to ensure that enough trained and experienced officers were available to sit as board members.

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    However, I also find it incredible that P/O Alexander Edward Taylor could be convicted of manslaughter when his car killed a motorcyclist on May 7 1927 (Ernest Arthur Strecks) and serve a 12 month prison sentence and apparently this had no adverse affect on his RAF career as he ended up a Group Captain...

    Stealing, bouncing cheques, covering up for others all involve dishonesty, which means that the persons character cannot be trusted

    Being involved in a collision, even a fatal one involving, for instance driving too fast, is merely unfortunate. Recklessness like taking and aircraft on an authorised flight while drunk and killing your mate is what pushes the court into dismissal

    Chris

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    F/O John Woodburn Gillan (he off "Downwind" Gillan 111 Sqn Hurricane) was also involved in a fatal motor car accident in Singapore on 22 December 1934 while serving on HMS Eagle in which a Chinese Cyclist Ter Kim Hock was killed. He was initially charged with causing death my reckless act - but was discharged by coroner on 30rth Dec - apparently Gillian claimed cyclist was on wrong side of road and he had denied being drunk (though breath smelled of alcohol - he was able to walk steady. write name clearly) - the aircraft carrier was also leaving in a few days - I don't think he would have got off so lightly now without a more thorough investigation and had the victim been European

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    Also I think I found a good example of why an officer would be "removed from the Royal Air Force" - I think maybe lying/omitting info on application form may be a reason - I offer up the case of
    William Douglas VERNON-KNIBBS (William Douglas KNIBBS)

    William Douglas VERNON-KNIBBS
    AIR 76/279/147
    Probably #17094
    William Douglas Knibbs (Birth Cert)
    Transferred Unemployed List effective 25.12.19 as F/O
    Restored Active List For Temp Duty 11.4.21 as F/O (Vernon-Knibbs)
    Re-Trans Unemployed List 5.6.21
    F/O SSC (4 Years) Effective 22.11.22 (LG 5-12-22 Page 8615)
    The undermentioned are granted short
    service commissions in the ranks stated,
    with effect from, and with seniority of, the
    dates indicated: —
    Flying Officers.
    William Douglas VERNON-KNIBBS. 22ndNov. 1922.
    Flying Officer William Douglas VERNON-KNIBBS is removed from the Royal Air Force, His Majesty having no further use for his- services. 25th July 1924 - Maybe his civil conviction see above had been found out

    As you can see he was granted SSC 22ndNov. 1922 but a year earlier... this was in newspapers


    ALLEGED FALSE PRETENCES. CASE AT CHICHESTER. At Chichester City Bench before Mr T. S. Adcock on Monday morning, William Douglas Vernon-Knibbs, an ex-A i r Force captain, was charged with obtaining by fake pretences the sum of £8 12s 6d. from Percy Edwin Henry Lewis on or about 16th July 1921
    Published: Wednesday 14 September 1921
    Newspaper: Bognor Regis Observer
    County: Sussex, England

    And when it came to court he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to Recognizances for 2 years - So no prison sentence

    William Douglas Vernon-Knibbs, an ex RA F. officer, aged 21,pleaded guilty to obtaining £8 12s 6d by false pretences from Percy Edwin Henry Lewis...

    Published: Wednesday 12 October 1921
    Newspaper: Bognor Regis Observer
    County: Sussex, England
    Name: William Douglas Vernon Knibbs
    Trial Age: 22
    Birth Date: abt 1899
    Trial Date: 11 Oct 1921
    Trial Place: Chichester
    Charge: False pretences
    Sentence: 2 years (Recognizances )

    I strongly suspect his civil criminal record was found out a in July 1924 and he was removed from service without the process of a Court Martial

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    Hi, probably a daft question given data protection rules, but would there be any information about a 1945/46 Court Martial in either the Gazette or at the N.A? Thank you for a very interesting thread!

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    Default Re: Court Martial Impacts

    I think there are CM files at National Archives but I don't know if the 1945/1946 ones released - You may also find reference to some CM in news papers

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