Posts Tagged ‘british empire’

“Sinn Feiner Gets 15 Years In Prison,” Toronto Globe. September 28, 1918. Page 07.

J. E. Plant’s Sentence Of Death Is Commuted – ‘Conchy’ Given 10 Years.

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
Niagara Camp, Sept. 27. – The first drafted man in camp to be sentenced to death by the general court-martial is John Edward Plant of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Central Ontario Regiment, whose sentence was promulgated this afternoon at a garrison parade. His sentence, however, has been commuted to fifteen years’ imprisonment in the penitentiary at Kingston, and this was read at the promulgation by Captain Roy Parke, Adjutant of the 2nd Battaltion, 2nd C.O.R. Plant is a Sinn Feiner, and refused to perform military service in any capacity.

Johnston Marks of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd C.O.R., who is a conscientious objector and refused to put on uniform, was sentenced to penitentiary for ten years.

Col. K. I. McLaren, Camp Commandant, was in charge of the parade for the promulgation of the sentences.

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A Gurkha sentry oversees the disarming of Japanese prisoners on their way to POW camps outside Bangkok/September 1945.

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Japanese surrender in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, September 1945. 

From top to bottom:


Orders relating to the disarming of Japanese troops are given to a Japanese general by Brigadier B C H Gerry, commander of the 53rd Brigade, 25th Indian Division. IND 4847

2) Japanese officers surrender their swords at Kuala Lumpur. IND 4845

3) Japanese officers surrender their swords at Kuala Lumpur.

IND 4846


Piles of Japanese weapons and equipment surrendered to the 25th Indian Division at Kuala Lumpur. IND 4852


No. 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Part of WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION. Imperial War Museum. 

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Royal Navy landing party complete with Brodie helmets and Enfield rifles head for shore at Hong Kong from the Illustrious-class aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable to guard key points as British forces move in to conduct surrender of Japanese. 13 Sept 1945.

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“More Objectors Placed On Trial,” Toronto Globe. August 1, 1918. Page 10.

Three Men Before the General Court-martial at Niagara Camp

One A Sinn Feiner

Another an Austrian Who Is Ready to Do Service at Home

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
Niagara Camp, July 31. – A general court-martial was held here this morning, when Lieut.-Col. A. J. McCausland, of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd C.O.R., presided at the trial of two men, Sherman S. Babcok and Joseph Toorish of the 1st Battalion, 2nd C.O.R. Lieut.-Col. G. L. Francis of the Railway Troops Depot presided at the trial of a third man, Paul Joseph Forst of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd C.O.R. in place of Col. McCausland, as Forst is a member of Col. McCausland’s battalion. The other members of the court sat throughout the trial of the three accused, and were: Major F. P. Myles, Major A. A. McKenzie, Capt. W. R. S. Richardson, Capt. L. H. Bertram and Lieut.-Col. J. A. MacDonald, Judge Advocate. The prosecutors were Major S. H. Bastick and Major C. P. Mackenzie.

Babcock and Forst are conscientious objectors, and Toorish is a Sinn Feiner who was charged with having ‘willfully defied authority’ by refusing to put on the King’s uniform, and having declared that he would not fight for the British, who had killed his people in the Sinn Fein rebellion in Dublin in 1916.

Reads Statement of Views.
Toorish is a big fellow, of good education, a native of Dublin, a confessed Sinn Feiner and an office clerk. He had written a lengthy statement of his views on the question of Great Britain’s treatment of Ireland and the people of the south of Ireland, and his reasons for refusing to don the Khaki in behalf of the British and the other allies. This statement he was permitted to read, and it was put in as evidence in his defece. He said: ‘If the British Government had put Herbert Asquith’s Home Rule Bill into effect, Ireland would not be in her present position of antagonism to the British. The Sinn Fein rebellion in Dublin in 1916 was the direct outcome, and I believe the rebellion was justified.’

Toorish feelingly referred to a lady who was very dear to him, and whose life was to have been linked to his, whose death he said was due to British bullets. ‘The cause she died for,’ he said, ‘is a good enough cause for me to die for too.’

Casement and Carson.
Toorish cited the difference in the treatment of Sir Roger Casement and Sir Edward Carson, the first named ‘a loyal Irish gentleman,’ having been shot in the Tower of London, and Carson admitted to the British Cabinet, though both men were in the same boat, so far as their connection with the Germans had been concerned. Toorish positively refused to recede from his position of opposition to the British Government, and expressed himself ready to be ‘sacrificed’ for his opinions.

Disclaims Pro-German Sympathy.
Toorish is a native of Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland, and before coming to Canada nine years ago was a student at Dublin University. He has resided in Toronto several years. He was candid enough to admit that his sympathies were not with the British in this war, though two of his brothers were fighting with the British. However, he would not admit being a pro-German. He was loyal to Ireland, he said, and he was a Sinn Feiner.

John Doughtery, 425 Annette street, Toronto, and Daniel Roughan, 98 1/3 Bellwoods avenue, Toronto, both natives of Ireland, gave character evidence on Toorish’s behalf.

Professes Conscientious Objector.
Sherman S. Babcock pleaded guilty to the charge of having refused to put on the uniform. ‘I am a child of God,’ he said in his defence, ‘and I feel that it is against the Lord’s will that I should kill anybody.’ He declared that he would not obey the Military Law, and would take what punishment was in store for him as a result of his stand.

Babcock is 22 years of age, and a harnessmaker by trade. He said he did not belong to any sect whose tenets forbade him performing military service.

Objector, Not an Enemy.
Paul Joseph Forst, an Austrian, who was naturalized, had refused to put on the uniform, and claimed that it was because of his religious belief that he would not take part in military affairs, not because of his Austrian origin. He professed to be willing to do work for the military cause, but said he would not wear the uniform. He based his religious belief on books published by the Ecteric Society in California, he said.

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“We can only assume these old photographs taken by the Colonial Office and held at The National Archives are of the Bako National Park in Borneo. The rock formations shown in these undated images must surely have been lost to erosion many decades ago.”

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“Complaints By An Immigrant,” Kingston Daily Standard. June 28, 1913. Page 02.

Relates to Wages and Refreshments.

Man Was Told He Would Receive $30 a Month, But Was Given Only $12.

A recent arrival from the old country, J. A. Rhodes, told The Standard of the disillusions which awaited him in Canada. One of these related to wages. He was told by an immigration agent in London that he would get $30 a month working with a farmer, while his wife would get $12 a month. On arriving here, he hired with a farmer, nothing had been said about wages at the time, the simple-minded immigrant taking the word of the agent at its face value. After he had been working some time the farmer suggested that they come to some agreement regarding wages, and magnanimously offered the man the princely salary of $125 a year. The employer further showed his generosity by suggesting that if he did not want to stay a year, he would pay him $12 a month to the first of September. Of course, this being the haying and harvesting months, the farmer had some idea that the man would probably earn his salary by working from daylight to dark. The immigrant seeing his $30-a-month salary vanishing, naturally demurred, when his employer conveyed the impression that he ought to be highly elated, as his predecessor was content with twenty cents a day.

Mr. Rhodes asked about employment for his wife, and was told by the farmer that he didn’t want her services. Thus, the employee forced the prospect of maintaining an establishment on $125 a year. He failed to see how he could do this without leaving a worrying band of creditors behind him, when he came to forsake this weary world. Accordingly, he looked about for a more remunerative job, and succeeded in finding one as fireman on a boat. Mr. Rhodes, who is a big, husky man, impresses one as being willing to work. 

Another of Mr. Rhodes’ grievances was as to food. He was given to understand that at each stopping place refreshments would be provided. Three families, inclyding ‘Mr. Rhodes’, arrived here at 3 o’clock in the morning, tired and hungry, but it was not until 9 o’clock that morning that they received anything to eat, and then only a small bag of doughnuts had to do three families. The ladies naturally wanted some tea, but they were denied this. And what was true of Kingston Mr. Rhodes said was true of the other stopping places.

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David Carton,  “The Convict Dress At Bermuda,” London Illustrated News. June 17, 1848. 

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“Rather!” Hamilton Spectator, July 14, 1919. Page 04.

“Germany – AchJammer Potztauseal! Didn’t kamerad yust in time!”

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“Poised / They Saw The Sea,” Toronto Star. December 23, 1938. Page 19. 

Left: “A split second before an airplane separated from its launching catapult above H.M.S. Argus…” Right: “…and now these British tars are looking forward to spending Christmas leave on dry land.  They’re from H.M.S. Nelson, show in the BACKGROUNd.  A large contingent of sailors left warships the same day for homes throughout the country.”

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“Déploiement en prévision d’une guerre future,” Photo-Journal. November 25, 1937. Page 09.

Photograph, clockwise from top left, showing Italian naval officers at the 1937 Nuremberg rally; second battalion of the Black Guards waiting deployment to Palestine; Russian women members of Burevestnik endurance training; English anti-air craft gun practice.

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Above: “The Anniversary of Trafalgar.” The Daily Express, 21 October, 1904.
Caption read: Nelson (in Trafalgar Square): – “I was on my way down to lend them a hand myself, but if Jacky Fisher’s taking on the job there’s no need for me to be nervous, I’ll get back on my pedestal.”  Taken from Lord Fisher, Memories. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919. Link.

“Although tactics remained unclear in the face of the increasingly long-range torpedoes, a revolutionary strategic consensus was emerging around
them. When Jacky Fisher took over as First Sea Lord in October 1904, his
main task was to reduce naval expenditures. A lower budget meant that
the Royal Navy might have to sacrifice one of its two traditional missions,
protecting the home islands and defending the empire (namely, its trade
and communications). Indeed, the historian Arthur Marder, who wrote
the first major studies of the prewar Royal Navy, interpreted two of Fisher’s
chief reforms—the so-called redistribution of the fleet, which removed
capital ships from distant stations to concentrate them in home waters,
and the scrapping policy, which eliminated smaller vessels that could be
used for commerce protection—in just these terms, as analogous to Rome’s
recall of the legions. Thus, the conventional wisdom holds that Fisher
abandoned imperial defense in order to concentrate on the German threat
to the home islands.

Subsequent scholarship has shown, however, that Fisher was up to
something very different. Fisher formed his strategic views during his command of the Mediterranean from 1899 to 1902, not in the North Sea.
The Mediterranean was the linchpin of the British Empire, and the enemies there were France and Russia, not Germany. Rapid changes in British
diplomacy (the Japanese alliance in 1902, the French entente in 1904)
hardly disposed Fisher to think in terms of permanent threats. Instead of
focusing on a particular enemy, he wanted to build flexible capabilities
that could respond across a range of scenarios. He believed that technology
would allow him to do so despite reductions in the Navy’s budget. The
central vessels in his vision were not battleships—slow, expensive battle-ships that were extremely vulnerable to torpedoes—but torpedo craft and
battle-cruisers fitted with superior fire-control systems, along with revolutionary command-and-control systems.

In a scheme known as flotilla defense, torpedo craft (destroyers and
submarines, also known as flotilla craft) would deny the Channel, North
Sea, and Mediterranean to enemy vessels, deterring them from invasion
and interference with imperial trade. Calling the “risk fleet” bluff of the
German Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, Fisher accepted that British capital
ships could not risk entering the North Sea, and then he turned Tirpitz’s
logic against the Germans: as long as the Germans could not enter the
North Sea either, then Britain would achieve its end. A torpedo-based
strategy of deterrence could achieve that objective just as effectively—and
much more cheaply—than a gun-based strategy of decisive battle. In short,
Fisher answered the risk fleet with a risk flotilla.

While torpedo craft defended the narrow waters of the Channel, North
Sea, and Mediterranean, battle-cruisers would control the high seas elsewhere. If the battle-cruisers got caught in a battle with enemy capital ships,
they would use their superior speed and fire-control systems to hit the
enemy while remaining outside the enemy’s range so that their weaker
armor protection would not be a problem. An extraordinary series of innovations known as the War Room System would track enemy merchant
vessels and guide the battle-cruisers to them. Marrying advances in telegraphy with more centralized command-and-control, the War Room
System would allow the Admiralty to replace blockade of the enemy’s
coast with global economic warfare.

Far from recalling the legions, therefore, Fisher created a new fiscal-technological-strategic synthesis that would allow the Navy to continue
performing its traditional missions more effectively and possibly more
cheaply. In so doing, he fundamentally rede ned the metrics of naval power. Rather than measuring naval power in big guns and battleships,
Fisher’s strategy measured power in torpedoes, torpedo craft, battle-cruisers, fire control, and communications.

Rather than seeking command
of the sea through decisive battle, Fisher sought denial and control of the
sea through flotilla defense, battle-cruisers, and the War Room System.
Fisher was happy to let others believe that he believed in battleships. In
a period of  nancial retrenchment, Fisher’s main goals were to preserve
the Navy’s budget—and particularly its construction budget—from Army
depredations and to ensure that he could maintain Britain’s capacity to
build warships by feeding industry with regular contracts. The latter goal
in particular was not likely to win supporters in a Liberal government.
With strong incentive to mislead, Fisher publicly played up the German
threat in the North Sea and Britain’s corresponding need to build capital
ships, even as he took a very different line in private. “[T]he English Navy
is now four times stronger than the German Navy,” he cheerfully informed
the king, “but we don’t want to parade all this, because if so we shall have
Parliamentary trouble… . [I have recently read a paper] convincingly
showing that we don’t want to lay down any new ships at all—we are so
strong. It is quite true!” By catering to the crudest metrics of naval power,
Fisher fooled not only contemporary politicians but also historians into
thinking he believed his own propaganda.

Torpedo evelopment from 1903 through 1908 was a double-edged sword
for the Royal Navy. Gyroscopes made torpedoes more accurate, but they
required new practice regimes and safety devices for reliable use. The
Hardcastle superheater increased torpedoes’ range and speed, but it created friction with the Armstrong Company and eventually with Hardcastle
himself. The relocation of the torpedo factory from Woolwich to Greenock
gave the Navy control of this vital piece of naval ordnance, but it disrupted
the supply base at an important moment. Torpedoes made possible the
strategy of flotilla defense, which enabled the Royal Navy to perform all its
traditional missions despite budget cuts, but they created severe tactical
headaches. None of these dilemmas would go away.”

– Katherine C. Epstein, Torpedo: Inventing the Military-Industrial Complex
in the United States and Great Britain.  
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014. pp. 130-132.

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