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“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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“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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“Legion Must Adopt Attitude on Defence,” Montreal Star. January 20, 1937. Page 06.

President Addresses St. Lambert Branch

Rearmament of Great Britain will make of the Mother Country a stronger force than ever in the interests of world peace in the opinion of Brig.-General Alex. Ross, president of the Dominion Command of the Canadian Legion. General Ross expressed his opinion last night as he stated that the Canadian Legion will have to take a stand upon the question of a national defence policy. He was speaking at the first annual dinner of the St. Lambert Branch, No. 68, of the Legion, in Dart Memorial Hall.

‘We, as men who have sacrificed more than most, must have something to say on this vital question,’ General Ross said. ‘The time has come when it is difficult to maintain peace. Force is undesirable, but there is no use in preaching peace, and then denouncing a body like the League of Nations, for instance, which has partially failed in its objective.

‘We still believe the people of this country are capable of governing themselves in the old way,’ he said. ‘Without radical action the Legion is trying to help the ex-serviceman to economic self-sufficiency.’

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