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Posts Tagged ‘court martial’

“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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“Maj.-Gen. Logie Inspects Troops,” Toronto Globe. September 25, 1918. Page 11.

Railway Const. Draft Going Shortly – Another Death From Spanish ‘Flu.’

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
Niagara Camp, Sept. 24. – Major-Gen. W. A. Logie, G.O.C., came over from Toronto this morning accompanied by Major G. G. Mitchell, and inspected a draft of railway troops that is going to leave camp shortly.

Another death was added last night to the fatalities which have occurred in the Polish camp from Spanish influenza, this making a total of six deaths from the epidemic.

There were about 200 cases of Spanish influenza in the Polish army yesterday, but this number was reduced to-day by discharges of 185.

Pte. John Joseph Noonan of the 2nd Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment, who deserted from a draft while in Toronto on the way east on July 27, and was apprehended on August 31st, in Toronto, was sentenced by district court martial here to Kingston Penitentiary for two years, and was taken to Kingston this morning.

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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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“Two Years’ Hard Labor,” Toronto Globe. May 2, 1918. Page 15.

Sentence on Pte. Snider for Deserting From Draft Warned.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Brantford, May 1. – The C.O.R. [Central Ontario Regiment] Depot was lined up, while the Adjutant read the sentence of a court-martial, confirmed by the General Officer Commanding this district, on Pte. C. C. Snider, a member of the local depot, who deserted from a draft which was warned for overseas. The draft left, and Snider was nowhere to be found. He was sentenced to two years’ hard labor in the penitentiary. The prisoner was not a Brantford man, but was called up from an outside place, and reported here at the local depot.

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“Pte. Elmer J. Weber Gets 10-Year Term,” Toronto Star. February 5, 1919. Page 04.

Sentence Read Before Battalion at Exhibition Camp To-day.

Standing before his regiment in hollow square and apparently indifferent to his fate, Elmer J. Weber, son of Reever Weber, of Neustadt, Ont., was at the Exhibition Camp today sentenced to ten years servitude on a charge of desertion.

The original sentence passed by the court-martial which took place two weeks ago was fifteen years, but this was reduced by order-in-Council. The sentence was read by Capt. R. A. Plato, Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, to which the prisoner belonged. Weber took his sentence without a quiver, and now waits at the Exhibition detention room for the escort to take film to Kingston Penitentiary.

The following is a certified copy of a report of the Committee of the Privcy Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor-General on the 30th January, 1919:

‘The Committee of the Privy Council have had before them a report, dated 27th January, 1919, from the Minister of Militiar and Defence, stating that before a general court-martial held at Torontoon the 14th day of January, 1919, No. 3810998 Private Elmer Joseph Weber, 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, was tried on the charge of having, when on active service, deserted His Majesty’s service.

Was Flagrant Breach of M.S.A.
‘It appeared from the evidence that this was a particularly flagrant case. The accused lived in a German settlement, and his whole course of conduct from the time the Military Service Act went into operation, indicated determination to evade the military service. He applied for exemption, which was disallowed and appealed. His father, who was in business, with the accused and one other son, got up petitions for his exemption, and under threat of boycott, induced manufacturing firms with which he was dealing, to write to the Military Service authorities on behalf of his son. When exemption was refused, money was furnished the accused whereby he went West and lived there for a long time under an assumed name. He was finally apprehended in the Province of Saaskatchewan. It was clear from the evidence that the accused and his family were the centre of a disloyal German community, and it was a clear case of deliberate desertion. The evidence brought forward on behalf of the accused did not cast any doubt on the truth of the facts above enumerated.’

Reduce Sentence.
‘The court found the accused guilty of the charge, and sentenced him to undergo penal servitude for fifteen years.

‘The Judge-Advocate-General reports that the proceedings are regular, the finding properly made and the sentence authorized by law, and Militia Council is of the opinion that the finding and sentence should be confirmed.

‘The Minister, therefore, recommends accordingly.

‘The committee concur in the foregoing, recommendation, subject to the reduction of the sentence to ten years and submit the same for approval.’

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“Contends Draftee Planned Desertion,” Toronto Star. January 16, 1919. Page 02.

Judge-Advocate Sums Up Case of E. J. Weber Before Court-Martial.

The trial before a general court-martial of Elmer Joseph Weber, son of Joseph Weber, Reeve of Neustadt, charged with desertion from the Canadian forces, was concluded at noon to-day at the Armories, after lasting two days and a half.

Lieut.-Col. J. A. Macdonald, K.C., Assistant Judge Advocate-General of the Toronto Military District, closed the case by reading his charge to the court. His summing up of the case lasted three-quarters of an hour and then the court reserved their judgement. The finding will be sent to Ottawa for decision and if sentence is imposed it will be promulgated later at Toronto.

Lieut.-Col. Macdonald said that Weber was charged with desertion while on active service. ‘This man is charged with being a member of the 2nd C.O.R. and as a soldier was subject to military law, and while on active service deserted His Majesty’s forces. He was a soldier subject to military law from the date of the proclamation of the M.S.A. in October, 1917, but was on leave of absence without pay, according to the Act.’

Regarding Weber’s application for exemption, Lieut.-Col. Macdonald said Weber’s record as a soldier was unbroken under the M.S.A. regulations.

‘Therefore it appears by the M.S.A. that the accused was a duly enlisted solider subject to military law.’

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“Father Bought Farm To Let Son Evade Act,” Toronto Star. January 15, 1919. Page 05.

Reeve’s Son Was Draftee, But He Was Not Anxious to Fight.

DESERTION CHARGED

Bruce County Man Faces General Court-Martial at the Armories.

Joseph Weber, father of the prisoner, was recalled at the resumption of the court-martial yesterday afternoon, of Elmer J. Weber, charged with desertion after being ordered to report.

‘Do you recollect a notice being sent to your son to report for duty?’ asked Lt.-Col. Biggs, a member of the court.

‘Yes. It was expected. It did not cause any excitement,’ said Mr. Weber.

‘Were you at home when he left?’

‘Yes. There was no reference made as to his journey.’

‘Did you ever encourage your two boys to enlist during the long period of war?’ asked Lt.-Col. Butcher.

‘I did not want them enlist, but I did not say one way or another.’

‘Isn’t that the reason you bought the farm?’

‘Yes – so they wouldn’t have to enlist.’

‘Did you do anything for your son to evade the act?’

‘No.’

Didn’t Want Sons to Enlist
‘Don’t you think, like every loyal and patriotic citizen, you should have seen that one of our sons enlisted?’ asked Lieut.-Col. Butcher, president of the court. 

‘I did not persuade him to enlist,’ stated Mr. Weber.

‘Were your sympathies against your sons aiding in the cause?’

‘The stand I took I did not persuade them to enlist or not to enlist.’

‘Where were you born?’

‘In Bruce County.’

‘We are not trying Mr. Weber, senior,’ broke in Mr. O’Connell, counsel for prisoner.

‘That’s right; I am not being tried,’ said Mr. Weber.

‘Despite all the efforts you made to prevent him from enlisting, such as buying the farm, you say your intentions were not opposed to the boy enlisting?’ asked Lieut.-Col. Macdonald.

‘I did not do anything to prevent him,’ stated Mr. Weber.

Arthur Mutton, of Mitchell, Ont., salesman for the Maxwell Limited, agricultural implements, of St. Marys, Ont. In his visits to Weber’s store, Mr. Mutton said the language among the customers was generally carried on in German.

Were Talking German
‘Was there anything else said?’ ‘I don’t know, they were mostly talking in German.’

‘How is it that you came to contain this in your mind ever since?’ ‘It was implanted there – I could not forget i. I reported it to the authorities,’ said Mr. Mutton.

Mr. Mutton stated he believed that the Weber family enjoyed a respectable reputation at Neustadt.

‘Do you know what official position the father occupied in the village?’

‘Reeve, I believe,’ stated Mr. Mutton.

‘When did you learn they were Germans?’ – ‘The first time I met them.’

Wrote Letter to Firms
In a letter to Maxwells, Limited, Mr. Joseph Weber said in part: ‘All I ask of you is to state that Elmer Weber and Wilfred Weber’s present occupation in taking care of the farmer’s requirements is indispensable, and that you d not make this statement for personal gain, but knowing their need and ability you feel confident that their service in present occupation is of more benefit to the country than serving in uniform for the country’s cause, and trusting you will see your way clear to do me this personal favor. P.S. – You can ship me a 2 1-4 horse-power engine at once, providing you will assist me in obtaining this business; if not, you need not send same at all.’

Wm. I. Newmarsh, traveler for the Canada Cement Co, of Toronto, stated that Mr. Joseph Weber, in the presence of Elmer Weber, the prisoner, said that in October, 1917, just after the M.S.A. became law. ‘I would like to see who would come to take my sons; he would shoot the _____. He said his two sons would not register under the Military Service Act.’

‘I met Mr. Weber and his son in the store; others were present, and they were talking in the German language.’

‘I submit to the court that there has not been any case made out under the charge,’ stated Mr. O’Connell, after the Crown closed their case, in addressing the court.

Robert H. Fortune, of the members of the M.S.A. tribunal at Ayton, was called by the defence. Mr. Fortune said the prisoner was granted exemption.

When Mr. O’Connell produced the certificate of exemption Mr. Davidson objected, stating the appeal had been disallowed by Justice Duff.

Mr. O’Connell said he produced the certificate to show that Weber thought he had permanent exemption and he had no intention of deserting.

The court was adjourned till 10 o’clock to-day.

The cartoon at top is At The Weber Court Martial at the Armories.

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