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“Two Youths Surrender,” Toronto Globe. March 12, 1919. Page 05.

George and Tony Barberich Act on Advice of Their Friends

REMANDED FOR A WEEK

Will Face Charge of Desertion, Also That of Attempted Murder

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 11. – While a great deal of excitement still prevails in New Germany and the country surrounding it because of the raid by the Dominion Police on Sunday morning, the residents are breathing a little more easily today. The chief cause of all the trouble on Sunday morning, and who managed to make a successful escape into the bush, came into the city and gave themselves up to the local police. They were very promptly locked up and will be kept under close surveillance until the charges against them have been finally disposed of.

Friends Advised Surrender.
The chief factor in their decision to surrender themselves was the arrest yesterday afternoon of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barberich, the parents. When they were brought to the city their friends realized that the Dominion Police meant business, and, following an interview with them, it was decided to go back home, and if possible, find the fugtives and advise them that the best thing they could do would be to give themselves up to the officers of the law. There was no difficulty experienced in locating them. When they were arraigned in the Police Court they looked as though they had slept out in the bushes for some time, as their appearance was very unkempt.

Only Themselves to Blame.
George was charged with being a deserter under the Military Service Act, in that he did not report for military duty when ordered to do so. He did not appear to understand what was being said to him, but a plea of not guilty was entered, and Sergt. Wilson of the Dominion Police asked that the case be adjourned. Anthony Barberich was charged with the same offence as his brother. He also pleaded not guilty, and his case went over until to-morrow. To those who were present in the court-room it was apparent that neither one of these young men would have succeeded in passing a Medical Board even if they had reported, so that the trouble they are now in they have only themselves to blame for.

Whole Family Arraigned.
This afternoon Inspector Lane and Inspector Duncan came down from London, and the whole Barberich family were again arraigned before the Magistrate. The charge against the parents was that of harboring deserters under the Military Service Act. They were not asked to plead, but will be remanded for a week, cash bail of $5000 for each being deposited for their appearance. George and Tony were charged with being deserters, and Inspector Duncan asked that they, too, be remanded for a week, but the Magistrate ordered that they be kept in jail.

Real Deserter Surrenders.
When the Barberichs drove up to the Police Station they were accompanied by Joseph Bruder, also of New Germany. He is accused of being a real deserter. He did report for military service at London last fall, and was a member of the Western Ontario Regiment. He was given a short leave of absence on October 26, but as he did not return inside of 21 days he became a defaulter. He also gave himself up, and will be turned over to the military authorities at London, and will no doubt be brought before a court martial. An escort will come here for him to-morrow.

Charge of Attempted Murder.
In addition to the charge against the Barberichs’ for desertion. Constable Huber of Kitchener arrived in the city armed with a warrant for George and Tony on a charge of attempted murder. New Germany is in Waterloo county, and as the shooting too place in it, and is an indictable offense, this charge will have to be tried at Kitchener. However the authorities there will have to wait until the military authorities are through before the warrants can be executed.

Constable Geggin, the member of the Dominion Police who was severely wounded on Sunday, is doing well at the General Hospital.

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“Police Beaten By Absentees,” Toronto Globe. March 10, 1919. Page 01 & 02.

One Constable Shot Down in Desperate Fight at New Germany

TWO YOUNG MEN ESCAPE

Officials Are Determined to Apprehend All M.S.A. Defaulters

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 9. – There is ample evidence that there are a large number of Germans still in Canada who remain yet undefeated. This fact can be proven by Inspector Wm. Lane of the Dominion Military Police, and the squad of men he took with him out to the village of New Germany, a small German settlement about nine miles from Guelph, and about the same distance from Kitchener, early this morning. As the result of this trip one of the Dominion Police constables, Geggin by name, is in the General Hospital here suffering from a severe wound on the top of the head, while some of the others are badly used up.

Police Come Out Second Best.
From the accounts of the attempt to arrest a number of young men who are alleged to be Group Two absentees under the Military Service Act, there was a regular pitched battle fought in this quiet country district just as the day was about to dawn, the result of which was that the police came off second best, with one casualty. It appears that there have been previous attempts to round up these young fellows who absolutely ignored the terms of the Military Service Act, in declining to report for medical examination when ordered to do so, but very little success has been achieved. The police, however, were not to be outdone, and they planned a raid on a fairly large scale, but the details were kept a secret, and on Saturday the local Military Police were reinforced by a number of men sent down from London by the Provost Marshal.

Little Trouble at Hummell’s
The weather was just about the stormiest of the whole winter, and the snow was almost a foot deep, when four autos with three men and a driver in each one sallied forth at 4.30 o’clock this morning on their mission. Two of the cars went direct to New Germany, while the others went on farther to St. Agatha, St. Jacob’s and the disctrict in the vicinity of Kitchener. It was the first two crews which met with resistance. They drove direct to the home of Joseph Hummell, situated just on the edge of the village of New Germany. Here they did not have much difficulty, although the police had to make threat before their parties gave up. They placed under arrest Joseph Hummell, his son, Charles, and Linns Zinger, his son-in-law, the latter having only just recently been married, and these are in the police cells here to-night.

Hot Reception by Mrs. Berbluch
From the Hummelt home the police drove about half a miler farther to the Berbluch farm house. Here they were after Tony and George Berbluch, two young men of whom it has been said they would never be taken, and so far they have made good in this respect. It was shortly after 5 o’clock when they arrived, and Constable Geggin, who was armed with the necessary papers which entitled him to make a search of the house, went to the front door and rapped. His companions were close behind him. There was no response to the knock, and as the door was unlocked the officers unceremoniously walked in. They were heard Mrs. Berbluch, a woman who is above the average size, and she gave the men a decidedly hot reception. She was in her nightclothes, but she lost no time in calling them robbers and other names, which would not look good in print, and produced a copy of a newspaper which declared that the armistice had signed and the war was over.

This kind of argument had no effect on the men, however, who proceeded to do their duty. They started to find the door leading to the stairway, but Mrs. Berbluch slammed that shut, and when one of the men attempted to force her away she doused him with the liquid contents of a vessel, which temporarily caused his retreat.

Constable Shot Down.
However, the door was forced open and Constable Geggin, closely followed by Constable Forsythe, started to go upstairs. The noise which had been made downstairs, however, had been heard by Tony and George upstairs, and they were prepared for emergencies. When Geggin gout about half way up he saw of the boys standing at the top with a rifle in his hands aimed directly at him, and then followed a report. Geggin fell backwards with a wound in the forehead, and as he fell carried Forsythe with him. In the meantime Constable Gowdy, Inspector Lane and the other officers were taking care of the others in the house, Berbluch Senior being kept in bed. Geggin was so severely wounded that he had to be cared for at once, and he was assisted out to the car, which was some fifty yards away.

Young Men Escape.
After he had been put into the car, Inspector Lane saw one of the Berbluch boys fire a rifle at it, but the bullet went wild, and it was then seen that both of the Berbluchs had made their way safely out of the hoyse. They started to run across a big field with several of the police after them, and rifle and pistol shots were exchanged, but no person was hit. The fugitives made directly for the bush, and as another member of the police became exhausted, it was considered unwise to pursue them into the bush which they knew so well. The officers made their way back through the snow to their cars, and as they did so saw the father sitting on the front doorstep with a rifle in his hands. There was no further trouble, however, the police hurried back to the city with Geggin, as his wound was a severe one. At the hospital it required eight stitches to close it, and tonight a special nurse was required to watch him.

Police Are Determined.
Late to-night the Berbiuch boys are still a large, but the police determined to apprehend them, and it is also possible that the father and mother may be arrested. It is rumored that some of their friends have endeavored to persuade them to give themselves up.

The cars which went to St. Agatha did not get back until 5.30 to-night, and they brought along one prisoner, Anthony Rumig of Jordansburg. The news of the trouble at New Germany spread around the country like wildfire, and the greatest excitement prevails. There are still a large number of young men in this district who have evaded the M.S.A., and the authorities are going right out after them.

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“Fred Whissel Gets Four Years With Hard Labor,” Subdury Star. December 21, 1918. Page 09.

Conviction of Defaulter Ends an Interesting Case.

Four years in Kingston penitentiary, with hard labor, was the punishment meted out by Magistrate Brodie Thursday afternoon to Fred Whissel, who pleaded guilty to being a defaulter under the Military Service Act.

Whissel, at the Assize Court three weeks ago, was acquitted by a jury of a charge of shooting with attempt to murder Dominion Police Officer McLeod, while the latter was seeking to place him in custody as a defaulter. Two days after the trial, accused was re-arrested by order of the military authorities at Toronto, the charge of being a deserter from His Majesty’s forces being preferred against him, which was later amended to that of being a defaulter. On account of the special and peculiar circumstances in connection with the case, extraordinary interest had been aroused.

Attorney General Acts
The Crown, during the trial on Thursday, was represented by N. F. Davidson, K.C. of Toronto, who was detailed by the Attorney General of the Province. Major Sharpe, representing the authorities of military district No. 2, Toronto, was also present at the trial and assisted the Crown counsel. Although the accused pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him, the Crown, for the purpose of acquainting Magistrate Brodie with the facts with the facts in connection with the case, put former Inspector Tomlinson, Provincial Police Inspector A. E. Storie, and Joseph Whissel, brother of the accused, on the witness stand. The evidence given in each case was a repetition of that given at the Assize Court.

A Flagrant Case
In asking for a maximum sentence to be passed on the accused, Crown prosecutor N. F. Davidson outlined the history of the case, declaring it to be in the opinion of the Attorney General who was particularly interested in it, one of the most flagrant attempts to oppose the operation of the Military Service Act. It was because of the peculiar circumstances of the case, which included the failure of accused to make any attempt to comply with the law which he knew well, the fact that he left the country for the United States when he knew that conscription was coming in Canada, and the fact of the shooting of the Dominion officer who sought to arrest him, that the Attorney General desired and pressed for a maximum sentence. Mr. Davidson pointed out that the night of the shooting, April 12th, was the very date in which Marshal Haig had announced to the world that the British Army was fighting with its back to the wall, seeking with all possible skill and courage to withstand the onslaughts of the German offensive. Here was a man who cared nothing whether the allies won or lost, who openly defied the law, and in addition sought to shoot its officers.

No Ordinary Defaulter
In passing sentence Magistrate Brodie stated that the case of Whissel was unique, and that he did not consider him an ordinary defaulter. There were hundreds of cases of defaulters similar to that of accused, but only up to a certain point. Reviewing certain points in the plea of J.S. McKessock for his client, Magistrate Brodie pointed out that the fact that accused considered himself physically unfit for military service was all the more reason why he should have reported in compliance with the proclamation under the M.S.A.. His Worship stated that when the officers went to arrest him as a law breaker, he took the law in his own hands and it was fortunate indeed that the officer fired at was not killed, else a more serious charge might have been preferred. Magistrate Brodie stated that he could not find one extenuating circumstance in connection with the case of accused. He had defied the law as long as he could, and had become a fugitive from justice. From the plight he now found himself in he alone was to blame. The court told accused that it was fortunate for him that he was not being tried by a military tribunal, for in cases not as bad as his men been given life sentences. In one case a man was given a ling sentence for being absent from leave for 21 days. He had done no shooting, but simply defied the law of the army. Magistrate Brodie pointed out that officers of the law must be protected, else the whole fabric of that law would fall to the ground. A severe sentence was necessary in this case on account of its special circumstances, and as a warning to others who were tempted to take the law in their own hands and openly defy its officers. The court expressed the hope that accused would learn a lesson and that during his imprisonment would behave himself so that his term might be shortened through the intervention of the department of justice on his behalf.

The Appeal of Counsel
Mr. J.S. McKessock appeared for the accused, and sought to have a light senetnce passed on the ground that his client was not physically fit for military service, so that he would not, even if he had reported, been accepted by the military authorities, also on the ground that he had already spent nine months in jail. On this point, the Crown prosecutor did not agree, claiming that accused has spent but two weeks in jail on the present charge. This contention was upheld by the Magistrate.

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“Fred Whissel Re-Arrested As A Deserter,” Sudbury Star. Deember 11, 1918. Page 01.

Military Police Takes Action; To Be Tried Here.

Fred Whissel, acquitted last week at the Assize Court of shooting with intent to murder Dominion Police Officer McLeod, while the latter was seeking to arrest him as a defaulter under the Military Service Act, has been re-arrested on a charge of being a deserter from the Canadian Overseas forces.

Military Authorities Act.
The arrest was made by virtue of a warrant issued by Police Magistrate Brodie, acting on instructions from Major Sharpe, representing the military authorities of Military District No. 2, Toronto. It is alleged that Whissel is a deserter on account of failing to comply with an order from the Ontario registrar to report for military service. The case, which will be tried by the civil authorities, was called in police court on Tuesday, and was remanded until Thursday, December 17. Whissel is now in the district jail awaiting his trial.

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