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I am attaching a photo of a Record of the Declaration of a Court of Inquiry in relation to a soldier I am researching. Does anyone know if it's possible to find out more - the document doesn't give any explanation regarding his disappearance or what punishment he might have received. Would he have been given the opportunity to give an account of his reasons? Would that sort of information have been documented and kept? If so, any idea of where I could look? I know he was in France in July 1916 and received a commission in the Border Regiment in August 1917, so clearly didn't desert completely. Many thanks.post-10769-0-52393700-1407426726_thumb.j

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I assumed Portobello to be the district of Edinburgh but can anyone confirm this? Also I am unsure as to the meaning of the phrase 'not deficient of any article of kit'. Can anyone clarify? Thanks again.

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Hi,

Long Long Trail says 3rd KOSB were in Edinburgh in 1916 so it is likely location is Portobello, Edinburgh ( there was a Portobello Barracks in Dublin).

When his absence was discoverd no doubt his "bed space"in the barrack room was searched and all his kit was found to be in order.

You often find witness statements with this document - usually brief statements of fact.

Is there any more information in his officers file at Kew?

Steve Y

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Thanks Steve. I've had a look through his papers and on 4th Feb 1916 he was confirmed in the rank of Corporal in the 6th KOSB (Army form B213). So this would literally be just 2 days after the Declaration of the Court of Inquiry. Is it likely that whoever promoted him wouldn't have know about the AWOL? Does the date of 2nd Feb relate solely to the date of the Declaration of the Court of Inquiry that rather than the date of his appearance before them?

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Hi,

He didn't appear personally before the Court of Inquiry - he was still AWOL as far as 3rd KOSB were concerned!

What do his papers say about the period he was allegedly AWOL?

Posting to 3rd Reserve (Depot?) Battalion suggests a holding posting after injury/wound/sickness?

Not having seen the papers but could it all be a "mountain out of a molehill" where he has been posted to 6th KOSB but 3rd KOSB not aware?

Steve

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Not having seen the papers but could it all be a "mountain out of a molehill" where he has been posted to 6th KOSB but 3rd KOSB not aware?

It's a possible - I have a man who was declared to have deserted at a court of inquiry. No one seems to have updated the 2nd line roll to show that he had in fact shipped out to France a few days earlier with the 1st line.

Craig

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From what I can gather he was in France.

Embarked May 1915, Aug 1915 Pyrexia, Sept 1915 Influenza, Oct 1915 Admitted 4 S.H. St Omer, later discharged, Nov 1915 appointed paid L/Cpl, Dec 1915 Act Cpl, Feb 1916 confirmed as Cpl, Mar 1916 Admitted 10 S.H. St Omer, later discharged, June 1916 appointed Acting Sergeant, July 1916, appointed A/c QMS [???], admitted GSW back, wounded in action, admitted 9 GH Rouen GSW back, to UK ext 9 GH Rouen GSW back.

There doesn't appear to be anything between Dec 1915 and Feb 1916 which relates to the AWOL.

I'm assuming that there must have been some kind of misdemeanour for the Court of Inquiry to have been called. Had he been there in person I assume it would have been noted on the document above? I'm trying to place him in London at this time which would now seem unlikely if he was in France. I'm not sure whether it was possible to get home unofficially?

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Hi,

If there is nothing on his statement of service showing he had been posted to 3rd Reserve KOSB at the relevant time I would suggest it is a clerical error and he had been " lost or misplaced" by the Regiment!

Regards

Steve Y

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Thanks Steve Y but how disappointing if that's all it turns out to be! So I take it there would be no other documentation kept regarding a Court of Inquiry - or is what appears in this soldier's records just a summary of something larger which would have been stored elsewhere?

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Hi,

On the few similar reports I've come across in other service files the "evidence" is usually 2 or 3 short statements on oath -

1. Cpl/Sgt stating soldier was absent when roll called and hasn't been since.

2. Sometimes statement from last soldier (whatever rank) who actually saw him.

3. Sgt stating soldiers kit in order or items missing (usually items soldier was wearing).

Regards

Steve Y

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Hi,

On the few similar reports I've come across in other service files the "evidence" is usually 2 or 3 short statements on oath -

1. Cpl/Sgt stating soldier was absent when roll called and hasn't been since.

2. Sometimes statement from last soldier (whatever rank) who actually saw him.

3. Sgt stating soldiers kit in order or items missing (usually items soldier was wearing).

Regards

Steve Y

Same on the one's I've seen.

Craig

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So it's likely the only documentation in existence concerning this soldier's AWOL will be the image above, which unfortunately doesn't really tell you very much. I'd hoped there might be the court's own records housed somewhere which could be checked.

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I'd hoped there might be the court's own records housed somewhere which could be checked.

I'd guess that these were held by the battalions and then most likely later scrapped (other than the copy lodged in the service records).

Craig

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  • 6 years later...

Thanks again for linking.   It now seems that Archie isn't my unknown soldier given the photo I was sent but it would have been interesting to discover why he went AWOL.   Alas, that doesn't seem possible now.   Thanks for everyone's comments.

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