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walter tull bbc east 22.3.18 6.30pm

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voltaire60

1) May not be in MML but  he Army has an Advocate General's department for such paperwork. Tull's application for officer is signed off by 3 different  persons-as his CO, Lt Colonel Haig-Brown was involved in cadet training before 23rd Middlesex, is it safe to presume that he knew what he was doing?

 

2) A paradox and an irony in this (can we mix the 2?)- If Tull was an "alien", then he was the "victim" of POSITIVE discrimination-if rules were bent or broken to get him a commission. Just a thought-unlikely but if,as the Vasili lobby claim, he was ineligible, then he could only have been commissioned by the conscious actions of the entire Army chain of commission processing .

Unlikely.  By implication, there is one other document that is missiing- gone up with his original officer file. That is the  cadet OC's confidential assessment. 

   

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Moonraker

Hasn't this thread established that Tull was NOT an alien - and that there was no legal reason for him to be refused a commission because he was black?

 

(Perhaps my questions should be treated as rhetorical, rather than us going off in a circular direction.)

 

I admit to twitching when the thread - yet another on Walter - was started, but it has produced some new thoughts and clarified certain facts about which I was uncertain.

 

Moonraker

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voltaire60
12 minutes ago, Moonraker said:

Hasn't this thread established that Tull was NOT an alien - and that there was no legal reason for him to be refused a commission because he was black?

 

(Perhaps my questions should be treated as rhetorical, rather than us going off in a circular direction.)

 

I admit to twitching when the thread - yet another on Walter - was started, but it has produced some new thoughts and clarified certain facts about which I was uncertain.

 

Moonraker

 

   I am with you on this MR- exasperation can easily set in. But I think it is clear that Mr. Vasili has been-how can we put it politely...  a little liberal with the veracity of his sources.  If  Mr. Vasili is challenged as to the veracity of what he says, then it is incumbent that the challenge is founded on absolute fact and correct record. Yes, it's boring but assumptions, even of the relatively obvious, may leave others with a wriggle-room which they should not have.

    Interestingly, I looked up the previous edition of MML- 1907. Again, British subject,even naturalised, has full equality for the army. What was a suprise was that the Aliens Act 1905 (the one that restricted Jewish migration from eastern Europe) does not define "Alien" at all. Which suggets there is a standard definition elsewhere before 1914.

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ss002d6252
21 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

 

   I am with you on this MR- exasperation can easily set in. But I think it is clear that Mr. Vasili has been-how can we put it politely...  a little liberal with the veracity of his sources.  If  Mr. Vasili is challenged as to the veracity of what he says, then it is incumbent that the challenge is founded on absolute fact and correct record. Yes, it's boring but assumptions, even of the relatively obvious, may leave others with a wriggle-room which they should not have.

    Interestingly, I looked up the previous edition of MML- 1907. Again, British subject,even naturalised, has full equality for the army. What was a suprise was that the Aliens Act 1905 (the one that restricted Jewish migration from eastern Europe) does not define "Alien" at all. Which suggets there is a standard definition elsewhere before 1914.


In the 1914 act there is a definition in s27(1) - I had looked only at the modern convention of definitions at the start - which provides "The expression " alien " means a person who is not a British subject: "

 

Having looked through what I can across the 19th C it appears that there may not have been a legislative definition of Alien - rather it appears that it was simply the common law definition (of anyone we hadn't let in to His/Her Majesty's club :ph34r:) and it only became expressly defined in the 1914 act.

Craig

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David Filsell

A lot of heat and a deal of information collected here.

Delighted the thread has be handled with rather more understanding by the mods that they were when I was binned for accusing them of increasing censorship in a harmless discussion (Of course this comment may get me binned again.)

That said, having just received a very poor book on Walter Tull for review,  I was surprised to see no less than five others listed on Amazon. Perhaps soon  a film, the musical and the Oscars - none of the last three of course needing to stick to the facts of the case. 

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Moonraker
18 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

... Perhaps soon  a film ...

Well, there's been "Walter's War", a "TV drama" - "the substantially true story" -  with a fictitious romance.

 

I don't know what the status of
 

this film

 

is.

 

The production company  was founded by none other than Phil Vasili.

 

Moonraker

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voltaire60

   I have had a perusal of  the first edition of "Walter Tull" by Paul Vasili this afternoon. 99% waffle.

In particular-

1)colour bar

  

p,164- has the wrong references to MML as corrected above

 

p.169.  Mr. Vasili refers to page 198 and page 471 of MML, 1914 edition.   stating  that men such as Tull -then his quote "who were categorized as aliens, "negroes and persons of colour".     His use of speech marks ("negroes and persons of colour" is unsourced and is juxtaposed next to the word aliens, implying this was what MML says and used those terms. It does NOT do so at either  page reference given

2)  MID trench raid?

 

        Mr. Vasili identifies this as  taking place across the night of 1/2nd January 1918 across the River Piave against the Austrian lines. At page 180 he quotes the supposed MID as being the words of Major General Sir Sydney Lawford, OC 41st Division:

  " I wish to place on record my appreciation of your gallantry and coolness. You were one of the first to cross the river prior tot he raid on 1/2 Jan 1918 & during that raid you took the covering party of the main body across and brought them back without a casualty in spite of heavy fire"

     Mr. Vasili does not give the source of this  reference, whether it is a part or whether it is quoted in full. The footnote reference to it,when checked, merely says "Finlayson Family Papers"  It appears NOT to be a record of a MID

 

      Mr. Vasili writes at p.181  para 3 "It is probable that it was to the 1st January mission that Major Poole and 2nd Lieutenant Prichard were referring when they informed Edward [Tull's brother and NOK-my parentheses]  that his brother had been recommended for the Military Cross."

    Thus, Mr. Vasili is well aware that there is only ONE action in question for recognition of gallantry- that of 1/2 January 1918- ergo, MID and MC suggestions are to the same action.

 

DIVISIONAL COMMANDER' S  LETTER OF COMMENDATION

From November 1917 to March 1918, Tull's battalion were in Italy.There is reference to this raid in the War Diary of the 23rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, a copy of which is held at the National Army Museum. He led 26 men on the raid across the Piave on 1 January 1918, into enemy territory and returned them unharmed. This night raid was also mentioned in a Divisional Commander's letter of commendation, a very common form of correspondence. After Tull was killed, a fellow officer, 2nd Lt Pickh..

 

   Taken from a contribution to "Lives of the First World War" from the IWM- the contributor is named but I refrain from publishing that name here.

 

        Just what was a Divisional Commander's letter of commendation????      Any more information out there about them. Printed? Typed letter (topped and tailed?).  Handwritten?

      It would have been better had Mr. Vasili reproduced the whole document on which Major General Lawford's "commendation/MID"- I am beginning to suspect that it is a letter of commendation as the contributor on "Lives" said.

 

 

Questions: 2 come to mind

 

a)   Nature of divisional commander's commendation?  Any others known from this raid or similar from Lawford or any other officer during the war. As I say, personally I have never seen one.

     Those of "my" local officers I have looked at would usually have been fully aware that a recommendation for MC had gone forward-or,indeed, be aware that it was on it's way or already have it. -Tull was killed some 11 weeks after the Piave raid. To me it looks like a lleter of commendation is what the recommendation eventaully came out as. 

 

ii) If an MC or MID award was a bit livelier  as the norm, then it raises the intriguing question that it is possible that Tull did  perform ANOTHER act of gallantry, closer in time to his death-and that this is what the Pickford letter alludes.  Not likely but just possible

 

 

    (There is no trace in Mr. Vasili's book, either by quote or reproduction of the other letter posthumously sent by a Major Poole)

 

 

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ss002d6252
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

   I have had a perusal of  the first edition of "Walter Tull" by Paul Vasili this afternoon. 99% waffle.

In particular-

1)colour bar

  

p,164- has the wrong references to MML as corrected above

 

p.169.  Mr. Vasili refers to page 198 and page 471 of MML, 1914 edition.   stating  that men such as Tull -then his quote "who were categorized as aliens, "negroes and persons of colour".     His use of speech marks ("negroes and persons of colour" is unsourced and is juxtaposed next to the word aliens, implying this was what MML says and used those terms. It does NOT do so at either  page reference given

2)  MID trench raid?

 

        Mr. Vasili identifies this as  taking place across the night of 1/2nd January 1918 across the River Piave against the Austrian lines. At page 180 he quotes the supposed MID as being the words of Major General Sir Sydney Lawford, OC 41st Division:

  " I wish to place on record my appreciation of your gallantry and coolness. You were one of the first to cross the river prior tot he raid on 1/2 Jan 1918 & during that raid you took the covering party of the main body across and brought them back without a casualty in spite of heavy fire"

     Mr. Vasili does not give the source of this  reference, whether it is a part or whether it is quoted in full. The footnote reference to it,when checked, merely says "Finlayson Family Papers"  It appears NOT to be a record of a MID

 

      Mr. Vasili writes at p.181  para 3 "It is probable that it was to the 1st January mission that Major Poole and 2nd Lieutenant Prichard were referring when they informed Edward [Tull's brother and NOK-my parentheses]  that his brother had been recommended for the Military Cross."

    Thus, Mr. Vasili is well aware that there is only ONE action in question for recognition of gallantry- that of 1/2 January 1918- ergo, MID and MC suggestions are to the same action.

 

DIVISIONAL COMMANDER' S  LETTER OF COMMENDATION

From November 1917 to March 1918, Tull's battalion were in Italy.There is reference to this raid in the War Diary of the 23rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, a copy of which is held at the National Army Museum. He led 26 men on the raid across the Piave on 1 January 1918, into enemy territory and returned them unharmed. This night raid was also mentioned in a Divisional Commander's letter of commendation, a very common form of correspondence. After Tull was killed, a fellow officer, 2nd Lt Pickh..

 

   Taken from a contribution to "Lives of the First World War" from the IWM- the contributor is named but I refrain from publishing that name here.

 

        Just what was a Divisional Commander's letter of commendation????      Any more information out there about them. Printed? Typed letter (topped and tailed?).  Handwritten?

      It would have been better had Mr. Vasili reproduced the whole document on which Major General Lawford's "commendation/MID"- I am beginning to suspect that it is a letter of commendation as the contributor on "Lives" said.

 

 

Questions: 2 come to mind

 

a)   Nature of divisional commander's commendation?  Any others known from this raid or similar from Lawford or any other officer during the war. As I say, personally I have never seen one.

     Those of "my" local officers I have looked at would usually have been fully aware that a recommendation for MC had gone forward-or,indeed, be aware that it was on it's way or already have it. -Tull was killed some 11 weeks after the Piave raid. To me it looks like a lleter of commendation is what the recommendation eventaully came out as. 

 

ii) If an MC or MID award was a bit livelier  as the norm, then it raises the intriguing question that it is possible that Tull did  perform ANOTHER act of gallantry, closer in time to his death-and that this is what the Pickford letter alludes.  Not likely but just possible

 

 

    (There is no trace in Mr. Vasili's book, either by quote or reproduction of the other letter posthumously sent by a Major Poole)

 

 

Divisional awards do not seem to be too uncommon (I have heard them mentioned here before), they often seem to have been given out where the recommendation for a formal award either wasn't made or had failed to be authorised. They were sometimes made by way of a sort of thank you card but it was up to each division.

 

Edit: Example of one

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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AndyJohnson
Posted (edited)

Here is a Divisional Card from Major General Matheson of 4th Division to Tipton man Jack Butler. He was also awarded the MM in October 1917.

https://www.tiptonremembers.net/index.php/butler-jack

Andy

 

 

image.png.4f810654fea10cbfb48ac8efb7d9e0e9.png

Edited by AndyJohnson

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David Filsell

I have no wish to dishonnour any soldier, but I noted in passing the other day in the press that Walter Tull was claimed to be an England International footballer.  Is this true. I certainly do not recall mention of this 'fact' in the poor biography I have just read! Happy to be put right.

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ss002d6252
4 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

I have no wish to dishonnour any soldier, but I noted in passing the other day in the press that Walter Tull was claimed to be an England International footballer.  Is this true. I certainly do not recall mention of this 'fact' in the poor biography I have just read! Happy to be put right.

As far as I know he was not an international player.

Craig

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Mark1959

Cannot resist posting. In The Times “Diary” this morning there was a snippet that amused me. It’s about David Lammy and given his comments on this issue thought you would see the funny side. Part of the article states when asked on Celebrity Mastermind who succeeded Henry VIII he replied Henry VII. 

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GrenPen
On 06/04/2018 at 18:16, David Filsell said:

I have no wish to dishonnour any soldier, but I noted in passing the other day in the press that Walter Tull was claimed to be an England International footballer.  Is this true. I certainly do not recall mention of this 'fact' in the poor biography I have just read! Happy to be put right.

 

He was English, and he went on an overseas tour with Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 1909 to Latin America, playing clubs in Argentina and Uruguay. Lazy journalism could result in refusing to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story, resulting in him being reported as "an England International footballer."  

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David Filsell

GP,

Thanks. Played internationally - but not an international. Seems clear to me.

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