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Looked up the officer file for Annandale for another Forum member-results summary below. I am aware that Crozier was involved in what happened to Annandale. Can Forum colleagues please fill in the rest of the story?

   The Court Martial sheet in his file is enigmatic. The Court Martial recommended him to mercy. Did Crozier play a part in this???   But the sentence was Not Confirmed by the AG in London-again,was this Crozier's intercession or was the AG acting against Crozier???   Also, does the "Not Confirmed" overturn the sentence or the sentence and the recommendation to mercy??  Just a thought.

   Reading between the lines, I would guess that the "discussion" of military matters with his CO that Annandale bolted from was likely to have been a sever dressing down and that the Court Martial is being economical with the truth


ARTHUR JAMES ANNANDALE                    OFFICER FILE: WO 339.14160       


 The file contains 2 previous dockets, the first relating to his court martial. File was registered  on 30/3/16. Marked “Keep”

   File contains outcome sheet for  Court Martial held on 1st February 1916 on AJA, 9 RIR  at Gen.HQ, 10th Infantry Brigade. Page has registry number  30279/3

CHARGE: Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline

In that he:

      In the fire trenches, when his Commanding Officer was discussing certain Military work with him, left the dug-out in which the discussion was taking place without permission and did not return.


 To be dismissed His Majesty’s Service. Recommendation to Mercy on the ground of the state of his health.

NOT  CONFIRMED.   By AG3 (Name unreadable)  30th March 1916

(AG3 is based at War Office)



Form MT 423. Application for Temporary Commission in  Regular Army

Born 28th March 1892.

Address, The Vale, Polton, Midlothian

Currently serving with 2 Section , 9th Royal Scots, Bruntisfield School, Edinburgh

Had 5 years Cadet OTC at Merchiston Castle School

 2 ½ months in 9 RS as  private.

Endorsed for temp. 2LT  9RIR on 4th December 1914

Good moral character signed off by OC 9RS

Education certificate signed off by R.B.Weller, Headmaster, Merchiston Castle School

Assessed and accepted by  Colonel, 9RIR at Newcastle, 28th November 1914

Medical  examination at Craiglith Military Hospital, Edinburgh, 19th November 1914

13th April 1916. Medical Board Caxton Hall- Unfit for 4 months. Report states that he went to France on 5th October 1915. Mine exploded near him, this being followed by bomb attack. He was not injured or knocked down-Loss of nerve. During service in France (October 1915-February 1916) he was in hospital 4 times. “He is of a neurotic temperament and would probably break down in any severe stress”

Injury-Severe. Not permanent. Unfit for 6 months

(Copy Letter of Board  sent to CO 17 RIR, Ballykinler(?), Co Down, 5th August 1916


14th July 1916. Medcial Board by order, GOC London at Caxton Hall,SW. Board comprised Colonel and Lt.Col.

    Letter enclosed from medical officer at Special Hospital for Officers (Lord Knutsford’s Appeal), Moray Lodge, Campden Hill, dated 12th July 1916.    Had been there for 2 months-very neurasthenic state. “Seems that his temperament is naturally neurotic. Easily fatigued mentally and physically. Seems to require another 2 months leave”

25th July 1916. Letter from AJA=asks for gratuity for loss of sight. Says his left eye is useless.

Confidential medical Board report enclosed says

1)      Myopia was pre-existing. Worn glasses for 14 years.

2) Neurasthenia “undoubtedly existent before his injury as there is evidence that he had “nervous attacks” as a boy”

3) That although not due to military service, both aggravated by shell-shock in December last[1915]

17th August 1916. Medical Board at Military Hospital Edinburgh.  Permanently unfit for any service. Letter from Colonel W.Elliot, Colonel for Military Secretary to GOC France.

“Permanently unfit for General Service”

 Medical Board (by order of GOC France) states

  “He is extremely neurasthenic, speaks with hesitation  and jerkily, has muscular tremors, sleeps badly and has been taking hypnosis for some time.

  He has a considerable degree of myopia in both eyes  and with his present elsnses can only read large type. Right eye 6/18, left eye 6/60, there are no other ophthalmic signs other than those of myopia

   It is not improbable that this officer will ever be fit for any service”

(Signature indistinct, Captain RAMC)

Defect the result of shell-shock



7th September 1916  Letter from AJA . He referes to letter 30279 of 29th August 1916 informing him of his resignation form commission in army “which comes as a very unpleasant surprise to me. As I am well enough for ordinary work would it not be possible for me to do some work on munitions or some services or even my own trade, the motor trade”


(Note- Annandale seems to have fallen foul of “Brass Hat” Crozier. From December 1916 he was assigned,as a 2LT, to RFC at a motor repair depot in Chelsea.   Marriage reported in Flight Global 1917(online).  Divorced on wife’s petition in 1925-file atTNA)

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There is quite a bit about this in "Broken Sword" by Charles Messenger - pages 62 and 63

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GUEST, Thank you very much for posting this information.

These books (probably among others) mention the incident: ‘Broken Sword’ by Charles Messenger as David mentions; Grayson, Richard S., ‘Belfast Boys’; ‘Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale’ by Timothy Bowman, ‘Batman’ by David Starrett and of course ‘A Brass Hat in No-Man’s Land’ by FP Crozier.

I have some information on him in my index https://neillgilhooley.com/9th-royal-scots/index/

Crozier, writing of Annadale as Rochdale: ‘Everything is shaken, including Rochdale’s nerves… Now the trench mortaring is too much for him. He rises pushes past me, bolts down the trench in front of his men as fast as he can go. After daylight he is discovered in a disused French dugout behind the lines, asleep – apparently a deserter’

It seems Crozier was intent on prosecutions.  

The LG references you probably have: 

Second Lieutenant A.J. Annandale dated 28th Nov 14, 9th Battalion (West Belfast), the Royal Irish Rifles, temporary appointment. LG 14 Dec 14

‘R. Ir. Rif. Temp. 2nd Lt. A.J. Annandale relinquishes his commission on account of ill-health. 13 Sept. 1916.’ LG 12 Sep 16

Temp 2/Lt , Gen List, confirmed in rank 2 Apr 17

Gen List, under RFC Equipment Officers Cl.3 14 Mar 17, LG 3 Apr 17

‘2nd Lt A.J. Annandale relinquishes his commn. on account of ill-health contracted on active service, and is granted the hon. rank of 2nd Lt. 30th Nov. 1918.’ LG 29 Nov 18

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Thanks Nick-and Corisande also. The file had me intrigued. And I suspect that more paperwork was generated elsewhere. The court martial page has the reference 30279/3

((The letter informing him of being chucked out of the army  has a similar reference, only /2 at the end). The subject has come up before and it suggests that the Advocate-General may have had a separate series of files which may have long survived the Great War (and may still do so) -and the numbering on the Annandale Court Martial is from this series. (With the caveat that I cannot be sure that AG3 in the file is Advocate General rather than Adjutant General-If I could read the signature,I might be sure-must digitally copy next time and post for suggestions!)

   airhistory.org.  gives several references to him in RFC, beginning in December 1916,so it looks as though  his remonstrations fell on friendly ears somewhere. Or,more likely, that Crozier was perceived as the greater problem.

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Another interesting angle is Major General Nugent calling the 107th Brigade the ill disciplined Belfast boys. Is it any wonder that Four court martials would take place all from the 107th Brigade, two from Major Croizer’s 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Resulting in 3 soldiers shot at Dawn near Mailley Maillet and one Officer getting off on medical grounds. Nugent was a seasoned Officer and his way went, no compromising, maybe just maybe the pressure was building on Percy Croizer from the Divisional Commander about his grip on discipline. 

Another interesting fact is why does the 107th Brigade go to 4th Division from November 1915 to February 1916, did Nugent foresee the issues??? Was the 107th Brigade a burden on his shoulders? 


Great thread 

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In October 1915, when he came out, 9th Royal Scots were in the heavily mined area of Chuignes / Fontaine-lès-Cappy, so he may well have been badly shaken by a mine at this time. They were there until 24 November, and he was comm 28 Nov, so that interval might tie with his first hospital date.

Although the medical boards were convened later it may have been apparent in March 1916 that he was suffering. I understand the CO 9RS, AS Blair, sent a character reference in support of him.

Whether it was Nugent or Crozier is a good question. I don't know much about it but I think 9 RIR were formed from the UVF; and that although Crozier comes across as a hardliner he had a serious change of heart post-war. I'm sure the three of you will know more about it than I. 

Edited by Neill Gilhooley
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His RAF Officer file is online onFmP at click


"Broken Sword" says that Crozier had sent Annandale to Amiens for 10 days previously to get Annandale's gonorrhea treated


And Charles's take on Annandale's Court Martial is that Crozier "later claimed that the Adjutant General's branch at GHQ had tried to "break" him for objecting to Annandale being let off and that he would not have survived without the support of Nugent and Withycombe"

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Neill it must be remembered that mostly the Battalion of the 9th (West Belfast) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was made up from Ulster Volunteers but not entirely. 2nd Lt Arthur Annandale is a prime example that Officers and men came from all over to give them the experience and make up their fighting strength 

Corrisande any chance of viewing this book online? 

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35 minutes ago, corisande said:

Crozier "later claimed that the Adjutant General's branch at GHQ had tried to "break" him

Thank you David

1 minute ago, Ulsterdiv said:

mostly the Battalion of the 9th (West Belfast) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was made up from Ulster Volunteers but not entirely

Good point, thank you.

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This is very interesting how 2nd Lt Arthur Annandale got the support of the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles Commanding Officer Major Percy Croizer and the Brigadier of the 107th Brigade, Brigadier Withycombe. Unfortunately that support was not there for Rifleman James Croizer of the same Battalion. I can now see why tensions were high when James Croizer was sentence to death by firing squad 

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He was divorced twice



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His commission on 28 Nov 1914 to R I Rifles is odd. He seems to have no connection to Ireland and its, ahem, problems

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3 hours ago, corisande said:

His commission on 28 Nov 1914 to R I Rifles is odd. He seems to have no connection to Ireland and its, ahem, problems


    Seems deliberate and sensible. Not to over-endow an already troublesome vigilante militia with better equipment,better weapons and have it be a maverick Orange despotate within the army

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