Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Anneca

A Stain on the Name of Canadian Soldiers

Recommended Posts

Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

It’s interesting to see that PTSD is mentioned by the journalist as a cause, but there is no evidence. Don’t mix yesterday with today.

 

TR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anneca

I was surprised to find the journalist mentioned PTSD which I thought didn't exist then.  I imagine he was referring to shell shock but even then the soldier was one of a crowd storming a police station.  They were all breaking the law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

As far as I can see, this particular incident has only had a few very brief references on GWF, including

 

one in February

 

Other Canadian unrest

 

As we have noted from time to time, in 1919 there was unrest in Britain among soldiers of various nationalities, usually attributed to impatience with prolonged delays to repatriation and/or demobilisation, boredom and continuing military discipline, often seen at the time as unnecessary with the war being over.

 

As the article says: 'Dealing with physical and mental battle scars, many had little to do but to "hit the bar and get drunk," said Green's great-grandson, David Kirkham.'

 

At the risk of broadening out the theme of Anneca's post, I'm wondering if there has been a serious study about what we now term "PTSD" affecting WWI service people?

 

Post-Armistice unrest

 

(See my Post 12, including a reference to rebellious Home Service men.)

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seaJane

There were several papers in the 1920s on the Naval side (in the Journal of the RN Medical Service), and somewhere at work I have a bibliography which I compiled a while back. Unfortunately (for the request) I'm on leave till next Monday...

 

sJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

It's no excuse but not lleast the war was over and the Canadians at Epsom were fed up, and far from home  - where they wanted to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kenf48
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Moonraker said:

 

At the risk of broadening out the theme of Anneca's post, I'm wondering if there has been a serious study about what we now term "PTSD" affecting WWI service people?

 

 

As Terry has pointed out do not conflate the past with the present.  The first official recognition of PTSD was by the American Psychiatric Association in  1980, it was unknown to science until after the Vietnam conflict.  During that war, the incidence of combat trauma had been very low, much less than in WW2 or the Korean War.  There were none of the physical symptoms identified during WW1 and recognised as 'shell shock'.  The term was coined to describe the onset of a mental condition defined by anxiety and other mental health problems which occurred after the Vietnam war had ended.  

 

Returning to WW1 there was an official  War Office Enquiry into Shell shock (full text at the Wellcome Library),  the Committee, reporting in 1922 were already considering 'the use and abuse of the term'.  

 

JStor has an interesting essay on Shellshock and a commentary on the work of the Committee dating from 1989 which makes no attempt  to compare 'shell shock' or 'war neurosis' to PTSD, at that time the phrase had not passed into general vocabulary, unlike the psychotic Vietnam veteran.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/260822?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

More recently Taylor Downing has written 'Breakdown, The Crisis of Shell Shock on the Somme' an interesting analysis during a limited period of the war.

 

Leeds University  has a continuing Centenary Project on the "Legacies of War"

https://legaciesofwar.leeds.ac.uk

 

These are just some examples of the serious study into the mental health and legacy of the war, many others can be found on the web. In my own family tree I have two examples of suicide by Great War veterans, one of which in 1950 was directly linked to trauma at Mametz Wood, the other is less clearly linked but when every kitchen had a gas chamber it was as the poet said, 'easy to be dead'.  

Local newspapers also give some tragic and lurid examples of service men harming themselves or close family.

 

Ken

 

 

Edited by kenf48

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mates,

 

Nice to see another getting the press from us poor Australians?

 

If you check the English papers for a incident around April 1990 at Windsor at a local pub near the Blues and Royals Barracks, you will see how our poor boys were treated by your cruel press.

 

Most of the things stated in the above, they said about us, other then we were not from a war, only on exchange?

 

But too much beer and friendly girls (including the nurses from the hospital across the road), unfriendly British soldiers and others led to a mix up?

 

Its still remembered as the "Gold Fish incident"

 

Happy days

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IPT
Posted (edited)

Reported in the Sandwell Evening Mail of 22nd May 1990. 

 

The pub was the Lord Raglan.

 

Edited by IPT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Open Bolt

Just to be clear, I don't think we're discounting PTSD as having had a degree of prevalence after the first world war, merely that indiscriminate use of the term is misleading and that the veterans are not available for a modern assessment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevebecker
19 hours ago, IPT said:

Reported in the Sandwell Evening Mail of 22nd May 1990. 

 

The pub was the Lord Raglan.

 

 

Mate,

 

It appears we can't see what was said.

 

Being there just before it started, (I left to allow the boys a free night), and as a SNCO was part of the inquiry, along with the Blues and Royals SNCO, into the complaint by the Hotel, which was proved to be false.

 

We heard about the press after we returned home, and some mates sent us a few British press clipings of the mess, and the Australian press hit us as we landed.

 

They never told the truth, or interviewed any Australian or British soldiers there?

 

So I don't think much of your press.

 

S.B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IPT
2 minutes ago, stevebecker said:

It appears we can't see what was said.

 

SOLDIERS 'WENT ON RAMPAGE'

 

AUSTRALIAN soldiers invited to Britain on an exchange visit with the Queen's guards ate a pub's tropical fish in a drunken rampage, a barman has alleged. The soldiers smashed the pub's toilets and part of the bar before they set about the tank containing more than 40 fish, he said. Soldiers pulled out live fish and swallowed them at the Lord Raglan, at Windsor, Berkshire, he added. Barman Grahame Holmes said: "We get a lot of squaddies messing about and fighting in here but I have never seen anything like this. They went absolutely mad."

 

The 20 soldiers who allegedly went on the rampage were among a 120-strong squad of the 2nd Australian Cavalry on an exchange visit with the Blues and Royals, the Queen's personal bodyguard. The barman said: "One bloke started on the fish tank by swallowing a tropical fish whole. Then they all started. "After that they smashed the tank and chucked broken bottles Into It." A spokesman at nearby Combermere Barracks said: "We are talking to the pub about a problem and are doing as much as we can. "Our regiment was not involved but in an Army town we don't want any problems with locals".

 

 

Sounds like a good night was had by all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
18 minutes ago, IPT said:

The soldiers smashed the pub's toilets and part of the bar

These things happen...

 

19 minutes ago, IPT said:

a drunken rampage

Boys will be boys...

 

18 minutes ago, IPT said:

AUSTRALIAN soldiers invited to Britain on an exchange visit with the Queen's guards ate a pub's tropical fish

 

Just NO!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IPT

There's a rumour that this is a young Steve getting ready to go to the pub.

 

s-l1600.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mates,

 

Yes guilty as charged, we did swallow the gold fish. A drinking game common in the soldiers mess of our Regt at that time, I am afraid.

 

As to the other charges, they claim we sole items from the walls and around the bar, these were found in the back, because the barmaid took them for safe keeping when the fights started.

 

Yes we came into contact with our British mates, one of a number of contacts that night as we got use to each other, but mostly in good spirts. But of cause it became heavy when they spilled out into the street.

 

The Pub was a very small place. not what we are use to at home, so the close contact with the girls and our British mates, was bound to happen. Mostly we got on OK, but even after the fights we brought each other a beer and got on with it.

 

It appears the night got blown up by the hotel reporting same to the press, who wanted money from the Army, hence we were called in to investergate the complaint.

 

Most of the changers were found to be spurious, while other were incorrect.

 

Most of us old blokes who were there still have a joke about it.

 

Cheers

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anneca

Thank you all for responses to this topic.  I reckon I should have posted two headings, Soldiers on the Rampage/Mutiny and Shell Shock v PSTD!  All interesting posts, including Moonraker's links on PSTD and Unrest.  Ken's links on the use of terms re. shellshock are particularly appropriate as many people are inconsistent in their use of terms.  David is quite correct in saying the war was over and the boys just wanted to go home.  I agree but don't blame them for getting drunk.  Unfortunately this particular incident got a bit too much out of hand.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mate,

 

If you check the papers around this time, there were a number of such incidents over Britain from Troops waiting to go home. Canadian and Others (including us Australians).

 

Got out of hand and went crazy, men were killed and things were not good.

 

These men were waiting to get home for over a year and many just wanted to go home.

 

Shows and games can only keep the boys in line for so long, and canteens and the local towns became the targets of there frustration.

 

Surpisingly the most men I have who married British girls, came when in the detention Barracks at Lewes?

 

S.B

 

 

Edited by stevebecker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Radlad

But they couldn't go home because of industrial unrest. 1919 saw a great increase in the number of labour strikes, notably the Miners (no fuel to supply the transport ships) and the Dockers ( no one to load supplies on to the ships). Docks were at a standstill, ships were idle and the troops were the ammunition being used by workers.

The dominion troops wanted to go home, the government wanted them to go home, the shipowners wanted the work.

 

PTSD had nothing to do with it, the cause was simply frustration at not being allowed to resume home life after what they had been through

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anneca
9 hours ago, Radlad said:

But they couldn't go home because of industrial unrest.

The dominion troops wanted to go home, the government wanted them to go home, the shipowners wanted the work.

The cause was simply frustration at not being allowed to resume home life after what they had been through

Not sure you are entirely correct that they couldn't go home because of industrial unrest.  There were other factors as well.  Again, targeting shipowners wanting the work did not apply to all troops waiting to go home, as S.B. has said, shows and games only kept them in line for so long.  Of course they were frustrated, they wanted to see their families again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Radlad
7 hours ago, Anneca said:

Not sure you are entirely correct that they couldn't go home because of industrial unrest.  There were other factors as well.  Again, targeting shipowners wanting the work did not apply to all troops waiting to go home, as S.B. has said, shows and games only kept them in line for so long.  Of course they were frustrated, they wanted to see their families again.

 

The Canadians whom your initial post was about, were given many dates to return, most cancelled through lack of transport. Either the railways were on strike, no fuel available for the engines, and  other transport was in a similar position. Dock strikes, race riots , Miners strikes, Engineering strikes all contributed to a situation where the authorities had to concentrate their attention. public order was their main concern. 1919 was a dark year for the UK. Canada and the USA did not fare very well either.

There certainly may have been other reasons for the delays (would you outline them please?) but industrial unrest was the main one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anneca
1 hour ago, Radlad said:

 

The Canadians whom your initial post was about, were given many dates to return, most cancelled through lack of transport. Either the railways were on strike, no fuel available for the engines, and  other transport was in a similar position. Dock strikes, race riots , Miners strikes, Engineering strikes all contributed to a situation where the authorities had to concentrate their attention. public order was their main concern. 1919 was a dark year for the UK. Canada and the USA did not fare very well either.

There certainly may have been other reasons for the delays (would you outline them please?) but industrial unrest was the main one. 

You might find these links interesting:

https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/veterans/

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/voices-of-the-first-world-war-homecoming

https://www.histclo.com/essay/war/ww1/cou/us/after/w1cusa-btbh.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Radlad
1 hour ago, Anneca said:

 

Yes, seen those links, the last one concerns US troops who were shipped home straight from France, so not really relevant to the UK situation. The US did have miners strikes which caused inconvenience to the repatriation but the US authorities were quite forceful in resolving the problem.

rather than relying on modern internet information, try reading local newspapers and battalion diaries. They will broaden the outlook of anyone researching the situation. The situation in the UK was actually played down by the government as they feared escalation to a Russian style revolution and so censored reports of unrest so as to try to prevent its spread.

I will agree that there was a shortage of transport, but it was not able to be utilised to best effect due to the industrial situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevebecker

Mate,

 

You both hit on another reason, the Russians influence (commies).

 

That and that Influenza also caused much concern at that time.

 

The first ALH Bde left Egypt in March 1919

 

all the others left around July and Aug 1919.

 

Troops from the UK left late 1919 and 1920

 

I did have some details on a riot in an Australian camp in Southern England, where they trashed the camp canteen, then spilled into the local town. As the Army tried to gain control shots were fired and men died. Sorry can't find it but one of a number going on.

 

S.B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2ndCMR
Posted (edited)

I would say what stains a country's honour is people who do their jobs in a sloppy, careless manner, or refuse to do them at all, while others of the same country, and worse, another, have fought for their freedom.  What stains a country's honour is something like the Oxford Union resolution of 1933: "This House will under no circumstances fight for its King and country," which was carried by 275 votes with 153 opposed.  What stains a country's honour is so-called leaders, civil and military who squabbled like school children over privilege, prerogative, doctrines and departments while the free world fought for its existence.  What stains a country's honour is officers who prided themselves on their sloth, and ignorance of their so-called profession.  What stain's a country's honour is generals who surrender fortresses to besiegers of one third their number, and then are not held to account.  As for those who throw small countries to the wolves in the hopes of staving off the inevitable, one can only say that nations get the leaders they deserve.

 

It's a terrible thing that the policeman lost his life, but of course many a life was lost in those days, and ended after years of misery rather than years of home comforts.   Still, it made good press, and helped to assuage some other bitter feelings and distract from some painful realities exposed by the late war.

 

More than 60,000 Canadians died in that war, how many beers have been named after them?   It is an amazing thing that anyone with sense of decency or proportion would choose to make such a fuss about a sad footnote to history.  That interest can only spring from sentiments that one would like to think were unworthy of the holders, but sadly it seems are not.

 

For those who take a little context with their tea, Dancocks has some information.

 

 

 

 

Dancocks 221-221.jpg

Dancocks 222-223.jpg

Dancocks 224-225.jpg

Dancocks 226-227.jpg

Dancocks 228-229.jpg

Dancocks 230-23120062019.jpg

Edited by 2ndCMR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker
9 hours ago, stevebecker said:

... I did have some details on a riot in an Australian camp in Southern England, where they trashed the camp canteen, then spilled into the local town. As the Army tried to gain control shots were fired and men died. Sorry can't find it but one of a number going on.

Brings to mind New Zealanders' disaffection on Salisbury Plain. Details are given by Christopher Pugsley, On the Fringe of Hell (Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland 1991). At Lark Hill in February 1919 twenty or thirty members of the Maori Pioneer Battalion, some with pistols, broke into the canteen and stole a 36-gallon cask of ale and rolled it down Amesbury Road. At Sling on March 14-15, South Islanders angered at the shipping delays raided messes, stealing cigarettes, beer and food, and destroying furniture and furnishings. Four sergeants and various privates were court-martialled for "endeavouring to persuade persons to mutiny" and "in joining in a mutiny". Three of the four sergeants were reduced to private and sentenced to up to six months' imprisonment and hard labour; privates received up to 100 days.

 

Disturbances at Codford are described in Mud Beneath My Boots  by Allan Marriott.

 

In July 1919, 357 absentees from New Zealand forces were reported and newspapers carried warnings that all NCOs and other ranks should report to Headquarters "A" Group, Sling Camp on or before July 31 or be struck off the strength of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, forfeiting passage home, war gratuity and any other privileges granted to NZEF soldiers.

 

More in this book, including rare photos of a senior officer remonstrating with the troops.


The unpublished memoirs of Bob Combes tell of "a full scale mutiny" at a camp "a few miles away [from Fovant]" – from the context, Hurdcott. On his way home from Salisbury, Bob’s father was stopped by a barrier and told by Australian soldiers to have a drink from a barrel of beer; he saw a mob milling around the camp commandant’s quarters, with men on the roof apparently trying to break their way in. Luckily the commandant was able to tell the mutineers that orders for their departure had already been received, and peace was restored.

 

Here's a postcard reflecting the mood of Australians at Fovant627135081_41FovantHome.jpg.679709aebe320a8f63b8fb7667c8e740.jpg

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...