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Remembered Today:

Essex Regiment – Penal Servitude for Life


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I have been researching into a family story which was that a Thomas Bailey witnessed the death of his brother Frederick in the trenches and as a result he lost his mind, attacked his commanding officer and was sent to Broadmoor.

 

Having looked into this I have found that both brothers were in the 13th Essex Regiment (numbers 17138 for Thomas and 17135 for Frederick. Frederick was missing, killed on the 30/11/1917. Thomas has a note on his Medal Index card and Medal Roll of

DIS. X11 27/05/1919. Under sentence penal servitude for life. 29/06/1917.

 

Both men are on the Medal Roll.

 

I have found a T. Bailey under the Field General Courts Martial Records that matches the date 29/06/1917 and who was sentenced to life although the battalion is the 11th Essex. Under the Nature of Charge Section there is a code S41 in the Miscellaneous column.

 

Can anyone explain the meaning of DIS. X11 27/05/1919 from the medal roll and S41 from the Court Martial record?

 

I would also be grateful for any advice on how to research this further. I have not found anything relating to this in the war diaries for both the 11th and 13th Essex.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you

 

Simon

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I'm guessing the "DIS. X11" part could be discharged under Para 392 King's Regs (xii) Having been sentenced to penal servitude.

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Frederick & Thomas are on an Ancestry Family Tree. Not suggesting it's all verified but did Thomas Bailey have a half brother also called Thomas?

 

Broadmoor can be searched for 1939 register but no results for Thomas. There is a Thomas Bailey in New Hall Prison Camp but he's too young (assuming the tree DOB is correct).

 

The 'life' aspect of the sentence may have been reduced at some point.

 

Not sure how a penal servitude for life sentence evolves into being in Broadmoor.

 

Thomas' birth was registered in 4th Quarter 1886, Bethnal Green, mother's maiden name Foulkes rather than Fowke (on tree).

 

I'm seeing nine possible deaths.

TEW

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Matlock1418
2 hours ago, Simon A said:

13th Essex Regiment (numbers 17138 for Thomas

Thomas BAILEY 17138 - A Pension Card at WFA/Fold3 as 17138 - but seems also as Essex, 2750 [or perhaps 2780] - a claim in SE England but no further details

 

2 hours ago, Simon A said:

17135 for Frederick. Frederick was missing, killed on the 30/11/1917

Frederick BAILEY, 17135 - A Pension card at WFA/Fold3 (Alternative Pension Widow's) - Charlotte BAILEY, 30 Wrights Rd, Bow

And

Pension Ledger Card - Charlotte DUNSTER (remarried) b. 7.3.88, Charlotte, b.22.6.05 and Frederick, b.24.10.07 at same Bow address - 25/5 pw from 9.9.18

 

2 hours ago, Simon A said:

I have found a T. Bailey under the Field General Courts Martial Records that matches the date 29/06/1917 and who was sentenced to life although the battalion is the 11th Essex. Under the Nature of Charge Section there is a code S41 in the Miscellaneous column.

... I would also be grateful for any advice on how to research this further. I have not found anything relating to this in the war diaries for both the 11th and 13th Essex.

I would suspect you wouldn't find [m]any details at Bn level, probably need to go to Brigade or perhaps higher.

:-) M

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Woodnbits

Seeing TEW's reference to Broadmoor 1939 records above I was intrigued to see what was there and I found this Thomas Bailey b. 07/10/1856 Soldier. I wonder whether the year is a error by the person entering the info on the register, 5 could be an 8  so 07/10/1886.

Freebmd  Thomas Bailey b. 4th quarter 1886 Bethnal Green.

 

Findmypast

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=TNA/R39/2078/2078D/008/34

 

image.png.21c334caf1597c7c1984d6fb096966b6.png

 

Tim

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Yes! That looks good for him.

 

The correct birth quarter for Frederick's brother as far as I could tell last night.

 

The Ancestry Tree is a bit odd and provides evidence from documents that don't provide the evidence. Difficult to work out what's correct and what's bogus.

 

Everything was pointing back to Thomas Bailey born 4th Quarter Bethnal Green.

 

There is a death for a TB aged 65 (calculated to 1887) in Windsor Reg. Dist. 2nd Qtr 1952. Crowthorne Parish (Broadmoor) comes under Windsor for 1952.

 

TEW

 

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Thanks very much Guys. I had him dying before 1928 as his wife re-married in 1928 and was listed as a widow.

 

The 1939 register looks good although I had problems finding him on Ancestry as his birth is transcribed as 1918.

 

Any thoughts on why on the Court Martial record he appears to be with the 11th Essex rather than the 13th. Also, any ideas where I can find the meaning of the code S41 under the Nature of Charge Section in the Miscellaneous column?

Thanks

 

Simon

 

 

1415061425_Screenshot2021-04-22191128.jpg.6b864955873ae047924b2211595f954e.jpg

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Seems there is an S41 'Scandalous Behaviour' military charge which could be relevant.

 

 

A change of Battalion? if he attacked his CO, being struck off the strength would possibly be the first course of action. He would have to have been transferred somewhere.

 

I wouldn't say his ID is now 100% established wirh the TB who died in 1952, birth certificate should confirm Broadmoor but there's a weight of circumstantial evidence.

 

I'm intrigued by the transition from 'penal servitude for life' to becoming a patient at Broadmoor. I can see under the circumstances that witnessing the loss of a brother leading to a penal life sentence for an assault could lead to a breakdown.

 

Wonder to what degree the CO was assaulted to warrant incarceration for the following 35 years.

TEW

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I have a small number of AIF soldiers sent to British prisons during the war for Military crimes with PS in there sentences. Most from what I can see were RTA during 1919-1920.

 

I understand that AIF war time crimes were disposed as reduced or dismissed during this time peroid or when they arrived in Australia. I can find no Austrialian soldiers serving any time after they returned home?

 

I am unsure if British soldiers served there times much after the war, other then where the crimes were civil not Military?

 

I 'll await what you find

 

Here are some I have

 

BROWN    Robert    1386    Pte    05 LHR    11R NTOS FGCM 23-1-16 AWoL sentenced 18 months HL to 25Bn 2-17 FGCM deserted sentence PS life reduced 10 years PS to 2 years HL to 5 Military Prison F&B FGCM 8-12-19 AWoL sentenced 9 months HL to Norwich Prison disch 13-3-20 SNLR 

 

HUMPHRIES    Phillip James    2337    Pte    6 LHR    16R Tos A Sqn 8-16 to RHQ 8-17 att 2 LH Bde HQ 9-17 rtn 1-18 FGCM 8-4-18 for murder of Mahomed Ali Kagi sentenced penal service for life to Citadel prison 4-18 disch 22-10-19 SNLR forfitt all medals
 

ROBINSON    Edward    1732    Pte    10 LHR    11R Tos 6-16 to 2/Cpl 7-16 to 3 LH Field Troop 2-17 to Cpl 9-17 FGCM 6-2-18 Murder reported (accident or mental break) killed Pte Bernard McKenzie and wounded Spr Kenning on 20-1-18 at Belah sentenced PS for life RTA as prisoner to finish sentence reported released from prison 23-3-20 disch SNLR forfit medals Ex 10 LHR 4 months disch
 

WARNER    William George    814    Pte    9 LHR    2R Tos A Sqn? 5-15 (G) to 3 LHTR 3-16 to Arty Dtls 5-16 to 16Bn (814a) 5-16 reported MIA 11-4-17 at Reincourt - Bullecourt FGCM 5-10-17 deserted at Bullecourt 11-4-17 sentenced PS life to 4 Military Prison reduced to 2 years HL rtn 5-18 FGCM AWol 17-10-18 sentenced 2 years HL to 5 Military prison 11-18 to Pentonville prison UK 6-19 F&B RTA as prisoner SNLR forfit medals AKA real name William James Vivian Harris
 

Cheers


S.B

Edited by stevebecker
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Keith Brannen
3 hours ago, TEW said:

I can see under the circumstances that witnessing the loss of a brother leading to a penal life sentence for an assault could lead to a breakdown.

 

 

Unless I am missing something, it doesn't look like he did witness the loss of his brother. Thomas was sentenced 29/05/1917. His brother, Frederick was missing, killed on 30/11/1917!

Edited by Keith Brannen
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Yes I see. To add to the conundrum I'm seeing an F Bailey #17135 Essex Regt. Reported as wounded on Daily List 8/1/18 then Previously Reported Wounded, Now Reported Wounded and Missing 22/2/18.

 

His death date in Nov 1917 must have confirmed as such sometime after 22/2/18.

TEW

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I see from the CM extract he had two trials, 8th May given 10 years then 29th June upgraded? to life. Both CMs in Les Brebis.

 

11th Essex came out of the line 7th May and marched to billets in Les Brebis. Ditto for 30th June.

 

6th May. Lt. Col. F N Butler of 5th Bedfords was attached to 11th Essex. Not sure why another Lt. Col. would be attached to a battalion but could this be relevant to the assault on the CO or the upcoming CM?

 

I'd suggest that the Medal details showing 13th Essex simply relates to their disembarkation with that battalion in Nov 1915 and by Spring of 1917 Thomas had been transferred to 11th.

 

Ancestry diaries playing up for me at present but checking diary for 5th Beds. could shed some light, may state why Butler left his unit. Then, as has been suggested the diaries for 18th Infantry Brigade HQ and 6th Division General Staff.

 

The 11th Essex diaries are signed by Lt. Col. Spring for May 1918 and Major Manger? for June. Spring returned from leave 2nd July.

TEW

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Yes. Looks like he could not have witnessed his brother's death. The family story was not accurate. I was originally told it was one of his elder twin brothers. Further investigation uncovered some truth to the story though. Can't be sure if it was his CO that was assaulted or whether he had had a breakdown. Shell shock must be a possibility.

 

I have been going through the 6th Division War Diaries and have noted a few Court Martial cases in 1916 but the defendant's name has been redacted. Is this normal? Was planning on checking out the 33rd Division (13th Bn.) Will I find the same situation here?

 

There are also 2 more CM's for T. Bailey 15/02/1917 at Annequin and 20/04/1917 at Mazingarbe. 1st for 2 years imprisonment and 2nd for 5 years Penal Servitude. Wondered if he behaved badly whilst in prison and had his sentence increased. Wonder why the regimental number is not quoted. Would be much easier to confirm the right soldier. Have checked 11th and 13th Bn. diaries and could find no mention.

 

Thanks

 

Simon

 

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