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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Another Court martial


carolm

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Greetings,

I'm researching the 5th Gordon Highlanders and have come across an officer - Captain James Watson - who, according to the London Gazette (17/7/15) was "Dismissed from H.M. Service by sentence of General Court Martial 22/6/1915".

Can anyone tell me if dismissal from service is just another term for being cashiered? (Sorry to display my ignorance.)

Secondly, and I have searched a number of web sites regarding this, but haven't been able to get an answer - what exactly is the difference between a GCM and a FGCM? (Apart from the number of officers sitting). Does the FGCM take place in a war zone and the GCM in the UK or Colonies? Or is there another distinction?

Regards

Carolyn

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Field General Courts Martial were convened when the accused was serving overseas or on active service. It had the same powers as a General Courts Martial but normally had only three members on the panel, unlike a GCM which could have between five and nine members.

Terry Reeves

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Most officers who were tried under CM ended up cashiered.. few were ever shot.. 2/3 at most

John

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Thanks for your replies John and Terry.

I'm not quite clear on something arising from your comments Terry:

You mentioned a FGCM was held when overseas (which is what I thought) OR when on active service.

When was a man considered to be on active service? At the time his unit was mobilised; during training; when he arrived in, for example, France; or when he was at or near a combat zone?

Could I assume that as my Captain Watson was tried by a GCM, he had committed his offence in the UK?

Off the point, but something I was wondering about - if an officer was dismissed from the service early in the war, would he have been liable for conscription after 1916 or would his conviction "save" him?

Again,

Many thanks

Carolyn

Most officers who were tried under CM ended up cashiered.. few were ever shot.. 2/3 at most

John

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Off the point, but something I was wondering about - if an officer was dismissed from the service early in the war, would he have been liable for conscription after 1916 or would his conviction "save" him?

I thought that any officer dismissed from the service - in other words cashiered - was prohibited from holding any office of profit under the Crown again, which would rule out any future service in the armed forces.

It was seen as a disgrace and not a reprieve.

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You could look up the FGCM registers in the NA. They are in date order so not to difficult. That would tell if it was a CM in the field. Not sure if they list Officers though.

Regards

Leigh

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Angie,

Cashiered officers were liable for conscription. I suppose part the thinking is along the same lines as suspended sentences - being found guilty of a crime should not be a way of evading active service.

Jock

I thought that any officer dismissed from the service - in other words cashiered - was prohibited from holding any office of profit under the Crown again, which would rule out any future service in the armed forces.

It was seen as a disgrace and not a reprieve.

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Regarding the conscription after being cashiered issue, there was chap on memorial local to my parents who was cashiered in June 1916..............whether he volunteered to serve again or was conscripted I don't know but he rejoined the army as a Private & was killed 17 months later.

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You can read all about courts martial at http://www.1914-1918.net/crime.htm

Thanks Chris. I did check this site before posting. It was there that I saw that the term "cashiered" was used. In the London Gazette it was "Dismissed from Service". I thought there might be some subtle difference under military law, but apparantly not.

Carolyn

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In the London Gazette it was "Dismissed from Service".  I thought there might be some subtle difference under military law, but apparantly not.

Carolyn........I think 'Dismissed from Service' was the standard stock description in the London Gazette..............the chap I mentioned in my previous post, the end of his comissioned career was also thus described in those terms

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At that time the words used had great impact and meaning, for you as a person and also socially

John

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Carolyn........I think 'Dismissed from Service' was the standard stock description in the London Gazette..............the chap I mentioned in my previous post, the end of his comissioned career was also thus described in those terms

Thanks for that information Will, and all the others who responded. It's a great help.

Carolyn

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