Roll call

 

North Irish Horse

Courts Martial

 

In his 1912 Army Review article, The North Irish Horse, Captain E. M. Dorman discussed the discipline of the regiment at its annual camps. He noted that while "certain minor offences have to be dealt with rather leniently from a Regular soldier's point of view, ... on the whole, there is very little difficulty as regards discipline. Up to the present a court martial has never had to be held on any member of the corps, and it is to be sincerely hoped that the convening of such a court will never be found to be necessary."

That may have been true in peacetime, but the pressures of wartime required a much stricter level of discipline. From 1914 to 1919 one officer and 68 other ranks of the North Irish Horse were tried by court martial, seven of them more than once.

Although these numbers appear high, it actually reveals a very good level of military discipline when compared to other regiments.

Note: This list does not include courts martial of former North Irish Horseman who had transferred to other regiments.

 

1914

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
3 Sept. Private David Gamble 948 General Headquarters, France Disobeying a lawful command of a superior officer. Twenty-eight days Field Punishment No.2 and to forfeit 28 days pay.
16 Sept. Private Thomas Hickey 975 Serches, France Drunkenness while on active service; losing by neglect. Imprisonment with hard labour for 6 months.
19 Oct. Lance Corporal James Barnes 438 Le Mans, France Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (Section 40). Acquitted.
21 Oct. Private William Martin 814 Antrim Desertion (18 August to 16 October) and loss of kit. Thirty-five days detention and pay stopped for desertion and loss of kit.
2 Nov. Private John James Kerr 333 Bailleul, France Leaving his post while on picquet duty. One year imprisonment and reduced to the ranks. Reduced to 3 months Field Punishment No.1.
4 Nov. Trumpeter William James McFerran 1003 St Omer, France Drunkenness while on active service Imprisonment with hard labour for 120 days.
26 Nov. Private Thomas William Cheshire 1018 France Drunkenness while on active service; resisting escort; feigning disease (Section 40). Imprisonment with hard labour for 90 days.
26 Nov. Private William John McClintock 323 France
Drunkenness while on active service.
Imprisonment with hard labour for 30 days.
11&12 Dec. Lance Corporal James Barnes 438 St Omer, France Drunkenness while on active service. Eighty-four days Field Punishment No.1.
11&12 Dec. Private George Ewart 684 St Omer, France
Drunkenness while on active service.
Eighty-four days Field Punishment No.1

 

1915

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
15 Jan. Private David Gamble 948 St Omer, France Insubordination and threatening an officer. Drunkenness while on active service. Hard labour 91 days.
20 Jan. Sergeant James Coburn 353 St Omer, France Drunkenness while on active service. Reduced to the rank of corporal.
2 Feb. Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant James Mooney 565 Antrim Neglecting to obey an order (s.11). Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Reduced to the rank of corporal shoeing-smith.
15 Feb. Private John Kyle .. Antrim Desertion. Six months hard labour. Discharged with ignominy. Commuted to detention.
2 Mar. Sergeant Horace Seymour Thompson 282 St Omer, France Drunkenness while on active service. Nine months hard labour and reduced to the ranks.
5 Mar. Private Robert Clark 1047 Cople, Bedford Escaping or attempting to escape from confinement (s.22). Fourty-two days detention. Appealed, not confirmed.
5 Mar. Private William Carlisle 1262 Cople, Bedford
Escaping or attempting to escape from confinement (s.22).
Fourty-two days detention. Appealed, not confirmed.
10 Mar. Private Peter Tobin 1221 Antrim Drunkenness while on active service. Striking or violence to a sergeant. Ninety days hard labour. Reduced to detention.
10 Mar. Sergeant John Alexander Montford 618 Hazebrouck, France
Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp.
Not guilty.
24 Mar. Sergeant William Stevenson 1198 St Omer, France Drunkenness while on active service. Three months Field Punishment No.1. Reduced to the ranks. Field punishment remitted.
23 Aug. Private Thomas Gibbons 974 General Headquarters in the Field Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Not guilty.
26 Aug. Private Samuel Black 1095 General Headquarters in the Field Drunkenness while on active service. Ninety-one days Field Punishment No.1. £1 stoppages.
4 Sept. Sergeant Robert Fraser 1080 Senlis, France Drunkenness while on active service. Reduced to the ranks.
30 Nov. Private William Alexander Morrow 832 Dieppe, France
Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp.
Fourteen days Field Punishment No.1.
23 Dec. Lance Corporal Benjamin McQuoid 1398 Sidi Bishr Drunkenness while on active service. Fourteen days Field Punishment No.1.
30 Dec. Private Edward James Menice 996 Boeschepe, France
Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40).
Two months Field Punishment No.1. Remitted 28 days.

 

1916

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
25 Jan. Private Thomas Montgomery 672 or 1909 In the Field Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp. Fined 7/6. U. to 6? days forfeit of pay.
29 Jan. Private Thomas Clyde Chambers 958 Reninghelst, Belgium Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp. Three months Field Punishment No.1.
4 Feb. Private R. Jones 1404? Antrim Violence to a lance corporal. Resisting an escort. Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Fifty-six days detention. Remitted 14 days.
4 Feb. Private George Roberts 1077 Antrim Violence to a lance corporal. Drunkenness while on active service. Resisting an escort. Fifty-six days detention.
24 Jul. Corporal Robert West 1406 Pommera, France
Wilfully or without reasonable excuse allowing to escape a person committed to his charge, or whom it is his duty to keep or gurad.
Reduced to the ranks.
24 Jul. Private John Hogg 1098 Pommera, France Drunkenness while on active service. Escaping confinement. Nine months hard labour. Commuted to 3 months Field Punishment No.1.
26 Jul. Private George Halpin Coleman 1372 Pommera, France Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Not guilty.
5 Aug. Private David Connolly 1866 Pommera, France
Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp.
Fourteen days Field Punishment No.1.
5 Aug. Private James Shannon 1500 Pommera, France Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp. Fourteen days Field Punishment No.1.
10 Aug. Private Edward James Menice 996 In the Field
Drunkenness while on active service.
Three months Field Punishment No.1.
10 Aug. Private Frederick Nesbitt 1109 In the Field Drunkenness while on active service. Fifty-six days Field Punishment No.1.
18 Aug. Sergeant Hugh Nesbitt Ashcroft 137 In the Field Drunkenness while on active service. Not guilty.
14 Sep. Private Samuel Doak 1035 Pommera, France Insubordination. Two months Field Punishment No.1.
7 Oct. Corporal J McIntosh   In the Field Absence and breaking out of camp. Drunkenness. Reduced to the ranks.
23 Oct. Private Samuel Doak 1035 Pommera, France
Drunkenness while on active service.
Ninety days Field Punishment No.1. Remitted 39 days.
4 Nov. Private J Craig   In the Field Theft. Twenty-eight days Field Punishment No.1.
20 Nov. Private William Francey 1750 Pommera, France
Drunkenness while on active service. Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40).
Ninety days Field Punishment No.1.
21 Nov. Private Robert C. Jones 1404 Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Escaping or attempting to escape from confinement (s.22).
One year's detention. Stoppages. Remitted 6 months. Remitted 3 months - first and second charges quashed.

 

1917

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
22 Jan. Private J Carson   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc Six months detention.
4 Mar. Private James Wilson 1527 In the Field Quitting his post from 15 February to 3 March. Fifty-six days Field Punishment No.1 Remitted 14 days.
4 Jul. Private James Shannon 1500 In the Field Threatening a superior officer. Fifty-six days Field Punishment No.1.
12 Jul. Private WJ Duffy   Antrim Absence without leave. Fifty-six days detention.
28 Jul. Saddler Corporal John Russell 1014 General Headquarters in the Field Drunkenness while on active service. Not guilty.
9 Aug. Private Samuel Robinson 850 Watou Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Ten days Field Punishment No.1.
11 Aug. Private Samuel Black 1095 St Omer, France
Theft.
Imprisonment with hard labour 6 months. Remitted 56 days.
14 Aug. Private Nathaniel Harvey 1032 Rouen, France Absence and breaking out of barracks or camp. Seven days Field Punishment No.2.
5 Sep. 2nd Lieutenant Leopold George Weston .. Poperinghe, France
Drunkenness while on active service.
Dismissed from the service.
17 Sep. Private T Thompson   Antrim Desertion. Absence without leave. Fraudulent enlistment. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Fifty-six days detention. Stoppages. Charge of desertion not confirmed.
21 Sep. Private D Reynolds   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Six months detention. Remitted 3 months.
21 Sep. Private S Wall   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Eighteen months detention. Remitted 9 months.
21 Sep. Private Albert Spence 2568 Antrim Absence without leave. Fraudulent enlistment. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Nine months detention. Stoppages.
3 Oct. Private A Haslam   Antrim
Abesnce without leave.
Twenty-eight days detention.

 

1918

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
15 Jan. Private J Hurst   Antrim Theft. Stealing, embezzing or receiving property or money of a comrade, an officer, the regiment or public (s.18 (4b))
Eighty-four days detention. s.18 (4b) quashed.
3 Mar. Private WH Simpson   In the Field Insubordination and threatening a superior officer. Disobedience. Fifty-six days Field Punishment No.1.
3 Mar. Private J Cottrell   In the Field Disobedience. Sixty-three days Field Punishment No.1.
3 Mar. Lance Corporal Henry Fyfe 640 In the Field Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40(3)). Eighteen months imprisonment with hard labour.
8 Mar. Private W Robinson   Antrim Desertion. Fraudulent enlistment. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. One year's detention. Stoppages. Eight months remitted.
18 Mar. Private Peter McGee 2662 Antrim Ill-treating a horse (s.24(5)) Not guilty.
5 Apr. Private Samuel Black 1095 In the Field
Drunkenness while on active service. Losing property etc.
Fifty-six days Field Punishment No.1.
6 Apr. Private Thomas McCausland 775 In the Field Quitting his post. Allowing a person in his charge to escape. Twenty-eight days Field Punishment No.2.
11 May Private Albert Aiken 1535 In the Field
Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40).
Not guilty.
7 Jun. Private Thomas Steenson 2618 Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. One year's detention. Stoppages. Remitted 6 months.
1 Jul. Private J Harrington   Antrim Desertion. Fraudulent enlistment. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. One year's imprisonment with hard labour. Commuted to 9 months detention.
22 Aug. Private H Dixon   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Forty-two days detention. Stoppages.
14 Oct. Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant RH McClean   Antrim Insubordination or disobedience. Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (s.40). Reduced to the rank of sergeant.
23 Oct. Private Edward Breslin 72143 Antrim
Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc.
Twenty-eight days detention. Stoppages.
21 Nov. Private F Kennedy   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Fifty-six days detention. Stoppages.
14 Dec. Private J Dowling   Antrim
Absence without leave. Fraudulent enlistment. Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc.
Six months detention. Stoppages. Remitted 28 days.

 

1919

DATE
NAME
NO.
PLACE
OFFENCE
SENTENCE
2 Jan. Private P. Murphy   Antrim Desertion. Absence without leave. Fraudulent enlistment. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Nine months detention with stoppages. Remitted 3 months.
2 Jan. Private H. Alexander   Antrim Desertion. Loss of public property, equipment, etc. Fifty-six days detention with stoppages.
7 Oct. Private Thomas Luck 71880 Dublin Escaping from confinement. Twenty-eight days detention.

 

According to military law, field punishments 1 & 2 comprised the following:

RULES FOR FIELD PUNISHMENT MADE UNDER s. 44 OF THE ARMY ACT.

1. A court-martial, or a commanding officer, may award field punishment for any offence committed on active service, and may sentence an offender for a period not exceeding, in the case of a court-martial three months, and in the case of a commanding officer twenty-eight days, to one of the following field punishments, namely:

(a) Field punishment No. 1.
(b) Field punishment No. 2.

2. Where an offender is sentenced to field punishment No. 1, he may, during the continuance of his sentence, unless the court-martial or the commanding officer otherwise directs, be punished as follows:--

(a) He may be kept in irons, i.e., in fetters or handcuffs, or both fetters and handcuffs; and may be secured so as to prevent his escape.
(b) When in irons he may be attached for a period or periods not exceeding two hours in any one day to a fixed object, but he must not be so attached during more than three out of any four consecutive days, nor during more than twenty-one days in all.
(c) Straps or ropes may be used for the purpose of these rules in lieu of irons.
(d) He may be subjected to the like labour, employment, and restraint, and dealt with in like manner as if he were under a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour.

3. Where an offender is sentenced to field punishment No. 2, the foregoing rule with respect to field punishment No. 1 shall apply to him, except that he shall not be liable to be attached to a fixed object as provided by paragraph (b) of Rule 2.

4. Every portion of a field punishment shall be inflicted in such a manner as is calculated not to cause injury or to leave any permanent mark on the offender; and a portion of a field punishment must be discontinued upon a report by a responsible medical officer that the continuance of that portion would be prejudicial to the offender's health.

5. Field punishment will be carried out regimentally when the unit to which the offender belongs or is attached is actually on the move, but when the unit is halted at any place where there is a provost marshal, or an assistant provost marshal, the punishment will be carried out under that officer.

6. When the unit to which the offender belongs or is attached is actually on the move, an offender awarded field punishment No. 1 shall be exempt from the operation of Rule (2)(b), but all offenders awarded field punishment shall march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.