Case Book 4 – Injuries & Deaths

Various entries from the War Diaries of the Assistant Provost Marshall’s (APM’s), Egypt, England and France.

Charles McLellan was about 5ft 3 in height, fair, and had been with the Battn: at least 13 months and was the B. Coy runner. I saw him at Corbie immediately after he had been shot through the side of the nose by one of our own M.P.’s. It appears that a man named Styles of the B. Coy Battn: Pioneers had been in trouble with the Police the night before. Seeing the Police next morning Styles threatened to shoot them, but when he went into a room of the house where we were billeted, he was prevented from coming out by Fred Hendricks, M.M., but was able to shove the edge of his rifle through the side of the door. When the Police who were some distance away saw this they fired and unfortunately McLellan who was standing on the footpath was hit by the bullet. He lived a few minutes after and spoke a few words to some one attending. I do not know where he is buried.
Arthur, R.D. Pte. 2866  50th Battn;
Dartford . 27/6/18

 corbie_ww1_website

 The Red Cross statement made by Private Arthur about an incident that occurred at Corbie (shown above) in France in April 1918. The mention of ‘Police’ refers to military police, in fact Military Mounted Police (MMP) from the 3rd Division. The MMP in question was L/Cpl Reginald Gowling , despite the incident Gowling remained a military policeman for the remainder of the war.

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W.H. Kenny states; I am a member of the Military Mounted Police attached to the Aust and New Zealand Army Corps.
On the 30th of January at about 3.30 P.M. while on police duty in the native quarter Ismailia in company with P. Delaney M.M.P. we were met in the street by a party of soldiers, one of whom (the deceased), without getting any provocation from me or my companion, came towards me and said ” You are a nice looking f_____ c____ ain’t you”. I then dismounted and said to him “What’s wrong with me”. He replied “You can’t arrest me you cold footed bastard”. At the same time he clenched his right hand and drawing it slightly back. I thought he was about to strike me so I hit him and he fell to the ground, and as I thought he was not hurt at the time, and as he had a number of soldier mates with him to look after him, I mounted and rode down the street to where there was a disturbance going on between soldiers and fruit sellers. Subsequently at about 4.30 P.M. on hearing that the man was dead, I immediately reported myself to my Superior Officer, Mr Bradshaw, the Assistant Provost Marshal.
W.H. Kenny

cpl-kenny

The photo shows Corporal William Kenny (on the right) around the time of the incident, the other men are fellow MMP, but probably not Patrick Delaney, his partner on the day in question. (30 January 1916).

The above statement comes from Kenny’s Court Martial, during which he was charged with manslaughter. The deceased soldier, Private Richard Thomas from the 14th Battalion had picked the wrong MMP to make those comments to. William Kenny had been a Queensland Policeman prior to enlisting and had landed on Gallipoli on the first day and served as a military policeman throughout that campaign. He had in fact twice been recommended for awards because of his stirling service on the peninsula.
Kenny was found not guilty of the offence and continued to serve with the MMP throughout the war.

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Report from APM, 1st ANZAC Corps October – December 1918. (AWN Series 25, 233/6)
On the 30th ulto No. Pte Grundall A., 4th Royal Fusiliers was arrested at Longpres-les-Corps-Saints by a member of Aust. Provost Corps.
He broke away, and, refusing to stand when called upon, was shot by the M.P. in the leg, and subsequently conveyed to Hospital where he received Medical treatment.

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Statement of Evidence against: No 65100 Tpr. Carter. J. 1st C.S.R.

Sir.
At about 2030 on the 29th. inst. I was on duty in the public Women’s Quarters when I heard shots being fired I at once went in the direction of the sound, where I saw Sergt. Kinsley M.M.P. who was giving chase to the above named soldier, I followed him over the railway line, where he turned and fired at me three or four times with a revolver.
I at once pulled out my revolver and fired; he dropped to the ground. As I approached him he again ran, eventually “he” was caught by the Mounted Patrol. I then conducted him to the Military Police barracks where it was found that he had been wounded in the right arm, an ambulance was phoned for and he was conducted to the 26th Stationary Hospital where he was detained.

(Sgd) H Cook. Cpl
29/3/19 Aust. Prov. Corps.
Moascar.