Battle Dishonours / Disgraces

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by JONESY24546113, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. baboon6

    baboon6 LE

    Seems to be some confusion. Surely both of them didn't join the FFL?

    This link also has Elkington joining the FFL and eventually being reinstated and decorated and Mainwaring fading into obscurity

    And more here:

    but according to this Mainwaring was also pardoned in August 1916:
  2. björn

    björn Old-Salt

    No, only Elkington. There is a mistake in Lynn Mac Donald's book - well my edition anyway
  3. Facetime


    I heard that RN Ruperts carry their swords as a sign of a past disgrace...

    Apparently back in Queen Victorias day there was a mutiny and the officers arranged a meeting with the leaders of the mutiny then, instead of talking things over they hung the Matelows from the yard arm.

    Queen Victoria took exception to this and reffered to the Officers as pigs and that as a sign of their butchery would have to carry their swords!
  4. Joker62

    Joker62 LE Book Reviewer
    1. Arrse on 2 Wheels
    2. London

    Done on Page 3 :wink: here -
  5. Tawahi-50

    Tawahi-50 LE

    I don't know whether that event you mention happened or not, but there was such a case in May 2001 in Belize, where someone died but the victim was not a soldier.
  6. Charm_City

    Charm_City LE

    Weird. I know this was a big deal but all I can find on the Internet is a short piece from the Poverty Bay Herald (NZ) in 1919. IIRC the libel case followed the return of Gordon POWs to UK at the end of the war, when the 'truth' emerged.LINK

    It's 4-6 months before I'll be reunited with my library - surely someone can help my failing mind.


    P.S. Does replying to your own posts make you go blind?
  7. Signalman

    Signalman Old-Salt

    Re the Essex 'running away':

    I can't remember the exact details, but that would be the Battle of Gallabat (aka Metema) in Ethiopia.:

    An Indian Brigade, including 1st Bn Essex Regt and commanded by one Brigadier Bill Slim, took the fort of Gallabat in December 1940 and then moved on to take the village of Metema. However, Slim's brigade had its collective arse handed to it by the Italians, with the 1st Essex suffering the worst of it.

    Thankfully for the British Army, Bill Slim wasn't sacked (as he probably would be in this day an age). He learned from his mistakes and went on to be arguably the best general the British Army has ever produced.

    However, the echoes of Gallabat were to have repercussions in Burma two years later. Slim was by then commanding the Indian XV Corps, having already led I Burma Corps in the longest fighting retreat in British military history. His superior was one General Irwin, commanding Eastern Army and who was a former Colonel of the Essex Regt. He was very bitter about Slim and the Essex Regt's loss of reputation at Gallabat and consequently had little faith in Slim's abilities. As a consequence, Slim was sidelined in the fist counter-offensive operation against the Japanese and Irwin micro-managed XV Indian Corps to near-destruction in the Arakan.

    He then tried to pin the blame on Slim, who was in fact single-handedly responsible for extricating XV Corps from the diabolical situation that Irwin had placed it in. Slim was sacked, but was later exonerated and elevated to command XIV CArmy, while Irwin was sacked and sent back to the UK on a 'sideways posting'.
  8. Archimedes

    Archimedes LE

    Colonel William Eagleston Gordon VC is the chap. From what I can recall, based on a book I can't remember the title of and his obit, he was a brevet colonel and took charge of a mixed column on the retreat from Mons.

    As they withdrew, in darkness, a voice was heard to order the troops in the column to lay down their arms - which was done. Gordon was taken prisoner and held in a camp at Torgau, where the Germans forged a confession from him stating that the Gordons had used illegal ammunition. Gordon was exchanged in 1916.

    A Corporal in the Gordons claimed that it was Col Gordon who'd issued the order, and the Dundee newspaper mentioned in your link printed the accusation. Gordon then sued for £5000 because of the damage to his reputation (the paper clearly ran a 'cowardice of VC winner' line), and although he didn't get this, the jury awarded him £500.
  9. jonwilly

    jonwilly LE

    I have just finished the latest book "Britains Gurkhas" It does cover this but only mentions two British Officers being manhandled.
    A QGO was killed with a booby trapped L2 though but again it skims over by stating possibly set by a former gurkha.
    They do try and protect their reputation understandably!"

    I do not know if we are on the same subject but a Brit officer was 'Fragged' with a L2 in Hong Kong in mid/late 80's.
    I had the detail passed on some years ago from one military and surprisingly a Diplomatic source.
    Seems that some Gurks had been smuggling Gold back to Nepal in Gurk MFO boxes. A valuable consignment was caught and confiscated and the Head of the operation wanted revenge.
    The Brit was just unlucky as to his location next to a main road and the Gurk who did the deed is said now to be working a Bar in Tokyo.

    As for Slim and Irwin it's worth reading up.
    Slim was kept out of First Arakan until the operation had gone to rat sh1t. Irwin then tried to cuff the matter over, sacked Slim and was then in turn fired by by Wavell who knew where the blame lay.
    Irwin after sacking Slim then sent him a signal
    "Your not sacked I am"
    Slim Master of War by Robert Lyman

  10. Charm_City

    Charm_City LE

    That's the badger!!! Should have remembered he was a VC. I think I first read about it about in something about the implications of brevet rank - Gordon was junior to CO 1 GORDONS in regimental terms, but his brevet meant that when 1 GORDONS operated with other units he was senior. This added to the confusion of the situation.

    Many thanks.

  11. Signalman

    Signalman Old-Salt

    Cheers Jon. I was working from memory and couldn't remember who did the reinstating of Slim and sacking or Irwin. I agree - Lyman's book is excellent.
  12. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Reference the incidents with the Gurkhas.

    The 'Hawaii Incident' is still a cause celebre with GAESO and other groups in Nepal. The contention is that the men were all unfairly dismissed because of their refusal to co-operate with the RMP. The feeling was (and I guess it remains) that it should have been handled internally. The QGO who was knocked out in that incident hadn't actually been the target of the angry mob, but had tried to calm the situation when the crowd of Gurkhas stormed out of their cookhouse to confront the OC, and was struck in the ensuing melee. A good description of the incident and following events (which really didn't help matters) can be found in Anthony Gould's "Imperial Warriors".

    As for the Belize incident in 2001, a fight broke out in a strip joint between some teenagers and some Gurkhas who were celebrating the end of an Ex. One of the teens was killed in the fight and three Gurkhas were charged with murder. They were subsequently acquitted due to lack of witnesses.

    Gurkas cleared - Telegraph 2003
  13. Jaeger

    Jaeger LE

    Didn't 5th Essex have a fairly major balls-up in Normandy in 1944 resulting in the Bn. being disbanded by Monty and all the officers sacked or posted? Sure I've read it somewhere. :?
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I thought Slim was sacked by someone else, Leese to my recollecction, minmd you it may have happened more than once but the telegram, its me was attributed to Oliver Leese in Defeat into Victory rather than Irwin!
  15. jonwilly

    jonwilly LE

    Slim was Sacked twice during his time in Burma.
    First by Irwin, I would recommended anyone with a serious interest to read up a good account of this matter. Slim hardly mentions it in his Defeat to Victory an indication of his Contempt I will suggest.
    Oliver Leese removed Slim from Command of 14 Army at the end of the advance down Burma. To say the least this upset Slim.
    The system above Lesse then went into Shock Horror and Lesse was sacked and Slim was given his job.
    I have the highest regard for Slim as a military commander. He was not perfect and as anyone who has read Defeat into Victory will know, he admitted his failings openly.
    The next tale on Slim was that at end of WW II he retired Four star and took over running the freshly Nationalised Brit Rail.
    When Monty then came to the end of his term as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, he had an interview with the PM Attle in which he reputedly begged that what ever happened Slim was not to be given job as next CIGS, Monty wanted one of his old boys the Canadian, Creary, to be next CIGS.
    Attle turned him down and and Slim was Called back to the colours and promoted Field Marshal and became Chief of the Imperial General Staff.
    It was said that Churchill was against Slim for he could not see how anyone with such a surname could be a leader of troops.

    I was wrong in what I said on a Brit Officer being killed in the L2 attack in Hong Kong.
    I was told the tale first when I was working in Mid East mid 90's by a guy who had been a junior in HK at the time.
    I was given a full account by a retired ex Gurkha Colonel here in Thailand about six years ago. He was person who first told me about the Tokyo Barman.
    Around the same time a friend in the diplomatic service confirmed the story, he knew about it due to the Gold Smuggling which was a sensitive matter.
    The Brit officer survived and it was his testimony that he had seen a 'Brown' hand sling the L2 into the room that was a main feature of the investigation.