Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

Court Martial Records of Lieutenant Colonel Elkington, 1st Warwicks


67 replies to this topic

#1 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

Could anyone steer me to where I can aquire the court martial records of the above? This extraodinary episode of two Colonels attempt to surrender their far from exhausted men to the Germans always intrigued me. Rather than passing judgement, I thought I would like to read the records first.

#2 Stoppage Drill

Stoppage Drill

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,221 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:57 PM

It became even more extraordinary.

After being cashiered he joined the Foreign Legion and was back in France in a matter of weeks. He lost a leg, and was awarded CdG and Medaille Militaire. In 1916 the King exercised his prerogative and restored his rank, and awarded him the DSO for service in the French Army.

He was a member of the family whose fortune came from silversmithing in Birmingham.

#3 CROONAERT

CROONAERT

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweat
  • 10,535 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:04 AM

He lost a leg. .


His leg was saved

#4 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

If what I read about him was accurate and fair, quite honestly, he was quite lucky in having the King forgive him and have reinstated into the Army and get a DSO to boot.

If anyone had that kind of luck, he deserves to live forever.



He should've have been shot. Quite disgraceful.

#5 Stoppage Drill

Stoppage Drill

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,221 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

He should've have been shot. .




He was.

In the leg.

Which was saved, pace Croonaert

#6 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:31 AM

I meant permanently, in the head.

Interestingly, there is a photograph of FM Montogomery visiting the family after his death. It seems he forgave his old Colonel. Knowing how Monty was about such matters, it was quite a gesture.

#7 rflory

rflory

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,804 posts
  • Location:California
  • Interests:Twentieth Century Royal Artillery officers, especially for the Great War

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:30 AM

Colonel Elkington was not the only one to have this happen to him. Below is an article I wrote for the Journal of the Royal Artillery some years ago concerning an RA officer who had much the same thing happen:

An Officer Who “Made Good”
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Parker England, DCM, RA (Ret.)


Could a cashiered 52 year-old Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Artillery win a Distinguished Conduct Medal as a Private in a line infantry regiment? Unlikely as it seems, it did happen during the Great War.

Born on 10 August 1866, Edward P. England was accepted as a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich on 19 August 1884. He passed out of the ‘Shop’ on 17 February 1886 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. He subsequently served as a subaltern in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and the Indian Mountain Artillery in the United Kingdom and India. In 1897 he transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, serving at home and abroad as a battery captain and battery commander.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 19 May 1913. On the outbreak of war in August of 1914 England was appointed Officer Commanding the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery and took his unit to France on 21 August 1914.

During the retreat from Mons, the 5th DAC retired as part of the 5th Division. On the evening of the 25th of August 1914, they were bivouacked along the old Roman Road to the north of Reumont. At approximately 3 a.m. on the morning of the 26th, Lieut.-Colonel England was ordered to proceed with his column to Premont, which he did, bringing the column to a location west of Premont. At about 2:30 p.m. he received orders to retire to St. Quentin, which was accomplished by alternately trotting and walking his transport wagon teams via Joncourt and Levergies. The horse teams were badly tired on a steep hill near Levergies. In addition, there were rumours of possible attack by German cavalry. Lieut.-Colonel England ordered four to six boxes of ammunition to be thrown out from each wagon to lighten loads. Later, at about 7.30 p.m., he ordered most of the surplus hay, corn, baggage and other impedimenta to be thrown out of the wagons. But, significantly, he did not ensure that his order was properly carried out. As it passed down the column, England’s order became increasingly distorted, and many of the drivers threw off all of their ammunition loads. Shortly afterward, General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien, commanding 2nd Army Corps came along the Estrees-Levergies-St. Quentin road, where he found neat piles of white boxes along both sides of the road for nearly three miles. He at first he mistook them for rations and other supplies and only realized as he was entering St. Quentin that it was gun ammunition.1

General Smith-Dorrien was greatly upset, and referred the incident to the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, remarking that: “the case is really much more serious than appears here. It was an absolute case of panic on the part of Lieut.-Colonel England ending in his abandoning everything for which his unit exists so that he might save himself and his men.”1 General H. Smith-Dorrien went on to write that: “At St. Quentin Railway Station at about 10 p.m. on the 26th August, I was at once approached by Lieut.-Colonel England who was in an extremely nervous and agitated state.”1

A Court of Inquiry for Lieut. Colonel England was held at Pontoise, France on 29th August 1914 Based on the evidence presented, it was recommended that he be tried by General Court-Martial on two charges:

First Charge - Section 4 (7) of the Army Act: “Misbehaving before the enemy in such manner as to show cowardice, in that he between Premont and St. Quentin on the 26th August 1914, by reason of fear caused by rumours of the approach of the enemy, without due cause allowed ammunition to be thrown from the wagons of the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column, of which he was in command.”

Second (Alternative) Charge - Section 4 (6) of the Army Act: Knowingly doing when on active service an act calculated to imperil the success of His Majesty’s Forces, in that he between Premont and St. Quentin on the 26th August 1914, without due cause ordered ammunition to be thrown from the wagons of the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column of which he was in charge.”2

On 5 September 1914 England was admitted to hospital, “. . . it being reported that his actions were not those of a responsible person. The Deputy Director of Medical Services on examination found Lieut.-Colonel England to be suffering from considerable mental strain due to over-fatigue and want of sleep, and it was stated that he had in fact lost for the time his mental balance. He was placed on the sick list and was sent to the base.”1

Lieutenant-Colonel England was sent home and his case was submitted to the King “. . . with the result that His Majesty was pleased to direct that the officer in question be removed from the Army. Before effect was given to the decision, however, Lieut.-Colonel England appealed to the King’s Clemency mainly on the ground that owing to the effects of a severe concussion of the brain caused by a fall when riding in a point-to-point race in India in March 1913, he had since that time been incapable of any severe mental effort, which fact he had not disclosed to the medical officer who certified as to his fitness for active service; and he asked that he might be brought before a medical board with a view to being invalided out of the service, thus avoiding the severe penalty and disgrace entailed by removal from the Army.”1

"The Army Council, in view of the medical opinion already referred to, considered it probable enough that Lieut.-Colonel England’s mental equilibrium had been impaired by the strain he had undergone, but nevertheless they took the view that it was inadvisable on their part to attempt to enter into the question of mental disability in the case of an officer exercising his command in the presence of the enemy; and His Majesty was pleased not to disturb the decision already arrived at that Lieut.-Colonel England was to be removed from the Army.”1

The London Gazette of 11 December 1914 carried the following notice: “Lt.-Col. E. P. England is removed from the Army, The King having no further occasion for his services, 12 December 1914.” He was granted retired pay of £292.10s.0d annually from that date as ‘Mr. England.’ 3

Early in 1915 the now Mr. E.P. England travelled to South America to regain his health, hoping that he might be fit for further service.4 On his return to England, he initially enlisted in the Yeomanry, under an assumed name, but was invalided out due to ill-health. He then enlisted in the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps as a Private, since he was over the age limit for service in a front-line unit.1

In a later letter to the Secretary of the War Office, England explained what happened next.

“As I knew several of the English general officers employed in the German East Africa Campaign, I felt sure of being transferred or attached for duty to a fighting unit of the mounted branches in that country. Hence in January 1916 I was sent to German East Africa with a Motor Ambulance Company as Sergeant, but owing to the kind offices of General Malleson, was attached for duty directly after arrival at Mombassa, to the 4th South African Horse, with whom I served as scout, range taker and occasionally machine gunner, till their disbandment at Moroforo on account of sickness amongst the men and the impossibility of mounting the men since the mounts died before arrival.”4

He returned to England in January 1917 and entered hospital for treatment of ill-health as a result of his service in East Africa. On his discharge from hospital he was transferred from the Army Service Corps to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as Private No 33797.1 England wrote:

“I found the greatest difficulty in getting a transfer to infantry. . . and was refused a transfer to the Record Office, Woolwich and it was only in France that I managed to do so, through the kind assistance of Officer Commanding, Army Service Corps, Rouen - after 10 days training at Rouen in an Infantry Base Depot, I was transformed into a fully trained infantry man and joined the 8th Devons on their way to the trenches at Bullecourt.” 4

He joined his Battalion on 23 July 1917 “. . . and very soon thereafter attracted attention by his exceptional ability and zeal in the performance of duty, whether in the trenches or out of them. He was out with every wiring party and did most useful work on night patrols in locating occupied shell holes and enemy machine gun posts.”1

Private England was appointed second in command of a bombing section. On the morning of 4 October 1917 he was detailed for transport work away from the line. But, on hearing that an offensive operation was about to begin, he asked if he could join in the attack. His request was granted. For his actions that day he was recommended for the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The recommendation read:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during active operations on 4th October 1917, East of Polygon Wood, near Noordendhoek. During the advance an unexpected enemy machine gun opened fire from a pill box on Private England’s platoon from a range of 50 yards. The platoon officer and all N.C. Officers were hit and the men somewhat disorganized. Realizing the situation Private England freely exposing himself rallied the remainder of the platoon and taking charge of them rushed and captured the pillbox and machine gun, although badly wounded himself, on the way. Private England’s quick decision and gallant action enabled the troops on either flank to advance, who would otherwise have been held up by enfilading fire. By his quick grasp of the situation and determined action Private England showed in addition to great personal gallantry great power of leadership and command over men.”1

Private England’s Divisional, Corps and Army Commanders all recommended his reinstatement as an officer. These recommendations were supported by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief who wrote: “. . . while recognizing the seriousness of the offence of the year 1914, is of the opinion that Private England by his devotion to duty, his soldier-like bearing, and his gallantry, merits condonation of the past; and accordingly strongly recommends reinstatement as a Lieutenant-Colonel in His Majesty’s Army.”1

In January, 1918 The London Gazette contained the following notice:

33797 Pte. E. P. England, Devonport
‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. An enemy machine gun opened fire on his platoon at close range and caused several casualties, including his officer and all the NCO’s. He at once took command, rallied the remaining men, and though badly wounded himself, rushed and captured the “pill box” and the machine gun. His prompt and courageous action and splendid leadership enabled the advance to continue.’ ”8

In the meantime, Private England had been admitted to The Cedars Convalescent Home, Sherwood, Nottingham in January, 1918 as a convalescent. On 19 January 1918 a Medical Board found that Private England was fifty percent disabled as a result of wounds suffered in action. In consequence of that finding, the Minister of Pensions awarded him a pension of 13s.9d per week.4

Upon careful consideration of his case the Army Council recommended to the King that Private E. P. England be reinstated in his former rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.1 He was discharged from the army on 22 January 1918 to accept reinstatement as an officer. The London Gazette of 23 January 1918, on page 1156, carried the following announcement:

“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the re-instatement of Edward Parker England in the rank of Lt.-Col., with his previous seniority, in consequence of his devotion to duty and gallantry in the field while in the ranks of the Devonshire Regiment. He is accordingly re-appointed Lt.-Col. in the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery 30th Dec. 1917, with seniority and to count service in that rank towards retirement on retired pay as from 19th May 1913, but without pay or allowances for the period 12th Dec. 1914 up to 29th Dec. 1917, inclusive.”

After his reinstatement as an officer, the War Office informed him that because he was now an officer he could no longer draw an other-ranks pension for being wounded in action. The War Office further informed him that at the same time he couldn’t draw an officer’s wound gratuity because he was not an officer when he was wounded.4, 5

The now Lieutenant-Colonel England went before a medical board that declared him medically unfit due to wounds. Then, on 28 March 1919 he was informed by the War Office that they had approved his retirement on retired pay on account of ill-health caused by wounds with effect from 1 March 1919.6 On 9 April 1919 he was made eligible for the Silver War Badge.7

Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Parker England, R.F.A. (Retd) died at New Barn, Horwood, Bishop Tawton, North Devon on 10 January 1921 as a consequence of gunshot wounds to the lungs during the Great War.

The 17 January 1921 edition of The Times carried the following obituary:

An Officer Who ‘Made Good’
Death of Colonel England, D.C.M.

The death occurred last week at New Barn, Horwood, North Devon, as the result of wounds received in action, of Colonel Edward Parker England, D.C.M., late Royal Artillery. In the early days of the war Colonel England was dismissed the service and subsequently enlisted, and in consequence of his gallantry while serving in the ranks was reinstated.

End Notes:

1. Undated Army Council Memorandum (WO 374/22818).
2. Confidential letter from the War Office to Lieut. Colonel England
dated 5 November 1914 (WO 374/22818).
3. War Office Minute Sheet dated 4 July 1918 (WO 374/22818)
4. Letter from Lieut. Colonel England to Secretary, War Office, 16
January 1918 (WO 374/22818)
5. War Office Minute Sheet dated 4 July 1918 (WO 374/22818)
6. Letter from War Office to Lieut. Colonel England of 28 March 1919
(WO 374/22818)
7. Medal Index Card for Lieut. Colonel E. P. England (WO372)
8. The Times, 17 January 1921, page 7d.

#8 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

Truly an extraordinary story. Thank you for sharing.










Colonel Elkington was not the only one to have this happen to him. Below is an article I wrote for the Journal of the Royal Artillery some years ago concerning an RA officer who had much the same thing happen:

An Officer Who "Made Good"
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Parker England, DCM, RA (Ret.)


Could a cashiered 52 year-old Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Artillery win a Distinguished Conduct Medal as a Private in a line infantry regiment? Unlikely as it seems, it did happen during the Great War.

Born on 10 August 1866, Edward P. England was accepted as a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich on 19 August 1884. He passed out of the 'Shop' on 17 February 1886 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. He subsequently served as a subaltern in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and the Indian Mountain Artillery in the United Kingdom and India. In 1897 he transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, serving at home and abroad as a battery captain and battery commander.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 19 May 1913. On the outbreak of war in August of 1914 England was appointed Officer Commanding the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery and took his unit to France on 21 August 1914.

During the retreat from Mons, the 5th DAC retired as part of the 5th Division. On the evening of the 25th of August 1914, they were bivouacked along the old Roman Road to the north of Reumont. At approximately 3 a.m. on the morning of the 26th, Lieut.-Colonel England was ordered to proceed with his column to Premont, which he did, bringing the column to a location west of Premont. At about 2:30 p.m. he received orders to retire to St. Quentin, which was accomplished by alternately trotting and walking his transport wagon teams via Joncourt and Levergies. The horse teams were badly tired on a steep hill near Levergies. In addition, there were rumours of possible attack by German cavalry. Lieut.-Colonel England ordered four to six boxes of ammunition to be thrown out from each wagon to lighten loads. Later, at about 7.30 p.m., he ordered most of the surplus hay, corn, baggage and other impedimenta to be thrown out of the wagons. But, significantly, he did not ensure that his order was properly carried out. As it passed down the column, England's order became increasingly distorted, and many of the drivers threw off all of their ammunition loads. Shortly afterward, General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien, commanding 2nd Army Corps came along the Estrees-Levergies-St. Quentin road, where he found neat piles of white boxes along both sides of the road for nearly three miles. He at first he mistook them for rations and other supplies and only realized as he was entering St. Quentin that it was gun ammunition.1

General Smith-Dorrien was greatly upset, and referred the incident to the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, remarking that: "the case is really much more serious than appears here. It was an absolute case of panic on the part of Lieut.-Colonel England ending in his abandoning everything for which his unit exists so that he might save himself and his men."1 General H. Smith-Dorrien went on to write that: "At St. Quentin Railway Station at about 10 p.m. on the 26th August, I was at once approached by Lieut.-Colonel England who was in an extremely nervous and agitated state."1

A Court of Inquiry for Lieut. Colonel England was held at Pontoise, France on 29th August 1914 Based on the evidence presented, it was recommended that he be tried by General Court-Martial on two charges:

First Charge - Section 4 (7) of the Army Act: "Misbehaving before the enemy in such manner as to show cowardice, in that he between Premont and St. Quentin on the 26th August 1914, by reason of fear caused by rumours of the approach of the enemy, without due cause allowed ammunition to be thrown from the wagons of the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column, of which he was in command."

Second (Alternative) Charge - Section 4 (6) of the Army Act: Knowingly doing when on active service an act calculated to imperil the success of His Majesty's Forces, in that he between Premont and St. Quentin on the 26th August 1914, without due cause ordered ammunition to be thrown from the wagons of the 5th Divisional Ammunition Column of which he was in charge."2

On 5 September 1914 England was admitted to hospital, ". . . it being reported that his actions were not those of a responsible person. The Deputy Director of Medical Services on examination found Lieut.-Colonel England to be suffering from considerable mental strain due to over-fatigue and want of sleep, and it was stated that he had in fact lost for the time his mental balance. He was placed on the sick list and was sent to the base."1

Lieutenant-Colonel England was sent home and his case was submitted to the King ". . . with the result that His Majesty was pleased to direct that the officer in question be removed from the Army. Before effect was given to the decision, however, Lieut.-Colonel England appealed to the King's Clemency mainly on the ground that owing to the effects of a severe concussion of the brain caused by a fall when riding in a point-to-point race in India in March 1913, he had since that time been incapable of any severe mental effort, which fact he had not disclosed to the medical officer who certified as to his fitness for active service; and he asked that he might be brought before a medical board with a view to being invalided out of the service, thus avoiding the severe penalty and disgrace entailed by removal from the Army."1

"The Army Council, in view of the medical opinion already referred to, considered it probable enough that Lieut.-Colonel England's mental equilibrium had been impaired by the strain he had undergone, but nevertheless they took the view that it was inadvisable on their part to attempt to enter into the question of mental disability in the case of an officer exercising his command in the presence of the enemy; and His Majesty was pleased not to disturb the decision already arrived at that Lieut.-Colonel England was to be removed from the Army."1

The London Gazette of 11 December 1914 carried the following notice: "Lt.-Col. E. P. England is removed from the Army, The King having no further occasion for his services, 12 December 1914." He was granted retired pay of £292.10s.0d annually from that date as 'Mr. England.' 3

Early in 1915 the now Mr. E.P. England travelled to South America to regain his health, hoping that he might be fit for further service.4 On his return to England, he initially enlisted in the Yeomanry, under an assumed name, but was invalided out due to ill-health. He then enlisted in the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps as a Private, since he was over the age limit for service in a front-line unit.1

In a later letter to the Secretary of the War Office, England explained what happened next.

"As I knew several of the English general officers employed in the German East Africa Campaign, I felt sure of being transferred or attached for duty to a fighting unit of the mounted branches in that country. Hence in January 1916 I was sent to German East Africa with a Motor Ambulance Company as Sergeant, but owing to the kind offices of General Malleson, was attached for duty directly after arrival at Mombassa, to the 4th South African Horse, with whom I served as scout, range taker and occasionally machine gunner, till their disbandment at Moroforo on account of sickness amongst the men and the impossibility of mounting the men since the mounts died before arrival."4

He returned to England in January 1917 and entered hospital for treatment of ill-health as a result of his service in East Africa. On his discharge from hospital he was transferred from the Army Service Corps to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as Private No 33797.1 England wrote:

"I found the greatest difficulty in getting a transfer to infantry. . . and was refused a transfer to the Record Office, Woolwich and it was only in France that I managed to do so, through the kind assistance of Officer Commanding, Army Service Corps, Rouen - after 10 days training at Rouen in an Infantry Base Depot, I was transformed into a fully trained infantry man and joined the 8th Devons on their way to the trenches at Bullecourt." 4

He joined his Battalion on 23 July 1917 ". . . and very soon thereafter attracted attention by his exceptional ability and zeal in the performance of duty, whether in the trenches or out of them. He was out with every wiring party and did most useful work on night patrols in locating occupied shell holes and enemy machine gun posts."1

Private England was appointed second in command of a bombing section. On the morning of 4 October 1917 he was detailed for transport work away from the line. But, on hearing that an offensive operation was about to begin, he asked if he could join in the attack. His request was granted. For his actions that day he was recommended for the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The recommendation read:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during active operations on 4th October 1917, East of Polygon Wood, near Noordendhoek. During the advance an unexpected enemy machine gun opened fire from a pill box on Private England's platoon from a range of 50 yards. The platoon officer and all N.C. Officers were hit and the men somewhat disorganized. Realizing the situation Private England freely exposing himself rallied the remainder of the platoon and taking charge of them rushed and captured the pillbox and machine gun, although badly wounded himself, on the way. Private England's quick decision and gallant action enabled the troops on either flank to advance, who would otherwise have been held up by enfilading fire. By his quick grasp of the situation and determined action Private England showed in addition to great personal gallantry great power of leadership and command over men."1

Private England's Divisional, Corps and Army Commanders all recommended his reinstatement as an officer. These recommendations were supported by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief who wrote: ". . . while recognizing the seriousness of the offence of the year 1914, is of the opinion that Private England by his devotion to duty, his soldier-like bearing, and his gallantry, merits condonation of the past; and accordingly strongly recommends reinstatement as a Lieutenant-Colonel in His Majesty's Army."1

In January, 1918 The London Gazette contained the following notice:

33797 Pte. E. P. England, Devonport
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. An enemy machine gun opened fire on his platoon at close range and caused several casualties, including his officer and all the NCO's. He at once took command, rallied the remaining men, and though badly wounded himself, rushed and captured the "pill box" and the machine gun. His prompt and courageous action and splendid leadership enabled the advance to continue.' "8

In the meantime, Private England had been admitted to The Cedars Convalescent Home, Sherwood, Nottingham in January, 1918 as a convalescent. On 19 January 1918 a Medical Board found that Private England was fifty percent disabled as a result of wounds suffered in action. In consequence of that finding, the Minister of Pensions awarded him a pension of 13s.9d per week.4

Upon careful consideration of his case the Army Council recommended to the King that Private E. P. England be reinstated in his former rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.1 He was discharged from the army on 22 January 1918 to accept reinstatement as an officer. The London Gazette of 23 January 1918, on page 1156, carried the following announcement:

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the re-instatement of Edward Parker England in the rank of Lt.-Col., with his previous seniority, in consequence of his devotion to duty and gallantry in the field while in the ranks of the Devonshire Regiment. He is accordingly re-appointed Lt.-Col. in the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery 30th Dec. 1917, with seniority and to count service in that rank towards retirement on retired pay as from 19th May 1913, but without pay or allowances for the period 12th Dec. 1914 up to 29th Dec. 1917, inclusive."

After his reinstatement as an officer, the War Office informed him that because he was now an officer he could no longer draw an other-ranks pension for being wounded in action. The War Office further informed him that at the same time he couldn't draw an officer's wound gratuity because he was not an officer when he was wounded.4, 5

The now Lieutenant-Colonel England went before a medical board that declared him medically unfit due to wounds. Then, on 28 March 1919 he was informed by the War Office that they had approved his retirement on retired pay on account of ill-health caused by wounds with effect from 1 March 1919.6 On 9 April 1919 he was made eligible for the Silver War Badge.7

Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Parker England, R.F.A. (Retd) died at New Barn, Horwood, Bishop Tawton, North Devon on 10 January 1921 as a consequence of gunshot wounds to the lungs during the Great War.

The 17 January 1921 edition of The Times carried the following obituary:

An Officer Who 'Made Good'
Death of Colonel England, D.C.M.

The death occurred last week at New Barn, Horwood, North Devon, as the result of wounds received in action, of Colonel Edward Parker England, D.C.M., late Royal Artillery. In the early days of the war Colonel England was dismissed the service and subsequently enlisted, and in consequence of his gallantry while serving in the ranks was reinstated.

End Notes:

1. Undated Army Council Memorandum (WO 374/22818).
2. Confidential letter from the War Office to Lieut. Colonel England
dated 5 November 1914 (WO 374/22818).
3. War Office Minute Sheet dated 4 July 1918 (WO 374/22818)
4. Letter from Lieut. Colonel England to Secretary, War Office, 16
January 1918 (WO 374/22818)
5. War Office Minute Sheet dated 4 July 1918 (WO 374/22818)
6. Letter from War Office to Lieut. Colonel England of 28 March 1919
(WO 374/22818)
7. Medal Index Card for Lieut. Colonel E. P. England (WO372)
8. The Times, 17 January 1921, page 7d.



#9 Alan Tucker

Alan Tucker

    Brigadier-General

  • R.I.P.
  • 1,989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Solihull, West Midlands
  • Interests:Birmingham and the Great War
    Devonshire Regiment

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:36 AM

COLONEL JOHN FORD ELKINGTON. 1st Bn Warwicks

Born February 3rd 1866 at Newcastle, Jamaica
The first of five sons of Major-General J.H.F Elkington (1830-1889) and Margaret nee Jamieson. Also one daughter
Father in 1866 Senior Major 2nd Bn of what was soon to be named the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, then stationed on the island. He commanded the battalion in Britain in 1867
Educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, where his father was stationed at the time. In 1885 his father was appointed Governor of Guernsey
Attended Sandhurst 1885-6
1886 Commissioned into the 1st Bn Royal Warwicks as a Lieutenant
1893 January. Captain
1895-7 Posted to Malta and Egypt
1897-9 Based at the Regimental Depot at Warwick
1899-1900 Served in Northern Nigeria attached to the West African Frontier Force
1900-1901 Served with the 2nd Bn in South Africa. Queen’s medal with four clasps
1901 April Promoted Major
1901-2 With the 2nd Bn in Bermuda
1902-6 Served at home
1906-7 South Africa with the 3rd Bn
1908 July 9 Married Mary Rew at Whitchurch, Oxfordshire.
1909 July 25 First son born – John David Rew Elkington – at Purley Hall, near Reading. Father then serving with the 1st Bn at Peshawar. John served with the Rifle Brigade in the Second World War and also became a Lieutenant Colonel.
1910 Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel
1914 February Appointed Lieutenant Colonel, 1st Bn Royal Warwicks
1914 September 9 Daughter born – Jean Margaret Rew

1914 October 31 London Gazette announced that from September 14 he had been ‘cashiered by sentence of a General Court-martial’.’The writer of an article which appeared in the Daily Sketch of September 1916 had spoken to a unnamed friend of Elkington who claimed that as soon as the court martial decision was known he remarked “There is still the Foreign Legion”. (Ashby p 94) His friends lost him, hearing of him only vaguely by report’. ‘He set out to make good a name that he felt needed cleansing’. He immediately joined the Foreign Legion of the French Army as a legionnaire 2nd class.

He took part in…
1915 May 9 Attack on Hill 140 (Vimy Ridge)
1915 June 16 Attack on Hill 119 near Souchez
1915 September 28 Attack on Navarin Farm in Champagne, east of Berry-au-Bac.. Here he was badly wounded in the leg by machine gun fire. He was operated on eight times at Grenoble’s Hospital Civil and his leg was saved. Whilst in hospital for many months he was awarded the Medaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. He returned to England to convalesce.
1916 July Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston,then commanding VIII Corps but at Haucourt in 1914 had commanded 11th Brigade and then presided over the court martial, wrote to congratulate Elkington for the way in which he had regained his honour by gallant conduct in the Legion. He also pressed the Adjutant-General for a pardon.
1916 September 7. The London Gazette reported his reinstatement as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment from August 22 1916‘in consequence of his gallant conduct while serving in the ranks of the Foreign Legion of the French Army’.
1916 September 8. He told the Daily Sketch – “I did nothing of note. I was with the others in the trenches. I did what everybody else did. We all fought as hard as we could”.
1916 October 20 He was received by the King – still very lame
1916 October 28 Awarded the DSO. His wound prevented further service. He now returned to the family home at Purley House, Pangbourne, Reading and then Adbury Holt, Berkshire.
1918 February Went on half pay
1918 May 22 Birth of a younger son – Richard Ford Rew. One of the sponsors at his baptism was Lieutenant David Wheeler, American Expeditionary Force, who had become a close friend of Elkington in the Foreign Legion. Richard died of wounds in Tunisia in 1943 as a captain in the 10/Rifle Brigade. Family was living at Adbury Holt, Newbury, Berkshire
1919 July retired
1939 His daughter, Jean Margaret Rew Elkington, married a soldier killed at Arnhem in September 1944 – he was then Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Richard de Bacquencourt Des Voeux, CO of the 156th Parachute Regiment (AA). Her father still lived at Adbury Holt in 1939. Jean died on May 20 1974.
(Scott page 6-7 and Times September 7 1916 and other dates)
1944 June 27 Death of Lieutenant Colonel Elkington. His obituary in the Newbury Weekly Times on June 29 spoke highly of his active work in local affairs, particularly Burghclere – a JP at Kingsclere, started a Men’s Club, Chairman of Newbury District Hospital in 1918. It concluded – “he was a gallant soldier and a great gentleman”.
1946 May Stained glass window dedicated to John Ford and Richard Elkington unveiled in the Church of the Ascension, Burghclere, Berkshire. It was unveiled by Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein. ‘Monty’ said ‘he made good more than he lost’ (Newbury Weekly News May 23 1946)
1956 July 14 The estate of Mrs Mary Elkington, the widow of the Lieutenant Colonel, of Burghclere, near Newbury, was valued at £124175 after duty.

(Hugh McLeave ‘The Damned Die Hard’. New York. 1973. Times. Birmingham Weekly Post)

#10 corisande

corisande

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,348 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Interests:The Royal Dublin Fusiliers in general and 10th Battalion in particular.and I probably should add "Irish Brigade" and "Cairo Gang" and "The Auxiliaries"

Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

You can buy "Dishonoured" by Peter T Scott about the Colonels' Surrender at St Quentin.

Amazon currently have a second hand copy at £5.73

#11 Chris_Baker

Chris_Baker

    General

  • Old Sweat
  • 13,987 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warwickshire UK

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:00 AM

their far from exhausted men


Really?

#12 corisande

corisande

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,348 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Interests:The Royal Dublin Fusiliers in general and 10th Battalion in particular.and I probably should add "Irish Brigade" and "Cairo Gang" and "The Auxiliaries"

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

Really


That was why I thought that tempaire78 might like a little insight on the situation at St Quentin. He seems to have a very different view from the contemporary commentators

#13 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

Most definitely. Did the officers and men exhaust all their ammunition and supplies? Were they surrounded and finally overwhelmed like the 2nd Munters or the 2nd KOYLI at Le Cateau? Did they lose 50 per cent of their men?

Yes Chiris. These are the reasons why he was cashiered from the Army. Did not exhaust all available means in the face of the enemy. I do not equate lack of sleep and endless retreats a reason. This is war not peacetime.

#14 Chris_Baker

Chris_Baker

    General

  • Old Sweat
  • 13,987 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warwickshire UK

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

You're welcome to your opinion. These are men we are talking about, not machines. Look at the movements and activities of these units since they arrived in France. How could the men not be dead beat? I've personally not experienced anything like as physically demanding a time as they did, and I doubt whether you have either. Personally I think the two Colonels were utterly wrong to do what they did, and after all the men were later roused to escape from St Quentin, but it is easy to judge from an armchair.

#15 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

Corisande

Thanks for that. I went and ordered it from Abebooks.
Now hopefully it will tell me if and where I can find the court martial records.

#16 CROONAERT

CROONAERT

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweat
  • 10,535 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:10 AM

...He immediately joined the Foreign Legion of the French Army as a legionnaire 2nd class.

He took part in…
1915 May 9 Attack on Hill 140 (Vimy Ridge)
1915 June 16 Attack on Hill 119 near Souchez
1915 September 28 Attack on Navarin Farm in Champagne, east of Berry-au-Bac.. Here he was badly wounded in the leg by machine gun fire....



He enlisted into the 3RM/1RE in February 1915 and served on the Somme front until July 1915 when he was one of 897 men transferred to the 2RM/1RE recuperating in the Vosges and desperately in need of reinforcements following their mauling in the Artois battles (where they had suffered an almost 60% casualty ratio including all bar one of the Americans serving within the ranks). His unit then moved to the Champagne front where, as mentioned, he was one of 627 casualties (killed, wounded & missing) within his unit on the failed attack near Navarin Farm/Souain.


Dave

#17 CROONAERT

CROONAERT

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweat
  • 10,535 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

Anyone got any idea what Elkington was doing between September 1914 and January/February 1915?

#18 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:23 AM

I understood that he went back to France to enlist in the Legion, since the KING wanted nothing to do with him.



Interestingly, Montogomery's chief biographer, Nigel Hamilton damns Elkington to France and back. See page 79 in Volume 1. Major Poole promoted Montogomery to Captain and took over what remained of the battalion.

#19 corisande

corisande

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,348 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Interests:The Royal Dublin Fusiliers in general and 10th Battalion in particular.and I probably should add "Irish Brigade" and "Cairo Gang" and "The Auxiliaries"

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

Anyone got any idea what Elkington was doing between September 1914 and January/February 1915?


Court Martial was 12th Sept and sentence promulgated 14 Sep 1914.

Dishonoured says

When Elkington was returned to England in Sept 1914 it is clear that he had already made up his mind as to his only course of action. He spent a few days with his newly born daughter, and putting his affairs in order and making his farewells. He then travelled to Paris and enlisted in French Foreign Legion. He was inducted as a Legionnaire 2nd class no. 29274.

They go on to record some of the actions of his regiment the first being in May 1915

#20 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

What did the Mainwaring do after this? He was cashiered I think as well.

#21 NigelP

NigelP

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 365 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:The North & South Staffordshire Regiments and The Staffordshire Yeomanry.

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:51 AM

Have a look at http://www.nationala...s-17th-20th.htm But it doesn't look too hopeful. The papers for courts martial covering the period 1851-1914 were destroyed in 1940. The proceedings may still exist in series WO 71/387-1586 but these are locked for between 30-100 years.

#22 tempaire78

tempaire78

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members2
  • 97 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Big Apple

Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

Many thanks! Will let you know if I found something.

#23 CROONAERT

CROONAERT

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweat
  • 10,535 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Court Martial was 12th Sept and sentence promulgated 14 Sep 1914.

Dishonoured says

When Elkington was returned to England in Sept 1914 it is clear that he had already made up his mind as to his only course of action. He spent a few days with his newly born daughter, and putting his affairs in order and making his farewells. He then travelled to Paris and enlisted in French Foreign Legion. He was inducted as a Legionnaire 2nd class no. 29274.

They go on to record some of the actions of his regiment the first being in May 1915



there's still several missing months (in France perhaps?) as he certainly didn't enlist until early February 1915 - though he could have been held at the Parisien depot for some weeks first as happened with some of the very earliest enlistments (and his number should be a four digit one (or, if five, then starting with the number '1') beginning with the prefix 'LM'. That number given in the book would possibly be his matricule au Corps rather than his personal number. He also enlisted into the 3RM/1RE (who didn't serve in Artois at that time) as a Soldat 2eme Classe..( 'Legionnaire' was a generic -even unofficial - term at the time that didn't have a 2nd class)

('Seek Glory, Now Keep Glory' also reiterates the same story (and gives that same number) of his enlistment into the 2RM/1RE but I think that it is just an error being repeated as, though this was his final unit within the LE, he didn't join it until July 1915... other than his actual enlistment papers, this can be corroborated by the names, dates and service details of those who he served with)

#24 NigelP

NigelP

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 365 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:The North & South Staffordshire Regiments and The Staffordshire Yeomanry.

Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:19 PM

Another book on this subject which appears to have favourable reviews is August 1914: Surrender at St Quentin by John Hutton

#25 Keith Roberts

Keith Roberts

    Lieut-General

  • Admin
  • 6,002 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth Hants
  • Interests:Researching the war of Greengates, those who served, and the community behind them. Yorkshire regiments, Belgian and other beers.

Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

I have deleted some posts. In one case I consider it outside forum rules, and the others were replies which would not make sense in the absence of the first one removed.

Keith






Recent blog entries on this topic

Photo

Lt. Col. E.P. England DCM RA

By ianjonescl in Northumbrian Gunner meanderings, on 01 March 2012 - 08:11 PM

Excellent and very interesting article by Dick Flory


Below is an article I wrote for the Journal of the Royal Artillery some years ago concerning an RA officer who had much the same thing happen:

An Officer Who...

Read Full Entry →