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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:53 pm
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Posted 02 August 2014 - 11:51 am
Two members of the East Yorkshire Regt stationed at Drumdoe gave evidence at the Court Martial of my father (John Finn) in Belfast on 06/09/1920. They were :
Private W. Newby, No. 42620.
Private Walter Morley, No. 42937.
Morley states that on a Saturday at the begining of August (Newby says 02/08/1920) he, together with Newby and two other soldiers 'absented' themselves from their unit. The first night was spent in Keash and the following day, Newby and Morley went to Gurteen. The local Sinn Fein appears to have accepted them as deserters, provided them with food and civilian clothing, found them work and accommodation locally, and reassured them as to their safety.
Two or three days later the soldiers went to Ballymote and gave themselves up at the local police station.
On orders from the Chief Secretary's Office, Dublin Castle, my father was charges under section 42 AA of the D.R.R. (Defence of the Realm Regulations) with assisting the soldiers to exchange their uniforms for civilian clothing. This section of the D.R.R. concerns deserters, and the soldiers are referred to as deserters in offical British documents at the time.
Newby and Morley give no account as to what became of the other two soldiers.