Category Archives: Great War

#Shorncliffe’s other Air Raid Victims #FWW #Folkestone

The story of the bombing on the 25th May 1917 is well known. The burials of the Canadian Soldiers killed led to the Canadian Day Memorial Service now held annually at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. Not quite as well known is that 13 other Canadian Soldiers all from theCanadian Field Artillery who were killed in an earlier air raid were buried there. I say were because only the remains of 12 still lay buried at Shorncliffe. Sgt 42623 Edward Charles Harris’s remains were repatriated and now rest in St Catherines Cemetery Toronto.

The air raid occurred on the 13th October 1915 at Otterpool Camp. Zepplin L14 dropped four bombs on the camp killing 14. Another soldier 86687 Harry James Rixon died on the 15th, he is buried at Easthamstead. One other soldier 86398 Pringle Borthwick is buried in Wilton Cemetery, Hawick.

The soldiers killed in the air raid on the 13th October 1915 at Otterpool and are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery  are:

IMG_8547.JPGCharles Boeyckens, a Belgian from Antwerp who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Buried apart from the other soldiers killed, he is buried very close to the Belgium plot in the cemetery in Plot C.123

The others are buried in Plot O numbers O.303-O.313 inclusive. They are:

IMG_853086372 David John Philips. Plot O.303

IMG_853186436 Sydney George Lane who was born in Burgate Hampshire. Plot O.304

IMG_853286503 Ernest William Bayes who hailed from Walthamstow in Essex. Plot O.305.

IMG_853386463 Richard Dyer Simpson. Plot O.306

IMG_853486474 Richard Stewart Truscott. Plot O.307

IMG_853586676 Charles Gordon Peterkin Plot O. 308

IMG_853686658 Wilfred George Harris. Plot O.309.

IMG_853786552 Samuel McKay. Plot O.310.

IMG_853886791 Thomas Dickson. Plot O.311

IMG_853986777 Henry Adrian Horn. Plot O.312. The epitaph reads “Fear not them who can kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.”

IMG_8542400004 Douglas Routledge Johnston. Plot O.313. The epitaph reads “Till the morning breaks and the shadows flee away”.

Sources

Surrey History Forum

Kent History Forum

CommonwealthWar Graves Commission Website

Service Records of Canadian Soldiers WW1

 

Captain Gilchrist #FWW #Folkestone Old Cemetery

Captain Robert Crooks Gilchrist the youngest son of Brigadier-General Robert Alexander Gilchrist, Indian Army, was born in Aurungabad, Deccau, India on 24 June 1878. Robert educated at Dover College and the Royal Military Acadamy Sandhurst where he passed with honours. Gazzetted to 2nd Lieut Indian Army in 1897 and promoted to Lieutenant in 1897 and Captain in 1906. At first appointed to the 33rd Punjabis and then the 46th Punjabis. He went on to serve five years with the Burmah Military Police and took part in two frontier expeditions. He was awarded the kings Police Medal for his service in the Burmah-Chinese Boundary Limitation Commission.  At the outbreak of the war, he was attached to the 59th Scinde Rifles and was killed in action at la Bassee on the 19th December 191. De Ruvigny’s state ” while leading a storming party up a German Sap under heavy fire.” De Ruvigny’s also quote from a letter sent by Major TL Leeds, who probably wrote the extract from the 59th Scinde Rifles reproduced below the photograph. The letter from TL Leeds reads

“Your son was killed yesterday morning while leading a storming party in a night attack on the German trenches. He was was most gallantly leading a storming party up a German sap under heavy fire when he was hit in the head by a rifle bullet and killed at once.” Roberts former commander also sent a letter of condolence to the family in which he sid, “I have never heard anything but the most kindly mention…” (quoted in De Ruvigny’s)IMG_8317Capt Robert Crooks Gilchrist’s memorial on his father’s grave in Folkestone Old Cemetery.

From the 59th Scinde Rifles WarDiary for the 19th December 1914

“…Capt Gilchrist went forward too and very shortly came back and asked for support which I sent up. later I heard both had been hit and the people up front hard pressed. I went up the communication trench and found Lieut Scolie who was making must plucky efforts to remove Capt Lee who was dead and Capt Gilchrist who was still alive. They were in a bit of German communication trench from the sap to their main trench. The parapet was not bullet proof and they were being fired on from three sides. Hav. Abdul Wahab with some men was plucky holding the head of the communication trench very close to the Germans. Lieut Kisch RB selecting a plan for a sandbag barricade. He showed me the place he considered best, which I told him to prepare. I told Lieut Scolie to get back Capt Gilchrist who I saw was alive, and to have Capt Lee who I saw was dead, and other bodies, I thought it best to risk no further lives. Capt Gilchrist was got behind the barricade with great difficulty but died soon after. …”

Postcard to Mum Down Under From, #Folkestone #FWW #WWI

A dreich morning, it is the only way of describing it. I am cold, wet and miserable standing here by Williams grave. My hands are a ghostly shade of pale. The camera is soaking and I have the shivers. My head is close to the dark place it often haunts. A bad morning and the photo is crap, but the day and I are in paradise compared to William’s last morning ninety-nine years ago today. The morning of the 17th April 1917 was to be William’s last.  An Australian Infantryman he was due to return to France from Folkestone that day.  He had been wounded in action in October 1917. On the 12th April, he had gone A.W.L. from Tattoo for three days. He was to receive 14 days Field Punishment No.2 (F.P.2) and forfeit 17 days pay for this crime. F.P.2  the prisoner was placed in irons or fetters, subjected to hard labour and had to carry out all normal duties. It is during these last few days that William wrote a postcard to his mum.

“Dear Mother The military has sent me over to France to be wilfully murdered as I knew to much for them I gave them the best snye system the world could ever be produced ending up with their ruin writing”

He gave the card to another soldier to send. on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp Earls Avenue Folkestone

Not long after 9 a.m.  on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp, Earls Avenue, Folkestone. Sometime after 9:20 the medical orderly left the room to go into the medical officer’s room next door. The orderly, Lance Corporal Hooke, stated at the inquest “I heard a noise as in a man in a fit. I went back into the room and saw deceased. he was lying down on the bed, his head rather inclined the blankets kicked over part of his face, he was kicking his legs up and throwing his arms about. I saw that he had cut his throat.”IMG_8393

William was given a military funeral at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. His coffin was draped in a Union Jack. The Canadians provided a firing party and played the Last Post, Australian representatives from the Australian Imperial Force in London were in attendance.

William’s parents were informed by letter, that he had committed suicide while temporarily insane and, that they had buried him on the South side of the garrison church.

Source: William Burn Gemmell’s service record.

#Shorncliffe, #Folkestone the South African Connection

Shorncliffe is justifiably proud of its Canadian Connection. Every year on at least one occasion tributes are paid to the Canadians buried there. The cemetery’s First and Second World War graves being extremely well cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The word “Commonwealth” replaced the original “Imperial” to reflect the changing times at the end of Empire. With the change of title people’s views changed and the different nationalities became important. The Imperial part was lost.  Also fading with the loss of the word “Imperial” was the idea of an Imperial Army. It was this “Imperial ” Army that went to war in August 1914. An Empire at war. Now we think of Brits in the Royal Air Force, Canadians in the Royal Canadian Air Force, South Africans in the South African Air Force. A hundred years ago they were part of an Imperial Family and served regardless of “Nationality”. They were British regardless of where they came from. Now we regard them as national citizens, not imperial subjects. Then all but two of the men named below were British, although they are now regarded as South African or Zimbabwean. the other two both fromm the South African Native Labour Corps, were Native South Africans.

IMG_8378

Cadet Harry Hutton Blake, mentioned in despatches by Lieutenant-General J. L. Van Deventer, K.C.B., Commanding-in-Chief, East Africa Force: — General Headquarters, East Africa Force, 11th October 1917, for meritorious conduct in the field. (London Gazette Supplement dated 7th March 1918) Harry’s parents lived in Roodekop, Transvaal, South Africa.

IMG_8382

Philip Martin Hayes Boardman. His parents lived at Umvuma, Rhodesia. (now Zimbabwe)

IMG_8379Commemorated in the Belfast Book of Honour, where he was born. Arthur James Douglas’s parents lived at 4 Glengareff Terrace, Three Anchor Bay, Capetown and he is listed by the South African War Graves Project.

IMG_8381Wilfred Douglas Duke from Oxford House, Douglas St., Bloemfontein, South Africa.

IMG_8387Raymond was born in Boksburg in the Transvaal. His parents lived in  Maraisburg.

IMG_8389John James Forrest-Dunlop born in Sydney, Australia, and is commemorated on the AustralianNational War Memorial. He married Violet of East Rand, Transvaal, and is listed by the South African War Graves Project as a South African.

IMG_8384

Piet Malinge of the South African Native Labour Corps. In April 1917 a tented camp was pitched east of Hill Road, Cherry Garden Avenue in Folkestone. Designated the Labour Concentration Camp, it was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel F. Hopley and could accommodate 2,000 Chinese (Chinese Labour Corps CLC) or South African Native Labourers. (South African Native Labour Corps, SANLC) Opposite on theWest side of the road another tented camp was erected. This camp could contain another 2,000 Asian or African Labourers. During the summer of 1917, the CLC built hutments of reinforced concrete and the camp became known as the Cherry Garden Camp. This was really two separate camps with Kitchens and Hospitals. 1,500 men could be housed here. It is likely that Piet was part of the SANLC housed in one of these aforementioned camps. Busalk Mvinjelwa would also have been there.

IMG_8385Busalk Mvinjelwa, SANLC. (See under Piet Malinge above)

IMG_8383

David Victor Spain from Johannesburg, South Africa.

IMG_8386John Eric Thomson of 54, Garden St., Rosettenville, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa,

IMG_8380

Augustus Henry Wells from Geoville, Johannesburg, Transvaal, The inscription on his gravestone reads ” Whosoever liveth and believe in me shall never die. john XI. 29″

The RAF men were here being trained, they were “Cadets”.  Most died of illness, Details of them, and the two men from the SANLC are from the CWGC site and in the South African War Graves Project on the Web. Further details can be found on both sites.

So Who was Leslie Swain? Missing the Connection #FWW #WW1

It is now April 2017 we have just commemorated Vimy and the Battle of Arras. Which happened “Over in France”. Soon we will be commemorating the arrival of the Americans, “Over There.” Every 11th November we commemorate the dead, who died, “Over There.” We look at the names on War Memorials. Tell everyone we will remember them, we don’t, the generation that did has gone too. We are losing the connection. Yet the connections to some are still here. We just ignore them. The CWGC did some sterling work on the local connections this year. People visited the CWGC war graves in their local cemeteries. Ignored the ones without the standard CWGC headstone. Nether the less it was a good start. IMG_8311Sgt William  George Upton DCM MM he was in the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) when he died and is buried a couple of hundred yards from the  Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Memorial. Ignored because he does not have the standard CWGC Headstone. There are plenty of others in Folkestone Old Cemetery ignored for much the same reason. William is just an example. At least these graves are being taken care of by the CWGC, and if his headstone deteriorates, as it will do, it will be replaced with a CWGC stone. Although I think some of the information will be lost. So there is a connection there. The connections we are in danger of losing, and in some cases have lost are the memorials inscribed on other grave stones and personal family memorials.  Memorials such as, IMG_8317 To Captain R.C. Gilchrist. Robert Crooks attached 59th Scinde Rifles.Can not write about them. The temptation to title it  “Peccavi” would be too much.Burmah Police Medal, buried at Beuvry Communal Cemetery.  The memorial is on a family grave in Folkestone Old Cemetery. His father was Brigadier-General R. A. Gilchrist.  Now there is a local connection which like old soldiers is rapidly fading away.

Walking around Folkestone Old Cemetery there are others.IMG_8318This is the grave of James Brice, died in 1915 age 54. Not a Military death, it’s not a war grave. So we do not bother with it. We should, it is a memorial to his son, James George Brice. He died on the Somme in 1918. His memorial on his father’s grave tells us more than a name on an Offical War Memorial ever will. It tells us who he was. The son of James Brice. It tells us he was loved and missed. It tells us how his much he was missed. How he was remembered. It makes James George Brice a person again.IMG_8320Horace William Reader Killed in Action on the 24th May 1915. commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial to the Missing. But he is not “missing”, we do not know where in the salient around Ypres he is buried. We do know he is here in Folkestone remembered on a gravestone on his father’s grave where he lived on in his families hearts. This is where he was remembered. We would rather go on a jolly to Belgium than a walk around our local cemeteries to find out about him though.IMG_8322W.B Thomas. His mum was called “Nellie”. Mum’s called Nellie always sound like nice mums. Don’t think you will find many graves in France with “Had a Nice Mum” on them Here we find out his mum had not long died. He had brothers. It is just not aCWGC grave so goes unrecognised and eventually, all  the connections will fade away and be gone too.

IMG_8324William George Young. Royal Garrison Artillery, buried in Italy. Remembered here on his father’s grave. He was an only son. Part of a family, we know he was remembered. It says so here. Gone and not forgotten by his dad, his mum. His grave will be though and the connection lost.

This grave is a wonderful look at the history here. Keep going down the tombstone you will find Malcolm, “NeverForgotten” commemorated on the Arras memorial. He had a brother killed in South Africa stories that are just not told on the official memorials. Who would connect Rupert Hall on a South African War memorial with Malcolm Hall on a WW1 memorial?  Here is the connection. Here the families memory.IMG_8338

IMG_8342Cecil Hall, commemorated on his Mum’s grave. Outlived his mum which is what all children should do. The tombstone is slowly falling over. One day it will be flat and no one will know who is buried there, or who was remembered.

The next memorial is to a soldier buried in Aden. Aden is not a place currently on the tourist routes. His grave is not easy to visit. Even if there was a link to Charles being buried there. At least here in Folkestone it is possible to visit his memorialIMG_8370 Charles lived at 33 Sydney Street.

There are many more memorials such as the ones above in Folkestone Old Cemetery. Hundreds and thousands scattered throughout out the land and in local cemeteries in other countries. Each memorial is a local connection, slowly fading.

So who was Leslie Swain? he is on his granny’s gravestone here in Folkestone Old Cemetery. IMG_8161

Leslie’s parents lived at 73 Foord Road in Folkestone. He had served for two years in the territorials before moving to Canada. On the 18th October 1915, he attested into the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Leslie served in the 47th Battalion Canadian Infantry. He died sometime between 5th-7th May 1917 and has no known grave. Leslie is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.  The area has strong links through theShorncliffe Trust to Canada and have just completed a successful trip to Vimy with a large group of Canadians.  These trips and links are important and have to be maintained. Hopefully though,  we will remember that Canadians were not a super race that came from the from the prairies of Canada, they were “Us” they came from here, were remembered here, and we should never forget that again.

Visit your local cemeteries and remember the connections are here.

 

 

Here is a soldier who will be in “The Book” Thomas Kenny. #Folkestone, #Castleford, #FWW.

Like the majority of British Soldiers who fought in the First World War Thomas Kenny returned home and a normal civilian life. In Thomas’s case, this was as a working collier.

13th (Service) Battalion Durham Light Infantry. A K3 Battalion in 68th Brigade, 23rd division. 3 A and B Companies entrained at Liphook at 7:55 pm., C and D Companies at 8:25 pm. On arrival at Folkestone they embarked on transport 2031.4

Private 17424 Thomas Kenny

13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry.

Thomas Kenny was a collier and lived at 23 Queen St Castleford. He attested on the 25th February 1915 and crossed to France from Folkestone with the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. He is awarded the Victoria Cross for an action on the 4th November 1915. The Citation reads as follows:

No. 17424 Private Thomas Kenny, 13th (Service) Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the night of 4th November 1915, near La Houssoie. When on patrol in a thick fog with Lieutenant Brown, 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, some Germans, who were lying out in a ditch in front of their parapet, opened fire and shot Lieutenant Brown through both thighs. Private Kenny, although heavily and repeatedly fired upon, crawled about for more than an hour with his wounded officer on his back, trying to find his way through the fog to our trenches. He refused more than once to go on alone, although told by Lieutenant Brown to do so. At last, when utterly exhausted, he came to a ditch which he recognised, placed Lieutenant Brown in it, and went to look for help. He found an officer and a few men of his battalion at a listening post, and after guiding them back, with their assistance Lieutenant Brown was brought in, although the Germans again opened heavy fire with rifles and machine-guns, and threw bombs at 30 yards distance. Private Kenny’s pluck, endurance and devotion to duty were beyond praise.”5

Thomas may have transited through Folkestone to France on one more occasion as he was presented with the VC at Buckingham Palace by King George V. on the 4th March 1916.6 He is the first soldier from the Durham Light infantry to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War.7 During 1917and again in 1918, this time a gunshot wound to the lower back. He returned home on the 30th October 1918 and was discharged from the army on the 26th September 1919. 8

Thomas was also awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.9 Thomas Kenny V.C. Died on 29th November 1948.

3British Regiments 1914-1919 page 101

4 13th DLI Battalion War Diary

5 London Gazette, 7th December 1915, Supplement:29394,Page:12281

8 Pension Record.

9 Medal Card.

Causes of the #Singapore Mutiny #FWW

The mutiny was not confined to the Rajputs wing of the 5th NLI  (Native Light Infantry). Soldiers from the Malay States Guides Took also part in the mutiny. It would seem that the Soldiers from the Malay States Guides (MSG) were coerced by men from the 5th NLI. But see, Kassim Ali Mansoor, who was under arrest and imprisoned in the Goal on Outram Road.

Primary Cause?

  • Subversion

Secondary causes?

  •  Rations
  • Non-promotion of Imatiaz Ali
  • Colonel Martin -Officer Mismanagement. Dissention among British Officers, and amongst Indian Officers. As the letter written by Mansoor shows the 5th NLI were not the only unit involved. A few soldiers from the Malay States Guides took part. On the 15th February 1915 they may have had to be coerced but a willingness to defect was shown by at least two Havildars of the MSG who signed the letter apparently on behalf of others.  p62, p69 Indisipline, Mutiny in Singapore

An army marches on its stomach. If the food a soldier is given is of a low quality or rations are barely adequate moral suffers. In Singapore, the 5th NLI sepoys found their rations were not as good as they were in India. Back in India, the rations contain a large quantity of goat meat plus plenty of milk. In Singapore, both goat meat and milk were in comparatively short supply. The sepoys could supplement their rations with meat and milk purchased locally. However, they now found themselves station in Dollar, rather than a rupee economy with a higher cost of living.(Singapore Mutiny p23 M &H).

Poorly fed soldiers tend to be unhappy and are more prone to suggestions of ways to either improve their lot or find ways of punishing those they feel responsible. So while not a main cause. rations or rather inadequate rations should be included in factors which led to the rebellion.

Non-promotion of Imatiaz Ali. Imatiaz Ali was a Rajput who was promised promotion when the next vacancy occurred

Colonel Martin. The Commanding Officer of the 5th NLI. If the 5th NLI was a family, as the majority of British army regiments claim they are, the 5th NLI was a dysfunctional family. Martin often acted as the Sepoys friend in disputes and when men were brought before him in disciplinary matters (Singapore Mutiny p24 M &H) This would have eroded the NCOs and the officers in the regiment’s authority over the men. Martin himself thought that all the officers were against him (page 23 Singapore Mutiny). There was also friction between the Left and Right Wing of the Regiment, (Singapore Mutiny p23 M &H)

Colonel Martin was responcible for the Regiment, but that is not the same as saying he was a primary cause of mutiny. Neither was he responsible for the feelings and thoughts of the men in the Malay States Guides.

Subversion of the 5th NLI is a primary cause of the mutiny, but the question remains, Subversion by whom?  There are five  candidates.

  • The Gandr Movement/Foreign Agents.
  • Kassim Ali Mansoor
  • Nur Alam Shah
  • The Crew of the Emden.
  • Christi Khan

The Gandr movement was an Indian Nationalist movement form by Indian ex-pats on America’s west coast. Its aims were to overthrow the British Raj by armed insurrection.  Germany had started to form links with the Gandr before the outbreak of the war. After the start of the war, the ties between Germany and the Gandr movement grew. The Germans providing funds, offices under the guise of the Indian Political Department, part of the German War and Foreign offices. German agents also distributed the Ghadr, which was the Ghadr’s movement’s official publication.  The movement sent agents to all parts of the British Empire in Asia as well as Japan. (P9 Singapore Mutiny Harper and Miller)

Kassim Ali Mansoor, the man who made the coffee. His coffee shops was a place where many of the Indian officers and men had coffee. Mansoor had befriended the Officers and men from the 5th NLI..He also chatted to the troops in his coffee shop. All good customer service. This small acts were very much part of service during those days and were good for business. Mansoor also wrote letters on behalf of the soldiers. Very probably he never gave much thought to those letters. He would write them, they would sign them, and almost certainly post them.  One of these letters,   posted on the 28th December 1914, was intercepted by the authorities. on the 23rd January (1915.http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19150531-1.2.56.aspx (source checked 17/02/2017))

The letter was with other letters to his son. There was a covering slip in Mansoor’s own handwriting asking his son to take care unless the handwriting could be traced back to him. Addressed to his son with a request for it to be forwarded to the Turkish consul in Rangoon the letter was written in Urdu and translated as follows;

“There is a regiment here belonging to the English in Singapore called the Malay States Guides. In it is a mule battery, and all the members are Mohammedans and are not willing to serve the English.                                                                                                                                                                                 They say “We want to join the Turkish Forces, and we want someone to be kind enough to enable us to join the Turkish Forces. We have the money to meet our travelling expenses, and do not want one pie even for expenses, but we want someone to show us the way whereby we may reach Turkey. That is what we want. ”                                                                                This letter is written to you as on your side Ahmad  Madin is the Turkish Consul, so as to enable that gentleman to write to the German Consul at Bombay on direct to Stamboul in order that a man of war may be sent to Singapore.  Then the sepoys can board the Turkish man of war and be ready to fight in the battle of Europe.                                                         The manager of the German firm of Behn, Meyer and Company was the German Consul in Singapore, but as all the Germans have been arrested and imprisoned on a hill opposite Singapore so that they are helpless.                                                                                               Those Mohammedan sepoys are prepared to risk their lives. If the Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment tries to exert his authority by force, at once we are prepared to fight. But we do not desire to fight against the Turks on behalf of the English. On behalf of Turkey, we are willing to fight both the English and the Russians. Therefore, they entreat some Mohammedan to help them for God’s sake and enable them to reach the Turkish Forces. All we ask is not to let us fall into the hands of the English while leaving Singapore.                                                                                                                                                                                 Accordingly, as you are the Turkish Consul, kindly let us know by which way these sepoys my leave Singapore and where they might go. You sir will get much honour. if we fight against the English on behalf of Turkey and die then we will become martyr. Therefore be kind enough to pay attention to our petition and reply soon. Address as follows to write to us.”

The address was for a Bengali baker who lived in one of the houses on  Mansoor’s estate in Pasir Panjang.     It was signed by two “Havildars” from the Malay States Guides, Osman Khan and Sikandar Khan. (http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19371121-1.2.110   (source checked 17/02/2017))

Nur Alam Shar was the Imam at the mosque in Kampong Java Road. Shar was a charismatic figure regarded as a prophet by a number of the sepoys. He was also a member of a group of Indian nationalists in Singapore.(Singapore Mutiny p7-8 M &H)

The between 23rd January and the 12th  of February the crew of the Emden and other Germans interned at Tanglin were guarded by approximately 50 other ranks of the NLI including Imatiaz Ali (p30, Singapore Mutiny,Harper and Miller) and Sepoy Ismail Khan.(page 71 TheSingapore Mutiny Sho Kuwajima) Ismail Khan fired the shot that signalled the start of the mutiny. Lt Lauterbach an officer on the Emden who in his fictionalised book, Rogue Raider did claim responsibility for the mutiny, denied in 1917 being responsible for instigating the mutiny.

" Before my eyes they sank the collier. My crew and I were taken as 
prisoners to Singapore. The natives of this island city were very friendly 
toward us. I had soon gained their confidence sufficiently to know that 
an attempt to escape would not miscarry. But I wanted to make prepara- 
tions to take my crew with me when I fled. We then began to dig a tunnel 
under the wire fence that surrounded our prison-camp. We had scarcely 
completed our work when the famous revolution among the natives in 
Singapore broke out. The English blamed me for inciting the blacks 
against them. I herewith declare that this blame is founded on untruths. 
When the revolution had been settled, we completed our tunnel, and, 
during the following night, nine of us gained our freedom.

(Source 282 THE AND’ENTURE.S OE lIEUTENANT LAUTERBACH (N.WAL RESERVE) 284 “Ayes HA”, Full text of “Proceedings of the united States Naval Institute” Vol 43, February 1917 (http://www.archive.org/stream/proceeuni43168unit_djvu.txt. (checked 17/02/2017))

The Japanese Consul in a report he sent to the Japanese Foreign Minister. Kato, based on talking to two Japanese barbers who worked at Tanglin Camp did say that ” The Indian Muslim soldiers took their final decision in consideration of their religion, and responded to the German instigation” (page 71 The Singapore Mutiny, Sho Kuwajima)                     Christi Khan

Jemedar Christi Khan, was heard on many occasions to sow the seeds of doubt about the British War effort.  He was overheard saying to his men, ” Why should we fight for England and be killed in Europe when we are paid half a coolie’s wage and our wives and children are left to starve on two or three rupees a month?” (P35 Harper & Miller). Harper and Miller also give other examples of christi Khan undermining the war effort to his men.

Imatiaz Ali and Christi Khan were executed by firing squad.

Ismail Khan was killed during the rebellion.

Kassim Ali Mansoor was hanged.

Nur Alam Shar exiled.

Notes

  1. The mutiny was planned. the mutineers split up into three main groups who appear to have clearly defined objectives, and that would take planning.
  2. The timing of the mutiny after the speech by Col. Marting informing the Regiment that it was to embark overseas given the day the Mutiny started is significant. The Ghandr movement claimed it was the day a general rebellion against British rule would start. There appears to be no evidence this was the case.
  3. The speech informed the regiment that they were about to embark for service. There appears to be no surviving record of the translation of the speech. Therefore we do not know exactly what was said, only what was meant to have been said.
  4. If the men were told that they were to sail “East” They either did not believe this, or they were not looking forward to another Garrison posting. If the men were informed they were going where ever the Empire felt they were needed they may not have believed this and thought they were going to fight the Turks. There are possibly other reasons as yet not known (by me)

This blog will be updated at some point.