Author Topic: Australian Deserter  (Read 468 times)

Offline MasonT78

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Australian Deserter
« on: Tuesday 24 November 20 08:15 GMT (UK) »
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know where I can obtain information about a Solider who deserted from the AIF whilst still in Australia. There is only 1 page in his service file indicating that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. I can then find in the Victorian Police Gazettes (2 March 1916, 29 June 1916 and 9 December) of the desertion and arrest, but I would like to know more details. I cant seem to find anything on the National Archives of Australia (there are 2 files not online, one is a will and the other a  request from his mother for financial assistance). Details are:

Francis Alexander Cowell - Joined July 1915 1st Depot Battalion based at Seymour in Victoria
Later enlisted March 1916 #4999 in the 22nd Battalion.

Thanks for any suggestions
MASON
WYLIE
HAYES
DANDO
BINNS
SEARLE

Offline Jamjar

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 09:03 GMT (UK) »
I donít understand what you are seeking.

He may have deserted - AWL for 11 days for which he received 28 days detention and 40 days loss of pay - but he returned to duty and died from wounds received in action, 23-9-1917.

23-11-16, he received 20 something days detention with 12 days loss of pay.

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3434282

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=1554043

There wonít be more details.

Jamjar

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Offline MasonT78

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 09:12 GMT (UK) »
Thanks,

He actually deserted back in Australia before he left for overseas. Deserting from Seymour Camp on the 24th November 1915 until he was arrested in February 1916. A warrant was issued for his arrest, he was subsequently arrested by the police and handed over to the military authorities. Im wanting to find evidence of that. He later enlisted in March 1916, went overseas and went AWOL a few more times.
MASON
WYLIE
HAYES
DANDO
BINNS
SEARLE


Offline majm

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 10:46 GMT (UK) »
Thanks,

He actually deserted back in Australia before he left for overseas. Deserting from Seymour Camp on the 24th November 1915 until he was arrested in February 1916. A warrant was issued for his arrest, he was subsequently arrested by the police and handed over to the military authorities. Im wanting to find evidence of that. He later enlisted in March 1916, went overseas and went AWOL a few more times.


I have a working knowledge of the service files for those AIF in that B2455 series that Jamjar kindly linked for you.  I have read through  the 66 pages for your FA COWELL and see he originally enlisted July 1915, Seymour  etc.   It seems to be in good order,  and I can see the break in his service commenced in Nov 1915, clearly in Australia.  These lads were all volunteers and you may find some left training to return home to help with summer harvesting before returning and discovering they had serious charges to face.

JM.
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Offline majm

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 22:33 GMT (UK) »
Victoria Police Gazette 29 June 1916 page 397, left hand column.

DESERTERS FROM H.M. SERVICE
The following warrants have been withdrawn:-

And 24 or 25 names follow, including :-

COWELL, Francis Alexander,Police Gazette, 16/383.

So I looked at the Police Gaz for 1916 and page 383.    Well ... there is an Admin error in that entry on p 383.  They listed (22 June 1916) withdrawing the warrant for George Edward COWELL who had deserted from Broadmeadows Camp 7 March 1916. 

So I kept looking back into 1915.

9 December 1915 p. 864, 865, 866,  two columns per page, AIF Deserters named. 

page 865. Right hand column.

Deserters .... from AIF, Seymour...on the 24th ult. (24 November 1915) ... four on that page, surnames ADAM,  CARR, COWELL, LOWDAY,  and over the page more....

Info for others following this thread, but who may not have ready access to digitised Vic Police Gazettes from that era ...

COWELL, Francis Alexander, private, 23 7/12 years of age, 5ft 4 1/2 in high, fair complexion, light brown hair, blue eyes, scar left knee, Born Table Cape, Tasmania, enlisted Melbourne.

So the AIF had not adjusted his December 1915 age info but copied it from his July 1915 attesting sworn statement ...

JM
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Offline majm

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 22:59 GMT (UK) »
Re the 66 pages that Jamjar linked earlier ... from the B2455 AIF Series WWI personnel service files....  Pages 14 to 21 are from his July 1915 enlistment,  :)

His Will is at page 27,

His pay arrangements are in that file too,  and the back pay for his mum, and the payroll overpay mistake ....


JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
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Offline majm

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 23:52 GMT (UK) »
Russell Street police arrested Francis Alexander COWELL and handed him over to the military authorities 27 Feb 1916, because the warrant was raised by the AIF  Provost  I.e. by the Military Police... so he was arrested by the police operating out of the headquarters of Vic Police, in Russell St, Melbourne and within four weeks he was back in the AIF being trained for active service. 

VIC Police Gaz 2 March 1916 p. 150 re Russell St ....

And then Vic P.G. 15 June 1916 there is a further Desertion from AIF

At 5 ft 6 inches tall, 25 years and 5 months, Francis A COWELL deserted from Broadmeadows Camp 21 May 1916.   

So perhaps consider a quick check of George Edward COWELL's B2455 series file...  may give you an overall picture.

ADD
And the earlier warrant from 1915 which was actioned Feb 1916 by Russell St police was WITHDRAWN after that 21 May 1916 report of a desertion .... I notice George Edward COWELL's desertion was 22 May 1916... so perhaps there was admin mis-filing at Base Records AIF until sufficient staff from B fitness were trained up fully.   In NSW those public servants from Registrar Generals Office who were clerically skilled but failed AIF medicals (B class) were released for Base Records work.  Paperwork backlogged  .... weeks ... months ....

Note, at age 24 he grew 1 1/2 inches taller .... 38 millimetres..



PTE F.A.COWELL  DofW public announcement  is found in Casualty List 343.  See Bendigo Independent newspaper digitised at Trove. 20 Oct 1917 p.6

JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
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Offline MasonT78

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 25 November 20 07:50 GMT (UK) »
Thanks everyone but Iím aware of all this information.

What Iím after is if anyone knows of any records that detail his arrest etc i.e trial records, prison records etc.
MASON
WYLIE
HAYES
DANDO
BINNS
SEARLE

Offline majm

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Re: Australian Deserter
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 25 November 20 07:52 GMT (UK) »
Thanks everyone but Iím aware of all this information.

What Iím after is if anyone knows of any records that detail his arrest etc i.e trial records, prison records etc.

There was NO trial,   the warrant was WITHDRAWN.   (Add, as per the 29 June 1916 announcement I typed up earlier)

JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
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