CMP WAR DIARY

WO 167/

BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

SEPT 1939 TO JUNE 1940

(NOTE THESE DIARIES ARE SPARSE AND SOME CONTAIN A CERTIFICATE STATING THAT THE DIARY HAD BEEN DESTROYED PRIOR TO EMBARKATION AS ORDERED.)

(SEE ARTICLE IN CORPS JOURNAL A DUNKIRK STORY (PART I) BY LT COL J A T BOWER, COLDSTREAM GUARDS, 4 QUARTER 1961, AND 1 QUARTER 1962.  OC 4 DIV PRO COY AND APM 5 DIVISION)

______________________________________

WO 167/166   APM II CORPS   SEPT-DEC 1939, JAN-JUN 1940 LESS APRIL,MAY

1939 SALISBURY   MAJ N C M SYKES MC 11 HUSSARS

16 SEPT APM VISITS 3 DIV PRO COY.

22 SEPT APM VISITS 7 & 4 PRO COY’S.

23 SEPT EMBARK SOUTHAMPTON.

29 SEPT DISEMBARK CHERBOURG.

6 OCT PHALEMPIN VISIT 7 PRO COY COMMANDER AT CLAPTON CORNER.

23 OCT CAPT WINN & LT BOWEN REPORT FOR DUTY.

11 NOV NOTRE DAME, ARMISTICE PARADE TOOK PLACE,   C IN C , HRH DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, AG, QMG, FRENCH GENERAL’S .   PRO SECTION FROM ARRAS ALSO STAFF.   LARGE GATHERING OF PRESS, MP’S WORE BATTLEDRESS FOR THE FIRST TIME AND WERE CONGRATULATED ON SMART APPEARANCE.

15 NOV LENS.  CONCERT PARTY SIR SYMON HICUS, GRACIE FIELDS.

16 NOV CAPT H A SHAW, SUFFOLK REGT, DAPM LILLE.

4 DEC LENS THEATRE, LESLIE HENSON PERFORMED.

6 DEC CMP ESCORT TO HM THE KING.

14 DEC CSM SACKER ARRIVES, NEW RSM.

16 DEC ESCORT TO THE PRIME MINISTER.

21 DEC COURT MARTIAL ASSEMBLES TO TRIE L/CPL GOULDING, CMP ON A CHARGE OF MURDERING A FRENCH CIVILIAN IN A CAFE.

22 DEC L/CPL GOULDING CONVICTED OF MURDER

22 DEC VISIT DAPM LILLE, CAPT L C R ISHERWOOD, 16/5 LANCERS.

1940 5 JAN COL HALEY MP UK ARRIVES.

16 JAN ROUVRUY, ESCORT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR.

4 MARCH INVESTIGATION SECTION CONSISTING OF CID MEN ARRIVE AND COME UNDER MY ORDERS.

5 MARCH INSPECT A NEW SQUAD OF PROBATIONERS, THIS TIME NOT ONLY CONSISTING OF GUARDSMEN, WHICH HITHERTO WAS THE CASE SINCE OUR ARRIVAL WITH THE BEF.

7 MARCH MAJ CAMPION APM INVESTIGATIONS GHQ VISITS AND AGREES TO POST OFFICERS WHEN RECEIVED.

9 MARCH FAREWELL TO DAPM 3 DIV MAJ H S DEAN MC RUR, HE GOES AS APM 4 CORPS.

19 MARCH LT WEST ARRIVES TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION SECTION.

1 JUNE ARRIVE RAMSGATE, THEN TO SUTTON IN ASHFIELD.

11 JUNE PUCKERIDGE CAMP.

24 JUNE PRO COY AND APM FROM CROOKHAM TO GIRTON.

1 JULY TO NEWMARKET.

____________________________________________________________________

WO 167/201       1 DIVISION PRO COY   NOV-DEC 1939, JAN 1940, MARCH 1940

1939 2 SEPT 1 PRO COY FORMED AT MYCHETT.

18 SEPT SAILED FROM SOUTHAMPTON ON DUKE OF ARGYLL FOR BREST.

DIARY CONTAINS NOMINAL ROLL OF 1 DIV PRO COY. CMP.

21 SEPT EVEREUX.   NEWSPAPERS REPORT EFFICIENCY OF RED CAPS.  2 ARTICLES ON ROAD MOVEMENT.    AA ROAD SCOUTS ATTACHED.

1 DEC BERSEE HM KING VISITS, L/CPL BARRASS PERSONAL GUARD, L/CPL ARMSTRONG AND BRISCOE OUTRIDERS.

1940 1 JAN BERSEE CAPT A  A E JONES, DOGRAS, INDIAN ARMY NEW OC.

2 JAN L/CPL FLACK AND HARWOOD DEPRIVED OF L/CPL TAPES.   RETURNED TO UNITS DRUNK.

DIARY CONTAINS:

NOMINAL ROLL OF 1 DIV PRO COY.

LIST OF PROVOST EQUIPMENT.

DETAILS OF VISIT OF HM THE KING.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE EFFICIENT RED CAPS.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE TRAFFIC MEN.        

____________________________________________________________________

WO 167/215                       2 DIVISION PRO COY                 SEPT 1939, JUNE 1940.

1939 2 SEPT 18 CAMP, MYCHETT, CAPT L A N MORRIS OC, RSM PADNEY, PSM E BROGAN, CQMS A AVERY, DAPM CAPT COOPER 4/7/ DRAGOON GUARDS.

18 SEPT SAILED FROM AVONMOUTH ON HMT ST JULIEN.

20 SEPT ARRIVE ST NAZAIRE

28 SEPT BAPAUME CAPT T G G COOPER DAPM.

1 NOV ORCHIES.

1940 16 JAN LT P C HOLME RA NEW OC.

20 FEB MAJ J MURRAY ROYAL SCOTS NEW DAPM.

11 MAY BEUVRY NORD.

15 MAY BRUSSELS.

25 MAY 21.00HRS  TEN PRISONERS ESCORTED TO 1ST CORPS HQ.

27 MAY 13.00HRS COY MOVED TO LE FUNKERU.

28 MAY COY MOVED TO OOST CAPELL AND ACTING ON INSTRUCTIONS RECEIVED PART OF ITS TRANSPORT TOGETHER WITH ALL DOCUMENTS WERE DESTROYED EN ROUTE NEAR POPERINGHE.   THE NIGHT WAS SPENT AT A BLOCK HOUSE.

29 MAY 09.30HRS COMPANY LEFT AND PROCEEDED TO DUNKIRK.   EN ROUTE THE ROAD NEAR BERGUES BEING BLOCKED WITH ABANDONED VEHICLES THE REMAINDER OF THE COMPANY’S TRANSPORT WAS PUT OUT OF ACTION AND ABANDONED.   THE COMPANY IN GROUPS MARCHE ON FOOT TO DUNKIRK.

30 MAY THE MAIN BODY OF THE COMPANY WAS EVACUATED FROM DUNKIRK BY SEA TRANSPORT AT 14.00HRS AND PROCEEDED TO THE UK.   SMALL PARTIES REMAINING TO ASSIST IN EMBARKATION DUTIES.   FIVE GERMAN PRISONERS WERE HANDED OVER TO THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES ON THE MOLE AT DUNKIRK BY SGT HOLT.

8 JUNE  THE COY WAS RE-ESTABLISHED AT 37F, BEVERLEY TERRACE, HALIFAX.   27 OTHER RANKS RE JOINED THE COY.

9 JUNE 9 OTHER RANKS RE JOINED.

10 JUNE 16 OTHER RANKS REJOINED.

11 JUNE 15 OTHER RANKS REJOINED.

12 JUNE 29 OTHER RANKS REJOINED.   40 MOTOR CYCLES AND 7 MOTOR CYCLE COMBINATIONS RECEIVED.

13 JUNE SECTION 1 POSTED TO HUDDERSFIELD, SECTION 2 TO BRADFORD.

15 JUNE 14 REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE.

18 JUNE TWO AUSTIN 10 HP UTILITY CARGO AND ONE 15 CWT TRUCK RECEIVED.

24 JUNE COY MOVE TO BARMBY ON THE MOOR, EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE.

25 JUNE SECTION 1 POSTED TO 6 INF BRIGADE AT KILHAM (5383), 2 SECTION POSTED TO 4 INF BRIGADE AT NESWICK HALL (4472), SECTION 5 POSTED TO 5 INF BRIGADE AT DOWTHORPE HALL (6257).

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/228                        3 DIVISION PRO COY                             SEPT-DEC 1939

1939 1 SEPT BULFORD, CAPT C M L CLEMENTS, 4 HUSSARS. OC

27 SEPT DEPART FALMOUTH ON SS AMSTERDAM.

28 SEPT ARRIVE BREST.   LIST OF G 1098 DEFICIENCIES.

1 OCT BLANGY, SECLIN.

27 OCT CAPT E A WINN ARRIVED.

6 DEC VISIT OF HM THE KING.

21 DEC 3 PRO COY RE-NAMED 3 DIVISION PROVOST COMPANY.

1940 20 JAN LT W R LORMAN, 1 GRENADIER GUARDS NEW OC.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/240            4 DIVISION PRO COY           OCT-NOV 1939, JAN-APRIL 1940

1939 1 SEPT REGENTS PARK BARRACKS LONDON.

28 SEPT SAILED FROM AVONMOUTH IN SS JULIEN.

29 SEPT ARRIVE ST NAZAIRE.

3 OCT SABLE.

14 NOV CAPT BOWER ASSUMES COMMAND.

22 NOV L/CPL C I JONES FATALLY INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT.

24 NOV L/CPL JONES BURIED.

1 DEC CROIX LAROCH VISIT OF HM THE KING.

1940 1 JAN CROIX LAROCH CAPT J A T BOWER, COLDSTREAM GUARDS, NEW OC.

9 JAN FRENCH SUBJECT (FEMALE) FATALLY SHOT WITH REVOLVER AT 12.30 AM.

24 JAN COURT MARTIAL RE ACCIDENT ON 9TH FINISHED.   CHARGE REDUCED FROM MURDER TO MANSLAUGHTER.

31 JAN CONFIRMATION OF SENTENCE ON CPL. ORME FROM COURT MARTIAL RE ACCIDENT 9 JAN 1940 READ OUT TO HIM.

8 MARCH RSM DYKES ARRIVES IN COMPANY.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/241                            DAPM 4 DIVISION                              SEPT-OCT 1939.

1939 21 SEPT COLCHESTER TO ALDERSHOT.

30 SEPT EMBARK SOUTHAMPTON, ARRIVE JUNIGNY.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/253                        5 DIVISION PRO COY         DEC 1939, JAN-APRIL 1940

1939 13 DEC SOUTHAMPTON. LT G C HORN OC.

14 DEC EMBARK TO JOIN BEF.

15 DEC ARRIVE CHERBOURG.

16 DEC L/CPL BAILEY ADMITTED TO 7 GENERAL HOSPITAL.

17 DEC NEUVILLE.

19 DEC L/CPL CASEY TO HOSPITAL. LE MAN, TRU 6 JAN.

22 DEC L/CPL PEARCE TO HOSPITAL, HOSPICE DE GOURNEY EN BRAY

1940 8 MARCH EXAMINATION INTO DEATH OF PTE. BURNELL COMMENCED.

1 JUNE CAPT J BOWER, DAPM 5 DIV.   COY DISEMBARK FROM DUNKIRK, SUCCESSFUL  BUT SCATTERED OVER THE UK.   CASUALTIES ARE 1 KILLED, SGT HOLDEN, 1 WOUNDED L/CPL SMITH, 1 MISSING L/CPL K TRUEMAN, SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED AS POW.

14 JUNE COY RE FORMED AT INVERURIE, ABERDEENSHIRE.

22 JUNE CAPT R A LEESON, GEN LIST NEW OC.

JULY UNIT MOVED TO PERTH.

CERTIFICATE IN DIARY SHOWING UNIT DOCUMENTS AND EQUIPMENT DESTROYED NEAR PLOEGSTREET, BELGIUM DURING RETREAT.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/260                         12 DIVISION PRO COY                        APRIL-MAY 1940

1940 1 APRIL  SEVENOAKS KENT.

14 APRIL TO SOUTHAMPTON, 2 MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS, PSM BRADSHAW AND L/CPL STEWART.   BOTH MOTORCYCYLE’S REPLACED AT SOUTHAMPTON BY RAOC.    PSM BRADSHAW TO NETLEY HOSPITAL.

16 APRIL EMBARK ON SS LADY OF MANN, DIS-EMBARK HAVRE TO GALLIENFONTAIN.

25 APRIL GALLIENFONTAINE.   CAPT E G THEOPHILUS. OC.

9 MAY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, L/CPL SUMMERS KNOCKED DOWN BY FRENCH LORRY AT BOOS GOUY, MACHINE BADLY DAMAGED.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/274                          42 DIVISION PRO COY                         JAN-JULY 1940

1940 1 JAN MORPETH, NORTHUMBERLAND.   CAPT H B KIRK, 2/LT H V CHAPMAN.

5 JAN RSM MASON POSTED FROM UNIT.

6 JAN RSM KING ARRIVES.

15 JAN MORPETH TO CATTERICK.

16 JAN CATTERICK TO LUTTERWORTH.

17 JAN BAYDON MANOR, RAMSBURY.

29 MARCH VISIT OF HM THE KING TO DIV HQ AT LITTLECOTE, HUNGERFORD.

7 APRIL SAILED FROM SOUTHAMPTON.

9 APRIL ARRIVE CHERBOURG.

11 APRIL L’HUSSERIE, ATTACHED LIAISON OFFICER AND 7 FRENCH GENDARMES.

26 APRIL EVREUX TO CREUSE TO WAMBRECHIES.

28 APRIL DETACHMENT ARRIVES AS ARRAS.

5 MAY CAPT CHILTON-RIGGS, DAPM.

9/10 MAY AA FIRE AT NIGHT.

17 MAY GAVSON.

23 MAY PERONNE

25 MAY MARAIS DE LEU.

27 MAY LES QUIN

28 MAY NEUVE ELISE.

29 MAY GREAT CONFUSION ON ROADS OWING TO REFUGEES AND FRENCH ARMY USING SAME ROADS RESULTING IN THE COMPANY BECOMING SPLIT UP.  AT VARIOUS POINTS ORDERS WERE GIVEN FOR DESTRUCTION OF TRANSPORT AND THAT ALL STORES AND EQUIPMENT BE ABANDONED EXCEPT SUCH AS THINGS THAT COULD BE CARRIED.   PERSONNEL WERE THE TO PROCEED TO THE COAST ON FOOT.   A PARTY OF ABOUT 40 WITH OC ARRIVED AT BRAY DUNES AND A PARTY OF 5 WITH LT H V CHAPMAN ARRIVED AT DUNKIRK.

31 MAY BRAY DUNES TO DOVER.

11 JUNE COY HQ ESTABLISHED AT COCKERTON, DARLINGTON WITH LT H V CHAPMAN AND 35 OTHER RANKS.

3 JULY VISIT TO 54 DIVISION AT BEDALE AND CLAYTON.

7 JULY TO COCKFIELD.

9 JULY 13 MEN OUT TO DARLINGTON TO JOIN RECENTLY FORMED TRAFFIC CONTROL COMPANY.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/288                          DAPM 46 DIVISION                                    MARCH 1940

1940 16 MAY ST NICHOLAS DE REDON.   CAPT H L LOFTHOUSE, DAPM 46 DIVISION, MAJOR BASSET-WILSTON. F G. M C APM PARIS, CAPT F C DRAKE, MC 11 HUSSARS.   LEFT ST NICHOLAS DE REDON FOR RENNES STATION.   ENTRAINED AT RENNE.

18 MAY SECLIN. ARRIVED SECLIN STATION. PROCEEDED TO LOOS NR LILLE.   ISSUED ORDER TO 46 DIV PRO COY TO ORGANISE STRAGGLERS POST AT LOOS AND PERFORM TRAFFIC DUTY ON THE MAIN ROAD FROM LILLE TO DEAL WITH REFUGEES AND MILITARY TRAFFIC.

21 MAY ARRIVES SAILLY NR ESTAIRES.   ORDERED BY DIV HQ STAFF TO SET UP GUARD POSTS AT CROSSROADS ROUND SAILLY.   TRAFFIC DUTY, REFUGEES, ESCORT DUTY AND DEAL WITH STRAGGLER.

25 MAY ARRIVED AT MARTINVAL NR PONT DU MAREQ.   SET UP STRAGGLERS POSTS FROM MONS EN PEVELLE TO CARVING BEHIND FRONT LINE.   TRAFFIC DUTY AND DIV HQ GUARD CARRIED OUT BY 46 DIV PRO COY.

27 MAY ARRIVED AT WINNZELE NR STEENVORDE.   46 DIV PRO COY PERFORMED TRAFFIC DUTY AND DIV HQ GUARD.

28 MAY ARRIVED AT LEFFRINKHOUKE.   sET UP STRAGGLERS OST AT CANAL BRIDGES ON SECOND AND THIRD LINE OF DEFENCE.   PERFORMED ESCORT DUTY TO SENIOR OFFICERS, PRISONERS OF WAR AND SUSPECTED ENEMY AGENTS.   ASSISTED IN CONVEYANCE OF DISPATCHES.

1 JUNE ARRIVED ROSENDAEL NR DUNKIRK.   CONTINUED STRAGGLERS POST AT CANAL BRIDGES ON SECOND AND THIRD LINES OF DEFENCE.   STRAGGLERS COLLECTED AND CONDUCTED TO DUNKIRK BEACH.   PROVIDING GUIDES FOR UNITS FROM MAIN CANAL BRIDGES ROSENDAEL.

2 JUNE DUNKIRK   ARRIVED AT MOLE DUNKIRK.   EMBARKED ON SS MANXMAN.   ARRIVED DOVER, ARRIVED RECEPTION CAMP USHOT.   ARRIVED CMP DEPOT, MYTCHETT BARRACKS, ASH VALE.   AND PROCEEDED ON LEAVE PENDING INSTRUCTIONS.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/298                        48 DIVISION PRO COY                       JAN-MARCH 1940

1940 1 JAN CAPT R C F ASTON OC CASIVAC TO UK FROM FRANCE.

5 JAN SAILED FROM SOUTHAMPTON TO HAVRE.

7 JAN YVETOT.

13 JAN LEFT ALLERY TO HENIN LIETARD.

24 JAN HENIN LIETHARD.

APRIL SECTION TO LILLE, SECTION TO SAAR FORCE, METZ.   WE FEEL PROUD TO THINK THAT THE 48 DIVISION PRO COY IS THE FIRST TERRITORIAL PRO COY TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY.   NO CASUALTIES.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/312                         50 DIVISION PRO COY                          JAN-JUNE 1940

1940 1 JAN BURFORD. LT W G KELSEY.

19 JAN DEPART SOUTHAMPTON.

20 JAN ARRIVE CHERBOURG 22 JAN 7684487 L/CPL PERKINS S LEFT IN HOSPITAL AT CHERBOURG.

24 JAN EVERON.   CAPT N H A JORDAN.

29 JAN EVRIEUX.

2 MARCH QUEVAVVILLERS.

3 JUNE PART OF COY UNDER COMMAND OF CAPT W G KELSEY CMP ARRIVED FROM MALO LE BAINS ON BOARD HM DESTROYERS, PROCEEDED BY RAIL TO NORTH CAMP, MYCHETT.   ALL RANKS GIVEN 7 DAYS LEAVE ON INSTRUCTIONS OF PROVOST MARSHALL.

10 JUNE KNUTSORD. COMPANY CONCENTRATED AND RE FITTED.

10 JUNE CPL CLARE V RECOMMENDED BY OC FOR THE MILITARY MEDAL FOR ACT OF GALLANTRY WHILST SERVING WITH THE BEF.

21 JUNE YEOVIL.

28 JUNE BLANFORD.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/244                          51 DIVISION PRO COY                             MARCH 1940

NO WAR DIARIES FOR THIS UNIT, DIVISION CAPTURED AT ST VALERY EN CAUX.   LETTER DATED 19 MARCH 1941, WO 167/325 FROM THE NEW 51 (H) DIVISION PRO COY;   ORIGINAL WAR DIARIES OF THIS UNIT FROM DATE OF FORMATION TO DECEMBER 1940 WERE FORWARDED MONTHLY TO HQ 51 (H) DIVISION.   THESE WERE COMPILED BY THE FORMER OC COMPANY, WHO APPARENTLY KEPT NO DUPLICATE.

AS THIS UNIT IS IN NO WAY CONNECTED WITH THE OLD 51(H) DIV PRO COY, NO RECORDS OF OF THE 51 (H) DIV PRO COY WHICH SERVED IN FRANCE ARE HELD IN THIS OFFICE.

_______________________________________________________________

WO 167/344            1 ARMOURED DIVISION PRO COY    9 FEB. MAY -JUNE 1940

THE FOLLOWING INFO FOUND IN THE WAR DIARY OF 9 L OF C PRO COY WO 167/1348.

1 DEC 1939 CAPT M A BELL. HLI. 1 ARMD DIV PRO COY

14 DEC EVEREUX, COY NOW 1 ARMD DIV PRO COY.

24 DEC COY HQ AND 1 SECTION ROUEN, 2 SECTION DIEPPE, 3 & 6 SECTIONS LE HAVRE, 4 SECTION BOULOGNE. 5 SECTION LE MANS.9 FEB 1940 BECAME 3 HQ PRO COY.

APRIL 1940 LE HAVRE.

APRIL STAFF LT. R E A LEESON OC 3 HQ PRO COY, DOCK DUTIES LE HAVRE.  

1 MAY   CRANBOURNE   MAJ M CLARKE 3 HUSSARS, CAPT E J WILBRAHAM, RIFLE BRIGADE.

15 MAY   DEPART WITH VEHICLES FROM SOUTHAMPTON ON HT EURAYDES.

16 MAY COMPANY EMBARK ON TS ARCHANGEL.

17 MAY ARRIVE LE HAVRE TO BOLBEQ.

20 MAY COY MOVED BY ROAD TO ST ILLIERS LA BOIS.   L/CPL KING R UNDER ENEMY MACHINE GUN FIRE WHILST CONVOYING BELGIAN REFUGEES.   NO INJURIES RECEIVED.

21 MAY ST ILLIERS LA BOIS.   CAPT A P GUNNINGHAM.

1 JUNE BOIS D’ENNEB OURG.

16 JUNE GUIPAVOS.   ALL DOCUMENTS DESTROYED BY FIRE.

17 JUNE EMBARKED AT BREST.

18 JUNE ARRIVE FALMOUTH.

19 JUNE WARMINSTER.  

DIARY HAS NOMINAL ROLL OF 1 ARMOURED DIVISION PRO COY.

_________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1345          PROVOST MARSHALL, GHQ BEF      SEPT 1939 - APRIL 1940

1939 9 SEPT ALDERSHOT.

12 SEPT SAILED FROM SOUTHAMPTON ON MT MANXMAN.

13 SEPT ARRIVE CHERBOURG THEN TO LE MANS.

2 OCT  BERNEVILLE

4 OCT  DETACHMENTS OF FRENCH GENDARMERIE REPORTED FOR DUTY WITH 5 PRO COY.   EACH PRO COY HAS SUCH DETACHMENTS WHICH CONSIST OF 1 OFFICER AND 7 GENDARMES.

28 OCT  CAPT GRAYSON, OC 5 PRO COY, CAPT DUNKERLEY, DAPM TRAFFIC, CAPT W F ROBINSON, RARO MILITARY PERMIT OFFICER.

23 NOV PROVOST MARSHALS CONFERENCE HELD, MUCH DETAIL IN DIARY.   ITEMS ON AGENDA

PERMITS, PROVOST, ILLICIT SALE OF PETROL, PILFERING. PROSECUTIONS, AMMUNITION, AMENDMENTS TO G.1098, RUBBER SLEEVES FOR TC, MAP CASES, MOTORCYCLE CLOTHING, DESERTERS, LILLE, FIELD PUNISHMENT, MT AND MC MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE, CONDUCT AND DEMEANOUR OF MILITARY POLICEMEN, DRESS, AMENITIES AND COMFORTS, TRAFFIC INSTRUCTIONS AND CHARGES, AB 64, CORPS CHRISTMAS CARDS.

1 DEC  ST NICOLAS AND ARRAS

4 DEC VISIT OF HM THE KING, DROVE TO ARRAS WITH CMP OUTRIDERS.

6 DEC HM THE KING INSPECTED 2 CORPS ACCOMPANIED BY THE PM AND APM 2 CORPS.   AGAIN A GREAT SUCCESS FOR CMP.

7 DEC HM THE KING VISITED GHQ TROOPS ACCOMPANIED BY THE PM AND DAPM.   HE LUNCHED AT AMIENS, DAPM AND RSM STILWELL WERE PRESENTED TO HIS MAJESTY.   HE LEFT BY TRAIN ACCOMPANIED BY CAPT GRAYSON OC 5 PRO COY AND CAPT CHATE OC FRENCH GENDARMERIE ATTACHED TO CMP.   12 CMP TRAIN GUARDS THROUGHOUT THE TRIPS.   THE WORK OF THE PROVOST SERVICE HAS BEEN HIGHLY SPOKEN OF AND THE MOTORCYCLE ESCORT WHICH HAD ACCOMPANIED THE KING EVERYWHERE WERE MOST IMPRESSIVE.

15 DEC VISIT OF WINSTON CHURCHILL AND MR CHAMBERLAIN.

27 DEC CHIEF INSPECTOR HATHERILL AND DETECTIVE NICHOLLS ARRIVE FROM L OF C WITH THEIR PRELIMINARY REPORT RE PILFERING.   FINAL REPORT WILL BE READY ON 6 JAN 1940.   CAPT V A B DUNKERLEY. DAPM. 1940 20 JAN  CAPT R RAMSBOTTOM-ISHERWOOD. 16/5 LANCERS, DAPM LILLE.

24 JAN MAJ DALE-GLOSSOP, SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY.

5 FEB APM VISIT TO 51 DIVISION AND SAW CAPT CARLOS CLARKE, DAPM.  

13 FEB MAJ FORBES APPOINTED INSTRUCTOR AT THE LONDON PROVOST SCHOOL.

20 MARCH SIR ROBERT ABDY. OC 101 PRO COY.

14 APRIL   AUTHORITY TO RAISE 151 PRO COY FOR ROAD CONTROL RECEIVED.   THIS IS TO BE RAISED IN THE BEF, MOSTLY FROM AA MEN.

MAJ C E CAMPION APM (G), CAPT S A RALLI, DAPM, MAJ V A B DUNKERLEY, APM, GHQ, COL S V KENNEDY, PM, MAJ C F O G FORBES, APM GHQ, CAPT W FIELD ROBINSON PERMIT OFFICER GHQ, CAPT GRAYSON OC 5 PRO COY, LT COL J A JERVOIS MC APM HQ L OF C. LT COL J MCGORDON MC, COMMANDANT NO 1 MILITARY PRISON.  MAJ BYGOTT SGO 21(B), MAJ G INGHAM, APM 1

CORPS, CAPT M BAIRD, DAPM 1 DIV, CAPT T COOPER DAPM 2 DIV, MAJ M SYKES MC APM 2 CORPS, MAJOR DEAN MC. DAPM 3 DIV. CAPT MCNALLY DAPM 4 DIV, SQN LDR RICHDALE, APM AASF.

DETAILS OF A CONFERENCE HELD IN THE PROVOST MARSHAL’S OFFICE ON THURSDAY 23RD NOVEMBER 1939 AT 3PM.

PRESENT:

COLONEL S V KENNEDY, MC PROVOST MARSHAL GHQ.

MAJOR C F C G FORBES, APM GHQ

CAPTAIN V A B DUNKERLEY DAPM GHQ

CAPTAIN W FIELD ROBINSON PERMIT OFFICER GHQ

CAPTAIN GRAYSON OC 5 PROVOST COY.

LIEUT COLONEL J A JERVEIS MC APM HQ L OF C

LIEUT COLONEL J MCGORDON MC COMMANDANT 1 MILITARY PRISON

MAJOR BYGOT GSO 21(b)

CAPTAIN M BAIRD DAPM 1 DIV

CAPT T COOPER DAPM  2 DIV

MAJOR M SYKES MC APM 2 CORPS

MAJOR DEAN MC DAPM 3 DIV

CAPTAIN MCNALLY DAPM 4 DIV

SQDN LEADER RICHDALE APM AASF

SQDN LEADER JARVIS HQ AIR COMPONENT

OFFICER REPRESENTING DPR

-------------------------------------------------------------------

PERMITS

INSTRUCTIONS WITH REGARDS TO THE ISSUE OF IDENTITY CARDS, AG’S WHITE PERMITS AND RED PERMITS FOR WORKERS WERE READ AND AGREED TO.

IT WAS STATED THAT IDENTITY CARDS WOULD BE ISSUED IN BULK AND APM’S AND DAPM’S WERE TO NOTIFY THE PROVOST MARSHAL AS TO THEIR REQUIREMENT.   IT WAS ANTICIPATED THAT THE WHOLE SCHEME WOULD BE IN OPERATION BY 1ST JANUARY 1940

PROVOST

ILLICIT SALE OF PETROL

THE PROVOST MARSHAL SAID THAT THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAD DRAWN ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE SALE OF PETROL TO CIVILIANS WAS BEING CARRIED OUT BOTH FROM PETROL DUMPS AND POSSIBLY BY PERSONS AUTHORISED TO DRAW PETROL

LOCATIONS OF ALL DUMPS IN THE BRITISH ZONE WERE READ AND APM’S AND DAPM’S WERE REQUESTED TO TAKE STEPS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION AS TO HOW THESE SALES WERE BEING CARRIED OUT TO REPORT PROGRESS.

PILFERING

IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE INCREASING AMOUNT OF PILFERING NECESSITATED IMMEDIATE ACTION BY CMP.   THIS OCCURRED PRINCIPALLY AT BASE PORT AND FROM GOODS IN TRANSIT TO RAILHEADS.   ALL OFFICERS OF THE PROVOST MARSHAL’S BRANCH WERE URGED TO DO WHAT THEY COULD TO PREVENT THIS GOING ON

PROMOTIONS.

THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT HAD BEEN CIRCULATED REGARDING PROMOTIONS, WHICH WOULD BE ON A CORPS BASIS WERE AGREED.   THE PROVOST MARSHAL REQUESTED APM’S AND DAPM’S TO SUBMIT NOMINAL ROLLS OF ALL NCO’S SERVING IN THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE IN THE BEF BY 1ST DECEMBER AND ALL AMENDMENTS AND ALTERATIONS IN THOSE LISTS TO B  SUBMITTED ON THE 1ST OF EACH MONTH SUBSEQUENTLY.   NAMES OF NCO’S RECOMMENDED FOR TRANSFER WHETHER  OWING TO UNSUITABILITY OR MISCONDUCT TO BE INCLUDED IN EACH LIST.   FURTHER THE MEN ATTACHED ON PROBATION AND WHO WERE RECOMMENDED FOR TRANSFER TO THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE TO BE SUBMITTED AT THE SAME TIME.

AMMUNITION

THERE APPEARED TO BE SOME  DIVERGENCE OF OPINION ON THE QUESTION OF CARRYING OF AMMUNITION BY MILITARY POLICE AND THE PROVOST MARSHAL LAID DOWN THAT MEN WHEN ON DUTY SHOULD CARRY SIX ROUNDS AND THAT ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS BE TAKEN TO SAFEGUARD AMMUNITION WHEN IN BILLETS.

AMENDMENTS TO G/1098

SEE APPENDIX ATTACHED.

APM’S AND DAPM’S WERE ASKED TO CONSIDER THE RIGHT TYPE OF VALISE OF SADDLEBAG TO BE CARRIED ON THE BACK OF MOTORCYCLES.   WHEN A SUITABLE ATTACHMENT HAS BEEN DEVISED THE PROVOST MARSHAL TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN HE WOULD INSPECT.

RUBBER SLEEVES FOR TRAFFIC CONTROL

THE PROVOST MARSHAL STATED THAT 92 RUBBER SLEEVES PER COMPANY FOR TRAFFIC CONTROL HAD BEEN APPLIED FOR AND ALSO THAT PERMISSION HAD BEEN ASKED FOR THE SD (SERVICE DRESS) CAP TO BE WORN BY MILITARY POLICEMEN.

THE WEARING OF THE FS (FIELD SERVICE) CAP WAS DISCUSSED AND IT WAS AGREED THAT IN FUTURE THE RED BAND SHOULD BE WORN TUCKED INSIDE THE SIDE FLAPS.

MAP CASES

THE QUESTION OF ADDITIONAL MAP CASES WAS CONSIDERED AN IT WAS AGREED THAT NO INCREASE BE APPLIED FOR BUT THE MATTER BE BROUGHT UP AT THE NEXT CONFERENCE.

MOTOR CYCLE CLOTHING

THE PROVOST MARSHAL STATED THAT HE HOPED THE NEW MOTOR CYCLE CLOTHING WOULD SHORTLY BE ISSUED.   A CONSIGNMENT OF 350 SUITS HAD BEEN DISPATCHED DIRECT TO THE PROVOST MARSHAL AND IT WAS HOPED THAT EARLY ISSUES WOULD BE MADE

DESERTERS

THE PROVOST MARSHAL READ A DRAFT GRO (GARRISON ROUTINE ORDER) ON DESERTERS AND ABSENTEES.   IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT FULL DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST MARSHAL’S BRANCH CONCERNED AND ALSO THE THE FRENCH MISSION.  ARRANGEMENTS HAD BEEN MADE WITH THE FRENCH SURETE FOR DESCRIPTIONS OF DESERTERS TO BE CIRCULATED BY MEANS OF THE BULLETIN  ISSUED WEEKLY TO GENDARMERIE.   IT WAS AGREED THAT REPORTS SHOULD BE MADE ON THE 8TH DAY OF ABSENCE TO THE OFFICER OF THE PROVOST MARSHAL’S BRANCH CONCERNED AND THAT ON THE 10TH DAY REPORTS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE PROVOST MARSHAL LILLE.

THE PROVOST MARSHAL STATED THAT THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAD RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE FRENCH AUTHORITIES AGREEING THAT LILLE SHOULD BE PUT IN BOUNDS.   IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT ADEQUATE CONTROL SHOULD BE KEPT OVER MEN GOING INTO LILLE, ESPECIALLY AT WEEKENDS.   THE OFFICER FROM THE AIR COMPONENT RAF AGREED THAT AN RAF PIQUET WOULD BE SENT IN TO CONTROL RAF PERSONNEL IF REQUIRED.   IT WAS FURTHER AGREED THAT ONE SECTION FROM 1 CORPS BE SENT IN TO REINFORCE THE SECTION FROM 2 CORPS AT PRESENT STATIONED IN LILLE, BOTH THESE SECTIONS BEING PLACED UNDER THE COMMAND OF THE DAPM LILLE AND TO TAKE UP DUTIES JOINTLY AS FROM SATURDAY THE 25TH NOVEMBER 1929.

THE PROVOST MARSHAL SAID HE WOULD ASK THE ADJUTANT GENERAL IF IT WAS NECESSARY FOR OFFICERS TO HAVE PERMITS TO GO INTO LILLE.

FIELD PUNISHMENT

THE PROVOST MARSHAL READ A DRAFT GRO WHICH WAS AGREED.   THE QUESTION OF THE PROVISION OF TWO MILITARY POLICEMEN TOR ATTACHMENT TO THE MILITARY PRISON WAS LEFT IN THE HANDS OF APM’S CORPS.

THE TRANSFER OF OLDER NCO’S TO THE MPSC WAS CONSIDERED AND THE PROVOST MARSHAL ASKED THAT NAMES OF NCO’S RECOMMENDED FOR TRANSFER BE SUBMITTED TO HIM.   IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT NCO’S SO TRANSFERRED MUST COMPLY WITH PARAGRAPH 515 KINGS REGULATIONS.

MT AND MC MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

THE PROVOST MARSHAL ASKED APM’S AND DAPM’S TO STRESS THE NECESSITY FOR KEEPING M/T/ AND M/C CLEAN AND IN GOOD RUNNING ORDER

CONDUCT AND DEMEANOUR OF MILITARY POLICEMEN.

APM’S AND DAPM’S WERE ASKED TO IMPRESS ON NCO’S THE NEED FOR USING TACT IN THE CARRYING OUT OF THEIR DUTIES.

DRESS.

THE PROVOST MARSHAL ASKED THAT IMMEDIATE INDENTS BE SUBMITTED FOR GAITERS FOR MP THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.   HE ALSO ASKED THAT CASES OF SLOVENLY APPEARANCE ETC, SHOULD BE REPORTED SO THE CO’S OF UNITS CONCERNED COULD BE COMMUNICATED WITH

AMENITIES AND COMFORTS.

THE PROVOST MARSHAL SAID THAT AS THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE HAD NO ASSOCIATION OF THEIR OWN THEY HAD TO RELY ON THE CENTRAL ORGANISATION UNDER THE DPS AT HOME FOR COMFORTS AND WITH WHOM THE PROVOST MARSHAL WOULD COMMUNICATE.   HE ALSO ASKED THAT ALL PRESENT AT THE MEETING WOULD DO THEIR BEST TO OBTAIN COMFORTS FOR THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE FROM THEIR OWN CONNECTIONS AT HOME.

THE QUESTION OF GRANTS WAS RAISED AND CAPTAIN DUNKERLEY SAID THAT THE DISTRIBUTION OF MONIES HELD ON BEHALF OF COMPANIES WOULD BE DISTRIBUTED WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

TRAFFIC INSTRUCTIONS AND CHARGES

THE PROVOST MARSHAL REQUESTED THAT ALL CASES OF EXCESSIVE SPEEDING OR DANGEROUS DRIVING SHOULD BE REPORTED AND THAT THE CONTENTS OF THE INSTRUCTIONS TO TRAFFIC PATROLS ISSUED AT THE SCALE OF ONE PER NCO SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE NOTICE OF NCO’S UNDER INSTRUCTION BY OC’S PROVOST COMPANIES.

AB 64 (POLICE NOTEBOOK).

IN MANY CASES IT HAD BEEN FOUND THAT THE AB’S 64 WERE EITHER NOT IN MENS’ POSSESSION OR WERE INCOMPLETE.   THE PROVOST MARSHAL ASKED THAT THIS MATTER BE LOOKED INTO AND EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE PART II IN HIS PAY BOOK.

CORPS CHRISTMAS CARDS.

A SAMPLE CARD WAS PRODUCED AND AGREED AND NUMBERS REQUIRED WERE AS FOLLOWS:-

1 CORPS   750

                                                                1 DIV           200

                                                                2 DIV           500

2 CORPS 1000

                                                                3 DIV           200

                                                                4 DIV           500

                                                                5 COY         200

                                                                L OF C        500

                                                               GHQ             100

                   3950

IT WAS AGREED THAT 4000 SHOULD BE ORDERED.

DSCN9265.JPG

DSCN9266.JPG

DSCN9267.JPG

ABOVE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CARD, NOTE THE CAP BADGE IS THE CYPHER OF KING GEORGE V

APPENDIX - AMENDMENTS TO G.1098

1.   8 CWT VAN        

FOR CARRYING SIGNS AND FOR THE OFFICER OF OF THE GENDARMERIE ATTACHED TO PROVOST COMPANIES.   THIS COULD BE CALLED “SIGN VAN”.   IT IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO DISTRIBUTE SIGNS IN A SMALL VEHICLE OF THIS NATURE THAN TO SEND OUT A 15 CWT TRUCK.

1 VAN PER COMPANY.

2.   4 SEATER CAR  

TWO PER COMPANY HQ RECOMMENDED TO REPLACE PRESENT TWO SEATER CAR (AN AMENDMENT IS NECESSARY AS ALL COMPANIES EXCEPT NO1 PROVOST COMPANY HAVE BEEN ISSUED WITH 8HP 4 SEATER AUSTINS.   NO1 PROVOST COMPANY IS STILL IN POSSESSION OF TWO 7HP 2 SEATER AUSTINS.

3. SIDE CARS FOR M/C

THE MOTORCYCLE ALLOTTED TO THE ARTIFICER OF EACH COMPANY TO BE FITTED WITH A SIDECAR, SIMILAR TO THE BOX SIDE CAR USED BY THE AA (AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION) FOR THE CARRIAGE OF TOOLS ETC.   ALSO ONE MOTORCYCLE IN EACH SECTION TO BE FITTED WITH A SIDECAR FOR THE CARRIAGE OF SIGNS; THE REASON FOR THIS IS THAT IT IS CONSIDERED MORE ECONOMICAL AND QUICKER TO USE M/C RATHER THAN SEND OUT A 15 CWT TRUCK.

4.   BRACKETS LAMP

ONE PER M/C - THESE WERE APPARENTLY OMITTED IN ERROR.

5.   LAMPS, PRESSURE

1 PER COMPANY HQ AND 1 PER SECTION TO REPLACE THE THREE HURRICANE LAMPS AT PRESENT ISSUED.

6.   WATERPROOF CLOTHING

WATERPROOF CLOTHING FOR TRUCK DRIVERS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL - RECOMMENDED 1 RUBBER COAT PER TRUCK DRIVER.   20 RUBBER COATS KHAKI 1A PER COMPANY FOR FIXED TRAFFIC POSTS.

7.   CRASH HELMETS

1 PER M/C - 92 PER COMPANY.

8.   KNIVES CLASP

ONE PER NCO.

9.   WATCHES GS MARK II

ONE PER MAN AS ISSUED IN PEACETIME.

10.   DRESSINGS FIELD

RESERVE OF 10%.

12.   FIRST AID OUTFITS

7 PER COMPANY - ONE PER SECTION AND ON PER COMPANY HQ.   THESE WOULD PROVE MOST USEFUL IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS.

13.   ARROW SIGNS

BLACK ON WHITE, INCREASE FROM 230 TO 250 PER COMPANY.

BLACK ON RED, INCREASE FROM 230 TO 250 PER COMPANY.

STICKS SUPPORTING INCREASE TO A TOTAL OF 500 PER COMPANY.

TWO ADDITIONAL STENCIL SETS PER COMPANY HQ AND ONE PER SECTION.

L OF C SECTIONS TO BE ISSUED WITH 50% SCALE AS ISSUED TO COMPANY SECTIONS.

500 BLACK ON WHITE AND 500 BLACK ON RED ARROW SIGNS (PAPER) PER COMPANY.

14.   COVERS WATERPROOF

ONE PER MOTORCYCLE FOR MOTORCYCLE.

15.   SLEEVES TRAFFIC CONTROL RUBBER

ONE SET PER NCO TO REPLACE SLEEVED LINEN.

16.   PAINT BRUSHES

ONE PER SECTION AND ONE PER COMPANY HQ.

PERSONNEL.   IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT ONE ADDITIONAL CLERK PER COMPANY HQ BE APPLIED FOR, BRINGING THE ESTABLISHMENT TO TWO.

TYPEWRITERS.   IT WAS NOTIFIED THAT THE AUTHORITY FOR TYPEWRITERS FOR PROVOST COMPANIES WAS GIVEN IN ARMY ORDER 37 OF 1938.

---------------------------------------------------------

NOMINAL ROLL OF PROVOST MARSHAL’S STAFF

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, 2/9/39

PROVOST MARSHAL………………………………...COLONEL S V KENNEDY MC

ASSISTANT PROVOST MARSHAL………………….MAJOR C F O G FORBES

RSM……………………………………………………...7683145 WOI  A STOCKING CMP

CMP CLERKS…………………………………………..2056377 L/CPL G O CROWTHER CM

OFFICERS BATMEN…………………………………..7684029 L/CPL WYER R L CMP

……………………………………………………………2614273 L/CPL HARRIS W L CMP

RASC CLERKS…………………………………………S/67267 PTE OWEN J RASC

…………………………………………………………….S/67158 PTE TURNER JO RASC

RASC DRIVER…………………………………………..T/74381 DVR EALES P RASC

4-11-39                                                         V A DUNKERLEY CAPT FOR MAJOR

                                                                       ASSISTANT PROVOST MARSHAL

                                                                      GENERAL HEADQUARTERS.

_____________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1346                                  APM PARIS                            DEC 1939 - JAN 1940

25 AUG 1939 CAPT BASSETT F G WILSON MC, 60 RIFLES. APPOINTED APM PARIS, RSM STOCKING. CMP AND 8 CMP NCO’S LOCATED IN THE GARDE REPUBLICAINE BARRACKS, PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE.

9 DEC 1 SGT, 7 L/CPL’S, 1 TRUCK AND 7 MOTORCYCLES ARRIVE.  

DIARY CONTAINS A LONG REPORT OF THE SETTING UP OF THE APM’S OFFICE AND DETACHMENT IN PARIS.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1347                                      2 PRO COY                       AUG 1939 - MAY 1940

25 AUG 1939 REGENTS PARK BARRACKS, CAPT R N HOLMES OC.

7 OCT DETACHMENT SENT TO THE TOWER OF LONDON FOR POW DUTIES.

11 OCT DETACHMENT SENT TO OLYMPIA, 15 INTERNMENT CENTRE.

29 0CT BECAME 2 L OF C PRO COY.

19 DEC ARRIVE CHERBOURG, DETACHMENTS TO PARIS, RENNES, MARSEILLES, LE MANS, BREST, ST MALO, RENNES.   COY HQ AT LE MANS.   396 ARRESTS TO DATE.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1348                              9 L OF C PRO COY                                      OCT 1939

1 OCT 1939 MYCHETT.

17/19 OCT SOUTHAMPTON TO CHERBOURG.  CAPT M A BELL HLI.

22 OCT CHANZY BARRACKS, LE MANS.

LETTER IN DIARY DATED 1/5/1940 FROM OC 3 HQ PRO COY, L OF C TO O I/C 2 ECHELON, QUEEN HIGH CLIFF HOTEL MARGATE.

ATTACHED HERETO RECORDS OF THE WAR DIARY OF 3 HQ PRO COY L OF C FROM MY DATE OF APPOINTMENT AS OC, THE 17/4/1940 TO 30/4/1940.

SINCE FEB 2 1940 THE COY HAS BEEN WITHOUT A COMPANY COMMANDER AS CAPT M A BELL HLI. THE PREVIOUS OC WAS POSTED TO 105 PRO COY WHILST ON LEAVE IN THE UK AND HE REPORTED DIRECT TO HIS NEW UNIT ON COMPLETING HIS LEAVE

THE RETURN SHEWN ON THE ATTACHED ARMY FORMS C.2118 GIVE ONLY THE LOCATIONS OF THE SECTIONS OF THE COY AND THE GENERAL SURVEY OF DUTIES PERFORMED BY THE SECTIONS OF HAVRE GARRISON, AS I HOLD A DOUBLE APPOINTMENT AT THE MOMENT, BEING DAPM FOR HAVRE.

THIS APPOINTMENT WILL NOT A PRESENT ALLOW FOR  MY TRAVELLING AROUND TO INSPECT THE DETACHED SECTIONS AT DIEPPE, ROUEN, AND BOULOGNE, HOWEVER THE LATEST ORDERS FROM GHQ ARE THAT THOSE SECTIONS IN OTHER SUB AREAS WILL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE RESPECTIVE DAPM’S FOR THE AREA, AS IT HAS BEEN REALISED THAT THE FORMER METHOD OF ADMINISTRATION WAS IMPRACTICAL, OWING TO THEM BEING SCATTERED OVER WIDE AREAS.

IF NOT PREVIOUSLY NOTED THE DESIGNATION OF THIS UNIT WAS CHANGED FROM 1 ARMD DIV PRO COY TO NO 3 HQ PRO COY L OF C WITH EFFECT FROM THE 9 BEB 1940 THE COPY OF WAR OFFICE LETTER OF AUTHORITY IS AN APPENDIX TO THESE RECORDS.

FURTHER WAR OFFICE LETTER DATED 9 FEB 1940:

I AM DIRECTED TO INFORM YOU THAT IT HAS BEEN DECIDED TO CONVERT THE 1 ARMD DIV PRO COY INTO PROVOST UNITS FOR THE L OF C, AND IN CONSEQUENCE IT WILL BE REORGANISED WITH EFFECT FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, INTO THE FOLLOWING NEW UNITS:

NO 3 HQ PRO COY L OF C, (we IV/1931/65A/1) WITH

NO 17 TO 24 PRO SECTIONS L OF C EACH AT(WE IV/1931/66/3/

THE OFFICER COMMANDING 1 ARMD DIV PRO COY WILL BE ABSORBED INTO THE FIRST AVAILABLE PRO APPOINTMENT APPROPRIATE TO HIS RANK, AND DEFICIENCIES IN OTHER RANK PERSONNEL ON CONVERSION WILL BE MADE GOOD, AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, BY TRANSFER FROM OTHER ARMS WITHIN THE BEF AND IF NECESSARY, BY REINFORCEMENTS FROM THE UK.

APPROVAL HAS BEEN GIVEN FOR 105 PRO COY ORIGINALLY ALLOTTED FOR DUTY WITH THE FIRST ARMY TO BE RE-ALLOTTED AS AN ADDITIONAL PRO COY FOR GHQ TROOPS AS REQUESTED IN YOUR LETTER NO. A/61/1.(PS) DATED 16 dEC 1939.

I AM TO ADD THAT A PRO COY FOR THE 1 ARMD DIV IS NOW BEING RAISED IN THE UK AND INSTRUCTIONS IN REGARD TO THE PROVISION OF A NEW PRO COY FOR THE 1ST ARMY WILL BE ISSUED IN DUE COURSE.

_____________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1349                                    8 PRO COY                                          SEPT  1939

3 SEPT 1939 18 CAMP MYCHETT.   7681097 WOII R COOKSEY RECEIVED INSTRUCTIONS TO MOBILIZE 8 PRO COY AND SEVEN SECTIONS.

9 SEPT BOARDED HMT CLAN MCALLISTER, SOUTHAMPTON.

UNIT ALSO TRANSPORTED IN HMT WORTHING AND HMT MANXMAN.

11 SEPT ARRIVE CHERBOURG.

12 SEPT VALOGNES ARRIVED AND BILLETED AT RAILWAY STATION FOR NIGHT.   WE WERE RECEIVED BY THE MAYOR OF THE VILLAGE AND HE STATED THAT WE WERE THE FIRST BRITISH TROOPS FOR NEARLY 200 YEARS TO STAY IN HIS VILLAGE AND TO MARK THE OCCASION THE SENIOR NCO’S HAD TO ACCEPT AN INVITATION TO HAVE DINNER WITH HIM AND HIS FAMILY.   THIS PASSED OFF WITH THE USUAL CORDIAL GREETING AND SALUTATIONS.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1350                                   101 PRO COY                                JAN - APR 1940

2 SEPT 1939 MYCHETT AS 5 PRO COY, OC CAPT T H H GRAYSON, RSM STILWELL.

4 SEPT. RUSHMOOR ALDERSHOT.

17 SEPT ARRIVE CHERBOURGH.

29 SEPT L/CPL CONNOR, CLOSE ARREST, SLEEPING ON GUARD.

7 NOV L/CPL CONNOR REPRIMANDED.   COL KENNEDY PM STOPPED BY L/CPL BEST FOR HAVING HIS BUTTONS UNDONE AND NOT WEARING HIS RESPIRATOR IN THE CORRECT POSITION.

14 NOV REHEARSAL FOR BBC RECORDING OF MILITARY POLICE DUTIES.   FOR THE BROADCAST L/CPL’S CLARKE AND G W HUTCHINSON WERE THE PERFORMERS.   THE BROADCAST WAS POSTPONED OWING TO THE ARRIVAL OF GRACIE FIELDS.

18 NOV  BBC BROADCAST DURING MORNING.

4 DEC VISIT OF HM THE KING, UNIT PROVIDED TRAIN GUARDS.

15 DEC PRIME MINISTER ARRIVED BY PLANE.

23 DEC CAPT GRAYSON LEAVES COY.

29 DEC CAPT RALLI NEW OC.

2 JAN 1940 RSM STILLWELL HANDS OVER TO RSM STOCKING.

__________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1351   6 COMPANY BECAME 102 PRO COY  SEPT - DEC 1939, JAN - MAY 1940

2 SEPT 1939 MYCHETT, 1 DAY OF MOBILIZATION, CAPT J MURRAY, 1 ROYAL SCOTS REPORTED TO COMMAND 6 PRO COY.   BECAME OC 102 PRO COY LATER.   DRAWING EQUIPMENT AND STORES.

17 SEPT CHERBOURG, ANCHORED IN OUTER HARBOUR, 13.00HRS DISEMBARKED AT QUAY.18 SEPT MOVED TO LAVEAL.

25 SEPT TO EVREUX BILLETED IN SCHOOL IN RUE ST PIERRE.

27 SEPT. POIX.

29 SEPT TO FAMECHON COY HQ

5 OCT TO DOUAI, TRAFFIC CONTROL FOR 1 CORPS GOING THROUGH DOULLENS, BAPAUME, ARRAS, HENIN LIELARD AND DOUAI TO CONCENTRATION AREA.

22 OCT FIRST PRISONERS ARRIVE TO UNDERGO FIELD PUNISHMENT UNDER THE PRO COY ARRANGEMENTS.

11 NOV ARMISTICE PARADE AT THE FRENCH WAR MEMORIAL DOUAI.

15 NOV ENSA PRODUCED FIRST CONCERT FOR 1 CORPS.   MISS GRACIE FIELDS TOGETHER WITH OTHER DISTINGUISHED ARTISTS PERFORMED.   TRAFFIC CONTROL, PARKING ETC. AT THEATRE DE LA COMEDIE.17 NOV VISIT OF HORE-BELISHA, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR.   AIR RAID ALARMS SOUND REGULARLY.

2 DEC  MR LESLIE HENSON’S CONCERT PARTY AT MUNICIPAL THEATRE.

5 DEC VISIT OF HM THE KING

12 DEC 9 COLDSTREAM GUARDSMEN ARRIVE FOR POLICE TRAINING.

16 DEC VISIT OF RT HON NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN, PROCEEDED TO FRONT.

18 DEC FIRST LEAVE TRAIN LEFT FOR CANTIN.

21 DEC MR IDA LUPINO CONCERT, MUSICAL COMEDY ME AND MY GAL,   PARKING TO TWO FULL HOUSES OF 2,500 EACH.

3 JAN 1940  MAJ ATLEE, LABOUR OPPOSITION LEADER VISITED.

4 JAN  2 CONCERTS GIVEN BY JACK PAYNE AT DOUAI THEATRE.

25 JAN 2 CONCERTS GIVEN BY BILLY COTTON AND HIS BAND, DOUAI.

5 FEB  2 CONCERTS GIVEN BY LINA ASHWELL AND PARTY.

9 FEB VISIT OF PRESIDENT LEBRUN OF FRANCE.

13 MAY COY MOVED TO ADVANCE CORPS HQ VIANE - TRAFFIC DUTIES.

17 MAY FROBECQ CAPELLE, TRAFFIC DUTIES ESPECIALLY BRIDGES.

19 MAY CAPT SUTHERLAND, NEW OC COMPANY ARRIVED, CAPELLE.   DEPART FOR NEW GHQ.

L/CPL KENDRICK KILLED BY ENEMY ACTION WHILST ON TRAFFIC DUTY.

22 MAY DEPARTED FOR ARMENTIERES.   8 POW’S THEN 7 POW’S THEN 26 POW’S.

22 MAY  DEPARTED FOR LA RYFELD.

27 MAY 12.00HRS ALL MEN WITHOUT CONVEYANCE ORDERED TO BRAY DUNES (MARCHING) TO EMBARK.   REMAINING MOTORCYCLES ARRIVE AT LEFFRECK HOUSE, NEW COY HQ.   ALL OTHER VEHICLES OF COY ABANDONED AT WARHEM.

28 MAY 13.00HRS. SGT HARDACRE INJURED AND BROUGHT TO FIELD AMBULANCE AT COY HQ.

17.30HRS CPL DARVILLE AND SUBSECTION TO BRAY DUNES FOR EMBARKATION .DUTIES AND EMBARKATION.

20 MAY 08.00HRS 12 MOTORCYCLES ORDERED TO PROCEED TO BRAY DUNES FOR EMBARKATION DUTIES.

29/30/31 MAY, 1 JUNE   ALL ENGAGED ON ROAD RECCE’S AND TRAFFIC AND EMBARKATION DUTIES.

1 JUNE COY HQ DUNKIRK, 17.15HRS APM, RSM, PSM AND 6 S/NCO’S TO THE MOLE.   TRAFFIC DUTIES PERFORMED.   13.00 HRS LT DIBBENS, SGT HORTON AND 15 NCO’S TO THE BASTION, NEW COY HQ FOR TRAFFIC AND EMBARKATION DUTIES.   21.30 RSM, PSM AND 6 NCO’S EMBARKED.   24.00 HRS LT. DIBBENS, SGT HORTON AND 15 NCO’S EMBARK.

PROVOST OFFICERS IN COY. MURRAY, WHITE, DIBBENS.

LT H DIBBENS WAS AN ORIGINAL MEMBER OF THE SIB AND WAS CREDITED WITH BUILDING A MOLE OF 3 TON LORRIES ON THE BEACH AT DUNKIRK.   SEE HIS STORY IN “DIBBEN’S DIARIES AS A SAILOR, SOLDIER POLICEMAN, CIVIL SERVANT, 1925 - 1972”.   PUBLISHED 1989.

___________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1352          7 PRO COY BECAME  103 PRO COY          SEPT-DEC 1939, JAN-JUNE 1940

2 SEPT 1939.   COY FORMED AT MYCHETT.   RSM YOUNG.

26 SEPT  VEHICLES AND MEN EMBARK AT SOUTHAMPTON.

27 SEPT  ARRIVE CHERBOURG.     MAJ ALEXANDER.

28 SEPT  LAVAL.

5 OCT   EVEREUX

6 OCT  PALEMPIN, HQ 2 CORPS.

9 OCT  COURRIERS.

15 OCT CPL’S OAKES AND DAKES ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL AFTER  MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT.     SPINAL AND HEAD INJURIES.

27 OCT  CAPT WINN JOINS 3 COY AT SECLIN.

30 OCT  COY DRAWS BATTLE DRESS.

16 NOV  CAPT SHAW ARRIVES AS APM LILLE.

26 NOV  DROCOURT.   INCIDENT INVESTIGATED BY APM AND FSP.

4 DEC  COURT ON ENQUIRY CONTINUES ON L/CPL GOULDING INCIDENT.   HM THE KING ARRIVES IN FRANCE.   UNIT NOW 103 PRO COY..   HM THE KING ARRIVES IN FRANCE.  

8 DEC COURT OF ENQUIRY ON L/CPL GOULDING FINISHED

16 DEC VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER

18 DEC  PREPARE FOR COURT MARTIAL, LT WILLIS OFFICER DEFENDING.

1 JAN 1940  L/CPL GOULDING SENTENCE PROMULGATED.

3 JAN  L/CPL GOULDING UNDER ESCORT TO BREST.

MAJ N C M SYKES, 11 HUSSARS, APM, CAPT RAMSBOTHAM-ISHERWOOD, 16/5 LANCERS, DAPM, LILLE.   LT G A WEST INVESTIGATION SECTION  ATT APM STAFF.

1 APRIL  CAPT HART 15/19 HUSSARS ARRIVES TO TAKE OVER AS DAPM TO APM 2 CORPS.

11 APRIL  STANDBY ORDERS COME.

14 MAY  OC 1 SECTION BRUSSELS

16 MAY 1 & 6 SECTIONS MARK ROUTE THROUGH BRUSSELS FOR RETIREMENT OF BEF WHICH GOES ON DURING THE NIGHT.

17 MAY  3 SECTION AND CORPS COMMANDER LEAVE BRUSSELS.   OC COY AND 1 & 6 SECTIONS LEAVE AT 2PM HAVING SEEN THE LAST TROOPS THROUGH AND THE BRIDGES BLOWN.   COY HQ AND 1 & 2 SECTIONS SPEND NIGHT IN VENCOLN.   3 SECTION  WITH ADVANCE HQ NEARBY.

19 MAY   COY ROUTE UNITS BACK THROUGH ROUBAIX TO SECLIN AND AREAS.   REFUGEE AND TROOP ROUTING CARRIED OUT BY COY.;

20 MAY  COY CARRY OUT REFUGEE DUTIES.

21 MAY  APM FIXING UP POW CAGE.

22 MAY  ARMENTIERES MUCH ENEMY ACTIVITY, COY EMPLOYED TRYING TO GUIDE REFUGEES AND HELP THOSE WOUNDED BY BOMBS.   1 SECTION PROCEEDS TO LILLE TO FORM A STRAGGLERS POST.

24 MAY  ARMENTIERES VERY BIG BOMBING RAID 6.30PM,  MANY CIVILIANS KILLED, 3 SECTION HAVE 7 MOTORCYCLES BLOWN UP.   OWING TO LACK OF SPACE IN THE 15CWT TRUCKS ISSUED TO SECTIONS IT BECAME NECESSARY

TO DUMP 1,000 ROAD LAMPS TO MAKE ROOM FOR PERSONNEL AND PRISONERS.

25 MAY APM’S CAR DAMAGED BY BOMB.   COY MOVE TO LOMME.

26 MAY MUCH AIR ACTIVITY, ALSO THUNDERSTORMS.   COY LEAVES FOR HOOGSTRADE AT 8PM ROUTING TROOPS THROUGH MENIN AND MESSINES.

27 MAY HOODSTRADE FARM, COY EMPLOYED ON ROAD DUTIES AND DUMPING GROUNDS FOR VEHICLES.   MUCH AIR ACTIVITY.

25 MAY  DOCUMENTS DESTROYED.

29 MAY  LA PANNE. COY MOVES TO WOOD BEHIND BEACH, HAVING DESTROYED VEHICLE, MUCH WORK CLEARING ROADS.   DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED ON ACCOUNT OF THE LOOTING CARRIED OUT BY FRENCH AND BELGIAN SOLDIERS.   THE DAPM AND ATTACHED PERSONNEL EMBARK.

30 MAY LA PANNE.   COY UNDER SHELL FIRE, MOVED UP TO BEACH, TOWN BOMBARDED AND SHELLED,  CIVILIANS KILLED.  COY DUTIES IN TOWN AND ON BEACH.

31 MAY LA PANNE.   HEAVY SHELLING AND BOMBING.   19 NCO’S AND OC SENT TO BRAY DUNES FOR DUTY WITH 1 CORPS.   1 SGT, 2 CPL’S AND 22 NCO’S SENT TO BEACH FOR DUTY BETWEEN BRAY DUNES AND DUNKIRK.   REMAINDER OF COY LEFT LA PANNE.

31 MAY  LEFT FOR BRAY DUNES, INCLUDING AMP, EMBARKED AT 22.00HRS.

1 JUNE 8AM, DISEMBARK RAMSGATE, ENTRAINED FOR SUTTON IN ASHFIELD.   GREAT RECEPTION.   COY BILLETED IN MINERS WELFARE INSTITUTE AT TEVERSAL.  

2 JUNE  COY PAID OUT. L/CPL’S 5/-, CPL’S & ABOVE 10/-.

10 JUNE  ALDERSHOT

11 JUNE  PUCKERIDGE.

18 JUNE CROOKHAM.

25 JUNE  GIRTON.

27 JUNE  CAPT DRAKE ARRIVES

DIARY SHOWN MAP TRACE OF  ROUTES OF BURIED CABLE FOR 1 DIV SIGNALS , DATED 7 MARCH 1940.

____________________________________________________________________

WO 167/1353                                   104 PRO COY                                   APRIL 1940

2 APRIL 1940  BOLBEC TOWN PATROLS WITH L OF CMP COY.   PROCEED TO BLANGY, NO CASUALTIES.

6 APRIL  TO ESSAR, NO CASUALTIES, 9 CONVOYS ESCORTED THROUGH BETHUNE.

23 APRIL 18.15 HRS  ARMED PATROLS OUT ON ALL MAIN ROADS FROM ARRAS TO STOP ALL CARS (LOOKING FOR 2 ESCAPED GERMAN PARACHUTISTS IN STOLEN CAR.

27/28 APRIL  SECTIONS SENT TO VARIOUS OTHER UNITS FOR TRAFFIC DUTIES LA BASSEE AND BRUAY.   CAPT A R KNOWLES

_____________________________________________________________________.

WO 361/81                          BEF FRANCE,                                                 CMP MISSING

7687025      L/CPL  BLACK H A                  1 ARMD DIV PRO COY   SS LANCASTRIA

7687021      L/CPL PHILLIPS  F                  1 ARMD DIV PRO COY

5946249      L/CPL STONE  F E                  5 HQ L OF C PRO COY

5566710      L/CPL CLEGG R                     12 DIV PRO COY

6846482      L/CPL GOODMAN S E            12 DIV PRO COY

7685923      L/CPL SUMMERS A J              12 DIV PRO COY

310766        L/CPL  HAYWOOD W C          49 SECTION

796474        L/CPL  THEOBALD D              45 SECTION

2692952      L/CPL JARVIS J                       51 DIVISION PRO COY

809203        L/CPL MAHER M                      51 DIV PRO COY

2693935      L/CPL McDONALD E                51 DIV PRO COY

7684653      L/CPL REDHEAD T H               51 DIV PRO COY

7684132      L/CPL CHELLINGWORTH A J   FOUND IN GIBRALTAR

7684076      L/CPL RICHARDS A                  151 PRO COY

7683778       L/CPL LEE                               151 PRO COY

3651941       CPL THOMAS J R                    151 PRO COY INTERNED VICHY FRANCE

2653374       SGT COLBURN P J                  FSP.

7686045       L/CPL FRYER E                       FSP  ARRIVED GIBRALTAR.

2612793       L/CPL CLARKE L                     3 DIV PRO COY

7260606       L/CPL LAWTHER F                  NO. 6 BD

5333203        L/CPL  LEWIS R                      3 DIV PRO COY

7683772        L/CPL MANSELL C F              151 PRO COY

410489          L/CPL PEARCE L F                3 DIV PRO COY

2614031        L/CPL PHILLIPS                      3 DIV PRO COY

7685480        L/CPL VEAL R G                    5 HB L OF C

7812798        L/CPL; WHITMORE    

______________________________________________________________________         

LISTED BELOW COPIES OF STATEMENTS IN THE SAME FILE.


SUBJECT: MISSING - CMP.   SECC/26/578.

THE WAR OFFICE

CASUALTY BRANCH

BLUE COAT SCHOOL

CHURCH ROAD

WAVERTREE

LIVERPOOL 15

7685480 L/CPL VEAL R. G.

REF YOUR MC/OR/13559 DATED 9 FEB 1942.

I HAVE A VERY HAZY RECOLLECTION OF THE ABOVE NAMED NCO.   IT ACTUALLY SEEMS HOWEVER THAT HE WAS SEEN IN ENGLAND AT CROOKHAM CAMP IN JUNE 1940.

A STATEMENT FROM nO. 1855448 CPL. HEASMAN, C.G, IS BEING FORWARDED TO YOU, I UNDERSTAND, BY THE DPM SOUTH EASTERN COMMAND WHO I HAVE ALSO REQUESTED TO OBTAIN AND FORWARD TO YOU A STATEMENT FROM SGT SLATE.   THIS NCO CAME BACK FROM FRANCE WITH ME AS ALSO DID SERGEANT MAJOR ORCHARD, CMP AND  SERGEANT MAJOR SPICK. CMP.   BOTH OF THESE WARRANT OFFICERS ARE SERVING I UNDERSTAND, WITH THE TRAFFIC CONTROL WING OF THE CMP.   THEY MAY BE ABLE TO INFORM YOU DEFINITELY IF L/CPL VEAL LANDED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, AS EACH OF THE CAME BACK ON ONE OF THE TWO SHIPS THAT BROUGHT HQ ROUEN SUB-AREA FROM LA PALLICE TO NEWPORT. MON.

SERGEANT MAJOR ORCHARD TOOK THE WHOLE DETACHMENT OF THE MILITARY POLICE FROM READING TO MYTCHETT.   I SAID GOODBYE TO THE DETACHMENT AT READING STATION AND PROCEEDED TO WEMBLEY WITH THE HQ OF THE SUB AREA.

I HAVE, AT THE MOMENT, TWO NCO’S OF THE MILITARY POLICE. NO. 155448 CPL. HEASMAN, C G AND L/CPL WILSON J. NO. 7684526 IN THIS CENTRE, WHO SERVED UNDER ME THE WHOLE TIME I WAS WITH THE BEF.   NONE OF US CAN REMEMBER ANY OF THE NAMES ON THE ATTACHED LIST,  ALTHOUGH WE ALL THREE HAVE A SLIGHT RECOLLECTION OF L/CPL REDHEAD.   L/CPL WILSON THINKS THAT REDHEAD WAS A TALL FAIR MAN AND HAD SERVED IN THE

BRIGADE OF GUARDS BEFORE JOINING THE CMP, ALTHOUGH HIS NUMBER MAKE THIS RATHER DOUBTFUL.

I WOULD SUGGEST YOUR SUBMITTING THE LIST TO CAPTAIN LEESON DAPM. 4 DIVISION, WHO WAS OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE PROVOST COMPANY AT HAVRE AND TO CSM FENNESSEY WHO, I BELIEVES TO BE SERVING WITH 42 TRAFFIC CONTROL COMPANY, 12 LIPPIATT TERRACE, CHELTENHAM, WHO WAS FORMERLY WARRANT OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT OF MILITARY POLICE AT HAVRE, AS WELL AS CSM ORCHARD WHOSE WHEREABOUTS I DO NOT KNOW AND WHO WAS FORMERLY SENIOR SERGEANT OF THE MILITARY POLICE AT ROUEN.

I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A L/CPL MCCOY, WHO IS DUTY AT ALDERSHOT IN THE CMP, WHO MAY BE ABLE TO THROW SOME LIGHT ON L/CPL REDHEAD AND POSSIBLY L/CPL VEAL AS WELL.

SIGNED    MAJ

APM S.E. COMMAND

OCKHAM PARK

RIPLEY

SURREY

16/2/1942

_____________________________________________________________________

STATEMENT

TO: COMMANDING OFFICER

110 PRO COY

30/1/1942

SIR,

WITH REFERENCE TO THE ATTACHED FOR I AM UNABLE TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THE NCO’S IN QUESTION AS THEY WERE NOT IN THE 51ST (H) DIV PRO COY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CPL. MAHER, AND L/CPL H H PHILLIPS WHO WERE ON THE BEACH AT ST VALERY.   CPL MAHER WAS LAST SEEN AT APPROXIMATELY 23.00HRS 12/5/1940 AND HAS NOT BEEN  HEARD OF SINCE AS I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO TRACE HIMSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH HIS PARENTS.

L/CPL H H PHILLIPS WAS ON THE BEACH AT THE SAME TIME, AND THE LAST I

SAW OF HIM WAS WHEN HE WAS RUNNING ACROSS THE BEACH WOUNDED.   WHETHER HIS WOUNDS WERE FATAL OR NOT I CANNOT SAY.

EXETER                                                                                    SIGNED H CRAIG SGT.

30/1/1942                                                                                                  CMP.

______________________________________________________________________


 

STATEMENT OF 7685216 CQMS PHILLIPS D

WITH REFERENCE TO THE SMALL BOAT WHICH WAS MACHINE-GUNNED AND SUNK AT ST VALERIE IN JUNE 1940, THE ONLY PERSON I COULD RECOGNISE WAS L/CPL JARVIS BECAUSE ALL THE MEN WERE HUDDLED UP IN THE BOAT.

REGARDING THE OTHER MISSING MEN, NO.809203 CPL. MAHER WAS THE ONLY NCO WHO WAS ATTACHED TO 51 (H) DIV PRO COY, TO WHICH I WAS ALSO ATTACHED.   THE LAST I SAW OF HIM WAS ON THE BEACH IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON AFTER WHICH WE BECAME SEPARATED.

SIGNED D PHILLIPS.

______________________________________________________________________

REPORT

OFFICER COMMANDING

51 (H) DIV PRO COY

SIR,

WITH REFERENCE TO THE WAR OFFICE CASUALTY BRANCH  LETTER DATED 5/3/1941. REQUESTING INFORMATION REGARDING THE FATE OF OTHER RANKS WHO WERE  RECORDED AS MISSING, L/CPL J W KERR AND MYSELF WISH TO STATE THAT NO. 2692952 L/CPL JARVIS J. WAS LAST SEEN BY US ON THE AFTERNOON OF 12 JUNE 1940 AT ST VALERY, HE WAS IN A ROWING BOAT WITH OTHER SOLDIERS ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE.   THE BOAT WAS MACHINE-GUNNED AND TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THERE WERE NO SURVIVORS.

NO. 809203 CPL . MAHER M. ARRIVED ON THE BEACH AT THE SAME TIME AS L/CPL  KERR AND MYSELF, AFTER WHICH WE LOST TOUCH WITH HIM.

                                             SIGNED NO. 7685216 CQMS PHILLIPS D

                                                           NO. 7684338 L/CPL JAMES W KERR

HOME FORCES

16/3/1941.

_____________________________________________________________________

NO. 7685480 L/CPL VEAL, R G. CMP

MISSING 27/5/1940.  BEF

SIR,

I HAVE TO REPORT FOR YOUR INFORMATION THAT I CANNOT FURNISH YOU WITH THE EXACT FATE OF THE A/N NCO.  WHO I DID NOT SEE AFTER THE EVENING OF 25 MAY 1940.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE AS FOLLOWS:

ON SUNDAY, 25 MAY 1940, AT ABOUT 18.00HRS THE SECTION IN WHICH L/CPL VEAL AND MYSELF WERE SERVING, IE NO. 2 SECTION, 5 LINE OF COMMUNICATION COMPANY, CMP., RECEIVED INSTRUCTIONS TO REPORT TO HQ CALAIS FOR ORDERS.   (SGT WRIGHT WAS NCO I/C).   STAFF LIEUTENANT WATSON INSTRUCTED ME TO PROCEED TO GRAVELINES WITH A MESSAGE FOR THE OC 23 PRO COY CMP. INSTRUCTING HIM TO SEND A SECTION OF POLICE TOWARDS CALAIS AND TO MAKE CONTACT WITH MY SECTION ON THE ROAD.   I DO NOT KNOW WHAT INSTRUCTIONS WERE GIVEN TO SGT. WRIGHT AFTER I LEFT.   I PROCEEDED TO GRAVELINES AND WAS INFORMED BY THE CO OF THE GARRISON COL. STEELE - (6BN GREEN HOWARDS) THAT THE 23 PROVOST COY HAD GONE AWAY.   COLONEL STEELE INFORMED ME THAT I COULD NOT RETURN TO CALAIS AS HE HAD RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM THE FRENCH INTELLIGENCE THAT CALAIS HAD FALLEN, BUT THAT I COULD TRY IF I WISHED .   I PROCEEDED BUT WAS HELD UP BY A FRENCH MACHINE- GUN SECTION AT THE CANAL BRIDGE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF GRAVELINES AND CALAIS HAD BEEN CUT BY THE ENEMY.   LATER THAT NIGHT L/CPL BALL, CMP OF THE SAME SECTION, REPORTED TO ME AT A COY. HQ AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAD CRAWLED OVER THE CANAL LOCK, AND THAT SGT WRIGHT HAD MET WITH AN ACCIDENT ON HIS MOTORCYCLE BUT HE COULD NOT GIVE ME ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SECTION.

THE FOLLOWING DAY (26/5/1940) COL STEELE INSTRUCTED L/CPL BALL AND MYSELF TO REPORT TO OUR OC, CAPT WHITEHEAD AT THE BASTION, DUNKIRK, WHICH WE DID.

ON THE NIGHT OF THE 25TH AND DURING THE DAY OF THE 26TH WE WERE UNDER CONSTANT HEAVY MACHINE-GUN AND LIGHT ARTILLERY FIRE FROM THE OPPOSITE BANK OF THE CANAL, BUT I COULD NOT SAY TO WHAT DEPTH THE ENEMY EXTENDED TOWARDS CALAIS.   IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD BE HARD TO SAY WHETHER L/CPL VEAL WAS CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO FIRES OR WHETHER HE GOT BACK TO CALAIS.

WHEN I EVENTUALLY RETURNED TO THE CAMP AT CROOKHAM CROSSROADS, NEAR ALDERSHOT, FOR REPOSTING, I SPOKE TO QMS ALLEN, WHO WAS NCO I/C CMP, CALAIS AND WH EMBARKED FOR ENGLAND FROM CALAIS, ALSO SGT WRIGHT

SGT WRIGHT INFORMED ME THAT HE THOUGHT L/CPL VEAL HAD GOT BACK TO CALAIS, BUT QMS ALLEN, WHO, I WAS GIVEN TO UNDERSTAND LATER HAD SUFFERED FROM SHOCK, COULD NOT GIVE ME ANY INFORMATION ABOUT HIM.

I RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST THAT YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH QMS ALLEN, SGT WRIGHT AND OTHER MEMBERS  OF THE SECTION WHO SURVIVED AND WHO WERE WITH SGT WRIGHT ON THE JOURNEY FROM CALAIS TO GRAVELINES, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF L/CPL BALL WHO RETURNED TO DUNKIRK WITH ME.

I AM NOT DEFINITELY CLEAR ABOUT THE EXACT TIME OF THESE OCCURRENCES, AS MY DIARY OF EVENT WAS LOST AT DUNKIRK THROUGH ENEMY ACTION, BUT THEY ARE CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE.

I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO REPORT.

INVERNESS                                                                                 SIGNED D RINSTOUT  CSM

3/3/1942                                                                                                         CMP (VP)

DR/AFMS                                                                  NORTH HIGHLAND DISTRICT.

_____________________________________________________________________

EVACUATION FROM DUNKIRK

LORRY JETTY  (1)

Statement by 2062105 L/Cpl H J Cornwell, 250 Field Company Royal Engineers.

In September, 1939, when war was declared I was serving with 250 Field Company, Royal Engineers, Territorial Army, a Cambridge Company.   Within a matter of weeks my Company was posted to France and later we became part of the 52nd Division.   When the action really started we were, it is sad to relate, fighting a losing battle and as the case with so many others had no option but to retreat.   During this time we were all pulled into 1 Division, the company of course were all split up but 15 or so of us were still together led by Lt J. Bennett, R.E.(TA).   We eventually arrived at Bray Dunes on the night of Wednesday 29th May.   At about 0800hrs the following morning we were ordered to make our way to the beach where we were to construct a pier using abandoned three ton lorries.   Lt J.Bennett RE to be in charge.   The production of the lorries was organised by a Lt H.Dibbens Military Police and with their help and with

assistance of other soldiers who were willing to give a hand, some 15 or more lorries to a length of approximately  150 yds were driven or manhandled through the soft sand and positioned - while the tide was out - nose to tail on the hard sand thus enabling dinghies and other small craft to be loaded from either side.   To “anchor” the jetty tyres were punctured, generally by firing bullets through them and when this was completed the backs of the lorries were filled with sand, the covers were ripped from the superstructure and lashed to one another.   The walkway was made up of decking panels taken from a bridging lorry and the gaps between the roofs of the three-tonners were covered by planks “borrowed from a timber yard which was not very far from the jetty site.  Unknown to us was the fact that Lt H. Dibbens, CMP had made arrangements that when the jetty was complete, we were the first to be evacuated over it.   Upon completion these arrangements were promptly cancelled by our CO and we were ordered to stay behind with Lt Bennett on maintenance of the jetty.

 The Military Police controlled the numbers embarking at any one time, usually 50 servicemen - thus maintaining order and preventing any possible breakdown.   The jetty extended into the sea - at low tide - and was operative for almost the whole of the days and nights.

Despite the regular enemy attacks, both from the air and land gun batteries, the jetty was hit only once and then it was the front lorry on its own which was put out of action - another miracle - indeed.

During our long spells of duty we were more often than not up to our shoulders in the sea and frequently covered in oil seeping from the chain of lorries.   No-one envied us our job if in fact any of the chaps who walked over the tops of the lorries ever thought about us and it was no consolation to us to see other soldiers jumping into the small boats on their way to the ships standing off-shore and home.


We had a billet in the the cellar of a building near the beach where we could get our heads down but with all the stuff that was being slung at us we for some strange reason felt safer in the open.   Food and fresh water were almost non-existent as such, except that which was scrounged or confiscated by Lt Bennett RE.   Because of this we were not only hungry when we finished our stint we felt half starved and so desperately tired when we were told to return to our hazardous, miserable and wet job.   Between us we covered about 60 hours of continuous duty - up to and until late on Saturday 1st June - when we were relieved by another team  of Sappers.   At long last it was our turn to walk across the jetty and get ourselves ferried out to a paddle steamer which we were told was the “Princess Elizabeth”.

By the time we boarded the ship it was nearly dark; the vessel lay off-shore and did not leave until early hours the next day when the Captain said those never to be forgotten words, “ Don’t think there will be any more coming.   Let’s go home.”   We were more jittery on the ship than on the beach, undoubtedly brought about by (a) someone pointing out to me the fluorescent wakes being left by the two paddles and I had to agree they stood out like a couple of searchlights, and (b) probably a nervous reaction following upon many days  and nights of continuous air and land attacks.   How many troops left by way of the jetty would be hard to estimate but as far as we were involved, I think about 10,000 would not be an exaggeration; we were in fact always too tired and hungry to give much thought to the number of men going over.   Finally for those of us who are still around to recount this story it is disappointing to have to say that no official recognition has ever been given to the Sappers who built the jetty and maintained it, or to the Military Police who took the control of this God sent jetty which, so far as the Bray Dunes sector was concerned, boosted morale and materially did much to bring about order out of chaos.

_______________________________________

EVACUATION FROM DUNKIRK

LORRY JETTY   (2)

Second Statement by L/Cpl H.J. Cornwell

attested by

2055828  Cpl T.H. Roslyn, 5931828  ex-Sapper N.D. Woollard and

ex-Sapper P.E. Clumber, all of 250th Field Coy RE (TA)

The lorry jetty was constructed at a place called Bray Dunes which is just outside DUNKIRK.

Construction was made by some of the sappers of 250th Coy, RE(TA) and the officer in charge of its building was Lt. J Bennett, RE (TA) who was the section officer of no.2.

I can vividly remember those lorries being driven from the beach and parked nose to tail so that they formed a long chain.   Once in position we went round and punctured all of the tyres by putting rounds through them, some of the sappers I recall were having a go at them with their bayonets.   The backs of the lorries were then filled with sand to weigh them down when the tide came in.

 

We then lashed decking panels to the lorries’ superstructure to form an improvised roadway, it was during the building that I was sent by Lt Bennett with four other sappers to get some timber planks as a standby in the event of the woodyard going up in flames.   Finally we lashed the lorries’ superstructure together to make it as stable as we could.   During the construction of the jetty the tide came in so that not only did we have all the other hazards to contend with, such as being bombed, shelled and gunned by fighter planes and forever being Stuka’d but we were soaked in seawater and covered in oil from the lorries.

There were times when we had to hold the jetty together by linking arms until a lashing could be made on any break.   After we had made the jetty some of us under Lt Bennett were detailed to stay behind as a maintenance party which was days later when we handed over the jetty to some sappers who were part of the rearguard.

The evacuation of troops over the jetty was under the strict control of the Military Police.  

It was their duty to see that no more than fifty men went across at any one time.   Without their presence and control it would have resulted in sheer chaos.   They were I recall only to have  allowed British troops to use the jetty, but many a blind eye was turned when Allied soldiers went across.

How many men went across the jetty only the Lord would know.   When we started building it the sector was full of Belgian, French and British troops, when we left it was pretty empty.   Not that it would have mattered to us anyhow, by the time we left we were too tired and hungry to have cared.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

REPORT FROM CHIEF INSPECTOR G HAVERILL TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, METROPOLITAN POLICE REGARDING THE FORMATION OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION BRANCH OF THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE

320/FOR/994

TO SUPERINTENDENT.                                                            3RD JANUARY 1940.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE ATTACHED AND INSTRUCTIONS ON MINUTE 13:-

     AT 10.30 AM ON THE 12TH DECEMBER, 1939, WITH DETECTIVE CONSTABLE NICHOLLS, AT THE OFFICE OF MONSIEUR MONDANEL, INSPECTEUR GENERAL OF THE SURETE NATIONALE, PARIS, I MET WITH COLONEL KENNEDY, PROVOST MARSHAL OF THE BEF IN FRANCE, MAJOR BASSETT WILSON, APM IN PARIS, AND OFFICERS OF THE FRENCH MILITARY STAFF.

     COLONEL KENNEDY GAVE A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE PILFERING AND IN FACT, WHOLESALE LOOTING OF BRITISH ARMY SUPPLIES IN FRANCE WHICH IS BEING CARRIED ON BY SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS.   MONSIEUR MONDANEL SAID HE IS ONLY TOO ANXIOUS THAT HIS SERVICE SHALL GIVE EVERY ASSISTANCE POSSIBLE WHEN IT WAS FOUND THAT FRENCH CIVILIANS ARE INVOLVED IN THIS PILFERING.

     DURING THIS CONFERENCE I LEARNED WHAT IS AT COLONEL KENNEDY’S DISPOSITION AS A POLICE FORCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF CHECKING MISDEMEANOURS AND CRIME COMMITTED BY MEMBERS OF THE BEF AND QUICKLY CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THIS MATERIAL WAS NOT SUFFICIENT OR EFFICIENT ENOUGH FOR THIS PURPOSE AND I TOLD

MONSIEUR MONDANEL THAT BEFORE GOING INTO THE QUESTION ANY FURTHER AS FAR AS HIS SIDE IS CONCERNED I SHOULD LIKE TO HAVE A GENERAL TALK ON THE MATTER WITH COLONEL KENNEDY.

     COLONEL KENNEDY, MAJOR BASSET WILSON AND MYSELF THEN LEFT AND LATER THAT DAY, AFTER A LONG CONVERSATION WITH COLONEL KENNEDY WE AGAIN SAW MONSIEUR MONDANEL AND TOLD HIM THAT THE SITUATION AS IT IS AT PRESENT REQUIRES SOME REORGANISATION AND EFFECTIVE PREVENTIVE WORK ON THE PART OF THE BRITISH MILITARY AUTHORITIES.   IF THIS WERE DONE THE MAJOR PART OF THE PROBLEM WOULD BE OVERCOME, AND OF COURSE IN PREVENTING PILFERING AT THE SOURCE BY BRITISH SOLDIERS, THE FRENCH SIDE OF THE QUESTION WOULD ALSO DISAPPEAR TO A GREAT EXTENT.  I INFORMED MONSIEUR MONDANEL THAT I WAS VISITING THE BRITISH ARMY BASES IN FRANCE TO GO INTO THE QUESTION IN DETAIL AND WOULD SEE HIM AGAIN AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TOUR.

     MONSIEUR MONDANEL REPEATED HIS WILLINGNESS TO GIVE US WHAT ASSISTANCE WE MIGHT CONSIDER NECESSARY AND INCIDENTALLY, GAVE ME LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION TO MONSIEUR LEPAGE AT RENNE AND MONSIEUR DARGENT AT ROUEN, COMMISSAIRES DIVISIONNAIRES OF THE BRIGADE REGIONALE DE POLICE MOBILE FOR BRITTANY AND NORMANDY RESPECTIVELY.

     THESE GENTLEMEN HE SAID ARE IN CONTROL OF THESE AREAS UNDER THE SURETE NATIONALE, AND HE WOULD GIVE THEM DIRECTIONS TO GIVE EVERY ASSISTANCE TO THE BRITISH MILITARY AUTHORITIES WHENEVER IT SHOULD BE NEEDED.   IT SHOULD BE EXPLAINED IN PASSING THAT THE SURETE NATIONALE OPERATES OVER THE WHOLE OF FRANCE AS A POLICE FORCE INVESTIGATING SERIOUS CRIME AND THOSE COMMISSAIRES DIVISIONNAIRES ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE DIRECT TO MONSIEUR MONDANEL IN PARIS AND NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OF THE LOCAL POLITICAL OR OTHER INFLUENCES WHICH OFTEN AFFECT  THE EFFICIENCY OF LOCAL POLICE FORCES IN FRENCH TOWNS.

     COLONEL KENNEDY TOLD ME THAT THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE IN PEACE TIME AMOUNTED TO SOME 500 MEN DIVIDED INTO PROVOST COMPANIES.   EACH PROVOST COMPANY, COMMANDED BY AN OFFICER, HAD A COMPANY HEADQUARTERS STAFF AND SIX SECTIONS.   THE COMPANY HEADQUARTERS STAFF CONSISTS OF ONE CAPTAIN; ONE WARRANT OFFICER FIRST CLASS; ONE WARRANT OFFICER 3RD CLASS; ONE CQMS AND TWO OR THREE OTHER RANKS, WHILE A SECTION WAS COMPOSED OF ONE SERGEANT;

TWO CORPORALS, 12 LANCE CORPORALS AND ONE LANCE-CORPORAL WHO ACTS AS DRIVER OF A 15CWT TRUCK.   THE CORPS’ SCHOOL OF INSTRUCTION IS AT MYCHETT, ALDERSHOT.

     BEFORE THE WAR THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT 300 MILITARY POLICE STATIONED IN ENGLAND, THE REMAINDER BEING AT SHANGHAI; HONG KONG;, GIBRALTAR; PALESTINE, EGYPT, SINGAPORE AND MALTA.

     THE WORK OF THIS CORPS IN PEACETIME IS DEALING ENTIRELY WITH MATTERS AFFECTING MILITARY DISCIPLINE AND MOVEMENTS (TRAFFIC ETC).   WHEN ANY CASE OF CRIME (WHENEVER I REFER TO C CRIME’ IN THIS REPORT IT WILL ALWAYS BE IN THE CIVIL POLICE SENSE AND NOT MILITARY) WAS COMMITTED BY SOLDIERS, THE MATTER WAS HANDED TO THE CIVIL POLICE TO TAKE ACTION.   IT HAS TO BE BORNE IN MIND THAT THE MILITARY POLICE HAS NO INSTRUCTION OR KNOWLEDGE SUCH AS THE CIVIL POLICE POSSESSES IN MATTERS RELATING TO THE PREVENTION, DETECTION AND INVESTIGATION OF CRIME.

     ON THE OUTBREAK OF WAR COLONEL KENNEDY SAID THE STRENGTH OF THE CORPS WAS INCREASED RAPIDLY AND MADE UP TO 1,200 MEN.   A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF THESE MEN ARE RESERVISTS WHO WERE CALLED UP AND WHO HAD BEEN ENGAGED IN A.A. WORK IN PEACE TIME.   THEY WERE GIVEN A RAPID COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN ENGLAND AND SENT TO FRANCE, WHERE OF COURSE, THEY WERE FOUND USEFUL IN ATTENDING LARGE MOVEMENTS OF TROOPS AND VEHICLES.   HE SAID THAT AT PRESENT A PROVOST COMPANY IS ATTACHED TO GHQ, ONE TO EACH CORPS HQ AND ONE TO EACH DIVISION, WHILE THREE COMPANIES ARE ATTACHED TO THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION AREAS,   IN THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION AREA PROVOST COMPANIES HAVE NO OFFICER, ONLY ONE WARRANT OFFICER SECOND CLASS AND ARE MADE UP OF EIGHT SECTIONS INSTEAD OF SIX.   THE SECTIONS ARE DISTRIBUTED AT VARIOUS BASES, SO MANY SECTIONS BEING UNDER CONTROL OF A DAPM.   THE APM’S AND DAPM’S ARE OFFICERS FROM OTHER UNITS WHO HAVE BEEN DETACHED FOR THIS PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND GIVEN A SHORT INTENSIVE COURSE IN MILITARY POLICE LAW.

     THE POSITION AS DESCRIBED BY COLONEL KENNEDY SHOW THAT THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES HAD TAKEN EVERY STEP TO EXPAND THIS ORGANISATION FOR MAINTAINING ORDER AND MILITARY DISCIPLINE IN THE BEF.   WHAT APPARENTLY HAD NOT BEEN REALISED IS THAT NOTHING WAS DONE TO PROVIDE AN ORGANISATION TO DEAL WITH CRIME AND WORK TURNED OVER BY THE ARMY TO THE CIVIL POLICE IN PEACE TIME.   THIS IS

NOTHING MORE OR LESS THAN A LARGE BODY OF MEN ESTABLISHED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY NOT SUBJECT TO ANY POLICE CONTROL IN THE STRICT MEANING OF THE WORD ‘POLICE’ AS UNDERSTOOD IN THE CIVILIAN WORLD.   THIS, THEREFORE, IS MORE OR LESS THE EXPLANATION FOR THE PILFERING AND LOOTING THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON AND FAILURE OF MEASURES TAKEN TO SUPPRESS IT.

     IN A GENERAL DISCUSSION WITH COLONEL KENNEDY WE AGREED ON THIS POINT AND IT WAS DECIDED THAT I SHOULD MAKE A TOUR OF THE BASE AREAS TO SEE THE SITUATION FOR MYSELF, HOW IT WAS BEING DEALT WITH AND TO PUT FORWARD WHAT I CONSIDERED TO BE A REASONABLE METHOD OF DEALING WITH IT.

     WITH DETECTIVE CONSTABLE NICHOLLS AND COLONEL KENNEDY I LEFT PARIS ON THE 13TH DECEMBER, 1939, FOR LE MANS WHERE THE HQ OF THE L OF C AREA IS SITUATED.   COLONEL KENNEDY INTRODUCED ME THERE TO VARIOUS STAFF OFFICERS FROM WHOM I OBTAINED USEFUL INFORMATION AND AFTER WHICH I MADE A TOUR OF THE BASES AT RENNES, NANTES, BREST, LE HAVRE AND ROUEN.

     AS A RESULT OF MY ENQUIRIES, FROM WHAT I SAW, WAS TOLD AND FROM INFORMATION I GATHERED FROM SOURCES, BOTH MILITARY AND CIVIL, I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE ONLY PRACTICAL SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEMS IN QUESTION IS FOR THE ARMY TO HAVE A CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE PERFORMING OVERSEAS DUTY TRAINED AND INSTRUCTED, NOT ONLY IN THEIR MILITARY DUTIES BUT ALSO IN THE PREVENTION, DETECTION AND INVESTIGATION OF CRIME ON THE SAME BASIS AS THE CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE.   THIS WOULD MEAN REORGANISING THE MILITARY POLICE ONTO PARALLEL LINES WITH, FOR EXAMPLE, THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, WHICH HAS ITS UNIFORM DEPARTMENT FOR ORDINARY STREET AND TRAFFIC WORK, PATROLLING BEATS AND SPECIAL AREAS FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRIME AND A TRAINED BRANCH SIMILAR TO THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF CRIME COMMITTED BY SOLDIERS AND THE DETECTION AND APPREHENSION OF OFFENDERS.    FURTHER ITS STRENGTH MUST BE GREATLY INCREASED, THE PRESENT NUMBER BEING HOPELESSLY INADEQUATE EVEN FOR ITS PRESENT OBJECTS.

     I WILL LEAVE THIS SUGGESTION AT THIS POINT AND PASS ON TO MY ENQUIRIES AT THE BASES, DEALING WITH THE VARIOUS MATTERS AND PROBLEMS THAT HAVE ARISEN, SHEWING HOW, IF SUCH A CORPS EXISTED, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH EFFECTIVELY, AND FURTHER

REPETITION SUPPRESSED TO A GREAT DEGREE, AND AT THE CONCLUSION WILL GO INTO THIS SUGGESTION IN MORE DETAILS.

     AT LE MANS I MADE BY FIRST DIRECT ENQUIRIES AND VISITED D.I.D (DETAILS ISSUE DEPOT, RASC) WHERE IS STORED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FOOD, PETROL AND OTHER SUPPLIES.   THE OC HAS 21 MEN UNDER HIS COMMAND WHO ARE SPECIALISTS IN HANDLING SUPPLIES PLUS 15 VOLUNTEERS.   THESE SUPPLIES ARE BROUGHT UP BY RAILWAY TO THE LOCAL SIDING, UNLOADED BY MEN DRAWN FROM A LABOUR BATTALION IN THE VICINITY AND TAKEN TO THE D.I.D IN LORRIES.   NO EFFECTIVE SUPERVISION IS MAINTAINED DURING THE UNLOADING OF THE TRAINS AND TRANSPORT OF THE STORES TO THE DEPOT WHICH IS AN OPEN PARK.   IN CONSEQUENCE  A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF PILFERING WENT ON DURING UNLOADING AND TRANSPORT AND AGAIN AFTER IT WAS PACKED UP AT THE DUMP.   IT HAS TO BE REMEMBERED THAT THE LABOUR CORPS ARE COMPRISED GENERALLY OF WORKING MEN DRESSED IN SOLDIERS UNIFORMS AND HAVE BEEN RECRUITED FROM ALL CLASSES OF MEN IN CIVILIAN LIFE.   IT NEEDS NO STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION TO REALISE THAT AMONG THESE MUST BE MEN TO WHOM PILFERING AND STEALING IS SECOND NATURE.   THEIR CO’S ARE PROMOTED FROM THEIR OWN RANKS AND DISCIPLINE, IN THE ARMY SENSE BARELY EXISTS.   IN FACT THE NCO’S WOULD MORE OR LESS CORRESPOND TO GANGERS OR FOREMEN IN CIVIL LIFE.

     SENTRIES DRAWN FROM INFANTRY REGIMENTS ARE PLACED TO GUARD THE DUMPS AT THE DEPOT, BUT THIS WAS NOT FOR SOME TIME TOO SUCCESSFUL AND PILFERING AT THESE DUMPS WENT ON.

     THE SITUATION IS MUCH BETTER NOW THE OC HAD HAD CONSTRUCTED A BARBED WIRE COMPOUNDS FOR THE VARIOUS STORES BUT THE PROBLEM OF PILFERING DURING UNLOADING AND TRANSPORT HAS STILL TO BE TACKLED IN AN EFFECTIVE MANNER.

     AS I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED THERE ARE UNDOUBTEDLY PROFESSIONAL THIEVES ENGAGED IN THIS WORK AND THE ONLY PRACTICAL WAY OF CONTROLLING THEM WOULD BE TO USE ONE OR TWO MILITARY POLICE WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO DEAL WITH PROFESSIONAL THIEVES.   THE PRESENT MILITARY POLICEMAN HAS NOT HAD THE EXPERIENCE AND IT CANNOT BE EXPECTED THAT HE SHOULD KNOW THEIR VARIOUS LITTLE TRICKS AND METHODS.

     ABOUT 6,00O RATIONS ARE ISSUED DAILY FROM THIS DEPOT AND AT

PRESENT NO MILITARY POLICE ARE AVAILABLE AT ALL TO GIVE ATTENTION TO THIS PLACE.

     IF A SMALL BODY OF TRAINED POLICE WERE AVAILABLE, NOT ONLY COULD ONE OR TWO MEN SUPERVISE THE UNLOADING OF SUPPLY TRAINS BUT FROM TIME TO TIME THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE SEARCHES OF THE MEN ENGAGED IN THE UNLOADING ETC. AND ALSO AT THEIR BILLETS.  

     I NEXT WENT TO RENNES WHICH IS A TOWN WITH A CIVILIAN POPULATION OF ABOUT 125,000.   THERE ARE 12 CAMPS ESTABLISHED ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE TOWN CONTAINING ABOUT 6,000 TROOPS.   SECOND LIEUTENANT SMITH-DORIEN IS THE DAPM THERE AND HAS A SECTION OF CMP (17 MEN) AVAILABLE TO DEAL WITH EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT ARISE.

     AT RENNE PARTICULARS WERE OBTAINED FROM THE LOCAL FRENCH POLICE OF THE AMOUNT OF CRIME COMMITTED BY BRITISH SOLDIERS FROM 11TH TO 28 OCTOBER, 1939.   THIRTY CASES WERE REPORTED TO THE LOCAL POLICE  WHICH CAN BE SUMMARISED AS FOLLOWS:-         

1.CASE OF SMASH AND GRAB ON A JEWELLER’S SHOP.   JEWELLERY            AND WATCHES TO THE AMOUNT OF 80,000 FRANCS STOLEN.   THREE BRITISH SOLDIERS STATED TO BE INVOLVED.   NO ARREST MADE.

        1 CASE OF BURGLARY - 1,000 FRANCS WORTH OF PROPERTY STOLEN,   BRITISH SOLDIERS SUSPECTED.

        4 CASES OF DRIVING AWAY UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLES (ONE OF THE CASES ACTUALLY CONCERNED A FRENCH POLICE MOTOR CAR).

        1 ATTEMPTED BREAKING INTO A WOMAN’S HOUSE.

        2 CASES OF ROBBING WITH VIOLENCE (LARCENY FROM PERSONS WITH VIOLENCE).

        6 CASES OF SIMPLE LARCENY.

THE OTHER 15 CASES CONSISTS OF ASSAULTS, INDECENT EXPOSURE AND BEHAVIOUR IN THE STREETS, DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AND LEAVING CAFES ETC AFTER CONSUMING DRINKS AND MEALS AND REFUSING TO PAY.

     IN SOME OF THESE CASES ARRESTS HAVE BEEN EFFECTED, BUT FOR 18 DAYS THIS IS RATHER A FORMIDABLE LIST OF CRIME FOR SUCH A SMALL

NUMBER OF TROOPS.   IN ADDITION IT HAS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT THE USUAL DRUNKENNESS OF SOLDIERS THAT HAS BEEN DEALT WITH BY THE MILITARY POLICE.

     I SAW MONSIEUR LEPAGE, THE COMMISSAIRE TO WHOM MONSIEUR MONDANEL HAD REFERRED AND HE TOLD ME CONFIDENTIALLY THAT THESE EVENTS ARE CREATING A VERY BAD  IMPRESSION AMONGST THE FRENCH CIVILIANS SO FAR AS THE BRITISH TROOPS ARE CONCERNED.

     THIS BRIEF ACCOUNT OF EVENTS IN THAT TOWN WILL SHOW THE NECESSITY FOR A TRAINED FORCE ON THE LINES I HAVE SUGGESTED.

     SECOND LIEUTENANT SMITH DORIAN HAD ONLY TAKEN UP HIS DUTIES A FEW DAYS BEFORE I ARRIVED THERE AND WAS TACKLING THE MATTER IN THE MOST PRACTICABLE WAY WITH THE MEN AT HIS DISPOSAL.

 BUT OF COURSE THEY ARE ENTIRELY INEXPERIENCED FOR DEALING WITH WORK OF THIS KIND.   HE HAS INSTITUTED A ‘FLYING PATROL’ WHICH CONSISTS OF TWO MILITARY POLICE, TWO FRENCH POLICE AND A GENDARME, ATTACHED TO THE SECTION AS INTERPRETER, WHICH PATROLS IN THE MOTOR TRUCK OF THE CMP AND HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL TO A GREAT EXTENT, IN DEALING WITH ORDINARY DRUNKENNESS AND ROWDYISM IN THE STREET, BUT SO FAR AS BEING ABLE TO CO-OPERATE WITH THE FRENCH POLICE IN THE INVESTIGATION OF MORE SERIOUS CRIME THERE IS NOT A MAN IN THE CORPS WHO HAS THE SLIGHTEST IDEA OF THIS KIND OF WORK.   THE IMPRESSION I GATHERED FROM THE FRENCH POLICE WAS THAT IT WAS NOT MUCH USE EXPECTING ANY EFFECTIVE HELP FROM THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES IN THEIR INVESTIGATION OF THESE CRIMES.

     IN MY OPINION TWO MEN SPECIALLY TRAINED IN INVESTIGATION WORK WOULD MAKE AN ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE HERE.   APART FROM THE POSSIBLE SUCCESS THEY WOULD HAVE IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THESE CRIMES IT WOULD CREATE A MOST FAVOURABLE IMPRESSION UPON THE FRENCH POLICE AUTHORITIES TO HAVE WORKING  WITH THEM MEN WHO UNDERSTOOD THEIR WORK.   MONSIEUR LEPAGE WHO IS INVESTIGATING THE SMASH AND GRAB SAID TO ME THAT IF THERE WERE A TRAINED INVESTIGATING POLICE WITH THE ARMY TO WORK IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE FRENCH POLICE HE HAD NOT THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT THE INVESTIGATION INTO THIS PARTICULAR CASE WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION.   HE ALSO MENTIONED THAT THERE HAD BEEN ONE CASE OF RAPE WHICH HAD NOT BEEN SATISFACTORILY DEALT WITH AS

THERE WAS NO ONE IN THE MILITARY POLICE WITH WHOM HE WAS ABLE TO CO-OPERATE IN THE INVESTIGATION.

     I NEXT WENT TO NANTES WHERE I WAS RECEIVED BY CAPTAIN FORBES, DAPM.   THIS OFFICER IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN HIS WORK AND HAS BY HIS OWN PERSONAL EFFORTS AND HARD WORK REDUCED PILFERING THERE TO A COMPARATIVELY SMALL SCALE.   HE HAS TO COVER THE AREA OF NANTES, ST. NAZAIRE  AND LE BAULE.   FOR THIS PURPOSE AT NANTES HE HAS THREE SECTIONS CONSISTING OF 3 SERGEANTS, 6 CORPORALS, AND 42 LANCE CORPORALS AND AT LE BAULE 2 SERGEANTS, 2 CORPORALS AND 8 LANCE CORPORALS.

     NANTES HAS A LARGE DOCK AREA WHERE IS UNLOADED AMMUNITION, PETROL, GENERAL SUPPLIES, INCLUDING FOOD AND IN ADDITION NAAFI SUPPLIES.   ACCORDING TO THE FIGURES AVAILABLE THE NUMBER OF SHIPS UNLOADED AND THEIR CARGOES DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 1929, WERE AS FOLLOWS:-

15 SHIPS CARRYING 38,500 TONS OF GENERAL STORES, MOSTLY FOODSTUFFS.

16 SHIPS CARRYING 13,700 TONS OF PETROL.

21 SHIPS CARRYING MECHANISED TRANSPORT, AVERAGE CARGO 250 VEHICLES.

     THE NUMBER OF MEN EMPLOYED DAILY ON UNLOADING THESE VESSELS WAS ABOUT 1,200 TO 1,300 OF THE LABOUR UNITS AND 300 TO 250 FRENCH DOCK LABOURERS.

     THERE IS A MILITARY POPULATION AT NANTES OF ABOUT 13,000 MEN, THE CIVILIAN POPULATION BEING ABOUT 210,000 WITH SOME THOUSANDS OF EVACUEES FROM THE EAST OF FRANCE,   AT ST. NAZAIRE THERE ARE ABOUT 5,000  SOLDIERS AND AT LE BAULE ABOUT 2,000.   THE GREATER PART OF THE MILITARY FORCES AT THESE PLACES ARE COMPOSED OF LABOUR COMPANIES, MOST OF WHICH HAVE BEEN DRAWN FROM THE DOCK LABOURER CLASSES OF MANCHESTER, LIVERPOOL AND GLASGOW.

     CAPTAIN FORBES INTRODUCED ME TO VARIOUS OFFICERS CONCERNED IN THE ARRIVAL OF SUPPLY SHIPS FROM ENGLAND, THEIR UNLOADING, AND THE SUBSEQUENT DESPATCH OF THE GOODS TO THE FORWARD AREAS, AND THE WHOLE SYSTEM WAS FULLY EXPLAINED TO ME.

     AT THE DOCKS THERE IS AN OFFICER UNDER THE CONTROL OF A ROYAL NAVAL OFFICER WHO IS KNOWN AS THE SEA TRANSPORT OFFICER (S.T.O.).  

HE IS NOTIFIED OF THE IMPENDING ARRIVAL OF A SHIP AND MAKES ARRANGEMENTS FOR IT TO OCCUPY A PARTICULAR BERTH.   ON ITS ARRIVAL HE BOARDS THE VESSEL, RECEIVES THE PARTICULAR DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ITS CARGO AND THEN GIVES ORDERS FOR THE HATCHES TO BE REMOVED FOR UNLOADING TO COMMENCE.   THE HOLDS ARE NOT SEALED BUT CLOSED IN THE USUAL WAY WITH WEDGES AND TARPAULINS.

     NEXT THE OC DOCK AREA MAKES ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE UNLOADING OF THE VESSEL.   HE HAS A TECHNICAL STAFF TO DEAL WITH THE CHECKING OF A CARGO, ETC. BUT FOR LABOUR HE DRAWS UPON THE PERSONNEL OF A LABOUR BATTALION AND IF NECESSARY ENGAGES FRENCH DOCK LABOUR TO SUPPLEMENT THEM.

     AS THE CARGO IS UNLOADED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE IT IS LOADED INTO GOODS TRAINS FOR DESPATCH TO FORWARD AREAS.     IN SOME CASES WHEN THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE THE GOODS ARE STORED IN HANGARS ADJACENT TO THE QUAYS.   CERTAIN STORES ARE REMOVED TO LOCAL DEPOTS BY LORRY FOR ISSUE TO LOCAL UNITS OR FOR ISSUE  OR WHEN APPLIED FOR BY FORWARD UNITS.

     THIS APPLIES, OF COURSE, TO GENERAL STORES SUCH AS CLOTHING, FOOD, EQUIPMENT, ETC.

PETROL IS UNLOADED AT SPECIAL QUAYS AND REMOVED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO PETROL DUMPS WELL OUT OF THE TOWNS.

     MUNITIONS ARE UNLOADED AT SPECIALLY SELECTED DOCKS AND ARE LIKEWISE TRANSPORTED TO SPECIALLY PREPARED SPOTS.

SO FAR AS MY ENQUIRIES WENT I ONLY CONCERNED MYSELF WITH THE UNLOADING OF GENERAL STORES AND EQUIPMENT.

     THE S.T.O’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE GOODS ENDS AS THEY LEAVE THE SHIP.   THE O.C. DOCK AREAIS RESPONSIBILITY IS TO SEE THAT THEY ARE PROPERLY UNLOADED ONTO THE QUAY AND FROM THAT TIME ONWARDS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SAFE KEEPING IS IN THE HANDS OF PARTICULAR O.C’S TO WHOM THE GOODS ARE CONSIGNED SUCH AS THE C.O. OF THE LOCAL RASC OR THE C.O OF THE RAOC.

     ALL THESE UNITS HOWEVER, LOOK TO THE CMP TO GIVE THEM POLICE PROTECTION AND SUPERVISION OVER THEIR MEN, AREAS OR STORE DEPOTS.

     AT NANTES BRITISH SHIPS CARRYING MILITARY STORES ARE UNLOADED AT THE QUAI PRESIDENT WILSON AND QUAI DES ANTILLES.   THE QUAY  PRESIDENT WILSON HAS ABOUT ½ MILE FRONTAGE AND ABOUT 4 MILE DEPTH

BACK TO THE RAILWAY SIDINGS.   THE QUAI DES ANTILLES JOINS THE QUAY PRESIDENT WILSON OBLIQUELY AND HAS A FRONTAGE  OF ¼ MILE.   THESE TWO QUAYS ARE ON AN ISLAND FORMED BY THE RIVER DIVIDING.   A THIRD QUAY, THE QUAY D’AUGILLEN IS AVAILABLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, THIS IS ON THE RIVERSIDE OPPOSITE TO THE QUAI DES ANTILLES AND IS OPEN TO A MAIN ROAD INTO THE TOWN.   IT HAS HOWEVER, BEEN COMPLETELY FENCED AROUND SO THAT IN THE EVENT OF IT BEING USED AND STORES DUMPED ONTO IT COMPLETE PROTECTION WILL BE EFFECTED AGAINST ALL PILFERING BY ANY PERSONS BY MERELY INSTITUTING A POLICE PATROL.

     SO FAR AS THE QUAI  PRESIDENT WILSON AND ANTILLES ARE CONCERNED IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE A DETOUR AND OVER A BRIDGE TO GET TO THEM.   MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY THE O.C DOCK AREA TO COMPLETELY SURROUND THE PART UNDER HIS CONTROL WITH A BARBED WIRE FENCE IN ORDER TO CUT THIS  OFF FROM THE ADJOINING  DOCKS USED FOR CIVIL WORK PURPOSES AND THE NEIGHBOURING STREETS.   THERE ARE TWO ENTRANCES LEFT TO THIS AREA, ONE TO THE QUAI DES ANTILLES AND OTHER TO QUAI PRESIDENT WILSTON.   ON EACH OF THESE ENTRANCES CAPTAIN FORBES HAS POSTED A MILITARY POLICEMAN WITH A MAN ATTACHED FROM A REGIMENT STATIONED LOCALLY.   THESE POSTS EXAMINE PASSES AND PERMITS OF ALL PERSONS AND VEHICLES ENTERING AND LEAVING THE  TWO QUAYS, KEEP OBSERVATION ON ALL MILITARY VEHICLES PARKED IN THE VICINITY AND PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO DETECT ANY PERSONS TAKING PILFERED GOODS FROM THE QUAYS.   IN ADDITION HE HAS INSTITUTED TWO BEATS ON THE QUAI  PRESIDENT WILSON, EACH PATROLLED CONTINUOUSLY BY TWO MEN OVER THE 24 HOURS AND ONE BEAT ON THE QUAI DES ANTILLES WHICH IS ALSO PATROLLED BY TWO MEN DAY AND NIGHT.

     THERE HAPPENS TO BE A FERRY LANDING STAGE AT THE POINT WHERE THE QUAI DES ANTILLES JOINS THE QUAI PRESIDENT WILSON AND CAPTAIN FORBES MAINTAINS A POST THERE OF ONE MAN BY DAY, 2 MEN AT NIGHT, TO EXAMINE ALL PERMITS AND PASSES OF PERSONS USING THIS FERRY.

     ARMY SUPPLIES ARE UNLOADED ON THE QUAYSIDE AND THOSE NOT DESTINED FOR LOCAL DEPOT RE-LOADED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE INTO GOODS WAGONS ON THE RAILWAY SIDINGS FOR DESPATCH TO THE FORWARD AREAS.   CAPTAIN FORBES HAS THEREFORE INSTITUTED A SPECIAL PATROL TO COVER THE RAILWAY SIDINGS OF ONE MAN BY DAY AND 2 MEN BY NIGHT, WHEN LOADED TRAINS ARE STANDING  THERE.

     IN ADDITION TO THESE DUTIES, WHEN A SHIP IS BEING UNLOADED CAPTAIN

FORBES PLACES A MAN ON BOARD TO KEEP OBSERVATION DURING THE EMPTYING OF THE HOLD AND ANOTHER MAN ON THE QUAY WITH A VIEW TO PREVENT PILFERING BY THE MEN ENGAGED ON THIS WORK.     IT HAS ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED THAT THESE MEN ARE LIKELY TO BE BOTH OF THE LABOUR BATTALION AND FRENCH CIVILIAN DOCK LABOURERS.

     IT WILL THUS BE SEEN THAT CAPTAIN FORBES HAS TAKEN VERY PRACTICAL STEPS WITH A VIEW TO STOPPING THE PILFERING.   UNFORTUNATELY THE MEN HE EMPLOYS ON THIS WORK HAVE NOT HAD MUCH EXPERIENCE AND IT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD THAT IN SPITE OF THESE MEASURES A SMALL AMOUNT OF PILFERING STILL GOES ON.

     IN ADDITION IT IS OFTEN FOUND THAT DURING THE UNLOADING OF THE CARGOES, CASES CONTAINING CIGARETTES AND WHISKY HAVE BEEN BREACHED AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS TAKES PLACE EITHER AT THE PORT OF LOADING OR DURING THE VOYAGE ACROSS.   IT IS THEREFORE NECESSARY THAT THE QUESTION OF STRICTER SUPERVISION AT THE PORT DURING THE LOADING OF A BOAT MUST BE MADE AND THEN IF THIS IS EFFECTIVELY CARRIED OUT IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO CALL UPON THE MASTER OF THE SHIP TO GIVE AN EXPLANATION OF BROACHED CASES FOUND IN THE CARGO ON ARRIVAL.   BY FIXING A RESPONSIBILITY UPON HIM HE WILL IN HIS TURN TAKE SOME MEASURES TO PREVENT PILFERING BY HIS CREW.

     APART FROM THESE POLICE DUTIES CAPTAIN FORBES HAS ALSO TO FIND MEN FOR PATROLLING THE TOWN TO MAINTAIN ORDER AMONG THE MILITARY THERE AND HE HAS INSTITUTED 7 BEATS FOR THIS PURPOSE.  FIVE OF THE BEATS ARE COVERED BY TWO MEN ON EACH AND TWO BEATS BY ONE MAN EACH.   THESE DUTIES COMMENCE AT 6PM AND ARE MAINTAINED UNTIL EVERYTHING IS QUIET.   IN ADDITION TO THE NORMAL STREET PATROLLING THESE MEN ALSO HAVE TO SEE THAT ALL THE BROTHELS ARE CLEARED OF SOLDIERS BY 8.30PM AND CAFES BY 10PM.

     FURTHER MEN ARE REQUIRED FOR THE SUPERVISION OF PRISONERS  SHORT SENTENCES AND CONFINED TO THE PRISONERS COMPOUND.

     WHEN NECESSARY MEN MUST ALSO BE FOUND FOR SPECIAL DUTIES SUCH AS TRAFFIC CONTROL WHEN MILITARY CONVOYS ARE PASSING THROUGH THE TOWN, AND ESCORTING PRISONERS, RESERVE DUTIES ETC.

     ALL THIS HAS BEEN ORGANISED AND IS CARRIED OUT BY CAPTAIN FORBES ALONE.   THE SENIOR SERGEANT OF THIS DETACHMENT IS ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS FROM A PRACTICAL POINT OF VIEW SO FAR AS THE DAPM

LOOKING TO SHOW INITIATIVE, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OR TO CARRY OUT ANY MATTER REQUIRING INTELLIGENCE.

I SPENT TWO DAYS AT NANTES, DURING WHICH TIME CAPTAIN  FORBES WAS ENGAGED TAKING ME ROUND AND  WHEN WE RETURNED TO HIS OFFICE IN THE EVENING THE WORK OF THE DAY HAD COMPLETELY STOOD STILL, BEYOND THE MORE ROUTINE DUTIES, AND IN MY OPINION THERE IS EVERY REASON FOR A DAPM IN AREAS SIMILAR TO NANTES TO HAVE A JUNIOR OFFICER TO ACT AS HIS DEPUTY IN HIS ABSENCE.

    FROM WHAT I COULD SEE OF IT HE HAS NO CLERK TO DEAL WITH THE PAPERS AND NO RESPONSIBLE PERSON TO WHOM HE CAN DELEGATE THE MAINTENANCE OF HIS SERVICE IN HIS ABSENCE.   HE HAS TO MAKE ALL ENQUIRIES REQUIRING INITIATIVE AND INTELLIGENCE HIMSELF AND SPENDS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME INSTRUCTING HIS NCO’S WHAT TO DO IN SIMPLE CASES WHICH SHOULD NOT BE AT ALL NECESSARY IF THE MEN WERE PROPERLY TRAINED IN POLICE WORK IN THE FULL SENSE OF THE WORD.

     HE IS OF COURSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AREAS OF ST NAZAIRE AND LE BAULE AND OUGHT TO VISIT HIS DETACHMENTS THERE FROM TIME TO TIME TO SEE THAT THEY ARE CARRYING OUT THEIR DUTIES EFFICIENTLY.   AS THING ARE AT PRESENT HIS HEAVY RESPONSIBILITIES AT NANTES DO NOT PERMIT HIM TO DO THIS AS OFTEN AS HE WOULD LIKE TO AS WHEN HE IS AWAY FOR A DAY AS ALREADY STATED, THINGS AT NANTES SIMPLY STAND STILL.

     THIS SITUATION I FOUND ON MY SUBSEQUENT VISITS TO BREST AND LE HAVRE AND I WILL REFER TO THE MATTER AGAIN LATER IN MY FINAL SUGGESTIONS.

     I ASKED CAPTAIN FORBES TO GIVE ME DETAILS CONCERNING LOCAL CRIME COMMITTED OR BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN COMMITTED BY SOLDIERS IN NANTES.   THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY:-

                1 SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A SOLDIER.                 

                3 CASES OF BREAKING AND ENTERING - 2 ARRESTS IN ONE CASE.

                20 CASES OF LARCENY - ARRESTS IN FOUR CASES.

                5 CASES FOR CAR STEALING - ARRESTS IN 3 CASE.

                8 CASES OF ASSAULT - ARRESTS IN 5 CASES

                IN ADDITION THERE WERE 72 ARRESTS BY THE CMP FOR OFFENCES AGAINST ORDINARY MILITARY DISCIPLINE DURING THE PERIOD FROM 30TH NOVEMBER 1939 TO 16TH DECEMBER 1939.    

     SO FAR AS THE CRIME IS CONCERNED THIS JUST BEARS OUT AGAIN THE

NECESSITY FOR A TRAINED INVESTIGATION STAFF BOTH IN ENQUIRING INTO THE CASES AND PARTICULARLY IN PREPARING THE CASES FOR PROSECUTION WHERE ARRESTS WERE EFFECTED.   IN CONNECTION WITH THIS LATTER OBSERVATION I WILL DEAL WITH THAT MORE FULLY AT A LATER STAGE.

     REGARDING THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH.   THIS CONCERNS A GUNNER NAMED LYTH, OF THE 6TH A.A BATTERY, RA.    (NO.779147 GNR CHARLES LYTH 1 BATTERY, 18 HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT REGIMENT, ROYAL ARTILLERY, DIED 29/9/1939.   HE IS BURIED IN PLOT L, ROW A, GRAVE 3 IN NANTES (PONT-DU CENS) COMMUNAL CEMETERY).   THIS MAN’S BODY WAS RECOVERED FROM THE RIVER IDRE ON THE 9TH OCTOBER, 1939, (9TH SHOULD READ 29TH SEPTEMBER 1939). CLOTHED ONLY IN A PAIR OF SHORTS, SOCKS AND ARMY BOOTS, WITH HIS IDENTITY DISCS ROUND HIS NECK.   THE UPPER PART OF HIS BODY WAS BADLY BRUISED AND THERE WAS AN INJURY TO HIS LEFT TEMPLE.   CAPTAIN OLIPHANT OF THE RAMC CARRIED OUT A POST MORTEM EXAMINATION, BUT HE COULD NOT STATE WHETHER THE INJURY TO THE TEMPLE WAS INFLICTED BEFORE OR AFTER DEATH, BUT GAVE HIS OPINION THAT THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS DUE TO DROWNING.   CAPTAIN FORBES MADE ENQUIRIES INTO THE MATTER AND FOUND THAT ON THE EVENING OF THE 29TH SEPTEMBER, 1939, LYTHALL  HAD BEEN IN THE COMPANY OF GUNNERS WALKER AND BREWIN OF THE SAME BATTERY.   THEY ALL VISITED A NORWEGIAN VESSEL IN THE DOCKS AT NANTES AND AT THE TIME WERE ALL DRUNK.   THEY HAD MORE DRINKS ON THE VESSEL AND AFTER LEAVING LYTH AND BREWIN HAD A FIGHT.   WALKER STATED HE PACIFIED THEM, AFTER WHICH HE LEFT THEM AND DID NOT SEE THEM AGAIN THAT EVENING.   BREWIN WAS PICKED UP BY TWO FRENCH POLICEMEN AT ABOUT 2.15 AM ON 30TH SEPTEMBER, 1939 IN THE PLACE ROYALE.   HE WAS STAGGERING ALONG, BADLY BATTERED ABOUT THE FACE WITH ONE EYE CLOSED.   HE WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL INSPECTION ROOM, QUAI  DE TOURENNE WHERE HE WAS TREATED FOR HIS INJURIES.   AT ABOUT 5M THAT SAME MORNING TWO FRENCH CUSTOMS OFFICERS FOUND ON THE QUAY NEAR GARE DE LA MAUNE, AN SD JACKET, TROUSERS, KHAKI SHIRT AND FORAGE CAP.   IN THE JACKET WAS LYTH’S PAY BOOK.   BEYOND THIS POINT CAPTAIN FORBES WAS UNABLE TO CARRY HIS INVESTIGATION FURTHER, AND ALTHOUGH HE CLOSELY EXAMINED BOTH WALKER AND BREWIN, WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ANY INFORMATION AS TO REALLY WHAT HAD OCCURRED ALTHOUGH HE IS CONVINCED BOTH THESE MEN COULD SAY MUCH MORE .

     

     OBVIOUSLY THIS WAS A CASE WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH  BY A SKILLED INVESTIGATOR AND INCIDENTALLY WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND I HAVE COME ACROSS AS WILL BE SEEN LATER IN THIS REPORT.  

     THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT THIS KIND OF CASE WILL OCCUR FROM TIME TO TIME AND IF THEY ARE TO BE DEALT WITH WITHIN A SATISFACTORY MANNER THE ONLY WAY WILL BE TO HAVE A SMALL PERSONNEL OF MEN SPECIALLY TRAINED IN THIS KIND OF INVESTIGATION STATIONED SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE AND WHOSE SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON DEMAND BY AN APM OR DAPM.  IN THIS WAY THE PROVINCIAL POLICE FORCES MAKE REQUESTS TO NEW SCOTLAND YARD FOR ASSISTANCE IN CASES OF VERY SERIOUS CRIME.

     REGARDING THE PILFERING GENERALLY OUR ENQUIRIES SHEW THAT THIS IS TAKING PLACE AS FOLLOWS:

  1. AT THE PORT OF LOADING.
  2. DURING THE VOYAGE OF THE VESSEL FROM ENGLAND TO FRANCE.
  3. DURING UNLOADING IN THE HOLDS.
  4. ON THE QUAYSIDE.
  5. DURING TRANSMIT TO FORWARD AREAS BY RAIL.

     IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN EXACT FIGURES OF THE AMOUNT OF PILFERING THAT HAD GONE ON SINCE THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES COMMENCED SHIPPING STORES, ETC, TO THIS PORT, BUT WHAT RECORDS WE DID EXAMINE CONCERNED THE PILFERING ON THE SUPPLY TRAINS FROM NANTES.

     APPARENTLY EVERY TRAIN THAT LEFT THIS TOWN HAD BEEN TAMPERED WITH, ALTHOUGH IN MOST CASES THE SEALS ON THE TRUCKS WERE FOUND INTACT ON ARRIVAL.   TO GIVE AN EXAMPLE, ON THE TRAINS THAT LEFT THE QUAYS BETWEEN THE 30TH OCTOBER, 1939 AND 17TH NOVEMBER 1939, TINNED FOODS OF ALL DESCRIPTIONS, RUM, WHISKEY, BEER, CIGARETTES, TOBACCO ETC WAS FOUND TO BE MISSING ON ARRIVAL.   ROUGHLY SPEAKING A TOTAL OF 400 TINS OF FOODSTUFFS WAS STOLEN, ABOUT 40 BOTTLES OF SPIRITS AND BEER AND SOME TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CIGARETTES.   OBVIOUSLY A LARGE AMOUNT OF THIS STEALING MUST HAVE TAKEN PLACE DURING THE LOADING AND ONLY A CONTROL BY PROPERLY TRAINED POLICE CAN DEAL WITH IT, AS APART FROM SURVEILLANCE THEY WOULD CARRY OUT EFFECTIVE SEARCHES OF THE WORKING PARTIES AT THE CONCLUSION OF THEIR DUTIES,

        

     I MADE A CALL ON MAJOR MARTIN, OF THE EFI (EXPEDITIONARY FORCE INSTITUTE) WHO TOLD ME THAT THE FIRST 8 SHIPMENTS TO NANTES OF NAAFI STORES WERE PILFERED ON AN ENORMOUS SCALE.   HE IS TRYING TO ASCERTAIN EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE LOST.   SO FAR HE KNOWS THAT THEY HAVE LOST CANTEEN SUPPLIES TO THE VALUE OF £5,000.   HE IS OF THE OPINION THAT MOST        OF THIS PILFERING HAD TAKEN PLACE IN ENGLAND, SOME IN TRANSIT AND SOME DURING UNLOADING.

     HE IS NOW USING HIS OWN MEN IN CONNECTION WITH UNLOADING AND THE LOSSES HAVE DROPPED.

     ANOTHER KIND OF PILFERING WAS IN CONNECTION WITH MOTOR VEHICLES.   VEHICLES SHIPPED FROM BARRY DOCK WERE FOUND ON ARRIVAL TO HAVE BEEN STRIPPED OF ALL ACCESSORIES, SPARE PARTS, TOOLS ETC,

THOSE SHIPPED FROM SOUTHAMPTON WERE FOUND QUITE INTACT.

     AS THERE IS NO MARKET FOR ENGLISH CAR ACCESSORIES IN FRANCE, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN WHOLESALE LOOTING AT BARRY DOCKS, AND SUPERVISION AT THAT PORT MUST HAVE BEEN A FARCE.

     SUMMING UP THE POSITION AT NANTES GENERALLY, AS I HAVE ALREADY STATED, CAPTAIN FORBES HAS TAKEN VERY PRACTICAL STEPS TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION.   AS FAR AS POSSIBLE I HAVE GONE INTO DETAIL WITH PATROLS, AND POSTS HE HAS INSTITUTED AS HIS GENERAL SCHEME COULD BE TAKEN AS A MODEL ON WHICH THE MILITARY POLICE DUTIES AT ALL BASE PORTS COULD BE ADOPTED, BUT TO CARRY IT OUT EFFECTIVELY HE NEEDS MORE PERSONNEL.

     AFTER GOING THOROUGHLY INTO THE MATTER WITH HIM, IN MY OPINION HE NEEDS THE FOLLOWING PERSONNEL:

  1. NANTES.   AN OFFICER TO ACT AS HIS ASSISTANT TO CARRY ON IN HIS ABSENCE

 2 CLERKS.

 50 MILITARY POLICE FOR TOWN PATROLS OR TRAFFIC      

 DUTIES.

 42 MILITARY POLICE FOR DOCK DUTIES.

(2) ST NAZAIRE.   30 MILITARY POLICE FOR TOWN PATROLS  

AND TRAFFIC DUTIES.

20 MILITARY POLICE FOR DOCK POLICE WORK.

1 CLERK.

(3).   LA BAULE.   10 MILITARY POLICE FOR TOWN PATROLS

AND TRAFFIC DUTIES.

     THOSE MILITARY POLICE USED FOR DOCK DUTY SHOULD HAVE SOME SPECIAL TRAINING IN DOCK POLICE WORK.

     IN ADDITION THERE SHOULD BE ATTACHED AT NANTES THREE OR FOUR MEN SPECIALLY TRAINED IN INVESTIGATION WORK, TO DEAL WITH CRIME COMMITTED BY SOLDIERS, ESPECIALLY AGAINST THE CIVILIAN POPULATION.

     I AM CONFIDENT THAT  IF THIS PROPOSAL WERE PUT INTO OPERATION THE GENERAL PROBLEMS OF PILFERING AND CRIME AT NANTES WOULD ALMOST DISAPPEAR.

     WE NEXT VISITED BREST AND SAW CAPTAIN ABBOTT, DAPM THERE.   HE HAS, APART FROM BREST, ST THEGONNET, MORLAIX AND PLEOUARET TO COVER.    RENNES ALREADY DEALT WITH IS ALSO UNDER HIS JURISDICTION.

     THE MILITARY POPULATION IS ABOUT 4,000 MEN COMPOSED MOSTLY OF LABOUR BATTALIONS.   THE STRENGTH OF THE MILITARY POLICE THERE IS ONE SERGEANT, 2 CORPORALS AND 9 MEN AND THEY HAVE JUST THE SAME AMOUNT OF DUTIES TO PERFORM AS AT NANTES - TOWN PATROLS, DOCK DUTIES. ETC.

     MOST OF THE MILITARY STORES THAT ARE SHIPPED TO BREST ARE UNLOADED AT THE JETEE DE L’EST AT WHICH BEING OVER 1000 FEET LONG, THREE SHIPS CAN BE BERTHED.   MUNITIONS ARE GENERALLY UNLOADED AT THE JETEE DE L’OUEST.   SHOULD THERE BE AN UNUSUAL NUMBER OF SHIPS BERTHED,  SOME OF THE OTHER JETTIES IN THE BASIN ARE ALLOTTED BY THE FRENCH AUTHORITIES FOR THE UNLOADING OF THE SHIPS.  DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1939, THE NUMBER OF SHIPS THAT DISCHARGED THEIR CARGO AT BREST WERE AS FOLLOWS:

                

8 PETROL SHIP’S, TOTAL CARGO 8,014 TONS.

                7 AMMUNITION SHIPS, TOTAL CARGO 12,076 TONS.

                11 MT SHIPS, TOTAL CARGO 2,174 VEHICLES.

                1 STORE SHIPS, TOTAL CARGO 24,349 TONS.

                4 PERSONNEL SHIPS - 2,218 MEN.

     THE JETTEE DE L’EST HAS BEEN FENCED OFF BY BARBED WIRE ON ‘KNIFE RESTS’.   THE ENTRANCES ARE GUARDED BY REGULAR SOLDIERS.   PASSES

ARE ISSUED TO ALL CIVILIANS WHOSE WORK NECESSITATES THEIR GOING ON THIS PARTICULAR JETTY.

    SOMETIMES FRENCH SHIPS ARE BERTHED NEXT TO THE BRITISH SHIPS AND IN CONSEQUENCE, THE CONTROL THEN BECOMES VERY DIFFICULT.   ONE OF THE TROUBLES SO FAR AS PREVENTION OF PILFERING IS CONCERNED IS THAT THERE IS A COMPLETE BLACKOUT OF BREST AS IT IS A FRENCH NAVAL BASE,  AND A LOT OF UNLOADING OF THE BRITISH SUPPLY SHIPS IS CARRIED OUT IN DARKNESS.   THE ONLY LIGHT PROVIDED IS ONE ON THE JIB OF THE CRANE WHICH SHINES DOWNWARDS INTO THE HOLD AS THE CASES ARE LOADED ONTO SLINGS AND AS THESE ARE SWUNG TO THE QUAYSIDE THE MEN IN THE HOLD ARE LEFT IN TOTAL DARKNESS, THE LIGHT, OF COURSE TRAVELLING WITH THE CRANE.   THEN WHEN THE CRANE SWINGS BACK TO THE SHIP THE MEN ON THE QUAYSIDE ARE LEFT IN DARKNESS.   THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH SOME CONTROL CAN BE EFFECTED UPON THESE MEN IS BY SEARCHES AFTER THEY LEAVE WORK.   THIS HAS BEEN DONE ON TWO OR THREE OCCASIONS BUT IMMEDIATELY UPON BEING STOPPED THE MEN HAVE THROWN AWAY WHATEVER THEY HAD WITH THE RESULT THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO CHARGE ANY PARTICULAR MAN WITH STEALING BUT A CONSIDERABLE QUANTITY OF CIGARETTES, TINNED FOODS, ETC WERE RECOVERED IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY.

     CAPTAIN ABBOTT TOLD ME THAT PILFERING IS NOT GOING ON THERE TO ANY GREAT EXTENT.   THERE WAS ONE CASE HOWEVER, WHERE HE SEARCHED THE BILLETS OF 80 MEN, RECOVERED ABOUT 14,000 CIGARETTES, FOODSTUFFS, CHOCOLATE, ETC AND ARRESTED 24 MEN.

     I CALLED ON THE SEA TRANSPORT OFFICER AND OC DOCKS AND LEARNED THAT THERE IS QUITE A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF PILFERING STILL GOING ON.   FOR INSTANCE THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF MISSING ARTICLES FROM THE SS “LOMBARDY” WHICH WAS UNLOADED AT BREST ON THE 6TH DECEMBER 1939:-

                24,600 CIGARETTES

                17 CARTONS OF CHOCOLATE

                AND VARIOUS SMALL QUANTITIES OF JAM, MILK, DENTAL CREAM,      

                        SHAVING CREAM ETC.

     

AGAIN WE HEARD THE STORY THAT NO DOUBT SOME OF THIS HAD TAKEN PLACE AT SOUTHAMPTON AND OR DURING THE VOYAGE ACROSS.

   

      AS FAR AS I COULD ASCERTAIN NO CMP ARE SUPERVISING THE UNLOADING OF SHIPS AT BREST AND THIS PORT SHOULD BE CONTROLLED BY THEM IN THE SAME MANNER AS CAPTAIN FORBES HAS INSTITUTED HIS SCHEME AT NANTES.   TO DO THIS, IN MY OPINION, THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST 36 MEN AVAILABLE FOR BREST ALONE, WITH SAY 2 MEN AT ST THEGONNES,  6 MEN AT MORLAIX AND 6 MEN AT PLOUARET, A CERTAIN NUMBER OF THEM HAVING BEEN TRAINED FOR DOCK POLICE WORK.

     AGAIN TOO, THE NECESSITY OF A DEPUTY TO ACT IN THE ABSENCE OF THE DAPM WHILST VISITING HIS AREAS IS OBVIOUS.

     SO FAR AS CRIME AGAINST CIVILIANS IS CONCERNED I WAS NOT ABLE TO OBTAIN MUCH INFORMATION ON THIS POINT BUT NEVERTHELESS THERE IS A NEED FOR TWO OR THREE MEN TRAINED IN INVESTIGATING CRIME TO DEAL WITH CASES OF PILFERING REPORTED.

     AT BREST A RATHER REMARKABLE INCIDENT OCCURRED WHICH ILLUSTRATES THE CASE FOR HAVING PROPERLY TRAINED MEN TO SUPERVISE THIS UNLOADING WORK AT DOCKS.   THERE IS A MILITARY PRISON AT BREST AND THE NCO’S AND MEN IN CHARGE ARE PRISON WARDERS IN CIVILIAN LIFE WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED UP AS RESERVISTS.   FOR A FEW DAYS THERE WAS A SPARE MILITARY PRISON STAFF STATIONED THERE, ALSO EX- PRISON WARDERS, AWAITING ORDERS TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND THEY VOLUNTEERED TO SUPERVISE THE UNLOADING OF THE SHIP.   I WAS TOLD THAT DURING THE PERIODS THESE MEN WERE DOING THIS WORK NO CASES OF PILFERING WERE REPORTED FROM THE CARGOES UNLOADED.

     WE NEXT CALLED AT LE HAVRE AND MADE CONTACT WITH MAJOR SEBAG MONTEFIORE, THE DAPM THERE.   (MAJOR SEBAG MONTEFIORE WAS A PROVOST OFFICER IN WORLD WAR I IN FRANCE).    HE HAD ONLY ARRIVED HIMSELF A FEW DAYS PREVIOUSLY PRIOR TO WHICH THE CMP HAD BEEN LOOSELY UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE FIELD SECURITY OFFICER, CAPT PERCY HARDMAN.

     THE STRENGTH OF THE MILITARY POLICE AT THIS PORT IS ONE SERGEANT, TWO CORPORALS AND 25 LANCE CORPORALS.   OF THE LATTER ONE MAN IS SICK, ONE IN HOSPITAL AND ONE EMPLOYED AS A TRUCK DRIVER.   TEN MEN WERE EMPLOYED ON TOWN PATROLS AND FIVE ON VARIOUS SPECIAL DUTIES, LEAVING SIX LANCE CORPORALS AVAILABLE FOR WORK ON THE DOCKS, WHICH IS A HOPELESS SITUATION SO FAR AS PREVENTING OR DETECTING PILFERING OF STORES THERE.   THIS STRENGTH WAS ONLY MADE UP TO

THESE FIGURES ABOUT ONE  WEEK BEFORE OUR ARRIVAL, THE ORIGINAL STRENGTH BEING ABOUT HALF THAT NUMBER.

     LE HAVRE IS ALREADY A PORT OF CONSIDERABLE IMPORTANCE, WHICH IS GROWING DAY BY DAY AND IS INTENDED TO BECOME IN QUITE A SHORT WHILE ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL BRITISH PORTS IN FRANCE, BOTH FOR MEN AND SUPPLIES.

     LARGE DUMPS IN AND AROUND THE DOCK AREAS ALREADY EXIST.  

 THESE ARE DISTRIBUTED OVER A WIDE AREA AND ARE THEREFORE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL UNLESS A LARGE NUMBER OF RELIABLE POLICEMEN ARE AT HAND.   THE DOCKS THEMSELVES COVER AN AREA OF ABOUT FOUR SQUARE MILES AND ARE BOUNDED BY UNWALLED PUBLIC ROADS, FREE ACCESS MAY BE GAINED AT NUMEROUS POINTS.

     THE NORMAL SHIPPING OF THE PORT IS STILL BEING CARRIED ON AND IN MANY CASES NEUTRAL SHIPS ARE UNAVOIDABLY BERTHED ALONGSIDE OUR OWN TRANSPORTS ON THE QUAYS PARTIALLY ALLOTTED FOR OUR USE.   THIS RESULTS IN FREE PASSAGE OF NEUTRAL SEAMEN PAST OUR STRETCHES OF QUAY AND OUR TRANSIT SHEDS.   COMPLETE ISOLATION IS IMPRACTICAL, AND THE NEED FOR HIGHLY TRAINED MEN IS CONSEQUENTLY VITAL.

    THE MAJORITY OF REGULAR FRENCH PORT POLICE HAVE BEEN CALLED UP FOR MILITARY SERVICE, AND WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN REPLACED IT HAS BEEN DONE BY UNTRAINED MEN.   THIS ALSO APPLIES TO THE CUSTOMS OFFICIALS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO PREVENT INTERFERENCE WITH THE STORES WHILE THEY REMAIN IN THE TRANSIT SHEDS.

     THE FRENCH DOCKERS ARE RECRUITED FROM NO PARTICULAR SOURCE, THEIR INTEGRITY IS ASSURED BY NO ONE, AND THEY INCLUDE VARIOUS NATIONALITIES.   THEY SHOULD BE IN POSSESSION OF A DOCKER’S IDENTITY CARD, BUT NO THOROUGH CHECKING OF THIS SYSTEM IS CARRIED OUT EVEN AT THE RECOGNISED CONTROL POSTS.   WHEN WORKING ON BRITISH STORES, THEY CARRY NO ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY TO INDICATE THAT THEY ARE SO EMPLOYED.   THE GENERAL SYSTEM OF EMPLOYMENT IS THAT OF CASUAL LABOUR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NEEDS OF THE DAY;  AND ON HIS RETURN IN THE AFTERNOON IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR THE OFFICER IN CHARGE TO FIND HIMSELF CONFRONTED WITH A COMPLETELY STRANGE GANG TO THE ONES WORKING IN THE MORNING.   UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS THE DOCKERS HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BY THEIR ACTIONS AND HAVE NO FEELING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE STORES IN THEIR MOMENTARY CHARGE.   THIS ATTITUDE IS GREATLY ENHANCED BY THE UNRELIABILITY OF

THE BRITISH LABOUR CORPS, WHO SET THEM AN APPALLING EXAMPLE.   THEREFORE PILFERING IS RIFE.   THE FRENCH  POLICE ARE BEGINNING TO TAKE  LITTLE ACTION AGAINST THEIR OWN NATIONALS TO PREVENT PILFERING BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE BRITISH GUARDS AND POLICE AGAINST THEIRS. WHO ARE PILFERING ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE.   THE BRITISH LABOUR CORPS AT LE HAVRE IS ALSO COMPOSED CHIEFLY OF MEN RECRUITED FROM THE DOCK AREAS OF THE LARGE PORTS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.   THESE MEN, FINDING SUCH AN UNACCUSTOMED LACK OF CONTROL AND WITH THEIR EXPERIENCE, ARE TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION.   WHERE SENTRIES EXIST, THEY ARE USUALLY OF A YOUNGER TYPE THAN THE DOCKERS AND ARE THEREFORE UNABLE TO CONTROL THEM AS THEY SHOULD DO.   FURTHER, OWING TO THE UNRULY NATURE OF THESE MEN, THEIR OWN NCO’S HAVE TO THINK OF THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY WHEN DEALING WITH THEM.   ONE NCO HAS ALREADY BEEN FOUND DEAD AND THREE MEN HAVE BEEN FOUND DROWNED AT DIFFERENT TIMES IN STRANGE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHICH ILLUSTRATES THE URGENT NEED FOR RIGID CONTROL.   THESE MEN GET DRUNK AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY ON IMPURE SPIRITS OF THE LOWEST QUALITY, WITH RESULTING BRAWLS AND DISTURBANCES.   THESE LEAD TO VERY SERIOUS INCIDENTS WHICH ARE ALREADY GRAVELY IMPAIRING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FRENCH THROUGHOUT THE TOWN.

    THE MILITARY POLICE HAVE TO CONTROL MEN OF THIS TYPE, WHO COVER THE WHOLE TOWN IN THEIR WANDERINGS.   THEIR NUMBER IN ITSELF IS GROSSLY INADEQUATE TO WHICH MUST BE ADDED THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NEWLY APPOINTED POLICEMEN THROUGH NO CHOICE OF THEIR OWN.   THEY SEEM ON THE WHOLE TO HAVE VERY LITTLE CONFIDENCE OR DETERMINATION WHEN CONFRONTED WITH TROUBLE, AND TEND RATHER TO AVOID THNT TO COMBAT IT.

     THE BRITISH SUPPLY SHIPS ARE UNLOADED AT THE QUAI DE LA FLORIDE, WHICH IS ABOUT 1,500 FEET LONG THE QUAI JOANNES COUVERT WHICH IS ABOUT 3,000 FEET LONG QUAI DE SAIGON, WHICH IS ABOUT 1,400 FEET LONG AND THE QUAI DE LA GIRONDE, WHICH IS ABOUT 2,000 FEET LONG.   OF THESE ONLY THE QUAI DE LA FLORIDE IS RESERVED ENTIRELY FOR BRITISH SHIPS.

     AT THE QUAI DE LA FLORIDE ARE UNLOADED RASC STORES (FOODSTUFFS, CANTEEN STORES, HOSPITAL COMFORTS, ETC).

     ARMY MEAT SUPPLIES ARE UNLOADED AT THE QUAI DE LA GIRONDE AND THE OTHER QUAYS ARE USED FOR CLOTHING GENERAL STORES OF ALL

DESCRIPTIONS (FOODSTUFFS, CLOTHING, EQUIPMENT, ETC).

     DURING NOVEMBER 1939, 12 BRITISH SUPPLY SHIPS WERE UNLOADED AT LE HAVRE WITH A TOTAL OF 21,225 TONS AND DURING DECEMBER 1939, UP TO THE 22ND, EIGHT SHIPS WITH A TOTAL OF 10,634 TONS OF CARGO.

     THE CARGOES UNLOADED AT THE VARIOUS QUAYS ARE PLACED IN HANGARS ADJACENT TO THE QUAYS AND CLEARED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE EITHER BY TRANSPORT TO DEPOTS IN THE LOCALITY OR BY GOODS TRAIN TO THE FORWARD AREAS,   THESE HANGARS ARE CLOSED BY DOORS AND THEY ARE GUARDED BY SENTRIES DRAWN FROM LOCAL UNITS.  

     TO GIVE AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THESE GUARDS I SENT DETECTIVE NICHOLLS AHEAD BY HIMSELF INTO THE HANGER ON THE QUAI DE LA FLORIDE.   HE WALKED PAST THE SENTRY ON THE DOOR AND HAD A GENERAL WALK ROUND THE HANGAR LOOKING AT WORKING PARTIES, THE STORES ETC   HE SAID “GOOD MORNING” TO THE SENTRY NCO’S AND IN FACT EVERYONE HE MET BUT NO ONE CHALLENGED HIM.   THIS IS THE HANGAR WHERE MOST COMPLAINTS ARE COMING REGARDING THE BROACHING OF CASES OF TINNED STUFFS CIGARETTES ETC. BY MEN EMPLOYED THERE LOADING TRAINS AND LORRIES.

     THE ONLY CONTROL THE MILITARY POLICE WITH ITS SMALL STRENGTH HAS BEEN ABLE TO IMPOSE IN THIS AREA IS A POST ON A BRIDGE LEADING TO THE DOCKS WHERE TWO MEN ARE MAINTAINED CONTINUOUSLY TO EXAMINE ARMY VEHICLES PROCEEDING TO AND FROM THE DOCKS TO ENSURE NO STOLEN GOODS ARE BEING TAKEN AWAY AND TO SEARCH ODD SOLDIERS LEAVING THE DOCKS.   IN OTHER WORDS POLICE SUPERVISION OVER THIS AREA IS PRACTICALLY NOT EXISTENT.

     TO GIVE SOME IDEA OF THE AMOUNT OF PILFERING THAT IS GOING ON AT THE PORT, THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF GOODS MISSING FROM FOUR SHIPS UNLOADED DURING THE LAST TWO MONTHS, AT LE HAVRE:-

                SS BARON NAIRN

                84 VESTS                        764 CLASP KNIVES

                10 CAPS                        98 PAIRS OF BOOTS

                10 TOWELS                        40 PAIRS OF RUBBER BOOTS

                9 JERKINS                        765 HANDKERCHIEFS

                13 SHIRTS                        122 PAIRS OF SOCKS

                26,400 RAZOR BLADES (TOTAL SHIPMENT 50,000)

                110 TOOTHBRUSHES        994 FORKS

                

                    143 JERSEYS                17 PAIRS OF MT GLOVES

                8 PAIRS OF DRAWERS        42 PAIRS OF KNITTED GLOVES

                22 TABLE KNIVES                10 SPOONS

                9? COMBS

                SS WALLSEND

                    63 PAIRS OF BOOTS        195 CLASP KNIVES

                10 PAIRS OF SOCKS        2 SPANNERS

                SS MERCE AND SS BELGRAVIAN

                5 PAIRS OF BOOTS        15 PACKETS OF RAZORS

                26 PAIRS SOCKS                1 PAIR OF RUBBER BOOTS

                6 GREATCOATS                10 CAP COMFORTERS

                26 CAPS                        2 STEEL HELMETS

                AND VARIOUS SMALL QUANTITIES OF TOOLS, PYJAMAS, BRACES, BELTS, WATER BOTTLES AND CANVAS SHOES.

     OF COURSE IT IS BELIEVED SOME AMOUNT OF THESE MISSING GOODS WERE STOLEN EITHER AT THE PORT OF LOADING, AND OR DURING THE VOYAGE ACROSS.   SO FAR AS FOODSTUFFS ARE CONCERNED I WAS NOT ABLE TO GET ANY FIGURES BUT LARGE QUANTITIES OF CIGARETTES, TOBACCO, SPIRITS, CHOCOLATE, DRIED FRUIT, MEAT AND MILK HAVE BEEN STOLEN.

     THE SITUATION AT LE HAVRE IS BY FAR THE WORST OF THE THREE PORTS I VISITED.   AS ALREADY STATED THE QUAYS USED BY BRITISH SHIPS ARE, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE QUAI DE LA FLORIDE ALLOTTED ALSO TO FRENCH AND NEUTRAL SHIPS AND THEREFORE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ISOLATE THEM WITH BARBED WIRE FENCES.

     THE ONLY EFFECTIVE WAY OF AFFORDING SECURITY TO THESE STORES UNLOADED AT LE HAVRE WOULD BE ON THE LINES OF THE SCHEME PUT INTO OPERATION AT NANTES BY CAPTAIN FORBES.   THIS, OF COURSE WOULD NECESSITATE VERY STRONG POLICE PATROLS, POSTS AND SURVEILLANCE DURING UNLOADING, BOTH ON THE SHIPS AND ON THE QUAYS, NEEDLESS TO SAY BY MEN WITH EXPERIENCE IN THIS KIND OF WORK.

     BEARING IN MIND THAT THE USE OF LE HAVRE IS LIKELY TO BE EXTENDED BOTH AS A BASE FOR SUPPLIES AND FOR MEN IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TO KEEP

THIS PLACE IN ORDER, AT LEAST 200 TRAINED POLICE, IN THE FULL SENSE OF THE WORD, WILL BE NECESSARY.

     IN ADDITION THE NUMBER OF SUSPICIOUS DEATHS ALONE SHOWS THE NECESSITY FOR A SMALL NUMBER OF MEN TRAINED IN INVESTIGATION WORK.   SO FAR AS CRIME AGAINST THE CIVILIAN POPULATION BY SOLDIERS IS CONCERNED, NO RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT BY THE CMP AND NO FIGURES ARE AVAILABLE.

     TO ADD TO THE GENERAL CHAOS OF THIS PORT THE MILITARY POLICE ARE BILLETED FOUR MILES OUTSIDE TOWN.   THEREFORE THEY ARE NOT EASILY AVAILABLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.   MAJOR MONTEFIORE IS TAKING STEPS TO HAVE THEM MOVED IN CLOSER, BUT SO FAR AS BEING ABLE TO TAKE ANY OTHER STEPS IN REGARD TO POLICING LE HAVRE AND ITS DOCKS MORE EFFECTIVELY, IT IS OUT OF THE QUESTION WITH THE SMALL NUMBER OF MEN AT HIS DISPOSAL.

     APART FROM THE INCREASE OF MEN AND AN INVESTIGATION BRANCH THE DAPM THERE REQUIRES TWO MEN AS CLERKS AND A JUNIOR OFFICER TO ACT AS HIS DEPUTY.   ROUEN IS ALSO WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE DAPM AT LE HAVRE AND WHEN THIS BECOMES BUSY THROUGH MILITARY ACTIVITY THE DAPM AT LE HAVRE SHOULD VISIT IT OCCASIONALLY.

     AFTER LEAVING LE HAVRE WE MADE A CALL AT ROUEN BUT THE BRITISH MILITARY AUTHORITIES HAVE NOT YET STARTED USING THIS TOWN.   I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY, HOWEVER, OF CALLING UPON MONSIEUR DARGENT, COMMISSAIRE DIVISIONNAIRE, TO WHOM MONSIEUR MONDANEL HAD GIVEN ME A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION AND INTRODUCED HIM TO CAPTAIN BELL WHO HAS BEEN APPOINTED DAMP THERE.

     MONSIEUR DARGENT SAID HE IS ONLY TOO ANXIOUS TO HELP THE BRITISH MILITARY AUTHORITIES WHENEVER HIS SERVICES MIGHT BE REQUIRED.

     FROM ROUEN I WENT TO PARIS WHERE I PUT MAJOR BASSETT-WILSON APM IN TOUCH WITH MONSIEUR CHAIN, CHIEF OF THE BRIGADE MONDAINE OF THE POLICE JUDICIAIRE.   MONSIEUR CHAINS SERVICE DEALS WITH THE CONTROL OF PROSTITUTION, LICENSED BROTHELS, NIGHTCLUBS AND SIMILAR INSTITUTIONS AND WITH AN EFFECTIVE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO SERVICES LITTLE TROUBLE SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED IN PARIS AS THE ONLY BRITISH SOLDIERS THERE WILL BE OFFICERS AND MEN VISITING THAT CITY ON LEAVE.

     I ALSO MADE A CALL ON MONSIEUR MONDANEL.   I TOLD HIM THAT I HAD MADE A GENERAL VISIT TO THE ARMY BASES WHERE STEALING OF ARMY

STORES WAS GOING ON AND CONSIDERED THAT THE ONLY PRACTICAL WAY OF DEALING WITH THIS PROBLEM WAS FOR THE ARMY TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE POLICE FORCE.   MONSIEUR MONDANEL REPLIED THAT HE HAD HELD THIS OPINION PRIOR TO MY COMING TO PARIS, HAVING COME TO THAT DECISION AS A RESULT OF THE INFORMATION HE HAD RECEIVED FROM HIS OWN SERVICES IN THE PROVINCES.   I GATHERED THAT HIS REPRESENTATIVES IN THE PROVINCES HAD INFORMED HIM OF THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF GETTING REALLY EFFECTIVE COOPERATION FROM THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES SUCH AS WOULD BE OBTAINED FROM A POLICE SERVICE IN INVESTIGATIONS INTO CASES OF CRIME REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN COMMITTED BY SOLDIERS.

    I TOLD MONSIEUR MONDANEL I WAS SUBMITTING A REPORT SUGGESTING THAT THE MILITARY POLICE SHOULD RECEIVE A WIDER INSTRUCTION IN GENERAL POLICE DUTIES AND ALSO THAT AN INVESTIGATION BRANCH SHOULD BE FORMED NOT ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOOKING INTO CASES OF CRIME BUT ALSO TO EFFECT A REAL COOPERATION WITH THE FRENCH JUDICIAL POLICE SERVICES IN EVERY RESPECT, AND I HAD NO DOUBT THAT SHOULD THIS BE CARRIED OUT, STEALING OF BRITISH STORES WOULD BE REDUCED TO A MINIMUM AND IN CONSEQUENCES FRENCH CIVILIANS WOULD NOT BE INVOLVED TO ANY GREAT EXTENT.

     MONSIEUR MONDANEL SAID HE WAS QUITE IN AGREEMENT WITH THIS AND ONCE MORE SAID HE WILL ONLY BE TOO HAPPY TO GIVE THE FULLEST ASSISTANCE TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES WHENEVER REQUIRED.

     GENERALLY REVIEWING MY WHOLE ENQUIRIES, THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH I CONSIDER PLAY A PART IN PRESENTING EASY OPPORTUNITIES FOR STEALING AND PILFERING.

     ONE IS THE SYSTEM OF MAKING UP MIXED CARGOES ON BOATS   I WA TOLD THAT SHIPS ARRIVE WITH CARGOES CONSISTING OF FOOD, STORES, EQUIPMENT, HEAVY MATERIALS, SUCH AS IRON RAILS, SLEEPERS ETC AND SO ON.   THIS MAKES THE UNLOADING OF A BOAT A MUCH MORE COMPLICATED BUSINESS AS WHEN SUDDENLY IT IS FOUND THAT HEAVY MATERIALS HAVE TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE HOLD, SPECIAL TACKLE AND MORE MEN HAVE TO BE USED, TO OBTAIN WHICH A TEMPORARY HOLD UP OF THE UNLOADING OF A VESSEL OFTEN TAKES PLACE WITH THE RESULT THAT THE DISCHARGE OF THE CARGO IS LIKELY TO TAKE UP TO 10 DAYS, WHEREAS IF IT HAD A SIMPLE CARGO COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF SAY FOR INSTANCE FOODSTUFFS OR CLOTHING, THE UNLOADING WOULD ONLY TAKE TWO TO THREE DAYS.   THE

LONGER THE UNLOADING TAKES THE GREATER THE OPPORTUNITY THERE IS FOR PILFERING.

     ANOTHER MATTER THAT SHOULD BE GIVEN ATTENTION IS THE PLACING OF SUCH STORES AS SPIRITS, CIGARETTES, TOBACCO, HOSPITAL COMFORTS AND SIMILAR ARTICLES IN THE HOLDS WITH GENERAL CARGO.   THESE SHOULD BE PLACED IN THE SHIP’S STRONG ROOMS WHERE, UNDER LOCK AND KEY, THEY WOULD BE INACCESSIBLE TO THE SHIP’S CREW, AND SPECIAL OBSERVATION ARRANGED WHEN THESE STOREROOMS ARE FILLED OR EMPTIED.

     FURTHER A LOT OF THE GOODS ATTRACTIVE TO PILFERERS ARE SHIPPED IN CARTONS.   BEING MIXED WITH A GENERAL CARGO CARTONS OFTEN BURST, NOT TO MENTION THAT POSSIBILITY THROUGH CARELESS HANDLING DURING LOADING AND UNLOADING.   IT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED WORTH WHILE GATHERING EMPTY WOODEN CASES AND RETURNING THEM TO ENGLAND FOR REPACKING ARTICLES IN THEM INSTEAD OF IN CARTONS   ALL LORRIES COMING TO THE DOCKS, GOODS TRAINS RETURNING TO THE BASES AND THE SHIPS RETURNING TO ENGLAND ARE NOT CARRYING ANYTHING, THEREFORE THE SALVAGING OF EMPTY CASES SHOULD NOT BE SUCH A FORMIDABLE OR COSTLY TASK IF PROPERLY ORGANIZED.

     ONE OR TWO OTHER THINGS I HAVE TO MENTION IN A GENERAL WAY IS THAT AT EVERY PLACE I VISITED I MADE A POINT OF SEEING THE LOCAL COMMISSAIRE OF POLICE AND FOUND THAT THERE IS A VERY GOOD FEELING EXISTING BETWEEN THEM AND THE DAPM’S BUT FULL USE IS NOT BEING MADE OF THIS LIAISON IN EVERY CASE SO FAR AS THE BRITISH SIDE IS CONCERNED OWING TO THE LACK OF OFFICERS WITH REAL POLICE EXPERIENCE.

     I HEARD QUITE A NUMBER OF STORIES FROM THE FRENCH PEOPLE ALLEGING RAPE, ASSAULTS UPON WOMEN, ETC BY BRITISH SOLDIERS.   IN MANY OF THESE CASES NOTHING HAD BEEN DONE EFFECTIVELY TO CLEAR UP THESE ALLEGATIONS.   I AM OF THE OPINION THAT A NUMBER OF THESE STORIES ARE EXAGGERATED ESPECIALLY WHERE THE VICTIM STATES THAT SHE WAS ROBBED OF HER HANDBAG OR PURSE AS SHE IS THEN ENTITLED TO PUT A CLAIM AGAINST THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES FOR COMPENSATION.   A TRAINED INVESTIGATION BRANCH WOULD DEAL WITH THESE MATTERS AND AT LEAST ESTABLISH WHETHER OR NOT A CASE AS IT IS REPORTED IS A GENUINE ONE.

     

     A FURTHER ASPECT NOT TO BE IGNORED IS THAT WHERE THESE CASES DO OCCUR THEY ARE DISCUSSED BY THE LOCAL CIVILIAN POPULATION AND AS IS USUAL IN SMALL TOWNS AND VILLAGES, THE VERSIONS IN BEING REPEATED BECOME EXAGGERATED AND FINALLY A BAD IF NOT ACTUALLY HOSTILE FEELING IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP TOWARDS BRITISH SOLDIERS.   UNFORTUNATELY WHERE LABOUR BATTALIONS ARE STATIONED THE LOCAL FRENCH PEOPLE REGARD THEM AS REAL BRITISH SOLDIERS.   I FOUND THAT IMPRESSION EXISTING EVEN AMONG THE FRENCH POLICE OFFICERS WITH WHOM I CAME INTO CONTACT.

     IT WILL BE REMEMBERED I MENTIONED IN PAGE 8 OF THIS REPORT THE OBSERVATIONS OF MONSIEUR LEPAGE, COMMISSAIRE AT RENNES, WHO SPOKE TO ME ABOUT THE BAD IMPRESSION THAT IS BEGINNING TO FORM IN THE FRENCH CIVILIAN MINDS AS REGARDS GENERAL CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOUR OF THE BRITISH SOLDIERS AND IT CAN  IT CAN BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED THAT THESE FRENCH POLICE COMMISSAIRES EXCHANGE VIEWS AND OPINIONS

     I THINK THAT IT WILL BE CONSIDERED HERE THAT A VERY STRONG CASE IN GENERAL HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO SUPPORT MY SUGGESTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS REPORT THAT THE CMP SHOULD BE GREATLY INCREASED IN STRENGTH AND ORGANISED ON THE BROADER BASIS OF A CIVIL POLICE FORCE, WITH AN INVESTIGATION BRANCH.

     THE ORDINARY MILITARY POLICE SHOULD HAVE INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING IN ORDINARY POLICE WORK FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRIME GENERALLY.   THIS PARTICULAR POINT IS NOT SO DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO OPERATION AS MIGHT BE IMAGINED AS THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF CIVIL POLICEMEN WHO WERE SERVING IN LONDON AND THE PROVINCIAL POLICE FORCES AND DOCK POLICE SERVICES WHO WERE RESERVIST AND WERE CALLED UPON ON THE OUTBREAK OF WAR.   ALL THAT IS NEEDED IS TO DRAFT THESE MEN INTO THE CMP, GIVE THEM A SHORT TRAINING IN MILITARY LAW AND IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO BUILD THEM UP INTO A VERY EFFICIENT BODY PARTICULARLY ABLE TO CARRY OUT ALL DUTIES REQUIRED OF THEM IN THE L OF C AREA.

     THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INVESTIGATION BRANCH WILL REQUIRE MORE CAREFUL PREPARATION.   ITS STRENGTH WOULD NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE LARGE AND I SHOULD CONSIDER ABOUT 50 TO 60 MEN WOULD HAVE TO BE CAREFULLY SELECTED MEN AND WOULD HAVE TO UNDERGO A SPECIAL

COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN THE CLASS OF INVESTIGATION WORK APPLICABLE TO THE ARMY REQUIREMENTS.  

     TO CARRY THIS OUT IN A PRACTICAL WAY IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO HAVE INSTRUCTORS FROM A CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE TO PREPARE AND GIVE A COMPLETE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.   THIS COULD BE HELD AT THE CMP SCHOOL AT MYCHETT.   THEN, LATER, THOSE WHO HAD RECEIVED THIS COURSE AND WOULD APPEAR SUITABLE FOR THE PURPOSE COULD BECOME INSTRUCTORS THEMSELVES AND THUS THE ARMY WOULD HAVE ITS SELF- CONTAINED POLICE FORCE.

     THE INVESTIGATION BRANCH HAVING BEEN FORMED AND TRAINED, THE MAIN BODY COULD BE SENT TO FRANCE AND SMALL SECTIONS OF ANY THREE OR FOUR MEN, AS THE CIRCUMSTANCE MAY REQUIRE, ATTACHED TO THE VARIOUS BASE PORTS AND INLAND TOWNS WHERE TROOPS ARE STATIONED.   ONCE THEY ARE POSTED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE DISTRICTS THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN THERE IN ORDER TO GAIN A THOROUGH KNOWLEDGE OF LOCAL CONDITIONS, AND MAKE CONTACTS, OBTAIN INFORMANTS, ETC WHICH IS SO NECESSARY FOR EFFECTIVE INVESTIGATION WORK.

     SPECIALLY SELECTED SMALL SQUADS COULD BE KEPT AT GHQ TO BE AVAILABLE FOR CALLS UPON THEIR SERVICES BY LOCAL  APM’S OR DAPM’S IN SERIOUS CASES OF CRIME SUCH AS MURDER.   SUCH CASES OFTEN INVOLVE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF WORK AND THESE SPECIALISTS COULD PROCEED TO THE PLACE WHERE THE CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED TO TAKE UP THE INVESTIGATIONS, THUS ALLOWING THE LOCAL MEN OF THE INVESTIGATION BRANCH TO CARRY ON WITH THEIR ORDINARY DUTIES.

     IN ADDITION A SMALL UNIT OF THIS INVESTIGATION BRANCH SHOULD BE STATIONED IN ENGLAND.   IN SEVERAL CASES THAT CAME TO MY NOTICE IN FRANCE IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT, TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH THEM, THERE WAS A NECESSITY FOR ENQUIRIES TO BE MADE IN ENGLAND.   WITH SUCH A UNIT ESTABLISHED IN ENGLAND, THE ORGANISATION IN FRANCE WOULD COMMUNICATE  DIRECT WITH THAT SERVICE FROM WHICH A MAN WOULD BE ABLE TO GO ANYWHERE OR EVERYWHERE TO OBTAIN THE INFORMATION THEY REQUIRE WITHOUT ANY GREAT LOSS OF TIME.   OTHER ADVANTAGES THAT SUCH A SYSTEM WOULD OFFER ARE APPARENT WITHOUT GOING INTO LENGTHY DETAIL, SUCH AS FOR INSTANCE, DEALING WITH THE QUESTION OF PILFERING AT DOCKS ON THIS SIDE.

     ONE POINT TO BE BORNE IN MIND IS THAT AS MANY OF THESE MEN AS POSSIBLE SHOULD HAVE A KNOWLEDGE OF FRENCH TO BE ABLE TO WORK

WITH THE FRENCH POLICE.   IT WILL BE REALISED THAT THESE MEN, IF THEY KNOW THEIR JOB PROPERLY WOULD BE ABLE TO GET MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WORK CARRIED OUT BY THE FRENCH POLICE AS THEY WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO TELL THEM WHAT THEY WANTED DONE AND SEE THAT IT WAS DONE.   ON THIS I AM SPEAKING FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH THE FRENCH POLICE FORCES.

     ANOTHER POINT TO BE CONSIDERED IS THE QUESTION OF GIVING THESE MEN A RANK.   I DID NOT CONSIDER AT ONE TIME THAT IT SHOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THEM TO BE SERGEANTS OR WARRANT OFFICERS BUT CONSIDERATION MUST ALSO BE GIVEN TO THE FACT THAT THESE MEN WILL BE COMING INTO CONTACT WITH THE FRENCH COMMISSAIRES.  THESE GENTLEMEN HAVE AN ENORMOUS SENSE OF  THEIR OWN IMPORTANCE AND DIGNITY, IN FACT IN SMALL TOWNS THEY ARE PEOPLE OF IMPORTANCE.  THEREFORE I THINK THAT IF IT IS WISHED THAT THE MEMBERS OF THIS INVESTIGATION BRANCH SHALL OBTAIN THE FULLEST COOPERATION FROM THESE FRENCH POLICE COMMISSAIRES IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAKE THEM COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.   AGAIN I AM SPEAKING FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND KNOW THAT SOME OF THESE COMMISSAIRES EVEN IF APPROACHED BY SENIOR NCO’S CONSIDER THEIR DIGNITY AFFRONTED.

     IN ADDITION IT IS NECESSARY THAT THESE MEN SHOULD IN MY OPINION, HOLD A COMMISSIONED RANK IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO APPROACH, INTERROGATE AND DEAL WITH OFFICERS AND MEN OF ALL RANKS OF THE ARMY.

     THE NEXT THING THAT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL IS THAT THE APM’S OR DAPM’S AT THESE BASE PORTS WITH LARGE AREAS UNDER THEIR CONTROL MUST HAVE A JUNIOR OFFICER TO ACT FOR THEM AS DEPUTY IN ORDER THAT THEY CAN GIVE THE FULLEST SUPERVISION TO THEIR DISTRICTS AND VISIT MORE FREQUENTLY THEIR DETACHED SECTIONS.

     FURTHER IT WILL BE NECESSARY, OF COURSE FOR THESE APM’S, AND DAPM’S, AND THEIR DEPUTIES TO UNDERGO A SHORT COURSE IN THIS INVESTIGATION WORK IN ORDER THAT WHEN A CASE HAS BEEN DEALT WITH BY THE INVESTIGATING BRANCH AND SUBMITTED TO THEM AT ITS CONCLUSION THEY WILL BE ABLE TO JUDGE WHETHER IT HAS BEEN PROPERLY HANDLED AND DEALT WITH.

     THERE IS ONE OTHER OBSERVATION I SHOULD LIKE TO MAKE ON THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT BEFORE LEAVING IT AND THAT IS IF IT IS FOUND THAT ANY MAN SELECTED FOR THIS PARTICULAR WORK IS FOUND TO BE

UNSATISFACTORY AFTER HE HAS TAKEN UP HIS DUTIES, HIS SERVICES SHOULD BE DISPENSED WITH.

     ONE OTHER ADVANTAGE THIS INVESTIGATION BRANCH WOULD ALSO GIVE IS THAT WHERE SOLDIERS ARE ARRESTED FOR COMMITTING CRIME THE CASE WOULD NOT ONLY BE PROPERLY INVESTIGATED BUT PROPERLY PREPARED AND PRESENTED FOR THE COURT MARTIAL.   MAJOR RUSSELL OF THE JAC’S DEPARTMENT TOLD ME THAT AN ENORMOUS NUMBER OF CASES SENT TO BE DEALT WITH BY A COURT MARTIAL  ARE SO HOPELESSLY HANDLED AND BUNGLED THAT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PROCEED WITH THEM AND THE ACCUSED ARE DISCHARGED.   ON THE DAY I SAW HIM HE HAD EIGHT CASES OF SOLDIERS CHARGED WITH STEALING STORES BEFORE HIM OF WHICH FOUR HE HAD HAD TO THROW OUT COMPLETELY AND THE REST HE HAD HAD TO RETURN WITH DIRECTIONS FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION WITH INSTRUCTIONS IN DETAIL HOW THEY WERE TO BE DONE.

     DURING MY TOUR I SPOKE TO SEVERAL SERGEANTS OF THE CMP AND FOUND THAT THEY HAD VERY LITTLE, IF ANY, IDEA HOW TO TAKE PROPER STATEMENTS FROM WITNESSES, AND NO IDEA  AT ALL ABOUT THE LAWS OF EVIDENCE, ETC AND SO FAR AS KNOWING HOW TO DEAL WITH EXHIBITS THE POSITION WAS HOPELESS.

     TWO OTHER POINTS THAT STRUCK ME AS BEING ABSURD IS THAT A LANCE CORPORAL OF THE MILITARY POLICE IS NOT IN A POSITION TO TAKE ENERGETIC ACTION WITH ANY MAN OF A RANK SENIOR TO HIMSELF EXCEPT, FOR EXAMPLE, IF HE FOUND A SERGEANT DRUNK AND INCAPABLE IN THE STREET OR ACTUALLY IN THE ACT OF COMMITTING CRIME.   IN ALL OTHER CASES HE IS SUPPOSED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HIS OWN SERGEANT  AND BRING HIM ALONG TO DEAL WITH THE SERGEANT, CORPORAL OR WHOEVER IT MAY BE AND SO FAR AS AN OFFICER IS CONCERNED I DOUBT IF THERE ARE MANY LANCE CORPORALS WHO WOULD HAVE THE SELF CONFIDENCE TO SPEAK TO AN OFFICER.   I PUT A HYPOTHETICAL CASE TO SEVERAL CMP’S I MET, I ASKED IF A PERSON REPORTED THAT A SERGEANT HAD JUST STOLEN A WATCH OR RING FROM A SHOP, WHETHER THEY WOULD DETAIN THE NCO AND SEARCH HIM   ALL REPLIED THAT THEY WOULD ASK HIM FOR HIS NAME AND UNIT, REPORT THE MATTER TO HIS OC AND ALLOW HIM TO GO.   I THEN ASKED WHAT ACTION THEY WOULD TAKE IF HE REFUSED HIS NAME, TO WHICH I DID NOT GET A SATISFACTORY ANSWER.

     OBVIOUSLY THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS IS RIDICULOUS AND SOME CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN BY THE ARMY AUTHORITIES TO EXTEND

THE POWERS OF THE MILITARY POLICE TO DEAL WITH A SOLDIER COMING UNDER NOTICE AS HAVING COMMITTED AN OFFENCE, OR SUSPECTED OF HAVING COMMITTED AN OFFENCE.

     THE OTHER UNSATISFACTORY ASPECT IS THE QUESTION OF A SOLDIER BEING FOUND IN POSSESSION OF PROPERTY, SUCH AS LARGE QUANTITIES OF CIGARETTES, WHICH IS SUSPECTED OF HAVING BEEN STOLEN.   I WAS TOLD THAT NO ACTION CAN BE TAKEN IN SUCH CASES WHEN THE LARCENY CANNOT BE PROVED.   IT SEEMS THAT FOR THIS SORT OF CASE A CHARGE OF BEING IN POSSESSION OF PROPERTY STOLEN OR UNLAWFULLY OBTAINED WOULD SETTLE THIS DIFFICULTY, THE ONUS BEING THROWN ONTO THE ACCUSED TO PROVE HIS LAWFUL POSSESSION.   THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS CHARGE INTO THE MILITARY CODE IS A MATTER FOR THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES TO DECIDE.

     THERE ONLY REMAINS THE QUESTION OF LOOTING OF TRAINS.   THIS CAN ONLY BE DEALT WITH BY:-

  1. PLACING ARMED GUARDS ON THE TRAINS WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO BE PARTICULARLY VIGILANT DURING HALTS OF THE TRAIN ON ROUTE, OR
  2. CHECKING UP ON VARIOU SECTIONS DURING THE JOURNEY TO ASCERTAIN IF ALL THE SEALS ARE IN ORDER   IF SEALS ARE FOUND AT ONE PARTICULAR POINT TO HAVE BEEN BROKEN IT WILL THEN BE KNOWN ON WHAT SECTION OF ITS JOURNEY THE SEALS WERE TAMPERED WITH AND INVESTIGATION NARROWED DOWN TO THAT PARTICULAR SECTION AND IF IT IS FOUND TO BE GOING ON FREQUENTLY TRAPS MADE TO CATCH THE.

    I AM OF OPINION THAT IF THE ARMY IS GIVEN A POLICE FORCE ON THE LINES I HAVE SUGGESTED, THE STORY OF PILFERING, CRIME AGAINST CIVILIANS ETC WILL BE REDUCED TO A CONSIDERABLE EXTENT.   THE QUESTION MAY BE RAISED REGARDING THE COST OF PUTTING SUCH A SCHEME INTO OPERATION AND  OR THE MEN NEEDED.   SO FAR AS THE COST IS CONCERNED IT CERTAINLY WOULD NOT BE SUCH A LIABILITY AS THE LOSSES AT PRESENT BEING EXPERIENCED AND I THINK WITH THE ENORMOUS MANPOWER NOW ON TAP 3,000 OR 4,000 MEN CAN EASILY BE SPARED TO FORM AN EFFICIENT POLICE FORCE WHICH APART FROM ALL ITS MILITARY DUTIES WILL DO MUCH TO MAINTAIN THE GOOD FEELINGS BETWEEN THE FRENCH CIVILIAN POPULATION AND THE BRITISH ARMY  

   I ASK THAT TWO COPIES OF THIS REPORT BE FORWARDED TO H M SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR.

                                                        

(SGD) G HATHERILL.

                                                                CHIEF INSPECTOR.

NOTE:  IN ABOUT 1917 A DETECTIVE BRANCH WAS FORMED UNDER THE PROVOST MARSHAL,  HEADQUARTERS, BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE WITH DETACHMENTS THROUGHOUT FRANCE AND BELGIUM._ THEY RECEIVED EXTRA PAY AS DETECTIVES.   MOST SEEMED TO BE FORMER CIVIL POLICEMEN. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

END  OF BEF DIARIES