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Military CP - February 1903

Corpun file 21457


The New York Times, 11 February 1903

British Guards Scandal

Sensation Caused by Rear Admiral Cochrane's Revelations.

Subalterns Compelled to Submit to Severe Floggings for Various Social and Military Offenses.

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LONDON, Feb. 11. - A letter from Rear Admiral Basil Cochrane on the treatment of subalterns in the Guards regiments, which was published yesterday in The Times, is republished throughout the press this morning. It has created intense indignation. Demands are made for a full inquiry into the cases referred to, and for a suppression of such disgraceful practices which are held to operate powerfully in the direction of the exclusion of a class of officers which the country needs, and which it so rarely gets. The whole subject will be fully aired in Parliament.

Rear Admiral Basil Cochrane in his letter made astounding revelations regarding the "barbarous system" prevailing among the Guards regiments for the punishment of subalterns who are found guilty of social or military offenses.

According to Admiral Cochrane, the Colonel of one battalion has been in the habit of handing over offending officers to the senior subaltern; the latter summons a court-martial, at which the attendance of all the subalterns is exacted, and the sentence is almost invariably flogging.

This is administered on the bare back after the removal of all the clothing, and from six to forty blows with a cane are given with such severity that the smaller number is sufficient to draw blood. All the officers present, even the most intimate friends of the victim, are compelled to administer their share of the blows.

The Admiral cites the instance of a young officer who fainted after receiving forty strokes, and he also refers to the case of his own nephew, who is not named, but who clearly is Capt. Leveson-Gower, who for an unintentional military fault was tried and flogged. Subsequently, according to Admiral Cochrane, his nephew was punished with great severity by Major Gen. Oliphant, formerly commander of the Grenadier Guards, for a petty fault. In consequence of continued ill-treatment, he resigned his commission last week.

When Lord Roberts, the Commander in Chief, was informed of these occurrences through relatives, he severely reprimanded Col Ricardo, commander of the Grenadier Guards, and placed Lieut. Col. Kinloch of the same regiment on half pay.

Rear Admiral Cochrane, in an interview, declares that all his statements can be sworn to. "These floggings," he says, "have been going on for years, and I hope and trust that this exposure will end them."

Corpun file 21456


The New York Times, 12 February 1903

Grenadier Guards Scandal

Circumstances That Led to the Expose of the Methods of Punishment of Subalterns -- Lord Roberts's Indignation.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

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LONDON, Feb. 11. - I have heard on excellent authority a story which throws light on the Grenadier Guards scandal, which has deeply stirred the English public, and may be made the subject of Parliamentary action.

Circumstances which led to the exposure of methods of punishment of subalterns in the Guards regiments, I am told, had their beginning one night when two subalterns of the Grenadier Guards took women of doubtful reputation to dine in the Carlton Hotel.

Other subalterns of the Grenadier Guards were in the hotel that evening, dining with members of their families. They resented the action of their comrades and remonstrated with them for taking women whom they could not introduce to their relatives to public restaurants, and gave warning that the offense must not be repeated.

Shortly afterward the incident was repeated. The matter was taken up by the other subalterns and the offenders were court-martialed by their fellows in accordance with the custom of the regiment. They were found guilty, and as a result were stripped naked and flogged around the Wellington Barracks Square at night.

One climbed a tree to escape the punishment. The other would not do so and was flogged until he bled.

When complaint was made to Col. Kinloch he refused to take any action, saying that the punishment visited on the offenders had served them right.

They then took the matter to their parents, who complained to Lord Roberts.

After an investigation Lord Roberts called upon Col. Kinloch to resign, or be placed on half pay.

Two influential Generals took up the matter on Col. Kinloch's behalf and appealed to King Edward. His Majesty wrote to Lord Roberts, asking that the demand made on Col. Kinloch might be reconsidered.

Lord Roberts, who was indignant that the Generals should have gone behind his back to the King, refused to reconsider the matter, and wrote to Col. Kinloch that his retirement would be gazetted the next day, which was done.

It is said also on this authority that other things have been done in this regiment which would cause a. great sensation were they to be made public.

Copyright The New York Times

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