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Navy CP - September 1905

Corpun file 10913 at


The Times, London, 26 September 1905

Naval and Military Intelligence

Naval Courts-Martial, 1904.

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Returns of the number of Courts-martial held and summary punishments inflicted on seamen of the Royal Navy, &c., during the year 1904 have been issued as a Parliamentary paper [Cd. 2677]. These returns show that the number of Courts-martial which took place during the year were 257, and the number of persons tried by Courts-martial were 270, of whom 130 were of the seamen class, 81 of the non-seamen class, nine boys, and 50 marines serving afloat. The crime which most. frequently was the cause of a Court-martial was that of "striking or attempting to strike a superior officer." For this offence 140 men were tried, a reduction on the previous year, and a still larger reduction on the number tried in 1902. The most common offences against. discipline after this were behaving with contempt to a superior officer, wilful disobedience, and "acts to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline." But in these cases there was also a reduction on the numbers of previous years. In regard to offences punishable by ordinary law, the larger number of cases brought to a Court-martial were for theft and embezzlement.

In regard to desertion 20 cases were tried in 1904 as against 36 in the previous year. In the case of the 270 persons brought before a Court-martial 10 were acquitted and 254 sentenced, of whom 138 received the punishment of hard labour and 83 imprisonment and dismissal with or without disgrace.

There were four cases of birching with imprisonment, and two cases of birching with or without dismissal, these being in every case boys. The summary punishments inflicted during the year 1904, omitting those of a minor nature, were 12,487; seven persons were discharged with disgrace, 137 discharged as objectionable, 3,158 imprisoned, 889 disrated, and 8,087 confined to cells, while 200 boys received corporal punishment with the birch.

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