From the file WO71/525 held at TNA.
The Charge Sheet
Section 12 (1a) Army Act
When on Active Service “Deserting His Majesty’s Service” in that he, on the night of the 5th/6th. October 1916 absented himself from the 90th. Coy. Machine Gun Corps until apprehended by Military Police at DIEPPE on November.1st.1916. (where he was dressed in plain clothes).
(Signed) HB Williams Lieut Colonel,
Form for Assembly and proceedings of Field General Court Martial on Active Service.
At* On Active Service this twentieth day of November, 1916
Whereas it appears to me, the undersigned, an officer in Command of 90th Infantry Brigade on active service, that the persons named in the annexed Schedule, and being subject to Military Law, have committed the offences in the said schedule mentioned.
And I am of opinion that it is not practicable that such offences should be tried by an ordinary General Court Martial:
I hereby convene a Field General Court Martial to try the said persons and to consist of the Officers hereunder named.
Major M E McConaghey D.S.O 2nd Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Captain R E Roberts 16th Bn Manchester Regiment
Sec Lieut J B Edgar 2nd Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Signed JH Lloyd Br. Gen
Comm 90th Inf. Bde
Trial of No 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw 18th Service Bn MANCHESTER REGT attd. 90th Coy Machine Gun Corps
No 7300 Coy, Sgt. Major JT Manterfield 90th Machine Gun Coy being duly sworn states:
At BUIRE on the 5th Oct 1916 at about 8.30 pm I called the roll of the Coy, when the accused was present. About 6.30am on 6th Oct I again called the roll and the accused was absent. The Coy was under orders at the time to proceed in to the line, he was reported as an absentee on 7th Oct. to the commander of the Brigade and to the 18th Manchester Regt.
I did not call the roll personally on 5th Oct. The system is that Section Sergeants call the roll and report present or otherwise. Section Sergeants reported accused present. On 6th October I called the roll on parade personally. Accused was absent.
Examined by the Court.
I was with 90th Machine Gun Company between 6th October and 1st November 1916, the accused did not return to my unit .
No. 10484 Corporal G. Delaney 18th Bn. MANCHESTER REGT sworn states:
At DIEPPE on 5th Nov 1916 at about 9.30am I was on escort duty for my Regt as I took over the accused from the Military Police. I found him dressed in civilian clothes.
Not Cross Examined.
No. 1717 Sergt. H. Emment RAMC attd. Intelligence Corps, Dieppe BASE sworn states
At Dieppe on 1st Nov about 9.30am I was visiting shipping at Dieppe port. I boarded the Swedish Vessel BELLVILLE where I saw the accused. Knowing that he did not belong to the original Crew I questioned him as to his identity, when he stated that he was an American Citizen, had left America about 11 months ago and had made his way by Spain, then to DIEPPE on foot. Not being satisfied with his answers I took him to the Intelligence Office where he was further questioned and maintained that he was an American Citizen. About 3.00pm same date he was questioned alone when he admitted that his name was LONGSHAW (the accused) and that he had deserted from the Machine Gun Corps, Manchester Regt.
Examined by the Court.
The admission was not made in my presence but I was present when it was read over from a written document and signed by the accused.
1Q. Cross Examined. Question by Accused.
Were you present when my statement was read and I said “I have decided to tell the truth”
1A. Answer:I remember that those words were part of the written declaration but I was not present.
The accused No. 10502 Pte A LONGSHAW 18th Manchester Regt, attached 90th Machine Gun Coy sworn states:
At BUIRE on 5th Oct 1916 at 10.30pm I absented myself from my unit with the intention of ultimately joining His Majesty’s Naval Forces. I was prompted to act thus by the state of mind caused by the wish to visit my people at home about whom I was greatly worried, also my service on the SOMME front had reacted on my state of mind, which had become morbid and irrational, also the fact that practically all my comrades were gone induced me further to this act. Also all immediate prospects of leave was denied. My motive was first to visit home and then to join in the same unit of the Naval Forces as my brother. I regret this act. I have served with my battn. in France for twelve months and hope this service and my character will aid in my plea for a chance to make full reparation in Service to condone any offence.
The accused does not desire to call witnesses.
Proceedings after a conviction.
2/Lt H Sedgewick 18th MANCHESTER Regt prosecutor sworn states.
I produce A.F.B 122
The accused has been in France 12 months.
(Signed) M E McConaghey Major
On Active Service 16.12.15 Rank: Pte Absent parading for Straw.
Punishment: 3 Days C.B 17.12.15
On Active Service 27.12.15 Rank: Pte Late Parading for Company Officer at 8am
Punishment: 3 Days C.B 27.12.15
On Active Service 26.3.16 Rank: Pte Absent parading for Divine Service at 8.45am
Punishment: 2 Days C.B 28.3.16
On Active Service 16.5.16 Rank: Pte Falling out without permission on 10pm parade
Punishment: 7 Days F.P No.1 17.5.16
On Active Service 18.9.16 Rank: Pte Not complying with an order
Punishment: 10 Days F.P No.2
Certified true copy.
(Signed) WH Roberts 2nd Lieut. A/Adjt
18th Bn Manchester Regt. 20.11.16
20th November 1916.
Name of Alleged offender (a):
10502 Private Alfred Longshaw 18th Bn Manchester Regiment attached 90th Company Machine Gun Corps
Section 12 (1a) Army Act.
When on Active Service “Deserting His Majesty’s Service” in that he, in the night of 5th/6th October 1916 absented himself from the 90th Coy Machine Gun Corps until apprehended by Military Police at DIEPPE on November 1st 1916 (where he was dressed in plain clothes)
Plea: Not Guilty
Finding, and if Convicted, Sentence (b): GUILTY. To suffer death by being shot.
If the name of the person charged is unknown, he may be described as unknown, with such addition as will identify him.
Recommendation to mercy to be inserted in this column.
(Signed) J H Lloyd Br. Gen Comm 90 Inf Bde.
(Signed) M E McConaghey Major – President FGCM
In the case of No. 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw a well thought out plan of escape from service is disclosed – and a man who commits such a crime deserves the extreme penalty.
I recommend that the sentence be carried out.
There is however no other reason either for the sake of discipline or example in the units concerned that it should be carried out.
JH Lloyd Br. Gen
Commanding 90 Inf Bde.
Statement from Battalion C.O
90th Infantry BrigadePrivate Longshaw came out with the battalion last November and his conduct was fairly satisfactory up to the time of his transfer to the 90th M.G Company.
I consider that his desertion was deliberate and committed with the sole object of avoiding a particular service i.e going into action in the SOMME area. His previous conduct in action so far as the battalion is concerned has been good.
(Signed) G E Lembcke Major
Commanding 18th Manchester Regt
30th Division No C.M.20.
VII Corps “A”
I recommend that the sentence be carried out as this is a clear case of deliberate desertion.
Commanding 30th Division
VIIth Corps C.M 1402 (1403 is crossed out)
Third Army A.
Except as regards previous character which is reported good there are no extenuating features to this case and I therefore recommend that his extreme penalty be inflicted.
(Signed) T D’O Snow
Commanding VIIth. Corps.
Third Army C.M 5175
The Adjutant General,
General Head Quarters.
I recommend that the sentence of death on 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw be carried out.
(Signed) Edmund Allenby
Commanding Third Army.
C in C
28 Nov : 16
PLEASE DO NOT DETACH
General Officer Commanding
Third Army ‘A’
In confirmation of my telegram No. A(b) 2044 of to-day.
Please note that the C. in C. has confirmed the sentence in the case of
No. 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw
18th Manchester Regt attd 90th Coy Machine Gun Corps
Please return proceedings direct to the Deputy Judge Advocate at General Head Quarters after promulgation.
pp Adjutant General,
British Army in the Field.
To: Officer Commanding
18th Bn. Manchester Regt.
Herewith proceedings of F.G.C.M in the case of Privates Longshaw and Ingham for promulgation.
These men will be in the Guardroom of the battalion at BAILLEULVAL and the promulgation should be carried out at 3.30pm before as many men as you have in BAILLEULVAL.
90th Infantry Brigade
I certify that the Sentence of Death awarded by F.G.C.M on 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw 18th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, attached 90th Company Machine Gun Corps, and confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief on the 28th November, 1916, was duly executed at 7.12 a.m today in my presence.
Assistant Provost Marshal,
1st December, 1916.
I certify that 10502 Private Alfred Longshaw of the 18th Battalion, THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT, attached 90th Company Machine Gun Corps, was executed by shooting at the place appointed on 1st Decmber, 1916, at 7.12 AM
Death was instantaneous.
1st December, 1916.