Failed To Report – Conisborough Objector Fined

May 1916

Mexborough and Swinton Times May 5 1916

Failed To Report
Conisborough Objector Fined

The first conscientious objector in the Doncaster police area to be brought before the justices on a charge of failing to report hails from Conisborough.

At the West Riding Police Court on Friday before Mr JW Hodgson presiding, and Mr F Kirby, Frank Beaumont, a commission agent, of Conisborough, was brought up in custody up on a charge of “That belonging to the Army Reserve and having been called out on permanent service he failed to appear at the time and place required.”

He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr GW Andrews.

For the defence Mr Andrew submitted that under the Military Service At, section 104, the man had a right of appeal to a civil and not a military tribunal. As he was asked to be placed in a military control he had a right to ask them another a right to be tried in point of law by a civil rather than a military tribunal.

All he said was: “I ask you to commit me for trial you think I have committed an offence under this Act, as an absentee.”

“Has it been proved,” continued Mr Andrew, “that he has been properly enlisted?”

Mr R Pettifer (assistant magistrate’s clerk): Every single man is a member of the reserve.

After considerable argument, the Chairman said they ruled even was a member of the Reserve.

Miss Andrews proceeded, and claim on behalf of the defendant to be committed for trial in the section 16 of the Reserve For six Act of 1882 and section 154 of the Army At, 1881, subsection 3, which applied to absentees deserters, which provided that they could claim to be committed for trial by a civil tribunal.

The Chairman said: We have come to the conclusion he has no right to go for trial.

Mr Pettifer: What is your defence to the charge?

Mr Andrews said on the merits he did not think they had one, except on the question of conscience. We don’t want to get off lightly in this matter. The man asks to be sent to prison rather than pay a fine.

The Clerk: I am afraid we cannot do that.

The Chairman announced that the fine would be 40 shillings. (£2)

Defendant: Thank you.

Beaumont was then removed in charge of an escort in waiting.