MUTINY! British West Indies Regiment: 8th, 9th, 10th Battalions

MUTINY! British West Indies Regiment: 8th, 9th, 10th Battalions

Disclaimer: NOT everyone from these battalions was involved in the mutiny at Cimino camp, Taranto, Italy in 1919. The disquiet arose after negative responses to a respectful petition from soldiers of the 1st and 2nd battalions, who were mainly from professional backgrounds. The petition dated 2nd August 1918, supported by the Hon. J C Lynch, Chair of the Recruiting Committee, pointed out that soldiers from white regiments had received a pay increase whereas soldiers from 'native' regiments were specifically excluded. (BWIR was not a native regiment). Brigadier-General Cyril Darcy Vivien Cary-Barnard was base commandant, and according to some accounts, the men had been refused leave to enter town. In addition black soldiers had not been permitted to rise through the ranks, despite good recommendations. The 12 signatories were Pte 1040 Joseph Chamberlain Hope DCM, Pte 979 Vernon G Thomas, Pte 944 Edward E Packer, Sgt 5660 Vincent Lionel Talma, Pte 9057 Leslie A Greaves, Pte 4949 John Berkeley Johnson, Pte 816 L'Estrand C Deane, Pte Alexander L Marshall, Pte 9112 Lashington L Skinner, T Thompson, Pte 878 Herman PJ Ince, and GF Owen. When nothing came of the earlier petition, a further petition dated 6th December 1918 was signed by the Sergeants of the regiment with 180 names attached. Between 50 and 60 servicemen were tried for their part in the disturbances and they were split up between other battalions. // It wasn't until 21st February 1919 that a telegram was sent to the Colonies granting full benefits of the relevant Army Orders to the British West Indies Regiment. Upon demob the regiments were sent home under armed escort with no victory parades to welcome them for fear of further disturbances. The regiment was not invited to take part in the victory parade in London. A documentary with oral testimonies (© 2018 Copyright Sweet Patootee) is available to stream or download at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/160987

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/filesonfilm/copy-of-petitions-addressed-to-the-recruiting-committee-co-28-294-24.pdf

Created by: Deborah102878

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