April 20, 1883 - July 5, 1916
Trial of No.1467 Pte. E. Pilon, 8th Battalion
1- when on active service, breaking into a house SEC.6 (I.G.)
2- neglecting to obey Battalions orders Sec.11
Major Cartwright L.S.H
Captain Page 5th Battalion
Lieut. Sholts Smith 5th Battalion
August 23, 1915
Whilst on duty at Ploegsteert on the night of 8th of Aug. I was called by Madame Grusony who stated that some soldiers were trying to break in at the back of her estaminent. I went to investigate the back of the estaminent. I could not see any one, then I went in the estaminet and there was no one there. I instructed Madame Grusany to lock all doors. I also watcher her lock these doors & told her I would call back again. I came back about 8:30 P.M.. & saw three soldiers in the kitchen reclining on the floor with their backs to the door & Madame Grousony was trying her best to get them out. I asked them what they were doing there and could get no satisfactory explanation. I then placed them under arrest. The accused is one of the men I placed under arrest.
Examined by the Court. Corporal Boulton in answer to the court's enquiry says that the door was locked & was asked how he got out. He says that back door was locked & there was front door locked after he was out. Cpl Boulton states that Madame Grousny entreated the accused to leave. The Corporal arrested the three men himself and says they went along quietly & had no trouble with them.
Second Witness Madame Emma Gruson, Ploegsteert, La Corende(?) States: The first time at 8PM, Aug. 8th five soldiers were in the rear of the house & she sent her sister to send them away with a threat of getting the police unless they did. Two went away. She called the Corporal of Police who passed at that moment & he visited the house & the Corporal said to her to keep the house well locked & he would return in half an hour. Before the Corporal came back the three soldiers came back & knocked at the door saying that if she wouldn't open it they would break the door open. As Madame did not comply, they broke it open, & they sat down on the floor & asked for something to Drink. Madame refused to get them this. They stayed there four or finve minutes & then the Corporal of Police arrived & her husband entered at the same time & told them also he would not give them anything to drink. The police took them away without any trouble. The witness recognizes the accused as one of the men.
Cross examined by Accused. Did Madame ask accused to return after eight o'clock at night. In reply to this she states she did not do this. They were there in the afternoon & they were then sober. Did the Witness ever ask them any other time to return after 8 P.M. She says that accused was not asked to return at any other time.
Examined by Court. In reply to question as to whether Witness knew if accused was in the yard when Corporal came first time she said they were in the yard & then cleared out. She says she does not speak English, but the accused speaks French. She says that the screws holding the lock fell out, but the door itself was not damaged. They kicked in the door with the foot.
Acting Coy Sergeant Major M. Gray, No.5, 8th Battalion on Aug. 8th 1915 says at roll call the accused was reported absent. He was handed over to me at 11 A.M. on the 10th by Corporal O'Neal who had had the prisoner handed over to him by the Military Police.
Lieut McKenzie, Act. Adjt. of the 8th Battalion produces a copy of Battalion order published on July 27th 1915 prohibiting the visiting of men to Ploegsteert except on duty or pass. The accused was not on duty or pass on the night of Aug. 8th & had no business to be there. Order marked "A" attached to the proceedings.
Statement of Accused
On Aug. 8th while in Ploegsteert I went to Mrs. Gruson's estaminet with two friends, & as she had asked us to visit her some time previously at 8 PM. I asked her if we could go then on that same night after 8 PM. On Aug 8th & she said "yes". She said wait until the place is closed up & then come by the back door, so we went around & stayed in the yeard till 8:20 PM. & then went in. We stayed in the kitchen for about five minutes before she came to us & then said she was expecting the police so I asked her the reason why she invited us to go there if she was expecting the police. As I said that, the police came in by the front door. She made signs to us then to go outside. The police asked us what we're doing & I told him it was to get something to eat as I did not wish the women to get into trouble. She told the police we had forced our way in & I asked the policeman then to look at the door to see if there was any damage to it. He looked at the door & made no answer. We were not charged that night with any crime & it was on Monday morning that the Sergeant at 1st Brigade HQ said that at that time there was no charge against us & that they would have to see an interpreter to see the lady to see what she had to say.
Examined by the Court
Accused says that they had no argument previous to entering the house & she said to wait in the yeard & come in later. I had been there a couple of times on previous occasions. She told us before to come after eight P.M. soemtime but we had been unable to accept as we had been busy on working parties. A sergeant told me he ___ alot(?) To this estaminet... One night ___ he was absent for 24 hours. I opened the door & used no force in doing so. The other two men were alongside when it was opened. He says that this estaminet is a well known place to have dancing & a good time. He has danced with this lady & the girls himself. It is well known in the regiment as place to go to for a good time. There were two or three women in the yard at the time. In my opinion Madame has made this charge to clera herself from being pulled(?) For having soldiers in after 8 P.M. These women came out of the door about 8:15 P.M. This was the door I entered a few minutes later & it was unlocked. I left the estaminet a few minutes before 8 P.M. by the front door after having a drink of beer & I then wandered around the back way.
Pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Found guilty of both charges
Sentenced to 56 days F.P No.1
1 - In field 26/3/1915, Drunk on the line of march, Witnesses Sgt. Halliday
and Sgt. Spaulding;
Sentenced to 21 days F.P. No.1
trial 29/3/1915 in front of Lt.Col. Lipscott
2 - In field 3 April 1915, Drinking; same day trial in front of Lt.Col.
Sentenced to 25 days F.P. No.1
3 - In field 18/4/1915, Absent from parade
Sentenced to 25 days F.I. No.1 by Lt. Col. Lipsatt.
July 27, 1915
"A" Company 90th Rifles
Leave and Passes
Complaint has been received that Canadians are continuously going to "Ploegsteert" Village. This village is outside our area and no one is to enter it except on pass or duty.
Lieut and act. adjt.