The Minute Book
Monday, 16 June 2014

Captain is Cashiered (1933)
Topic: Officers

Captain is Cashiered

Fellow Officer Reprimanded by Court Martial

The Montreal Gazette, 14 February 1933

Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Regimental Website

Battle Honours


Capt H.R. Rebbitt, M.C., D.C.M.

Citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal

15295 Sjt. H.R. Rebbitt, Cav."For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During a raid he formed one of the covering party, and in order to avoid giving the alarm whilst our party was approaching the wire he allowed himself to be completely surrounded by an enemy patrol. On the torpedo exploding, he dashed at the enemy, killing some and dispersing the remainder into our barrage. He displayed great courage, judgment and skill."

Rebbitt was appointed Temp. Lieut. on 10 Apr 1918.

Citation for the Military Cross

Lt. Henry Rivers Rebitt, D.C.M., Cav."For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an advance. He led the leading troops of an advance guard squadron through the tanks, and went on and brought back twenty-five prisoners. A few hours later he led his troops on a special reconnaissance, and under very heavy rifle and machine-gun fire entered a village and took twenty-five prisoners, also inflicting great loss on the enemy who tried to surround him . He did fine work."

Winnipeg, Feb. 13—Captain Charles Graham Brown, of Lord Strathcona's Horse, today was dismissed from military service for his "scandalous conduct" in connection with an affair at Fort Osborne barracks last Hallowe'en night.

Captain Henry Rivers Rebbitt, fellow officer who was charged with firing a gun at Brown, after his wife said that Brown had molested her re reprimanded in the findings of a court martial made public today.

Both men faced trial before the military tribunal held in the barracks, where the offences were alleged to have occurred.

Findings of the court sentenced Brown to be cashiered but also expressed a plea for leniency because of his long service and gallant action in the field. It also was recommended that the convicted officer be granted his pension. Both recommendations were concurred in by the Privy Council and the Governor-General.

elipsis graphic

Further details of the case, and a more lenient conclusion for Captain Brown are revealed in a later news article:

The Winnipeg Tribune, 20 March 1933

Capt. Brown gets Medals, Rank and Is Retired From Army on Pension

Action By Ottawa Meets Demand That Case Be Reviewed

Capt. H. R. Rebbitt, One of Chief Witnesses Against Brown at Recent General Court Martial, is Retiring From Service on Pension Departmental Action Will be Officially Gazetted.

It is officially learned today that Capt. Brown has been reinstated in the army and retired on service pension, and that Capt Rebbitt will also retire. They were the principals in the court martial case In the Fort Osborne barracks here in January.

Captain C.G. Brown, Lord Strathcona Horse, recently dismissed from His Majesty's service following a general court martial, has been re-appointed and is now retired with rank, medals and service pension. The departmental action which brought this about is being officially gazetted and the decision of the militia department has been forwarded to Brigadier T. C. Anderson, officer commanding M.D. 10. Captain H.R. Rebbitt also Lord Strathcona Horse, who was one of the principal witnesses against Captain Brown, and whose conduct was also the subject of inquiry before the general court martial, Is retiring on pension. On the charge on which he was found guilty by th military court, he was sentenced to reprimand. Under the finding of the court- martial there was no alternative except dismissing Brown from the service. There was, however, a recommendation for mercy toward the accused, and In making the recommendation the military court pointed out his fine military service. He had passed through all ranks up to regimental sergeant-major of the Lord Strathcona Horse. He had received his commission on the Held, and his previous record had been wholly good. Recommended Mercy Further, In view of the accused's health (Captain Brown suffers from diabetes), and in view of the fact that it had no discretionary powers under the Army Act in passing sentence, the Court Martial "unanimously, and strongly and respectfully urged that mercy be shown." The return of his war and service medals to Captain Brown was a simple yet pleasant event between him and his commanding officer, Major C. W. Devey, which took place about ten days ago and fore shadowed the exercise of depart mental clemency toward the accused. Major Devey arrived at Captain Brown's residence with the medals and returned them. Since the war a new section of the British Army King's Rules and Orders permits the retention of war and service medals, at discretion, to a dismissed officer. The old practice had been to take them away. "I was very delighted to have this task of returning to Captain Brown his medals." declared Major Devey, In commenting on the event to The Tribune today. He explained that he had heard that the medical papers permitting Captain Brown to appear for medical examination for disability pension had come through. This will also give Captain Brown an opportunity for examination to decide whether he is entitled to disability pension also.

Public Indignation

Seldom has there been such a spontaneous outburst of public indignation as occurred In Winnipeg when it was learned that Captain Brown had been found guilty and discharged without pension, or hope of pension, since the recommendation that the pension be granted was rejected by the department. Every veterans' organization in the province passed resolutions praying the government to reconsider the case. Many friends of Capt. Brown came to his assistance, helping him along until his rights to pension for service as well as for disability, were vindicated by the reinstatement and retirement on pension announced today. The verdict of the court martial declared Captain Brown guilty on the first charge against him. It read, "that on Oct. 31. through the use of force he caused the wife of a brother officer, to wit. Captain H. R. Rebbitt, to accompany him to a single officer's room in the mess building, such room not being intended for any purpose connected with the dance, and there and then remained alone for an undetermined period of time during which he attempted to molest her. The second charge against him was that "he had alone with him In a single officer's room a lady, to wit, Mrs. H. R. Rebbitt," was cancelled by the guilty verdict on the first count. Charges Against Rebbitt The charge on which Captain Rebbitt was found guilty was that "to the prejudice of good order and military discipline he entered and quarters occupied by Captain Brown and then and there did display a firearm and make use of menacing language, namely 'stick 'em up; I have you covered' or words to that effect." A more serious charge against Captain Rebbitt, that of "offering violence to Captain Charles George Brown, his superior officer," was thrown out by the court martial.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2014 2:02 PM EDT

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