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Re: Breaker Morant

From: Nick
Date: 10/5/2001
Time: 8:29:31 PM
Remote Name:


According to Lt. Witton's book "Scapegoats of the Empire",the President says "Was your court at the trial of Visser constituted like this and did you observe paragraph ---- of section ---- of the King's Regulations? In summary Morant replies " As to rules and sections, we had no red book (Military Regulations), and knew nothing about them. .....we go them and we shot them under Rule 303." ie As .303 was the standard British rifle calibre, Morant refers to the rule of the gun as opposed to any "rules of war." His anger is directed towards the Court martial panel who, I assume, Morant thinks has never seen action.

Morant takes responsibility for shooting Boer prisoners saying that he followed orders issued by his superior Capt. Hunt. (subsequently KIA and could not be corroberated) to either not take prisoners or shoot any Boer wearing British Khaki uniforms. Lord Kitchener, supreme commander of British forces in South Africa was supposed to have given this order.

This one incident was responsible for two changes in the Australian Army. 1. No Australian soldier could be executed by a foreign power (even if they were the senior partner in the alliance and Australian troops were, in the main, to be commanded by Australian Officers.


Last changed: October 05, 2001