Sgt. Fred Templeman, MM is my mothers uncle. A WWI vet who fought through the entire first war and had a very interesting career.
Having been promoted in rank and busted back to private twice, being convicted of desertion by General Field Court Martial and sentenced to ten years penal servitude. He had his sentenced commuted only to have shrapnel wounds in the head and gun shot wounds to right leg and right thigh on three seperate occasions. Fred went on to Sgt. and win a Military Medal for bravery in the field.
While I don't have any of Fred's artifacts I have obtained his service records, with the help of Pylon1357. I have since contacted his son and daughter and presented them with a copy of their fathers service record.
They were very appreciative as their father never spoke of his service. They mentioned that he had a scar on his forehead and always walked with a limp, no doubt a result of his wounds.
They also mentioned he had trouble breathing and had a bad cough his whole life as a result of the gas attacks he survived.
The family has his medals, a WWI German helmet and canteen that he brought back with him.
His son has a pocket watch that was given to Fred by the town in Thanks for his service.
Pics of Fred later in life, one in uniform with a reunion beret on.
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The transcript of Fred's Court Martial.
A transcription of his Court Martial, the originals are hand written and hard to read I will post up scans for reference sake.
Evidence in the case of No.6967 Corporal Fred Templeman
1st Canadian Battalion
Lieut. J.R.Millard, having been duty sworn states the following:
At about 5PM on October 5, 1916 the 1st Canadian Battalion was near Bde. HQ
in Sunken Road. The accused #6967 Corporal F. Templeman was there present with his platoon. I was acting Second in Command of the Company at the time. The company proceeded about an hour later to the front line trenches.
I do not know if the accused went to the front line, but as he was in charge of No.11 platoon it was his duty to do so. During the 48 hours between the nights of the 5th and 7th October I was away from the Company in charge of a working party. When I took over my platoon again on the night of October 7th at Dot Trench it was reported to me that the accused who was the N.C.O. in charge of my platoon was absent. I did not give the accused permission to absent himself and upon making enquiries was unable to find that he had obtained permission from anyone.
On the morning of the day after we left the trenches which was about three days after he was reported absent, the accused came to the Officer’s billets in Albert and reported to me. The accused stated that he had been sick and had gone to the Dressing Station.
The accused declines to cross-examine the witness.
#402816 Pte. Ryan J.H. 1st Canadian Battalion having been duly sworn states as follows:
On the night of 5th October 1916 the Company was on its way to the front line. I was in No.11 platoon of C. Company of which platoon the accused was N.C.O. in charge.
When we got to the Sugar Refinery the accused said he had to go to the latrine and told me to take charge of the platoon. I took charge of the platoon and remained in charge for two days. The accused was not with the platoon during that time. After doing forty-eight hours in the front line I reported the matter to Lieut. Millard.
When we reached Albert on the 10th , I saw the accused in the billets there. This was the first occasion on which I had seen him since he fell out on the 5th.
The accused declines to cross-examine the witness.
#6967 Corporal Templeman F. 1st Canadian Battalion having been duly sworn states:
On the night of October 5th, 1916 we were on our way to the front lines. I dropped out near the Sugar Refinery feeling sick. I had an attack of diarrhea. I reported to the 10th Canadian Field Ambulance in Sausage Valley. The orderly told me there was no doctors there, but he told me he thought I could report sick at the 23rd Field Ambulance (Imperial) in the Village of LaBoiselle. I reported over there to an orderly and he told me that I could not be treated there as it was an Imperial Dressing Station. I then went to look for another Dressing Station in which there was a doctor, but I could not find any. Not knowing where to report and feeling pretty sick I found a dugout in Sausage Valley until the fourth day when I attempted to report to my Company but got lost on the way up. I then came bck to Sausage Valley and went into Albert and reported there next morning to Lieut. Millard. I did not receive any slip or ticket from either of the field ambulances and did not think to ask for one.
I arrived at billets in Albert on the night of October 10th and reported to Lieut. Millard on the morning of October 11th 1916.
After cross-examination accused states:
This was the first time I have had to fall out on going to the trenches since I have been out here in France, 11th February 1915. I have been with the Battalion continually and have never missed any engagement in which the Battalion had taken part.
Accused cross examined by Prosecution states:
“I did not get permission from anyone to drop out.” I have served with the 1st Canadian Battalion since September 21, 1914 and have been a Corporal for about four months. The reason I did not report to the battalion medical officer was because I did not know where to find him. I made no enquiries nor did I ask anyone where the battalion M.O. was. After I fell out I started looking for a field ambulance.
I walked a mile and a half before I found No. 10 Field Ambulance. I found the 23rd Field Ambulance (Imperial) about 200 yards further on. I do not know who the orderlies were I reported to. I did not report to the battalion M.O. when I reached Albert although I was not quite well.
Evidence as to Character
Lieut. W.A. Adams 1st Canadian Battalion having been duly sworn produced Field Conduct Sheet of accused. Military character of accused is fair. Accused has served with the 1st Canadian Battalion continually since September 21,1914 and has seen service in France since February 11th, 1915.
To First Army”A”
I am forwarding herewith Court Martial Proceedings in the case of No. 6967, Cpl. F. Templeman, 1st Canadian Battalion, who has been found guilty of desertion and sentenced to 10 years penal servitude.
Owing to the frequency of crimes of this nature and as an example to others, it is recommended that this man be committed to prison.
Commanding 1st Canadian Division
With reference to the attached proceedings of a F.G.C.M. I have the honour to recommend that the sentence of ten years penal servitude awarded to Cpl. F. Templeman be put into force at once.
Commanding 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade.