Victor Grayson: The Curious Case of the Disappearing MP & the Etaples Mutiny

In November 1916 former Colne Valley Socialist MP and would-be revolutionary Victor Grayson enlisted with the 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment in New Zealand. On September 9th the following year, he and his regiment arrived at Etaples Camp just as riots were taking place by New Zealand and Scottish Troops. What part if any did…

James Cullen – The Scottish Mutineer at Etaples

Unlike Percy Toplis, there is  no doubt whatsoever that Glasgow’s James Cullen took part in the Etaples Mutiny. We have his service records to thank for that, and his service records show that he was sentenced to one year imprisonment for refusing to obey orders at the time the riots at the camp broke out…

Detective & Secret Service Days – Edwin Woodhall

“Percy couldn’t have been at the Mutiny in Etaples because that month he was on the troopship, Orontes heading to India with his regiment”. Or so the story goes. It was used to undermine the whole pretext of John Fairley and William Allison’s book, The Monocled Mutineer and it’s been repeated by journalists ever since….

Widespread Search for the Tomintoul Fugitive – Monocled Mutineer

Aberdeen Journal Aberdeenshire, Scotland, June 4th 1920 Growing Belief He is Toplis. Aberdeenshire Minister’s Strange Story of a Lift No arrest has yet been made in connection with the Tomintoul shooting outrage, but the hue and cry has widely been circulated and the Police of Banffshire and Aberdeeshire are keeping a close watch on all…

Percy Toplis Hunt – Tomintoul Outrage

Aberdeen Daily Journal Saturday June 5th 1920 WILLIAMISON OR TOPLIS? PASSES THROUGH ABERDEEN The police are confident that the net is closing round the fugitive “Williamson”, “Toplis” or whatever his name may be. Public interest in the chase is keen, judging from the number and promptitude of the reports coming into the authorities. It has…

Toplis’ Life In the Highlands

Dundee Courier Angus, Scotland, 8th June 1920 How he deluded hotel guests The mother of Percy Toplis yesterday travelled from her home at Alfreton, Derbyshire, in the company of two Officers from Penrith Constabulary in order to identify the body of the man shot on Sunday night. She was much distressed.  It would appear that…

The Mutiny at Etaples: Manchester Guardian, February 13th 1930

The article below doesn’t appear to have been seen for the best part of 90 years. Few, if any, historians have referred to it in their footnotes, and yet it remains one of the only  contemporary British press accounts of the Mutiny at Etaples, a chain of disturbances that broke out across the notorious base camp in…