GUERNSEY HISTORY 

16th November 1892
A Guernsey recruit regretted signing up

It didn’t take Charles Saxton long to realise he’d made a mistake. In late January 1892 he joined the Yorkshire Light Infantry in Pontefract. The unit was stationed at Guernsey, which many would have considered an attractive posting, but Saxton hadn’t reckoned on not being suited to the military lifestyle.

A little over ten months after signing up, on 16 November, he absconded – and the hunt for the missing soldier was on.

Discovery and trial

Saxton remained at large until 5 Febaury 1894 when he was spotted at Chapeltown, a suburb of Sheffield in South Yorkshire. He should maybe not have strayed quite so close to home. Pontefract, where he’d signed up, is only 20 miles by road from Chapeltown.

In fairness, he hadn’t been entirely clueless. When picked up by Police Constable Burrows just a few hours after his arrival he admitted that he’d expected to be caught. He just hadn’t expected to be nabbed so soon. He’d hoped to have at least a couple of weeks of freedom back in his home county first.

Unfortunately for Saxton, he hadn’t merely gone absent without leave. He’d also burned his uniform by the side of the road in Barnsley. Naturally, this would have to be paid for, in addition to which he was sentenced to do 128 days work as penance.

Return to Guernsey

Still, Saxton could count himself lucky. Although he was remanded in custody for eight days to await his return to Guernsey, that and the 128 days labour was the worst the authorities had in store for him.

At the beginning of century, two Hussars had been executed for desertion. In their case, they had mistakenly landed on Guernsey rather than running away from it. They were taken back to their platoon and shot on Bincombe Down, near Weymouth.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

What else happened in Guernsey in November?

Guernsey history newsletter

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

* indicates required

The Sarnian

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

Click here to get your copy today…

December in Guernsey through the years…

Guernsey's comms links are severed

18th December 1979

Castle Cornet surrenders in Civil War

17th December 1651

Alderney's evacuees return after occupation

15th December 1945

Herm bribery case came to court

14th December 1918

Victor Hugo flees France and Napoleon

12th December 1851

Sarnian secrets

Sign up to The Sarnian's occasional newsletter for updates on your favourite characters and locations, to go behind the scenes on the writing process, and for early-bird discounts on every new book. We promise not to share your details with anyone else, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you choose.
* indicates required

Search the archiveWarning