Robert Strachan, obstructing military guard

Robert Strachan, obstructing military guard

Robert Strachan
Marine fireman, born 1874, Scotland
Tried: 27 July 1918, Auckland Magistrate’s Court
Charge: Obstructing military guard
Sentence: Fine or one month’s imprisonment

When the government placed military guards at the major ports to protect shipping and commerce from enemy espionage, seamen were issued with military passes to allow them to come and go. A scuffle between Lance-Corporal Hough and two seamen in Auckland in July 1918 typifies the problems that arose.

When Scottish seaman Robert Strachan attempted to smuggle another man past the guard onto the wharf, Hough demanded that the second man stop and show a pass. In response, Strachan and his friend threatened and abused Hough, allowing a number of men to pass through the checkpoint unsupervised. Hough then placed the pair under arrest. The magistrate found them both guilty and sentenced them to pay a fine or serve a month’s imprisonment.

Sources: Police Gazette, 1918, p. 491; New Zealand Herald, 29 July 1918, p. 6

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