Terrence McKenna, illegally wearing uniform

Terrence McKenna, illegally wearing uniform

Terrence John McKenna
Labourer, born 1901, New Zealand
Tried: 12 September 1918, Auckland Magistrate’s Court
Charge: Illegally wearing military uniform
Sentence: Fine or seven days’ imprisonment

A military uniform was a valuable commodity in conscription-era New Zealand, prima facie evidence that a young man was doing his duty to King and country and therefore worthy of esteem. The police were responsible for ensuring that uniforms were worn appropriately, and the charge against Terrence McKenna of illegally wearing a uniform was one of many prosecuted during the war.

Chief Detective McMahon arrested McKenna in Auckland in September 1918, noting that he had been discharged from camp a few months earlier when it was discovered he was well below military age. McKenna kept his uniform and paybook, which he had updated to create the impression he had been on active service overseas. The magistrate sentenced him to pay a fine or spend a week in prison (he chose prison).

Sources: Police Gazette, 1918, p. 622; New Zealand Herald, 13 September 1918, p. 7

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