Friday 25 April 2014

Peter Joseph Handcock

Updated Sept. 2016
Peter Handcock was born near Peel, New South Wales in 1868. His father died when he was aged 6 so he had a minimal education and was apprenticed to a blacksmith at age 12.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Letter from Rev. Joshua Brough to Peter Handcock’s Widow

The Rev. Joshua Brough’s letter to Peter Handcock’s widow is an important piece of historical evidence. He waited seven months until he had returned home to England before he wrote it, thus ensuring that it would not be subject to military censorship in South Africa. This is not surprising since it is far more than a simple letter of condolence to a grieving widow.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Peter Handcock's "Affidavit"

On 20 July 2013 the Victorian Bar in conjunction with James Unkles and the Supreme Court conducted a moot hearing to consider whether Morant, Handcock and Witton had the right to appeal against the verdicts and sentences imposed by the courts-martial. In a non-binding decision the court ruled that the men had not received a fair trial and indeed had grounds to appeal.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Witton's Letter to Thomas 21 October 1929

Updated 22/07/2022
I cannot understand how so many historians can take this letter at face value without subjecting it to any form of critical analysis and that they declare it a matter of "historical record", capable of of rewriting history. The following is a presentation of my views regarding the letter and the many questions it elicits.

George Ramsdale Witton

Since I first learned of this affair I have felt the greatest empathy for George Witton and I wonder if anyone can honestly claim that they would have acted any differently than he did in the circumstances that he found himself.

Monday 21 April 2014

The Cochrane Letter

Revised and Updated 20/02/2021
Many people falsely claim that it was a letter dated 4 October 1901 from 15 of the BVC officers’ own men that initiated the inquiry and subsequent courts-martial resulting in the execution of Harry Morant and Peter Handcock and the imprisonment of George Witton.

Who Killed Rev. Daniel Heese?

Despite over 4 months of zealous investigation by the prosecution, Peter Handcock was court-martialled for this crime and found not guilty. Harry Morant was charged as an accessory and also acquitted. This verdict is not surprising if we look at all the evidence pointing to their innocence and the lack of any proof that they were guilty.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Good Old British Justice

In 2001 retired Australian Army Colonel Barry Caligari petitioned the British Government for pardons for Lieutenants Morant, Handcock and Witton.

Deputy JAG, Colonel St. Clair's Opinion

 In November, 1901, at the conclusion of the Court of Inquiry, the senior legal officer in South Africa, Deputy Judge Advocate General Colonel St. Clair reviewed the evidence obtained and made his recommendations.