Court Martial Summary
A Court Martial was convened at Aubigny
France with Brig-Gen JH, Mitchell, Third Canadian Division, as President on December 30,
Ø The charge against Lieut Lyon reads as follows:
o “When on active service, committing a civil offence, that is to
say, committing an act of gross indecency with a male person, in that he, on the 16th
December 1919, committed an act of gross indecency with number 126783 Private Russell
Ø Some graphic testimony was given by 3 witnesses for the prosecution,
and to quote that testimony serves no purpose here. However,
a summary of the testimony is:
§ The first 2 witnesses testified that they had seen Lieut Lyon in Lieut
Lyon’s billet room with Pte Harries, one of them having entered and left the room on
3 different occasions and testifying that he saw them on the bed together on one occasion
and Lieut Lyon kneeling between Pte Harries’ legs on a second trip into the room.
§ Pte Harries testified that he was not yet 18 years of age and had
little experience drinking alcohol. He said
that Lieut Lyon had purchased drinks for him in an Estaminet and later purchased a bottle
of wine and a bottle of Whiskey to take to his room.
The accused invited him to his room and they shared more drinks. Pte Harries then testified that Lieut Lyon
performed oral sex on him.
Ø Lieut Lyon pleaded Not Guilty
Ø The accused testified that he never had any sexual contact with Pte
Harries, but he did admit to being in the room alone with him, and purchasing the drinks
Ø A letter was entered into evidence from the Commanding Officer of the
42nd Battalion stating that Lieut Lyon had joined the Battalion the previous
September, and had been in custody on the current charges since the 16th of
December. The letter went on to say that the
accused had been placed under open arrest on December 5th on a charge of
Drunkeness and was awaiting an inquiry on that charge when the current offence took place. The last sentence in the letter reads “His
work with us was not satisfactory”.
Ø Lieut Lyon was found Guilty of the charge
Ø He was sentenced to 2 years IHL (In Hard Labour) and to be Cashiered
from His Majesty’s Service
Ø This sentence was reduced to 1 year by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig
on January 4, 1917
Ø The Judge Advocate General’s office received a letter from the
father of Lieut Lyon requesting a review of the Court’s procedures and the
admissibility of some of the evidence
Ø The Judge Advocate General, after a review of the procedures and
evidence, upheld the validity of the testimony and the verdict.
An additional note: All references to Lieut Lyon’s unit refer to
him as being a member of the 42nd Battalion, and no mention is made of his
transfer to the 21st Battalion, with one exception. Lieut Lyon, in his testimony made reference to his
request for a transfer and mentioned that he expected to be sent to the 21st
Battalion on completion of the Court Martial.