Jail for German who joined the 5th Beds

Before the Bury St Edmunds Magistrates on Thursday morning [October 22nd, 1914], Rudolph R. Baukey, of Luton, a private in the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, being of German nationality, was charged with failing to register himself as required by the Aliens' Registration Order 1914. Defendant pleaded guilty.The barracks at Bury St Edmunds

Ex-Inspector William Henry Porter, of the West Suffolk Constabulary, said that, acting on instructions from Supt Brunning, he went to the orderly room of the G Company (No 7) of the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Territorials, at the Railway Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, where he saw the accused and put several questions to him as to his nationality. His answers being unsatisfactory, witness charged him with being an unregistered German subject, and then cautioned him, when he made the following statement: "I know I have done wrong. I am a German and have not taken out naturalisation papers. I saw about it in the papers, and did not like to let people know I was a German, and put it off until it was too late. Then I knew I should get into trouble for not doing."

Witness said the accused was then arrested and escorted to the Police Station at Bury St Edmunds.

Defendant had since made a statement. He said he was employed in a straw hat factory at Luton, and joined the band of the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (Territorials). The Bandmaster promised to assist him in regard to his nationality. When he attended the annual training camp, he had to be sworn in, and he was under the impression that his officer knew his nationality. When they were ordered to mobilise he was "under very difficult circumstances," but the Bandmaster told him he was all right.

He afterwards read the Aliens' Restriction Order, but being in the Territorials he took no measures to naturalise himself. His sympathies were heart and soul with England. He remained in the Bedfords hoping to be sent to the front. He now hoped that the Bench would deal with the case as leniently as possible on account of his wife and children. As he had left Germany 12 years ago, Germany had no claim on him; he had resided in England for ten years.

Lieut-Col Butler produced defendant's record. He said that as regards the defendant's statement that he thought the officers were aware of his nationality, had they known that he was a German when the mobilisation order was given, he would not have been allowed to remain in the Territorials. Luton being the centre of the straw hat industry there were a great many Germans residing there, and it was not an unusual thing for a man of that nationality to enlist.

The Chairman: I suppose it is nothing unusual to enlist a man who is a musician?

Lieut-Col Butler: No, sir, he is a good clarinet player, and is also an extremely good man.

Witness said that when the order for mobilisation was given the band were turned into stretcher bearers, and defendant worked extremely hard, in fact harder than some of the others.

After consultation in private, the Chairman said that defendant had pleaded guilty to a charge whereby he was liable to a fine of £100 or six months' imprisonment. The Bench had considered the matter very carefully, and the defendant would be sentenced to three months' imprisonment without hard labour. He had no doubt that if the war was not over by that time, the military authorities would deal with him.

Defendant seemed distress through the whole of the proceedings.

[The Luton News, October 29th, 1914]