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 Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large

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gardner1879

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Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large Empty
PostSubject: Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large   Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large EmptyMon Jan 09, 2023 11:44 am

Natal Witness 26th July 1881
Escape of Military Prisoners
When the Euphrates, Indian troopship, which recently arrived at Portsmouth from Bombay, was passing through the Suez Canal on the 25th May, John Scott, formally a private of the 24th Regiment under sentance of 20 years penal servitude for attempting to shoot a sergeant of his regiment escaped from the ship. Scott who is a most desperate character, was heavily ironed and placed with ten other convicts who were guarded by a sentry. About 11 o'clock in the night in question on the Corporal going his rounds he noticed a protion of the manacles with which the prisoner had been fettered lying on his bed and the prisoner missing. An alarm was raised and extra sentires posted with ball cartridge. A complete search of the ship was made but without result. It is belived that Scott had been working for some time in filing the bands of iron around his ankles and that he took advantage of the bustle in changing sentries on the night mentioned to slip away and escape by way of the iron hawsers leading from the ship to the banks of th canal. He is described as a man 25 years of age 5ft 6in in height, with grey eyes, light hair and fair complexion. His sentance would expire on the 24th January 1901. On arrival in Paris another prisoner effected his escape. He was in custody for a military offence and managing to get suppied with a suit of cilvilian cloths, he passed out of the ship and through the dockyard gates.

Only one possible in the medal rolls
2/24th Regiment Private 2867 Scott J. 1879 clasp. Medal returned to mint 23/11/1897
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Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large Empty
PostSubject: Re: Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large   Private John Scott 24th Regiment a fugitive at large EmptyWed Mar 20, 2024 12:53 pm

I have read the same story in the Gloucester Citizen 13th June 1881. I believe the identification of No. 2867 Scott, J to be correct. It should be noted that by the time the Natal Witness picked up the story in July 1881, our great escaper was safely behind bars.

A record from Pentonville prison has the following details:

Regr. No. H553, Name: John Scott, Date of Reception: 17.6.81, From what Prison: Military Authorities, Date of Discharge: 12.10.87, Whither: Chattam, Remarks: Insub[ordination] & violence to [a] superior officer, CofE. Secunderabad, C.M[artial]. 25 January 81, 20 yrs, soldier 2/24 Regt.

A second document appears to show a transfer to Dover 23/10/1885.

The only thing that confuses me is the discharge date on the Pentonville entry when compared to the sentence, having escaped in transit one would not consider him a candidate for time off for good behaviour!
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