Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ship captain arrested for photographing camouflage

Dazzle-painted USS Recruit (AI digital coloring)
SERIOUS OFFENSE in Barry Dock News (Wales), March 1, 1918—

Patrico Vergile, captain of the SS Bucharest, was summoned for being in possession of a camera and taking photographs in a prohibited area.

Griffith Lloyd, aliens’ officer, said that on the 11th instant he visited the steamship Bucharest. Witness asked the captain if he had a camera. Defendant replied in the affirmative, and handed him the camera, together with some photographs. One of the photos was of a ship painted in the new camouflage style. Accused said that he wanted to paint his ship in the same manner. The camera, defendant said, was purchased at Cardiff. The military police searched accused effects but found nothing.

Lance Corporal John H. Dare said he was with the last witness, and corroborated the evidence given.

PC Frank Johns said that on the 21st instant he arrested defendant at the Aliens’ Office. When charged witness said, “The only thing, I did not know it was against the regulations.”

Accused, giving evidence, said that always when at sea he was in danger of submarines, and he was going to take photographs of the submarines. He was also going to take photographs of his wife and the crew. He was a Romanian, and he took the photos openly.

Mr. Graham said that as a captain defendant should have known that he must not take photographs in wartime. An Englishman could not do that, much less a foreigner. He would be fined ten pounds or two months’ imprisonment.