NJ2215 : Percy Topliss's Cottage

taken 12 years ago, near to Blairnamarrow, Moray, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Percy Topliss's Cottage in this square
Percy Topliss's Cottage
Percy Topliss's Cottage
This bothy was not in use in 1920 when Percy Topliss, a criminal who had been convicted and sentenced to two years of hard labour for rape of a 15-year-old girl before the 1st World War, sought refuge here. He had also committed several other crimes during and shortly after the war, including selling rationed fuel on the black market, forging false papers to gain access to other soldiers' salaries and wearing a colonel's uniform. He also claimed to have been a ringleader in the Etaples Mutiny as "The Monocled Mutineer" and was now suspected of the murder of taxicab driver Sidney George Spicer, who was found shot dead on Thruxton Down near Andover.

On June 1 a farmer near Tomintoul saw smoke coming from this gamekeeper's bothy, which he knew to be disused. He therefore alerted Police Constable George Greig and together they found Topliss sitting by a fire. Percy Topliss fired his pistol, wounding them both, and fled on a bicycle to Aberdeen where he took the train to Carlisle. He arrived in Carlisle on June 5, where he was seen in an Army base at Carlisle Castle. On June 6 Police Constable Alfred Fulton met and questioned a man in "partial military dress" near Penrith, but PC Fulton let him go; it was only on his return to Penrith that he discovered that the man was wanted. PC Fulton, together with two other policemen, Inspector William Ritchie and Sergeant Robert Bertram, pursued Topliss. Because Topliss was armed, the policemen took revolvers with them, disguised their uniforms, and took a car to drive back. En route they were joined by the chief constable's son Norman de Courcy-Parry, also armed. They saw Topliss walking towards Plumpton and tried to arrest him near Romanway. Topliss tried to run away but when he turned to fire, the police returned fire and one of the bullets hit Topliss' head and killed him.
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Grid Square
NJ2215, 13 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 2 June, 2007   (more nearby)
Sunday, 8 July, 2007
Bothy (farmsteading)   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 223 151 [100m precision]
WGS84: 57:13.2457N 3:17.2105W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 223 151
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph (Second Visitor for NJ2215)
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