Ange Matre Le Corre (1901-1943)

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence was sent to trial at the next assizes by the magistrates at Cardiff Juvenile court charged with the manslaughter of Ange Matre Le Corre, a 42-year-old Free French seaman. Mr Leslie Owen, who prosecuted said about 11am on June 23, Le Corre was walking along Newport Road with a friend.

Le Corre was on the outside of the pavement and when they were passing the Cardiff Royal Infirmary there was a sound of an explosion and Le Corre fell to the ground exclaiming in French he had been wounded.

At the same time Police Constable Davies was cycling towards the city and was about 70 yards away. He went to Le Corre's assistance but Le Corre was dead.

Investigations were made, and as a result of information Detective Sergeants Bishop and Pugsley went to flats in Newport Road and entered by a ladder through a first-floor window where they found behind a curtain a service rifle, the barrel of which smelt of exploded powder.

A little later a boy entered the flat and was asked by the officers if he had been using the rifle and he replied he had often played with it.

He made the following statement which read: "I did fire the rifle sir. I did not know there was a bullet in it. I pointed the rifle out of the window. I pulled the trigger and I was surprised when it went off.

"I saw a man fall to the ground. I remember now, sir, putting a bullet in the rifle. When I played with it before I always had the safety catch down. I never intended to shoot anyone."

His father warned him of the danger of touching a rifle and told him not to interfere with his.

Mr Morgan Evans, for the lad, submitted that there was no case to answer.

The prosecution had to prove that the lad had the capacity of knowing that what he was doing was wrong.

SOURCE: Western Mail July 1943

Ange Matre Le Corre was repatriated to France in 1948.