In a letter to the War Office, in December 1953, to be found in the British archives, Erskine made this candid admission: "There is no doubt that in the early days, i.e. from Oct 1952 until last June there was a great deal of indiscriminate shooting by Army and Police. I am quite certain prisoners were beaten to extract information."
To avoid a scandal, McLean's inquiry, therefore, drew a veil of official secrecy over the first eight months of the emergency.
Though McLean went carefully into the details of the Chuka affair, his final report was a whitewash. He concluded that, whilst there may have been some irregularities in procedures by some units, the conduct of the British army in Kenya "under difficult and arduous circumstances, showed that measure of restraint backed by good discipline which this country has traditionally expected".
Satisfied by this, and with fresh evidence on Chuka obtained through McLean's inquiry, Erskine now ordered that Major Griffiths be subjected to a second courts martial. This time he was charged with the murder of the first "guide" in Chuka, and the evidence of the soldiers under his command now turned against him.
When the trial concluded, on March 11, 1954, Griffiths was found guilty, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. The two British junior officers who led the patrols in Chuka, Innes-Walker and Howard, were never prosecuted for the murders of the villagers.
Nor did the 10 African soldiers who were present ever stand trial, all of them Kenyans.
It is difficult to avoid the thought that these 12 men were allowed to go free in return for their participation in the conviction of their commanding officer, even though each one of them - British and Kenyan alike - must surely have been liable to prosecution for war crimes.