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This Month in Exeter – 1918

Many changes in wartime city

Page added 28th February 2018 for the newspapers in March 1918

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Back to historic events in Exeter

Western Times


These newspaper snippets are from the Western Times, and the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. It is updated monthly, as we traverse the events of the First World War. The months are in reverse, with January 1918 at the end of the page. Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive

March 1918

Exeter Postal Official's Work in Germany

On Friday Mrs. Huxtable, of Haldon View, terrace, Heavitree, Exeter, received a post card stating that on the 4th inst. her husband, Sergt. Huxtable, of the Rifle Brigade, who has been interned in Germany, had arrived in Holland. Sergt. Huxtable. who is well-known in Ilfracombe, and who prior to the war was at the Exeter Post Office, has during the time of his internment in the Soltau Camp, Hanover, Germany, been engaged in the work of sorting and despatching parcels sent from home to six thousand British prisoners wherever they have been at work. Upon some thirty British prisoners in the camp devolved the task. The parcels numbered about 60,000 a month, and there was a general among the captives to acknowledge the splendid work of the staff which was in charge of Serge. Huxtable.
Western Times - Tuesday 12 March 1918

Death of Rev. Cobham Gibbs M.A.

Much regret will be felt in Church circles at the death, at the age of 72, of the Rev. W. Cobham Gibbs, M.A., formerly rector of Exwick and Clyst St. George respectively, who retired to East Budleigh about eight years since, though becoming a licensed preacher. With high reputation as a preacher, Mr. Gibbs was frequently heard at the Cathedral and other churches the district. Educated at Marlboroough and Jesus College Cambridge the deceased won the University fame as an athlete by breaking the grass record for the mile. An especially interesting connection of the rev. gentlemen with Exeter is the fact that his uncle, Mr, W Gibbs, of Tinsfield (Tyntesfield editor) Somerset, but has a hereditary connection with the parishes of Clyst St. George and St Thomas, Exeter, was the donor of the the handsome church of St. Michael at Mount Dinham, Exeter, as a chapel of ease to St. David’s. He also provided Exwick Church, the ecclesiastical parish which was formed out of the pair of St. Thomas. Rev. J. S. Gibbs, the eldest son of the deceased clergyman, has recently been appointed chaplain to the forces in Exeter after three years’ service as a chaplain of the forces. The third son, Colonel W. B. Gibbs. Worcester Regiment, was killed in the battle of the Somme; Commander G. L. D. Gibbs, R.N. the fourth son, has won the D.S.O. in the present war; and the youngest son, Major A. J. Gibbs, R.A. has won the M.C. and the D.S.O.. Miss M.K. Gibbs, the remaining member of the family, has served as V.A. nurse at Budleigh Salterton.
Western Times - Tuesday 12 March 1918

Mother Accused of Drowning Her Baby

The Exeter mother, Alice Bennett, aged 29, who is charged with the wilful murder by drowning of her infant child, at Alphington, on February 21st. was brought at the Castle of Exeter, before Mr. T. Snow, in the chair, Sir James Owen, and Mr. H. G. Morgan, yesterday, when the case was fully gone into. Mr S. Ernest Crosse represented the prisoner, who was calmer in her demeanour than on previous appearances before the magistrates. Her father and sister were present.
Supt. Buchanan said the facts were painfully simple, and the magistrates would have no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that the charge was brought home to prisoner. Whatever evidence might be brought forward as to her mental condition would remain for the consideration of another Court. As the Justices were aware however, Judges at Assize required some such evidence on the depositions order to guide them. Prisoner was 29 years of age last February, and was the wife of a discharged soldier. For the last eighteen month or so they had occupied a room in South-street, Exeter. From the time of the child's birth, on December 25th, prisoner did not show any maternal feelings towards it and had neglected it. Describing the drowning, Supt. Buchanan said that prisoner threw the baby or laid it in a pool which formed from rain-water along a depression in some fields. To get to this pool prisoner would have scramble through some railings, carrying the child, and then down a precipitous bank and pass some rough tree growth There was no evidence that Bennett subsequently showed any signs of realising the seriousness of her act and there could be no doubt that she was more or less mentally deficient. It was plain that she must have carried the child for some distance along the canal bank, where she could have drowned it in deep water, unseen. The fact, however, that she afterwards scrambled through railings with the child to get to the pool in the fields pointed to what the law knew as "malice aforethought."
Amelia Mason, widow, and tenant of a restaurant at 33a, South-street, said prisoner was never affectionate towards the child, nor what a mother should be. Witness used to help wash it, and sometimes the mother would go out all day and leave it. On such occasions she would leave the house before witness was up in the morning, and say nothing. Witness then had to look after the child. She had told prisoner she would get herself into trouble by such neglect. Witness would ask her when she came back where she had been, and sometimes prisoner would reply. "I've been to Exminster to some friends." She took notice of witness's reprimands, and often would complain that the child was troublesome, and she did not feel she could look after it. She also said she-wished Joe, her husband, would pay for it to be put out to "keep." She told witness when the child was about six weeks old that the husband had actually advertised for someone to adopt it. On February 21st when she (witness) arrived home in the evening prisoner's husband made a statement to her, and in consequence she at once sent for prisoner, and said to her, "it true what I have heard, that you have drowned the baby?" There was no reply, and witness repeated the question, adding, "Answer if it is true." Bennett then said. "Yes, it is true." Witness said, "Where have you been all the afternoon?" and she replied, "I walked to Topsham. and came back by the banks." meaning the Canal banks. Prisoner also said she put the baby in a ditch, and added, "Don't give me away." Witness said. "You have done that yourself." Morning, noon and night prisoner had always been on about putting the child out to keep. "I can't look after it," she had said, "and I'm afraid if anything happens I shall get punished."
By Mr. Crosse: Prisoner's whole actions towards the child were unnatural, and she, seemed absolutely helpless.
Sir James' Owen: It was not because she, disliked the child?— No.
Mr. Crosse: She seemed to have no sense to attend it?—No. If it cried she became very distressed.—In answer to further questions, witness said that prisoner did not reply at first to the question, "Have you drowned your child?” because she was eating. She did not seem at all worried, nor to realise she had committed any serious offence. Witness considered that all the time prisoner had been at 33a, South-street, she was feeble minded—not strong-willed and easily led. Witness added that on February 5th prisoner left the child all day, and witness went to the Exeter Magistrates at the Police Court. She told them prisoner would not leave her child this way if she were right in her head. Witness asked the magistrates if any responsibility for the child rested on her, and they said it rested on the husband.
Detective Inspector Hoyle told the Court that after he had cautioned prisoner she said, "I was driven it." The place where the body was found was less than 150 yards from the canal, and the pool of water at the time was 50 yards wide and 20 long. It was simply, however, an accumulation of surface water, and could be seen from the road.
Mr. Crosse: Did prisoner's behaviour strike you like a person who realised she had committed a serious crime?— Witness: “She was crying, and was very reticent, but otherwise appeared rational.” She said so little it was difficult to judge whether she realised her position. She was sullen.
Dr. Stokes told the Bench he could not be absolutely sure death was due to drowning. It was caused by asphyxia. P.S. Banbury, replying to Mr. Crosse, said he had known prisoner for the last six and half years, and should say she was "not quite all there.”…
(Editor–there was more to this story that concluded ...)
Prisoner was committed for trial to the next Assizes
Western Times - Wednesday 13 March 1918

More Land Acquired in Heavitree and St. Thomas

We learn that the Allotments Committee of the Exeter City Council have acquired more land for allotments at Heavitree and St. Thomas, but the supply is still inadequate to meet the demand. In Monk's-road, Heavitree, a plot sufficient for 25 allotments of 10 yards apiece, adjoining the Vulcan Boiler works, and in Water-lane, St Thomas, a field sufficient for 85 allotments have been obtained. In both cases the plots will be available within a week. The number of applicants in both districts already exceeds the plots available, and the Committee may be obliged to carve the land into five yards instead into ten yards sections, in order to meet the demand which St. Thomas especially, considerably in excess of the supply. There are also applications for allotments in the Pennsylvania district, which the Committee have not so far been able to meet.
Western Times - Thursday 14 March 1918

Wedding at Heavitree

At Heavitree Church, Exeter, on Monday Miss Kathleen Angel, L.C.V., daughter of Mrs. Angel and the late Mr. Harry Angel, of Belmoor, Exeter, was married to Pte. John Cooper, 1st Canadians.
Western Times - Friday 15 March 1918

Tuberculous Pork: Heavitree Butcher Fined

Adjourned summonses against a Heavitree butcher, Charles G. Lock, were heard at the Exeter Police Court before Messrs. F. T. Dupree in the chair, H. B. Varwell, and A. Steele-Perkins, Wednesday. The prosecution was instituted by the Exeter City Council Sanitary Department, the allegation being that on January 25th and January 31st defendant had the head and various other parts of the carcases of two diseased pigs in his slaughter house, in course of preparation for sale. There were three summonses, two of the Offences being alleged to have taken place on January 25th, and one on January 31st.
Mr. J. B. Allon. Deputy Town Clerk, prosecuted, and called evidence to show that the portions examined were extensively affected by tuberculosis.
The Bench eventually decided to dismiss the first and third summons, but inflicted a fine of £5 and coats on the second.
Western Times - Friday 15 March 1918

Remarkable Story of Cheap Seances

A remarkable story was told at the Police Court yesterday, before the Mayor (Sir James Owen) the chair, Mr. H. Campion, and Mr W, Browne, of how the Wife of a labourer faced with money difficulties, began a fortune-telling business, and subsequently formed quite a large clientele, consisting largely of servant girls. Her seances were uncommonly cheap, for she accepted low a fee as shilling for an hour's interview, and feigned communing with lost relatives.
Ada Tarr, of Goldsmith Street, Heavitree, was summoned for pretending to tell fortunes during the past six months. She pleaded not guilty “to imposing upon people.
Misa Mercer, enquiry officer the Exeter City Police detective department, said that on February 14th she visited defendants house in the evening, accompanied by Mrs. Noyce. They had an appointment with the defendant, but had to knock the front door several timers before getting an answer. Then defendant and said she had young lady upstairs, and they (witness and Miss Noyce) must wait. They asked to be allowed to wait in the house, and defendant consented. While they were sitting downstairs two young women came the door and made appointment for another date. Witness was subsequently invited by Mrs Tarr to an upstairs room, and asked to sit on a bed. Defendant sat on a chair and took witness’ gloves from her hand. She threw them about and said, “You are going to have some money left you, but not through the business you are in. You are in business. You write sometimes. “is it your own business?" Witness answered "No," and Mrs. Tarr went on, "I see a dark man before you. You are married." “I am not," said witness—(laughter), to which defendant retorted, " Then you ought to be—(laughter). Have you the dark young man's photo with you? You have been parted, but you will come together again.” Mrs. Tarr went on to speak of witness's grandmother, and said her daughter was looking after her, and was very kind her.
The Clerk- Did that happen to be a fact?— Witness: My grandmother has a daughter living with her—(laughter)… (this was a long article–editor)… The Mayor: An hour’s seance for a shilling is certainly cheap!—(laughter). To defendant: What the police have said of you leads us to inflict a fine of only £1. Give up this nonsense.
Western Times - Friday 15 March 1918

Boy Steals and Destroys Jewellery and Treasury Note

A Heavitree lad aged 12, admitted at the Exeter Juvenile Court yesterday a charge of stealing a purse containing a £1 note, 6s. 6d. in silver, and two gold rings, of the total value of £4 6s. 6d. belonging to Mrs. Emily Anning, on the 12th inst. It was stated that the defendant called Mrs. Anning's to deliver bread. She had left the house for a few minutes see a neighbour, and had left her purse on the kitchen table. When she returned she found the defendant there. She went to the kitchen to fetch her purse to pay him the bread bill, but it was not there, and in consequence was unable to pay. Subsequently she informed the police, and to Detective Walters the boy at first denied taking the purse, but later admitted it. He said he stamped on the two rings and broke them and threw them, as well as the silver, down a sink, because he was afraid to take them back. The Treasury note was found, but it had been torn up into small pieces.— The Chief Constable said one ring and the loose silver could not found, and possibly had been washed into the sewer.—The father of the defendant gave his son good character, and offered to fully reimburse Mrs. Anning for her loss.—The Bench dealt with the defendant under the First Offenders' Act. and ordered him placed under probation for 12 months The father was ordered give a surety 20s. for his son's good behaviour.
Western Times - Tuesday 19 March 1918

Devon and Exeter War Hospital Supply Depot

The result of the special effort made the Devon and Exeter War Hospital Supply Depot to raise funds carry to on their work by a house-to-house collection, and an exhibition of their surgical appliances, has been very gratifying a sum of £353 11s 11d having been raised as follows:—
High-street District £45 15s 4 ½d
South-street District £13 18s 0½
Pennsylvania District £30 9s 5½
Paris-street District £22 7s 2d
St. Sidwell's District £22 7s 2d
Heavitree District £34 15s 3½
Mount Radford District £52 11s 9d
St. Thomas District £21 8s 8d
St. David's District £36 6s 10d
St James's District £21 1s 0½
Fore-street District £3 15s 10d
Cowley Chapel collection £4 3s 8d
Box at the Exhibition £24 4s 10½
The above includes the following special donations:—
The Sheriff of Exeter (Mr. Rowe) £10 10s 0d
Miss Hoare £10
The Rev. A. R. Hamilton £5
Mr. Godfrey Walker £5
and many smaller cheques, all equally welcome. …
The Committee desire to tender their grateful thanks all the ladies who collected the various districts, with such very good results, to the Directors of the Western Morning News for the loan of their premises in High-street for the Exhibition of the Depot’s work…
Western Times - Monday 25 March 1918

St. Thomas Rural Council

Sir Robert Newman presided at the meeting of St. Thomas Rural Council on Friday, when the Medical Officer reported that the epidemic measles continued at Topsham, the total numbers of cases now being 129. Only one death had occurred, and that was due to other complications. The recommendation of the Road Committee to purchase a road tractor and the necessary waggons at a cost of between £1,200 and £1,300, was agreed to. The Clerk's estimate for the half year showed that a precept in the £ would be-required to meet the same. A long letter from the Local Government Board asking details regarding housing, was referred to the By-law Committee, the, opinion being, expressed that this was an after the war matter.
Western Times - Tuesday 26 March 1918

Football Ground Stand Destroyed

The grand stand on the St. Thomas County Ground, Exeter, has been burnt to the ground, and to-day is nothing but a sheer wreck. Thus one most noted land marks sport in Devon has gone, and, reflecting upon that fact, one's mind goes back, instinctively, to the many hundreds of football matches, big and small, and the thousands of athletic events of all sorts which have been witnessed from its seating accommodation, which is naught now but a mass of twisted iron, blackened bricks and beams, and heaped-up debris. Some famous names in Rugby football and cycling are stirred up by such reflections, and also the memories of some great afternoons in the annals of local sport.
The fire broke out at 8.20 on Saturday evening, and the most remarkable thing about it is the rapidity with which it caught the whole long structure and mounted to a brilliant blaze which was observable from all parts the City. In consequence, people flocked the scene in thousands, and until 9.30 Church-road and its vicinity were packed. One would expect, of course, a wooden erection like this to burn readily and with, rapidity, but even allowing for that, the speed with which Saturday night's conflagration attained its height was extraordinary.
The outbreak is supposed have occurred in the dressing-rooms, and have got a good hold before it was noticed. The exact cause unknown, and probably never will be ascertained. It is presumed, however (and the presumption is a very reasonable one) that a cigarette end or match left in the dressing rooms after Saturday afternoon's Rugby match on the ground caught a hold and smouldered until, in the evening, a blaze was started. Residents of St. Thomas who passed along the road at the back late as just after eight o'clock saw nothing, and detected no smell burning. And yet, before these same pedestrians had got to the top of Fore-street-hill the flare had mounted to a height , sufficient to render it observable from every part of Exeter. That illustrates the rapidity with which it spread and shot upward. People residing in houses which overlook the ground say that the fire seemed to run along the whole 70 yards and more the length of the stand and speed upward, enveloping the whole structure, “in no time.”
A boy eleven named Norman Ansted of Old Vicarage-road, was the first to see the fire. He states that he was going an errand, and noticed smoke and a light at the County Ground. On going down the path at the back of the arena he saw that the stand was on fire. With very creditable promptitude he ran into Cowick-street and broke the alarm there, thereby summoning the Fire Brigade. Members of the Brigade, with Engineer Hill in charge, left the station at once with the motor, and were quickly on the scene, being followed within few minutes by Supt. Pett. Several jets were promptly brought into play, and the burning structure was attacked at various points. It was apparent, however, from the moment the Brigade arrived that it was quite impossible to save any part the stand. The fire was finally extinguished at about 10 p.m., the structure being practically destroyed. The Brigade succeeded in keeping the flames from reaching property, in fact owing to the splendid efforts of the firemen the houses in the immediate vicinity of the stand were at no time in real danger.
Mr. Flood, secretary the County Ground Company, was summoned soon after the fire was discovered, and was an early arrival on the scene. He stated that he was present at the match during the afternoon between the New Zealand Engineers from Boscombe and the R.F.A. Cadets from Barracks. He left the ground it 4.40 and at that time everything was apparently all right. His opinion as to the cause the outbreak agrees with that of Supt. Pett, that the fire originated in one of the dressing rooms.
The damage is estimated at £1,000. Nothing has yet been decided upon as to the clearing away the debris, let alone the re-erection of another stand. It is regarded as unlikely that another stand will be erected during the war for the cost of material and the shortage of labour are sufficient to put a veto on such a proposal. It will quite possible, however, for the Cadets matches to be played on the ground.
The stand was erected when the ground was first laid out, this being about twenty-four years ago, and was then regarded as a substantial and sound structure. It seated about 1,000, and its estimated value of £1,000 suggests that it was up to the best standard of those days. Although in recent times it had begun to show traces of age, it answered all requirements, and but for Saturday's conflagration would have been able to for many years to come.
Western Times - Tuesday 26 March 1918

Wonford Bench Discharge Order for Maintenance

At the Castle of Exeter Tuesday, Fredk. Charles Norton, sergeant in the Army Service Corps, applied for the discharge of an order made on the 5th January, 1915, under the Summary Jurisdiction (Married Woman Act), 1895, on the ground that his wife had since the order was made, committed adultery. The respondent did not appear, and was not represented. Mr. J. McGahey, who appeared for the applicant, said the marriage took place in March, 1913. Before he went to France in August, 1915, Norton saw his wife. In the following January, in consequence of what he heard he came home to Exeter, and found his wife living with a man named Selway in the house of her married sister. At that time the husband had no suspicion. He took his wife to Topsham (her home), and the Exmouth man went to his home in another compartment of the train. The next day, when the husband had gone back France, his wife and the man went back to the house in Exeter, and she delivered a child in June, 1916. Evidence of cohabitation of the wife with Selway was given by several witnesses, including neighbours, who said that Mrs. Norton and Selway stayed up late at night singing to the accompaniment of an accordian. It was stated that the wife was now in Wales. The Bench discharged the order.
Western Times - Thursday 28 March 1918

Wife's Suicide After a Nervous Breakdown

The inquest on the body of Mrs. Ellen Hunns, aged 32, of Sidwella Cottages, Well-street, who was found drowned in the Exeter Basin on Saturday, was held the City Coroner (Mr. W. Linford Brown) at the Court House on Monday. The body was identified by Charles Henry Hunns, the husband, who said that his wife had a nervous breakdown last July and had been medically attended. He last saw her alive Friday morning. On returning home in the evening he learnt that she was missing. His little boy told him that when she left home 6.30 his mother said she was going to the doctor and should not be long. Mrs. Warren, neighbour, said although deceased had had a nervous breakdown she showed no symptoms of it, and was always bright and cheerful. —William Gregory, who dragged the Basin on Saturday, and found the body, said deceased had left her hat and jacket on the banks. Otherwise the deceased, when recovered from the water, was fully dressed. —Dr. Pereira Gray, who examined the body, attributed death to drowning.—Detective Walters said deceased had been under the care of Dr. Chepmell for nervous breakdown, but she did not call on him on Friday evening. The neighbours told witness that she never appeared depressed, and that she went for a cycle ride to Topsham on Friday. She was on the best of terms with her husband.—The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide during temporary insanity."
Western Times - Thursday 28 March 1918

Pressmens' Tribute to their Chief
Pressmens' Tribute to their Chief
The Illuminated Address, reproduced above, and the Silver Hot Water Jug presented to Lady Owen, are this week on view at Messrs, Ellett Lake and Sons, 43, High-Street, Exeter.—"Western Times" photo.

February 1918 _________________________________

Salutary Fine Imposed on a Heavitree Dairyman

A fine of £4 and costs was imposed by the Exeter magistrates at the City Police Court yesterday, on a dairyman, George Joint, of Newcombe-terrace, Heavitree, who was summoned for selling new milk not of the nature, substance and quality demanded.
Mr. J. B. Allon, assistant Town Clerk, said that on the afternoon Christmas Eve Mr. Pearse, acting as Inspector of Foods and Drugs, sent young lady to purchase new milk at Joint's premises. When analysed it was found to have added water of not less than 10 per cent., there being not more than 7.65 per cent, solids other than fats instead of least 8.5. Mr. Allon remarked that in face of these figures the deficiency could not be regarded as other than serious, and he asked the Bench to treat it with gravity, having regard the price people now had to pay for their milk and its importance a food for the children. Defendant told the Bench could not say from where got the milk. It was so difficult to obtain supplies at present that he had to get a pint here and a quart there, as could. The Chairman remarked that there were three previous convictions within the last three years for similar offences. The fine on the last occasion was £2 and costs, and now the penalty would be £4 and costs, including analyst's fee. The magistrates present were Messrs. H. Hall (in the chair), J. Stocker, H. B. Varwell, and A. McCrea.
Western Times - Saturday 02 February 1918


Miss Queenie Leighton, the ideal principal boy and Drury Lane pantomime favourite, heads an attractive programme at the Exeter Hippodrome next week. Other noteworthy turns are Frank Williams, the tenor comedian and male soprano, and Sydney Parker, the Welsh vaudeville entertainers; the famous Enardo Bros., Italian comedy gymnasts in mid-air; the two Devons, “those merry musical maids”; and Stella and Harry Jocelyn in variety and vogue, direct from the London Coliseum
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 02 February 1918

Concert for RD&E
Concert at St. Thomas

A successful concert and dance in aid of the funds of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital were given at the King's Hall, Exeter, Thursday evening. The event was arranged Mr. O. W. Burton, Heavitree, assisted by Miss Hodges, of St. Thomas, who are to be congratulated on the success achieved. There was a large and appreciative audience, and the various items contained in an interesting and varied programme were much appreciated, there being many encores during the evening…
The M.C. for the dance was Mr. O. W. Burton, while the arrangements for the refreshments were in the capable hands Mr. and Mrs. O. Burton, of Heavitree.
Western Times - Saturday 02 February 1918

Exeter Drover Fined to Not Carrying a Lamp

An Exeter drover, Albert Woodgates, was summoned at the City Police Court yesterday for driving a flock of sheep on Exe Bridge at 6.10 p.m., and not carrying a lamp. According to P.S. Elford, who gave evidence, defendant knew that he had to carry a light, and in fact had been supplied with a hurricane lamp by the owner of the sheep. This, however, he had not got with him and, instead, was carrying a small bicycle lamp with oil. Defendant's excuse was that his journey took him longer than he thought it would. The fine was 5s., the magistrates being Messrs. G. White, in the chair, F. J. Widgery, J. Munro, A. T. Loram, and H. Hall.
Western Times - Tuesday 05 February 1918

An Exeter School Attendance Case.

“Sulky and sleepy" was the description applied by Mr. Mundy, school attendance superintendent:. at the Exeter Police Court yesterday, to Mrs. Lily Charming, of 32, West-street, who had been arrested on a warrant because she failed to respond to a summons the previous day for neglecting to send her child, a of girl of seven, to school. Mr. Mundy said the child had only attended nine times in nearly two years. The father was on active service, and the mother had twice previously been fined 10s. in respect of the child. She did not get out of bed until about eleven o'clock in the morning, and it was useless for the Attendance Officer to call at the house until after that hour. The woman defied them.— The mother said the child had lately been too ill to attend school, but Mr. Mundy replied that this was not the case. The child had been seen about the streets, and was quite a cheery little girl.—A fine of £1 was imposed, but it was not enforced if the child was sent regularly to school.—The magistrates on the Bench were Messrs. J. Stokes (in the chair). P. Kelland, P. P. Gayton, and R. C. Upright.
Western Times - Wednesday 13 February 1918

Trap Accident at Heavitree

About 11.20 yesterday morning Mrs. C. Wilson, of Ebford Farm, Topsham, was driving a horse attached to a milk cart down Fore-street, Heavitree, when the animal stumbled and fell, breaking off both shafts of the vehicle. Mrs. Wilson was thrown out heavily and sustained a fractured collarbone. First aid was rendered by Mrs. Cudmore, of Winsor Lodge, Heavitree, and Mrs. Wilson was conveyed in a cab to her mother's house, Polsloe Priory Farm, and Dr. Whaite was called in. The horse drawing the trap regained its feet, and bolting, collided with a pony attached to a milk cart belonging to Mr. Charles Smith, of East Wonford. Both horses were brought to the ground. Acting-Sergt. Pike, who happened to be near at hand, got both animals up, and it was found that Mrs. Wilson's horse was cut about the right shoulder. The harness : was also damaged, but very little damage was sustained by Mr. Smith's pony or trap.
Western Times - Thursday 14 February 1918

Possession of More Than Three Weeks’ Supplies
Important Decisions an Exeter Food Conference

A conference of local Food Control Committees in Exeter and district met at the Exeter Guildhall on Monday and decided: 1st.. That the time has come for the adoption of local schemes for the distribution of food. 2nd, That all schemes should be uniform. 3rd, That in order to assure uniformity the London scheme is the most convenient, and should be adopted in this area for margarine, butter and meat. 4th, That Committees in areas which depend upon each other for food supply should arrange for joint conferences at the earliest possible moment, in order that problems affecting their area may discussed.
Western Times - Friday 15 February 1918

Why Discharged Soldier Stole a Quart of Whiskey at Exeter

A native of Yeovil, named William Osmond, who has been discharged from the Army as physically unfit, was brought up at the Exeter Police Court yesterday, charged, on remand, with stealing, from a cellar in Gandy-street, a quart bottle of whisky, value 12s., the property of Snow and Co.
He pleaded guilty, and said that he had been ill, and thought the whisky would do him good. He went to the cellars of Snow and Co., he explained, intending to buy spirits if he could get enough money, and then, when he saw all the bottles, yielded to sudden temptation.
The Mayor remarked that there was a report from the prison doctor showing that defendant was weak physically and suffering from bronchitis. He would be put on probation for six months. and4 the Court Missionary would no doubt give him a helping hand when he had found employment—The magistrates were the Mayor (Sir James Owen), Messrs. J. Gould, W. Kendall King, H, Campion, and W. Browne.
Western Times - Friday 15 February 1918

To the Editor of the "Western Times."

Sir,—A “Bond” week for the sale of National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates is now being organised for Exeter, to take place during the week of March. It will be known as the "Business Men's Week*. The main feature of the scheme is that every city, town, and district will be asked to raise, by the purchase of National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates, a sum sufficient to provide the cost of a definite weapon of warfare–a cruiser, aeroplane, etc. Exeter, in view of its population, is asked to raise £150,000, which is a sum sufficient to provide a destroyer. A conference to be held at the Guildhall Tuesday on afternoon next.
Yours faithfully.
H. LLOYD PARRY, Town Clerk.
7, Southernhay West, Exeter, Feb. 15, 193.8.
Western Times - Monday 18 February 1918

Local news

We Lave received 120 farthings from "D. and J.,” Exeter, for the Exeter Farthing Breakfast Fund. Mr. G..A. C. Drake (hon. treasurer) has received a cheque for £5 from president Sergeants' Mess Devon Depot Regt., and from a collection at Empire Theatre on Saturday, 16th inst., £2 2s 6d.
Sec-Lieut. Leslie Stagg, eldest son of the late Mr. F. and Mrs. Heavitree, has been gazetted to the Norfolk Regiment. Enlisting at the age 18, in the year 1915, he saw service in France until July, 1917, when he returned to England to undergo the special training to enable him to qualify for a commission.
The only case at the Exeter Police Court, yesterday, was a charge against William Davis, cellarman, of Heavitree, who pleaded guilty to being drunk and incapable in Sidwell-street Wednesday. When arrested a small bottle of spirits was found on him.—The fine was 5s. The magistrates were the Mayor (Sir James G. Owen). Mr. J. Gould, and Mr. H. Campion.
The Directors of the Exeter Benefit Building Society in their yearly statement, report that a total of £2,125 12s. 6d. has been advanced on mortgage, and the statement of assets and liabilities shows a balance £1,302 3s. 8d. favour of the Society, from which the Directors propose to credit interest on the share capital at the rate of 4½ per annum. This being the fourth annual report presented to the members since the commencement of the disastrous war, the Directors congratulate them on the continued prosperity and usefulness of the Society, and the fact that, the dividends paid are free of income tax is a specially valuable privilege at the present time, and they confidently invite the members to recommend the Society to their friends as an advantageous and safe investment. Applications are also invited for advances on mortgage on the advantageous terms offered by, the Society
Western Times - Friday 22 February 1918


Mr. H. W. Gould, Coroner, conducted inquiries, yesterday afternoon, at the Vestry Hall, Topsham, touching the deaths of James Ewings, 68, mason's labourer, of 20, Union-terrace, Exeter, who had been missing since January 20th, and Caroline Harris, 56, Coombe-street, Exeter, who had been missing since January 6th.
In first case, Wilfrid Ewings said his father had been ill for five years. The week before Christmas he was seized with a paralytic stroke. Alfred Dart, fisherman, Countess Wear, proved recovering the body from the river. It was in a very decomposed state. The jury returned a verdict of "Found drowned."
At the inquest on Mrs. Harris, George Harris, son, said his mother had been in the habit of going away for considerable periods at time, and in the present instance police were not notified. George Harris, marine store dealer, Exeter, said he last saw his wife alive the first Sunday in January. He had spoken to her about her drinking. She had previously stayed away for as long as six months. The jury returned a verdict of “Found drowned.”
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 22 February 1918

Received by Mayor and Sheriff at Exeter

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, K.G., is now making personal acquaintance with his Duchy of Cornwall, and it was in the proper order of things that his tour should commence at Exeter, which has from time immemorial been so closely associated with the Duchy. The Prince… left Cardiff at about noon yesterday for the West… due to arrive at St. David's Station at 2.50… This visit to the West being private there was an absence ceremonial arrangement. A portion the platform was reserved for the official party, but the remainder was free to spectators, who formed a goodly crowd. The Mayor of Exeter, Sir James Owen, was there with the Sheriff of Exeter to welcome His Royal Highness, and besides officials there were within the barrier many war workers—ladies and gentlemen of the Mayoress's Depot, ladies of the War Supply Depot, ladies of the Red Cross, and others… The Mayor and Sheriff, with their respective chaplains, drove down to St. David's in the State coach, preceded by a mounted police escort. This is the first time the coach has been used for ceremony since its gift to the city by the ex-Sheriff, Sir. S. Moreton White… As the time for the arrival of the Prince drew near an official semi-circle was formed. The robes the Mayor. Sheriff, and Mayor lent a welcome touch of and the presence the Sergeants at Mace, the Sword Bearer, and the Cap Maintenance added to the picturesqueness the scene. A , little to the left and nearer to the station exit, in which the Prince's car was waiting, a contingent of fifty wounded from Exeter hospitals was drawn up. His Royal Highness having expressed special wish to see representatives of the wounded…
I should be delighted to see more of your City," replied the Prince. “I am come down now because I want to become better acquainted with the Duchy." Just as he was leaving the Mayor mentioned that a large number of school children would be drawn up near the Dunsford-road school on his way out of Exeter. His Royal Highness said he would look out for them, and would have the car driven slowly passed. Amidst hearty cheers from the crowd outside the station the Royal party drove off. The Prince was evidently delighted with his reception, and it bare truth say that citizens present were equally delighted with the charming, unassuming manner of the Prince. The general impression was summed up by two wounded soldiers in the line. One remarked. "I like his manner Very much." “Yes," added another. "he's just fine, the Prince." And say all of us. There were two ways out of the City—there was the short cut Bonhay-road and the other route through the City. It was arranged that, in order give as many persons possible an opportunity of seeing the Prince, the longer route should be followed, and so the Royal car passed up St. Davids-hill, along Queen-street, then down the High-street and Bridge-street, and across Exe Bridge, en-route for Princetown. There were crowds everywhere, which gave the Prince affectionate greeting, and good display of flags. His Royal Highness had a hearty welcome as passed through Cowick-street. Along the street at the Dunsford-hill end the school children of St. Thomas, the over a thousand, were lined up under the head teachers, Mrs. Cornish. Miss Lucraft, Newcombe and Mr. Hodge, and the car came along the youngsters cheered lustily. With much graciousness the Prince acknowledged the ovation by repeatedly bowing as the car slowly proceeded. It is very evident that was touched the warmth of the children's greeting…
Western Times - Saturday 23 February 1918

Unusual Tramway Incident at Exeter

A tramcar mishap of an unusual nature occurred at Exeter yesterday. On Friday mornings a special car detailed for duty on the St. David's route to cope with the market traffic. To change the car from the High-street to the Queen-street rails, it the duty of the conductor to pull a switch which, attached to a pole works the trolley wires. The switch is an automatic arrangement, but yesterday it failed to return to its normal position, and it was not until another ear, proceeding towards the Guildhall came to the points that the fact was discovered. At the same moment car was passing towards the Post Office, and there was clash of trolley poles. What had happened was that the switch being still set for the St. David's route the pole the car was carried its full extent on the wires in the direction of i Queen-street, and thus the pole of the car, bound for Pinhoe-road crossed the other, and both trolley heads were damaged, one being smashed. Both cars were, of course, thus placed out of commission, and were promptly escorted to the depot by other cars. The necessary repairs can, are officially informed, be executed at the Depot.
Western Times - Saturday 23 February 1918


The consignments venison which, thanks to the generosity of Lord Poltimore and of Mrs. Clemson, Stevenstone Park, near Torrington, have come to Exeter, have been a boon wonderfully welcome. There was a veritable rush for the meat on the Saturday, and in many cases the butchers' supplies were exhausted in a quarter of an hour or less. Altogether sixteen carcases— ten from Lord Poltimore and six from Mrs. Clemson—were delivered to the premises of the South Devon Ice and Cold Storage Bonhay-road, Exeter. Putting the weight of 60lb apiece, this nearly. 1000lb. of meat. Mr. C. H. Cornish, of Bridge-street, President of the Exeter Butchers' Association, undertook carry out a scheme of equitable distribution among the retailers in such a way to ensure that the supplies reach the poorer classes, for whom they are intended. The localities covered on Saturday were Fore-street. South-street, Larkbeare, Newtown, Lion's Holt, Paul-street, and St Thomas. Other butchers will be given the preference next week, and so on, so that all will have their fair quota in rotation. All the butchers are endeavouring to distribute the venison in as small lots as possible, that the maximum number of people may be accommodated. Purchasers of venison, are allowed no supply of other meat.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 25 February 1918

A Topsham Application

Magistrates of the Wonford division at the Castle of Exeter yesterday were occupied for several hours hearing an application by Minna Williams, aged 21, of Topsham, represented by Mr. McGahey, for an order for the maintenance of her child against William Henry Sage, junr., of Venn Moor Farm, Woodbury, described as a gentleman farmer living with his father. Defendant was represented by Mr. W. T. Lawrence, barrister of the Western Circuit. It was stated that applicant went to live at Venn Moor Farm to act as the companion of the defendant's sister and assist her in the indoor work of the farm. Defendant promised to marry her. The child was born the 28th October, 1917. The Bench ordered the defendant to pay 5s. a week towards the child's maintenance, and also to pay three guineas towards the advocate's fee .
Western Times - Wednesday 27 February 1918


Miss G. M. Day, of the Food Production Department, addressed a meeting at the Guildhall, Exeter, regarding the disposal of the surplus produce of allotments.
The Mayor (Sir James Owen), who presided, said the surplus hitherto had been wasted: but it would huge mistake if any movement for its utilisation developed into the manufacture of a new race of market gardeners.
Miss Day said the Government wanted them to supply themselves and their, own locality first before asking the authorities to market any produce elsewhere. She emphasised the importance of allotment holders conserving for their own winter use, and there were great possibilities in the drying of vegetable and fruit.
It was decided to form a provisional Committee to make inquiries and consider a scheme for the disposal of produce, the include a representative from each of the allotments and a member of the Food Control Committee.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 28 February 1918

Scarcity Explained.
Scarcity Explained
Exeter Traders could give the Food Controller one reason why Rabbits became scarce in London and other large towns immediately the price was controlled at 1s each skinned and 2s in fur. Farmers could make so slight a profit by sending their rabbits up-country at controlled prices, that they preferred to supply them to local dealers. The latter were in the same position, as if they despatched the rabbits to the large centres the cost of carriage and incidental expenses would have resulted in a loss. Consequently "bunny" stopped in Devon. Owing to the glut in Exeter, rabbits have, since the fixing of controlled prices, been sold off by dealers at 1s each simply to get rid of them. Our photo shews a well known local dealer with rabbits that were left in his hands in the foregoing circumstances. Many dealers think that the controlled prices should be revised.
Western Times - Friday 04 January 19187

January 1918


To the Editor the ''Western Times."
Sir,—Did you notice this in last week's "Spectator?" In a 'review of "The Story of V.A.D. Work in the Great War," by Thekla Bowser, that done in Devon and Exeter comes in for particular notice. The writer says: "Devon has not been behind in supplying some instances of exceptionally quick work. At one of the Hospitals a telegram was received at nine o'clock on a Sunday morning that patients would be sent from Southampton in the course of the day. No patient had previously been received, nor had the staff been summoned. By 4.30 p.m. patients had been put to bed. and treatment begun."
And again: "At Exeter on a Sunday October, 1914, a telephone message was received that a hospital must be opened immediately for the reception of sick from the local garrison. On the following Monday a hospital with beds fully equipped was ready, and patients were received during the day."
We know here what our V.A.D.'s have done, can do, and are doing every day, and it is as gratifying to us as rightfully must be to them to find it so fully recognised and appreciated elsewhere.
Yours truly,
Hamlyns, Exwick. Exeter,
December 29th.
Western Times - Tuesday 01 January 1918

Cowick Street fire

Just before one o'clock yesterday afternoon a fire broke out at the rope works of Messrs. J. C. Clogg and Co., Cowick-street, St. Thomas. Exeter. The outbreak was caused by a furnace containing tar catching alight. James Stidston, an employee, raised the alarm, and the Exeter fire brigade were called, but the flames had been extinguished before their arrival. The damage, which is covered by insurance, is estimated at £25.
Western Times - Thursday 03 January 1918

Runaway at Exeter

A good deal of excitement was caused in St. Sidwell's and Bath-road shortly before 4 o'clock yesterday by a runaway pony, which started from the vicinity of Paris-street. It was attached to a light trap, reported to be the property of Colonel Garratt. and went at full pelt up Sidwell-street into Bath-road. Shortly after entering the latter thoroughfare it struck an oil waggon, standing near Kendall's Buildings, with the result that the two horses in the waggon bolted, and, before they were checked, the shafts of the vehicle were smashed. Meanwhile the pony raced on over the hill into Pinhoe-road. Near the Tramway Terminus it struck the kerbing, and narrowly missed a ladder on which a builder was standing doing repairs to a newsagent's shop roof. Just below this the trap tilted one wheel, and the seat and luggage were thrown out. The runaway, however, managed to right the vehicle, and went tearing on towards Whipton. Near Willoughby House, at the rise of the next hill, it was pluckily stopped by Sergt. Way, home on leave, the trap being overturned. Despite its gallop of well over a mile, most of the way through a busy thoroughfare, no one was injured.
Western Times - Friday 04 January 1918

West - Countrymen Well Represented

Devonshire has a prominent place in the New Year's Honour List. number of her sons having been singled out for Royal favour. The following are among the new Knights: Sir James G. Owen The Knighthood conferred on Air. James G. Owen may be regarded as official recognition the work for our soldiers and sailors which he and Mrs. Owen have been doing during their Mayoralty. It is also Royal approval of the many activities of Exeter during the war.
Mr. Owen, eldest son of Mr. George Owen, late collector of H.M. Customs, is a journalist by profession, joining the staff of the Western Morning News," Plymouth, for training in 1889. After a short engagement at Bournemouth, Mr. Owen became editor and joint proprietor of the Bideford Gazette" in 1894. In the year 1901 he became managing director of the “Western Times" Company, Exeter. He founded the Echo in February, 1904. This new journal absorbed the old-established Devon Evening Express in September, 1904, and the paper then became the “Express and Echo." The following year Mr. Owen began to take an active part in civic affairs. He became a Governor the Royal Albert Memorial in 1905, and has since taken a keen interest in the development of University College, Exeter. He is Chairman of the College Endowment Committee. In 1910-11 Mr. Owen served as Sheriff of the City. He was appointed to the City Magistracy in 1912; was Chairman of Exeter Chamber of Commerce in 1913; and became Mayor in 1914, and has served continually since, being now in his fourth term. November last Mr. Owen was honoured by nomination as a Justice of the County of Devon, and now the further honour of a Knighthood has been conferred upon him. Of the work of the Mayoress—hospitality, comforts, prisoners of war—it is quite unnecessary to say anything. Probably there no name more widely known amongst His Majesty's Forces than that of the Mayoress of Exeter. Thousands of letters from the fighting lines and from the Colonies attest to the regard in which she is held. The Mayor and Mayoress have one child, Margery, who is now doing war work at the Admiralty, in Whitehall. London.
Western Times - Friday 04 January 1918

Local News

Twelve degrees of frost were registered yesterday at Messrs. Veitch and Son's nurseries, Exeter, and 18 at Killerton on the grass. The river Exe had a thin coating of ice near the bridge in the morning on the higher side.
Western Times - Saturday 05 January 1918


After the temporary thaw on Wednesday night the frost has once more set in, and Thursday night was the coldest in this winter. At the Devon and Exeter Institution nine degrees of frost were registered, and doubtless, at more exposed spots they recorded still lower figures.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 05 January 1918

Market Auction Opened by the Mayoress

Exeter Y.M.C.A Hut Week was carried one stage further yesterday by a market and auction held at the Y.M.C.A Hall, King's Alley, opened the Mayoress of Exeter…
Mr. Thomas, welcoming the Mayoress, said it was the first public function Lady Owen had taken part in since the honour of a knight hood had been conferred on the Mayor, and they extended their hearty congratulations to them. Sir James, he understood, was the first Mayor of Exeter to be knighted since 1686, when Thomas Jefford received that honour from King James the Second. During that long period Exeter had lived up to the motto, "Semper Fidelis," and the King had recognised that evidence of faithfulness by the honour extended to their Mayor and Mayoress.
Lady Owen, received the applause, and acknowledged these kind congratulations in the name of the City. She could only accept them as an honour to the city and county generally. "Somebody had to be the victim," she jocularly remarked, "and we have been this time!"-laughter). Without the co-operation of their fellow-workers any effort of the Mayor and herself would have been as nothing. Proceeding, Lady Owen said that they all knew and recognised the good work of the Y.M.C.A. for their fighting men since the beginning of the war, and she referred to instances which had come to her personal knowledge. The Y.M.C.A. stepped in just at the right time, and had done wonders. She rejoiced to see the energy Mrs. Thomas had thrown into this work. Whatever the success of the Hut Week— and it was going to be a success–a large share would be due to her efforts. In conclusion, Lady Owen commended the provision of beds for soldiers who came to the city, and had nowhere else to stay. The Depot had a little scare in helping to do something for them in this way. The Soldiers’ Association was one of the finest works which was being done in the city—(applause)…
Western Times - Saturday 05 January 1918

Warning in Regard to Exwick Lights

At Police Court yesterday. Wm. Jeal, laundry manager, of Exwick, was fined 7s 6d for failing to obscure lights the Exwick Steam Laundry on the night of Dec. 31st. A special constables’s attention was drawn to several naked lights in the building, and he at once reported the matter, having previously cautioned defendant.—The Chairman remarked that this sort of offence had been quite common at Exwick; in fact, the lights there were worse than anywhere in the city. The Magistrates present were Messrs. H. Hall (in the-chair). H. B. Varwell. J. Stocker. P. C. M. Veitch. and A. McCrea.
Western Times - Saturday 05 January 1918


Charged with being drunk and disorderly in Little Queen-street, Exeter, the previous evening, Christopher Martin, farmer, of Broadclyst, on Saturday informed the Exeter Bench that he had had a few glasses of rum and water, but did not think he was drunk. The evidence showed, however, that he entered the Queen's Hotel and called for some whiskey. Having it, the barmaid, noticing that he was apparently drunk and annoying customers, took it away and called the manageress, who requested Martin to leave. As he refused to do so the police were summoned, and Martin was ejected. Told by the police to go home, Martin refused, and, attempting to enter the hotel despite police warning, was taken to the Police Station, where Dr. Pereira Gray pronounced him to be drunk. This was not defendant's first appearance at Court for being drunk, and he was fined 20s.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 14 January 1918

Accident to an International Footballer Exeter.

"Dave" Holland, of one of H.M.S ships, the old Devon County and International Rugby forward, and subsequently a Northern player, who was one of the Royal Navy team that met the R.F.A. Cadets in the Rugby football match at the County Ground, Exeter, on Saturday afternoon, met with a nasty accident later in the evening. Holland was on a tramcar proceeding up High-street, when he slipped on the platform and fell into the road. He struck his head heavily in the fall, and was rendered unconscious. He was conveyed too the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where the house surgeon, Mr. E. Domville, inserted three stitches in a contused scalp wound. Holland quicky rallied, and was able to proceed to Plymouth yesterday.
Western Times - Monday 14 January 1918

Fields Submerged in Exe Valley

In consequence of the melting of the snow on the hills, the heavy rain Tuesday night, and a big Spring tide, which caused the river Exe to rise rapidly and abnormally, the low lying ground along the river banks was yesterday the scene of the most serious flood that has been experienced for many years. The district between the City and Topsham, including the Clyst St. Mary marshes, and the fields lying between the river and the Canal, and the Alphington side of the Canal as far as Turf seem to have fared the worst. Mr. C. J. Hannaford, of the Double Locks, says the flood is the highest he remembers, and he has had experience of the locality for a considerable period. Not only were the fields submerged, but the water nearly covered the hedges. Cattle belonging to Mr. J. G. Bragg were seen standing in the water which was up to their backs. Attempts to reach them with horses failed, and the chance of saving them were not too rosy. At some places the water was six or seven feet deep. It was reported that two bullocks were seen being washed down the river. The majority of the houses bordering on the river between Exeter and Topsham were flooded in the basements yesterday morning, and the plight of the occupiers was pathetic.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Little Boy Drowned in Bonhay Leat, Exeter

A little boy, aged 3½ years, was drowned in the leat, at Exeter, yesterday. The child is the son of Mr. B. Guppy, a fireman in the employ the G.W.R , and who lives at 51, Bonhay-road. How the boy got into the water is uncertain, but he was seen being carried down the leat, which was in flood, and behind the premises of Mr. Dann, of Bridge-street, a City Council employee named Coombes was able to clutch the child and pull it on to the bank. Artificial means were tried to restore animation but unhappily without success. Efforts were continued for nearly an hour by Supt. Bowden, of the St. John Ambulance Corps, assisted by P.C.s Parish and Reed, and Mr. J. W. Henson, of Bonhay-road. The body was afterwards taken to the mortuary to await an inquest.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Into Alphington Street Houses

In the vicinity of Alphington many fields and lanes were under water during the night and early morning. Some of the bye-roads were impassable and the water rushed along like a mill race. Cattle were got to places of safety with some difficulty. Actual damage, however, was not serious. The flooding had abated considerably towards noon, and except in the low lying places near the river the water had practically disappeared.
Portions of Alphington-street, Exeter, were under water. The water came up through the sewers with great force, and in some cases it entered dwellings and business premises causing a good deal of inconvenience.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Streets of Adventure

Streets more or less level with the river at Exeter speedily became flooded. Among the worst affected was Okehampton-road, where the water at places was knee-deep, and the flooding stretched from near the King's Hall to within a few yards of the railway bridge. Traffic proceeded only at considerable inconvenience, many of the horses not taking kindly to this new experience. Residents on the side nearest the river were unable to leave their houses without the assistance of vehicles or planks. In Commercial-road similar scenes were witnessed, and part of Exe Island was flooded. The Exe also overflowed parts of Gervase-avenue, the water proceeding on the top portion of Alphington-road, where temporary expedients had to be adopted for pedestrians. In the worst affected parts a number of business premises had closed. These conditions continued till mid-day, and the abatement, if any, was so slow that they bid fair to last for some time. Exwick fields were also submerged.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Port Royal Experiences

Along the quayside the water had overflowed to within a yard or two of the warehouses, and further down at Port Royal, and the approaches to it, the footway skirting the houses was impassable, the water being knee-deep. All that indicated a thoroughfare was the iron railing, half submerged. But for the back approaches all the people residing here would have been cut off, and in fact it was stated that the female occupant of one tenement was actually kept prisoner in the flood. A corner shop abutting on to the waterside footpath of Jubilee-road was so badly flooded that business had practically to be suspended, and the occupants were reduced to placing planks and blocks of wood indoors in order to move from room to room. This was probably one of the worst cases in Exeter from the flood, and the private residents nearby were in scarcely better plight. Boats moored outside the railings could not be reached.
A few enquiries at this spot elicited that such flooding had not occurred for some twenty years, and people seemed to be taken by surprise. The volume of water in the Exe was tremendous, and its powerful swirl carried down huge planks of wood, boat stays and other debris, and it was stated that even a wagon had been washed away from further upstream. Such was the volume and force of the water that the rope which guides the ferry across the river at the Quay threw up a bank of water resembling a weir. Of course, ferrying was impossible. Many people hearing of the flooding, visited the neighbourhood during the day.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Yacht Wrecked at Exeter

During the afternoon a yacht belonging to Mr. Christopher Taylor (Messrs. Taylor and Bodley) was forced from its moorings by a tree washing down the river, and carried over the weir below Port Royal, where it was smashed and sunk.
Western Times - Thursday 17 January 1918

Death of a Topsham Fisherman

The Deputy Coroner (Mr. Hamilton Brown) held an inquest at St. Thomas Infirmary on Saturday evening, relative to the death of William Charles Oak, 54, fisherman, of Monmouth-hill, Topsham. who died at the Thomas Poor Law Institution on Wednesday.
Evidence was given by Robert Oak, brother, to the effect that on Friday, December 28th, deceased went to clean an upstair window at the house of Mr. Hexter. Returning home half hour later, deceased said he could hardly walk, and he was in pain all over. He explained that the ladder had slipped away from under him, and he fell. Deceased then went to bed, and attended until January 8th by Dr. Macpherson. He was then taken to the St Thomas Infirmary. Dr. Black, medical officer at the St. Thomas' Infirmary, said deceased was suffering from broken ribs. He was unable to eat or sleep properly. Death was due to uraemia, accelerated by the fall.
The jury returned verdict of "Accidental! Death."
Western Times - Tuesday 22 January 1918

Expert Demonstrations at Exeter

The Exeter food exhibition, which is being held in Messrs. Colson and Co's premises, High-street, will not fail for lack of experts. Mr. E. S. Plummer, chairman of the Food Committee —under whose auspices the exhibition is being held—and Mr. H. Armitage, the hon. secretary, are in constant touch with the authorities, and for yesterday—the second day of the exhibition—and onwards for some time they secured Mr. F. W. Hunter, specialist from the Ministry Food, who comes with high recommendations in the new art of saving wheat and flour by the liberal substitution of potatoes. Of course the urgent necessity for saving cereal foods needs emphasis.
Many good recipes fail because they are above the heads of the ordinary housewife or else contain unfamiliar or expensive ingredients. Potatoes however, are plain sailing. All that is required is a few hints to set people in the right track. Mr. Hunter, seen by our representative, went straight to a point.
“There is no finality in the use of potatoes, he said." Experiments which I have made allow me to use large or small quantities of potatoes as necessity arises. Keep experimenting, and it is surprising what you can do. Take bread. I have worked out a method of using potatoes which you can use as much potato as flour—a thing unheard before”
“Will the bread made in that way, 'keep'?" he was asked.
"I recognise that is a difficulty with some people," replied Mr, Hunter. " I made some bread last week in the proportion of one-half flour and one-half potatoes, and I had some for breakfast the morning I left for Exeter—one day short of a week. Ordinarily you don't want to keep the bread for any length of time. It is easy to regulate the quantity baked."
“Where have people gone wrong in the use of potatoes in bread?" was another question.
Mr. Hunter stated that trouble arose when cooked potatoes were added to flour. People did not treat the mixture properly. When the yeast was added it had the effect of turning the cooked starch contained in the potato into sugar. "The whole secret," he added, “is to keep the dough under control. It must have no liberty. If it rises high, knock it down flat—knock the gas out of it. Knead the dough well, pull it about so that air can get into it. Otherwise there will be trouble through the oxygen being taken from the starch. There is not the same effect with raw starch. A couple of hours is long enough to leave the dough before baking." …
Western Times - Thursday 31 January 1918

Knighthood for Exeter's Mayor
An Excellent Exeter Record
An Excellent Exeter RecordSee article left
Western Times - Friday 04 January 19187

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