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This Month in Exeter – 1919

Many changes in wartime city

Page added 28th February for the newspapers in March 1919

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Back to historic events in Exeter

Western Times


These newspaper snippets are from the Western Times, and the Exeter, Plymouth Gazette and Express and Echo. 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 1919

Exeter Camera Club

Exeter Camera Club has just its annual general meeting. Like as many other similar institutions, it has suffered badly from the war, and the membership has been very seriously reduced. The Committee of Management have, however, determined to use every effort to bring this once popular Club up to its old standard, but to enable them do this new members, who will take an active interest and will assist, must be found. It is feared it will not be possible to arrange an exhibition of photographs this year. Funds are too low an ebb, but some very pleasant outings will arranged for the summer months, and interesting and instructive lectures for the next winter season. Photographers residing in or near Exeter are asked “join up" and help. The Treasurer is A. J. Tucker, 67. High-street, Exeter.
Western Times - Saturday 01 March 1919

Presentation to Exeter Postwoman

None of women workers in Exeter who have taken the place of men in industry during the war have earned more appreciation from the public than the temporary post-women. So when it was known that one them, Miss F. Milton, of 1, Albion-street, St. Thomas, whose round lies in the higher part of the city, was relinquishing her war-work to be married, the resident of the streets concerned decided to mark their recognition of her conscientious performance of her duties, and her pleasant and obliging manners, by making her wedding gift, Miss J. Pope, of Salisbury-road, acted as hon. secretary of the fund, and subscriptions came in so readily that a handsome presentation of a charming tea service, dessert service, a pair of artistic vases, and glass water jug, was made to Miss Milton Saturday. The gifts, for which the recipients expressed cordial were accompanied by an address of good wishes, "from the friends you have made in Mount Pleasant district your postal round."
Western Times - Monday 03 March 1919

Naval Armistice Celebration That was Delayed

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. H. Hall (in the chair), T. Loram. H. J. Munro, and G. T. White, Benjamin Phillips, and G. T. White.
Benjamin Phillips, an A.B., of Plymouth, for being drunk in Broadgate the previous evening, was fined 4s.—P.C. Gribble stated the facts.
Percival Howe, of Howe's Garage, Tiverton, was ordered to pay 10s. for driving a motor car in Red Cow Village on the night of the 23rd February, using headlights the glass of which exceeded 5 inches in diameter, and was not obscured.—P.C. Acland proved the case.
Sidney Cleave, a youth, 8, Milford Cottages, Commercial-road, who was wearing naval uniform and three chevrons on his sleeve, was summoned for letting off fireworks in High-street on 21st February.—P.C. Reed said he heard a loud explosion near the Guildhall, followed by two others farther up the street, one being at the entrance to a Picture Palace. He found defendant with a rocket in his hand.—Defendant expressed regret and said he was celebrating the armistice.—The Chairman said his celebration was a bit late, and might have caused a panic at the Picture Palace. He must pay 5s.
Western Times - Tuesday 04 March 1919

Re-opening of St. Thomas Station, Exeter

Without any formal ceremony—but not without incidents of interest—St. Thomas Station, Exeter, was re-opened yesterday. The station has been closed as a result of shortage of labour during the war, and, as it was very much used, the inconvenience was greatly felt.
Although the reopening was advertised, the fact did not seem to be generally known, or perhaps it is that habit really does become second nature. In any case, yesterday quite a number of regular travellers who previously used St. Thomas Station for years found themselves at St. David's. They laughed against themselves when they discovered they could have saved the long walk, and St. David's will see them no more.
Half a dozen passengers caught the early train at 6.53 a.m. and the first ticket was purchased by Councillor T. Howard, who was largely instrumental in hurrying the reopening of the station. Cheers were raised as the train ran in to be renewed with vigour as she started off again. At 7.28 a.m there were twice as many passengers, and as the day wore on business increased.
Mr E. Charming, formerly a booking clerk at Taunton, and an Exonian, is the new station master, and Mr. L. Lea, from the St. David's Staff is the clerk. A familiar face is that of Mr. S. Pentecost, the parcels department, who has served the Company at St. Thomas for years, having been employed at St. David's during the war…
Western Times - Tuesday 04 March 1919

Floods Reported in Exeter and District

As a result of the continuous and heavy rainfall in Exeter and district yesterday, the river Exe rose very rapidly last evening, and overflowed the banks at several points. The boat landing stages near Exe Bridge were submerged, and there was some flooding in the low lying ground of the St. Thomas district, especially about Alphington-road. At Alphington village the brook overflowed, and the road near the bridge was reported to be flooded, the water being more than a foot deep. At Ide the brook at the bottom the village rose very rapidly and overflowed the banks, covering much the roadway. The Exminster marshes and the large stretching valleys of the Exe and the Clyst, were flooded.
Western Times - Thursday 06 March 1919

Death of Inspector James Way of Exeter

We regret announce the death Inspector James Way, of the Exeter Force, which took place his residence, No. 7, Rugby-road, St. Thomas, Exeter, early Wednesday. Deceased, who was 57 years of age, had been in ill-health for some time, but had only relinquished his official duties about a week since. The sincerest sympathy will be extended to the widow and son in their bereavement.
Inspector Way was formerly in the Devon Constabulary and served various parts of the county. He was a sergeant in the Force, and stationed at St. Thomas at the time of the annexation that district the City in 1900. He then transferred to the Exeter City Force, and on the retirement of Inspector Wotton was appointed an Inspector. Deceased had served in the two Police Forces altogether for 36 years. A genial disposition, exceedingly obliging, and tactful, he was much liked by the members of the Police Force, and also very popular with the public. His death will be widely deplored.
Western Times - Friday 07 March 1919

Child Wellfare at Exeter

The committee of St. Olave's Home, Exeter, have asked for the assistance of the City Council in boarding-out illegitimate children. At present there are 20 such children boarded out in Exeter, the mothers contributing from 3s 6d to 6s per week, according to their means. The Infant Welfare Committee recommend that the Council should contribute assistance in kind through infant Welfare Centres to such an amount as will bring the total sub scribed by the mother up to 7s 6d per week in approved cases, subject to satisfactory reports from the Centre in regard to the care of the infants. The committee has also recommended that a sum not exceeding per week for a total of four weeks prior to confinement, and £2 2s per week for three weeks during confinement, and 5s per week for four weeks after confinement be made to St. Olave's Home in respect of city cases admitted there.
Western Times - Monday 10 March 1919

LIGHTING-UP TIME. Vehicles must be Lit—6.42.

Exeter Dispensary return for the week ended Saturday:—Remaining on the books the previous week, admitted this week, 38; discharged cured, 11; benefitted, 27; no return, 2; remaining on the books, 245.

There are in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital 177 patients, including 28 discharged soldiers. The number of outpatients on the books is 2,380. There are 56 patients waiting for admission into the Hospital, including 30 children under six years of age, and three discharged soldiers.

Messrs. Whitton and Laing offered, at the Seven Stars Hotel, Exeter, yesterday, three freehold properties. Hazeldene, 4, Okehampton-road, let at £15, was sold to Messrs. James and Snow, for a client, at £320. Sunnybank, 8, Okehampton-road, let at £17, went to Messrs. Cocks and Tucker, a for client, at £355. No. 44, Churchill-road, Park House Estate, let to Mr. E. Hart at £11 10s, was sold to the tenant for £220.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 13 March 1919

To Remain Open Until 10 p.m on Week Days

Exeter Magistrates decided yesterday that the time for closing of licensed houses in the city should be, as from Monday next, 10 p.m. on week days and 9 p.m. Sundays. Mr. A. Alford. on behalf of the licensed holders, informed the Bench that the licensees did not wish to go back to 10 p.m., and if the Magistrates would alter the hour to 10 p.m. on week days, as they promised, as far as was possible, to bind themselves in any way, that they would not revert to 11 p.m., even if they had power to do so. The Chief Constable, replying to a question put by the Mayor (Sir James Owen), said so far the police were concerned—and only from the police point of view—they were well satisfied with the present arrangements. Mr. Nicholson added that in fairness to the licensed victuallers, he must say the houses Exeter were well conducted every way, and drunkenness in the city was lower than it had ever been in modern history. It was not for him (the Chief Constable) to make any recommendation to the Bench, but the facts were as stated. After a private consultation, the Bench, consisting the Mayor, Messrs. P. C. M. Veitch, H. B. Varwell, J. Stacker. J. Gould, H. Campion, P. Kelland, H. J. Munro. G. T. White, T. W. Ainge, F. Hughes and P. Durden, fixed the closing hours above stated—10 p.m. week days and 9 p.m. Sundays.
Western Times - Friday 14 March 1919

Departure of Devon Regiment Band

There was a large crowd at Queen-street Station, Exeter, last evening, when the Band of the 1st Battalion Devon Regiment departed to join the Battalion in Belgium. In addition to a large-number of friends and relations, there were present on the platform the Adjutant of the Depot, Captain A. Reed, Regimental Sergt.-Major G. Trivett, and, among other N.CO.s, Regimental Sergt.-Major Brown, Royal Fusiliers, who until a comparatively recent date held a similar position in the 3rd Battalion Devon Regiment. The Band is accompanied by Bandmaster Cox.
Western Times - Saturday 15 March 1919

Gallant Exeter Soldier's Death
Shortly After Demobilisation

After serving for about three years in the Army with much credit to himself, Mr. John Bulley, of Wellington-road, St. Thomas, Exeter, was demobilised a short time ago. A week later he was stricken down with influenza, and his strength, enfeebled no doubt by his lengthy service in Mesopotamia, was not sufficient to pull him through. His death occurred on Thursday last at the age 38, and he leaves a widow and two children. Mr. Bullev about thirteen years ago entered the service of Mr. F. T. Depree, J.P., and returned to his duties on demobilisation. He was beloved by his employer and by all with whom he came in contact, and the greatest sympathy has been extended to the widow. Mr. Bulley in 1915 joined the Army Service Corps motor traction, and rapidly rose to mechanical sergeant-major. Practically the whole of his service was in Mesopotamia, where he was highly commended by his officers. He was home on leave at Christmas last…
Western Times - Tuesday 18 March 1919


There are two brick manufacturers in the City itself—the Exeter Brick and Tile Company, whose yard is in Pinhoe-road, and Messrs. J. Hancock and Son's works on Clifton-hill They are both yards of considerable capacity, with up-to-date appliances, capable of an output in normal times of about four million bricks a year. Neither has, of course, during the last four years been working, and there is no reserve of stock. While the management have been approached on behalf of the Government as to output and the number and price of bricks which could be supplied, no definite order has been placed. There is the sufficient reason for this that the preliminary information as to price, etc., could not be furnished…
Making a Fresh Start
Preparation is now going forward for restarting the local works, although the kilns have not actually been lighted. It will be at least seven weeks before bricks or tiles can be supplied for building. Whatever may have been the course adopted by the government in regard to manufacturers in other parts of country all that has reach the Exeter firms has been, as we have stated, the nature of inquiry. Among the questions asked are the name and situation of the works, whether on a siding or near a railway station, the number of bricks that can be supplied, and the price. Conditions of purchase are certainly satisfactory The Government will pay 90 per cent, of the price when the bricks are made and stacked in the manufacturers’ yards ready for despatch, and the other 10 per cent, on delivery. Inquiry has been made as to the total output, but naturally the makers would hesitate to hand over their whole production to the to the exclusion of local needs and private customers. “It is not clear," a member of one firm said “whether the Government contemplate taking our whole output, but we certainly should not be agreeable to having our ordinary customers and local authorities left in the lurch." He added that already they had been asked to quote terms for a large supply of bricks to the City Council, but for reasons already indicated no definite reply could at present be given. The position appears to be anything but satisfactory, and the sooner the Government give a clear lead in the matter the better. The uncertainty that now exists is not in the best interest of reconstruction and that great housing . scheme which is urgent and imperative, neither is it helpful to a large and very important industry.
Full Steam Ahead at Pinhoe
Mr. Saunders, of the Pinhoe Brickworks told our representative that he had an enquiry from the Government some time ago and replied that they had only just resumed brick-making they were not in a position to say when they would have bricks at their disposal. The Pinhoe brickworks had now been in full work six weeks. The output in normal times was about 4,000,000 bricks a year. He had not heard of any orders having been placed locally. The average output of bricks in the Exeter district was 12,000,00 and Exmouth 10,000,000.
Western Times - Wednesday 19 March 1919

Local Butchers Reject Frozen Mutton

Exeter and surrounding towns have been placed on frozen meat for a fortnight, the object of the controlling authorities apparently being heavy stocks. This is not the first occasion that local consumers have been restricted to this particular Kind of meat, which has invariably evoked a chorus of complaint. The butchers, of course, are not responsible. They are helpless in the matter, as they are able to supply their only with what is allotted to them.
As soon as it becomes known that the supply is restricted to frozen beef and mutton, the consumers rush for pork, and the pork butchers quickly sell out. The first experience of the frozen meat which Exeter had to put up with was such that nobody wanted a repetition.
The frozen beef, said leading butcher last night, is not sufficiently bad to reject, but it is not the sort of meat local consumers have been accustomed to. He pointed out that a largo number of the patrons of Exeter butchers' shops on Fridays are people who come into the city from the country. They will not purchase the frozen meat. Generally , they are in a position to get either rabbits or some other substitute. Townspeople are, however, not so favourably situated, and the majority have to take the frozen article.
This week Exeter, which is entitled to about 320 sheep, was limited to 50, but these carcases were in such an unsaleable condition that Mr. A. W. Boon, the group buyer and Secretary of the Devon and Exeter Butchers' Association, felt bound to reject them. The carcases, he informed our representative, were big and fat, and so dirty, and had so much waste about them, that he could not allow, them to be his shop. He felt that what was too bad for his customers was also unfit for the customers of his fellow butchers, and he rejected the lot. About a hundred sheep which were sent from the same source to neighbouring towns would, he thought, be worse, because they would reach the butchers a day later…
Western Times - Friday 21 March 1919

Thefts from Topsham Barracks Allotments

Complaints which had reached the Exeter Police regarding the pilfering of vegetable from fields belonging to the Topsham Barracks authorities led the the appearance of the Exeter Police Court on Saturday of Harold Beal. a Wonford youth. He pleaded guilty to stealing eighteen-pennyworth of greens from one of the fields question on March 11th. A constable stated he stopped the defendant, as he was carrying cauliflower and other greens in a bundle under his arm. At first Beal said he got them from "Cooper's," but later he admitted he stole them from one the Barrack's field.—Defendant told the Magistrates that he thought the greens were wasting, and he went into the field and picked them on the spur of the moment.—The Chief mentioned that the lad, since the theft had joined the army,—was find 10s, the Magistrates being Messrs. T. Bradley Rowe (in the chair), P. Kelland, H. J. Munro and C. J. Vieland.
Western Times - Monday 24 March 1919


Thanks to the prompt manner in which it was reported to the Exeter Fire Brigade and dealt with by them, a fire in Castle-street, soon after five yesterday evening, was extinguished before a great amount of damage was done. In connection with the Military Hospital the College Hostel in Castle-street, an annexe in Little Castle-street is used, consisting of an upstair and a downstairs room, both of which are used as wards. The annexe is quite separate from the main building approach, being gained by stone steps near the Hostel. Adjoining the annexe are some tenements, and one occupier, Mr. G. Welsman having his suspicions aroused, communicated with the police. P.S. Hurford telephoned to the fire station, and Supt. Pett cycled down. By this time a considerable quantity of smoke was coming from the roof between the annexe and Mr. Welsman's room, and Mr. Pett immediately sent for the engine. Meanwhile, the staff and patients removed the beds, etc., from the wards which were all made up for the night. There were 27 of these, and had the outbreak occurred a few hours later, a serious fire, with possible loss of life, might have occurred. As it was the beds had scarcely been removed from the corner of the upstairs room nearest the fire when a large portion of the ceiling and roof collapsed within a few inches of where Supt. Pett was standing. Fortunately, a good supply of water was available and the fire was soon extinguished. Temporary arrangements were made for housing the patients for the night. Th damage was confined to the roof and ceiling. Among the police who rendered valuable assistance were P.S. White, Acting-Sergt, Elford, and P.C.’s Whitfield and Gribble.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 24 March 1919

Accident at Exeter

Yesterday afternoon Frank Eakers, of Peamore Farm. Alphington, was driving a horse attached to a cart (in which there were some pigs) over Exe Bridge, when the horse bolted along Alphington-street. Just beyond Haven-road Eakers fell off the cart, the near wheel of which passed over one of his legs. He was picked up by a constable, who took him in a motor-car to the Royal Devon and Hospital. He there received attention and was made an out-patient. The horse galloped as far as Willeys Avenue, where, in turning a corner, a shaft of the cart was broken. The horse and pigs were apparently uninjured.
Western Times - Saturday 29 March 1919

LADY OWEN, Mayoress ExeterWestern Times - Friday 14 March 1919

February 1919


Number of Enginemen Cease Work at Queen Street Station
We understand that a number of enginemen on the Loudon and South Western Railway at Exeter struck work late last night, and it is anticipated that their numbers will be increased to-day. Our representative, making enquiries early this morning, was informed that the mail train left Queen-street as usual, but no guarantee could be given regarding the running of the later trains.
Western Times - Thursday 06 February 1919

Motor Accident at Heavitree

Shortly after noon yesterday an accident occurred at the Livery Dole cross-roads, Heavitree. F. Manley, in the employ of Mr. Williams, motor engineer, Catherine-street, was driving a car towards the City. When near the cross roads a motor cycle ridden by Dr. Truman, proceeding up Barrack-road, came into sight. In trying to avoid an accident, Manley turned the car into Polsloe-road, with the result that he collided with a shop corner, the property of a boot repairer named Searle. The car was damaged, and the wind screen smashed. A man named Lascelles, in the motor car, received injuries from the broken glass, and was taken to the Devon and Exeter Hospital and detained.
Western Times - Friday 07 February 1919

Soldiers Burial at Exeter

The friends of Lnc.-Corpl. Harry Bissell Jennings, of the 9th Devons, late of Crediton. will he grieved to hear of his almost sudden death. A monumental mason, worked for some years for Messrs. Mitchell and Sons, Exeter, and one of the first to answer the appeal for men of the Mayor Exeter, being afterwards drafted to the 9th Buller's Own, being later transferred to the 9th Battalion. He saw service in France and Italy, and came home January, after spending nearly two years the latter country, looking quite healthy and none the worse for his campaigning. About three weeks since he went to London to rejoin his unit, and was drafted to Salisbury Plain. After a short stay there was demobilised and returned home. Unfortunately he contracted a chill at Camp, and had to take to his bed immediately on his arrival in Exeter. His condition not improving was removed to No, 1 Hospital, where he passed away on Tuesday. Deceased leaves a widow and one son. The funeral took place on Saturday at the Exeter Higher Cemetery.
Western Times - Monday 10 February 1919

Knocked down

While playing in Queen Street, Exeter, Frank Liveridge, aged 14, was knocked down by a G.W.R. parcel van, which was being led by Albert Crocker, the wheels of the vehicle passing over his arms and leg. After being examined by Supt. Bowden of the St John Ambulance, he was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by P.C. Windeatt, where he was made an out-patient.
Western Times - Wednesday 12 February 1919


To the Editor of the “Western Times."
Sir.—May I be allowed to take the means of writing through your paper to express to many (whom it is felt, can only so reached) a few words of grateful thanks for various help given since the war began collecting the sphagnum moss, and making the dressings, supplied through this Central Depot, which was organised originally by Miss Buller, requisition, and the letters of appreciation Voluntary Organisations.
Now, that the time has come when these are no longer required, it will no doubt interest many, who have spent hours gathering and preparing the moss, for others to make into pads, to know that since Spring of 1915 up to the present time, 830,520 moss dressings have been forwarded to 165 base hospitals, casualty clearing stations, field ambulances and military hospitals France, Salonika, Mesopotamia and Great Britain. Judging from the repeated requisitions, and the letters of appreciation received, much good service has been rendered by those who responded to the appeal for this help in the beginning, and considerable economy effected by the use of these dressings, a time when this was of the most urgent importance.
There has been an ever increasing band of workers for this cause, from the oldest to the youngest, all generously giving their time one way or another, either at their local Depots (of which there have been 25 in four Counties), in schools and institutions, by the loan of premises, motor cars etc.. and it is to all these we would express our indebtedness for the hours of labour and fatigue, so willingly given. It would be impossible to enumerate the many different ways which assistance has been offered, but the gathering of the moss, in remote and often very inaccessible places, its conveyance to the centres, where it would be dried and prepared, the making of the dressings, and their final despatch in large quantities comply with requisitions often received at the shortest notice, has involved the co-operation of an immense number of people and much strenuous work, the extent of which can only be appreciated by those brought into direct contact with it.
Yours truly,
Hon. Organising Secretary.
Devon Sphagnum Moss Central Depot.
Sphagnum Moss Depot.
145, Sidwell-street. Exeter.
17th February, 1919.
Western Times - Friday 21 February 1919

Exeter Tram Fares

Exeter Tramways Committee have adopted a list of revised tram fares to be put in force as soon practicable. The highest of the proposed fares is 3½d for the journey from Cross Park to Dunsford-road, an increase 1d. Cross Park to Exe Bridge is to be 3d, an increase of 1d, and from Cross Park to the Guildhall 2d, increase ½d. Pinhoe-road to Alphington-road is to be 3d, an increase of 1d. Pinhoe-Road to Belmont-road to be 1d; ditto to Guildhall, 1½d; ditto Exe Bridge, 2½d ; Belmont-road to Alphington-road, 2½d; top of Paris-street to Alphington-road, 2d. Queen-street to St. David's station be be 1½d an increase of ½d. Dinner returns are to be the equivalent to singe fare and half. Workmen's fares to be on the same basis as at present with a minimum if 1d. Children s fares also to on the same basis as present, but with a minimum 1d.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Farthing Breakfasts

We have received 70 farthings from Francis Brewer, Bath-road, for the Exeter Farthing Breakfast Fund.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Unlit bicycle

Exeter Police Court yesterday, Nurse Rowe, Belmont-Road, was summoned for riding a bicycle at night without a light and was fined five shillings.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Horse sale

Trade was good at Collins’ Horse Repository, Paris Street, Exeter, yesterday, when 117 horses (107 from the Food Production Department, and 10 privately owned horses were sold). The horses were mostly suitable for agriculturalists and others. Among the many satisfactory prices realised by the food production horses were 72gns, 19gns, 105gns, and 130gns. A privately owned bay cart mare realised 98gns. Next Friday 100 army horses from France will be offered, by order of the Secretary of State for War.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Blanket Society

The annual report of the Exeter's Blanket Society, to be submitted at the annual meeting, states that 2500 blankets were issued on loan to poor people in 1918. There is a balance in the hands of the treasurer of £119 12s 4d. No expenditure has been incurred for renewals of blankets during 1918, and as this will involve a heavy outlay in 1919, the surplus balance is carried forward in reserve for this purpose.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Illegal lights

A motor driver, Philip Travers, Sidwell Street, was summoned at Exeter Police Court yesterday for driving a car at night in Exeter the headlights of which had glass exceeding 5 inches in diameter, and not obscured. He was fined £1.
Western Times - Saturday 22 February 1919

Belgian Retuqees Leave Devon for Home

There was pathos as well the natural joy and hope of exiles on the verge of repatriation, in the setting-off, Saturday, the first large party of Belgians who have found refuge in Devon during the war. For, while they were going "home," the names Ostend, Antwerp, Liege, etc., on their hand-luggage represented, one knew, houses, streets, and places, which, even if they are themselves intact, are surrounded on every hand by evidences of the fiercest ravages of war. In addition the mourning garb—a great deal heavier than is usually chosen by English folk, in these days—worn by several of the travellers was eloquent of the fact that our Allies are leaving some of their dear ones at rest in strange soil. There is, indeed, a small colony of Belgian graves in the Higher Cemetery at Exeter, a touching memento in our midst for all time of the tragedy that temporarily broke the gallant little nation in 1914.
The first contingent of the refugees left St. David's Station for their native land after nine on Saturday. The train by which they journeyed started from Newton Abbot and picked up parties at Teignmouth, Dawlish, and Starcross (one family), before reaching Exeter, and afterwards received reinforcements at Hele, Cullompton Tiverton Junction, and so on. A second train, from Bere Alston, Gunnislake, Caliington, Tavistock, and Okehampton, left Queen-street Station at 10.40, having picked up Exmouth and Lympstone parties, as well as some passengers from the city, at Exeter. Belgians also joined at Pinhoe, Broadclyst, Sidmouth Junction (from Ottery St. Mary and Sidmouth), and Seaton Junction (from Seaton, Axminster. etc.). At 12.30 a third train set out, also from Queen-street, this containing refugees from Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Bideford. Lynton, Combe Martin, etc…
Extremes of Youth and Age
Many interesting incidents marked the departure of the Refugees. Citizens who had made warm friendships with some came to see them off, and the farewells were very cordial. Little girls might noticed with ribbons of the crimson, yellow and black Belgian “colours" tying their hair. As the trains steamed out from the stations, not only handkerchiefs, but also small Union Jacks, with which some the travellers had provided themselves, and their own Belgian flags, were waved from the windows as long as the platforms were in sight.
Many the little people accompanying the Refugees will be seeing their own country for the first time when they reach Belgium. For death has taken its toll among the subjects of King Albert while they have been in this country, there have also been the happier events births and marriages to chronicle too. Probably the youngest of the travellers was a baby of two months from South Devon, though a bonny little girl (rejoicing the English Christian name of Jessie) from Exmouth ran her close by having only another extra month's existence to her credit. At the other extreme of life was a passenger from Ilfracombe, an old gentleman of no less than 101 years, who has been in Devonshire since his 99th birthday. He was conveyed with every care on a stretcher in a first-class carriage, with a special nurse, sent from Exeter, in attendance, besides members of his own family. From Tavistock, too, came M. Maes, who forced by the brutal invaders to fly from his country at the age of 79, is now returning safe and sound at 84…
Western Times - Tuesday 25 February 1919

Wonford Sessions

Two more dog muzzling eases were beard Sessions at the Castle Exeter yesterday, before Colonel Blake {in chair), Messrs. A. C. Byrom and H. G. Morgan, the defendants being (Charles Hy. Goss, Longdown, and Alice Bishop Starcross. Regret was expressed at the occurrence, and in the case Goss a fine of 5s was inflicted, while the latter defendant was fined £2.
Richard J. Newberry, senr., was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Alphington on Feb. 15th. Defendant was seen by Police-Sergt. Banbury coming from Exeter and was making a great noise, bawling and shouting. There were previous convictions for similar offences. When asked for an explanation defendant said he could recollect nothing whatever of the occurrence.–Fined 10s.
Western Times - Wednesday 26 February 1919


Moving the adoption the Navigation Committee's report, Mr. Garnsworthy said the estimated cost for the proposed alterations and repairs at Turf. viz.. £120, was partly for papering and for the re-opening of windows, and partly for the extension of the scullery. Mr. Lucas remarked that every time Turf changed hands they always had a big expense for repairs and alterations, and the place was never left in the order it ought to be. He was not saying the present man should not given a fair chance, but the Council should safeguard themselves when they had a tenant going in by requiring the deposit of a sum of money so that when he left they could take any for dilapidations out of it.
Mr. Stocker, referring the recommendation of the Committee that the application of the lock-keeper at Double Locks be declined, said that doubtless the Committee had some reason for refusing the application but it was not a living wage. He thought they should know why the increase was not granted.
Mr. Hamlyn, said he was sorry Mr. Stocker had raised the question; there were reasons why they did not propose to raise the salary.
Mr. Gayton said that did not answer the question. He was given to understand the lock-keeper had received no consideration whatever since the war had been on, and if that was so he was the only employee of the Council in that position. If it was necessary to keep a man there the Council should be prepared give him the consideration to which he was entitled.
Mr. Stocker moved that the matter be referred back to the Committee. Mr. Alton seconded.
The Mayor asked whether there was any shipping in the Canal now.
Mr. Garnsworthy replied in the negative. The Council must bear in mind it was not a matter of £50 alone. Thcere was, in addition, a house and something like three acres of land, of which there is three-quarters of an acre of garden, and a similar proportion of grazing, so that he was enabled to keep one or two cows, and for this for the last three or four years he had done nothing for the Council. He did not think anything could done by referring it back, as the committee considered the matter for the year or so.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 26 February 1919

Exeter War Memorial

At a meeting of St. Sidwell's traders, the question of the City war memorial was considered, and a suggestion was made that it should recommended to the Mayor that it should take the form a handsome bandstand with a portable glass wind screen attached to same, erected on the site at Northernhay, and that the German and other war guns placed around the stand, alter being suitably painted or bronzed. A shilling subscription list to be opened, a person being allowed give any number of shillings. “Grecian" proposes that among other things there should be a book kept at the Guildhall, in which the names of the fallen heroes could be entered. The original idea is that there should be a complete record of all citizens who served in the war.
Western Times - Thursday 27 February 1919


Good Bye and Good Luck LADY OWEN, Mayoress ExeterLADY OWEN, Mayoress Exeter, who was the pioneer of schemes for entertaining soldiers travelling on troop trains, fed over a million men. The Canadian, New Zealan,. Australian, and South African Contingents have officially presented her with flags to mark their appreciation. She is here seen entertaining the Australians at St. David's Station, Exeter, on their way home to Australia.
Western Times - Friday 14 February 1919

January 1919

Engine Driver's

An inquest was held at the Exeter Court House, yesterday, on James Widgery, Pinhoe-road, engine driver in the employ of the L. and S.W. Railway, who collapsed at Queen-street Station while on his engine attached to the afternoon Plymouth express on Tuesday, and died shortly atterwards.
Albert Harding, Normandry-road, Heavitree, said he was fireman with the deceased. They started at 1.30 p.m.. and deceased then seemed alright, though he complained of a touch of indigestion. He brought the engine from the Junction to Queen-street Station, where it was coupled to the train, and started towards St David’s. Witness was looking for a signal, and turned round and found deceased had collapsed. He stopped the train, and deceased was assisted to the stationmaster’s office. Drivers were not periodically examined until they attained a certain age.
Dr. Pereira Gray said all organs were perfectly normal except the big blood-vessel of the heart which was diseased. The heart itself was all right. Death was due fro angina pectoris.
The Deputy Coroner (Mr. Hamilton Brown) returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes."
Sergt. Luher, of the Company's police, expressed the regret of the Company at the death of such a valuable employee. Mr. C. W. Jarman representing the deceased's Union, associated himself with the expression.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 02 January 1919

Bad Half-Crowns in Circulation at Exeter

More bad half-crowns are circulation Exeter. Recently we warned city trade-men about these spurious coins, and for a while further cases were reported to the police. Now, however, others have arisen, and a well known Fore-street draper on Tuesday had one of the bad coins tendered in payment of an account. The coins are undoubtedly imitations and would deceive anyone at a casual glance. The relief impression, in fact, both back and front, is almost perfect. The weight (or lack of it) and the dull sounding “ring" give the show away.
Western Times - Thursday 09 January 1919

War Memorial for Heavitree

The question of the erection of a suitable war memorial for the parish, was considered at a meeting held in Heanton Church Rooms, over which Sir Fredk. Williams, Bart, presided. After considerable discussion, it was decided, on the motion of Mr. T. Dunn, Heanton Court, seconded Mr. Huxtable (Marsh Farm) that a reading room should be erected in the village (on piece of land generously given by Sir Frederick Williams) the memory of those men of the parish who had fallen in the war. A tablet is also to be erected in the church.
Western Times - Friday 10 January 1919

Horse Sale at Exeter

On Friday 50 artillery and 19 privately owned horses were put up for sale at Collings' Horse Repository, Paris-street, Exeter. The army horses realised from 10gns. to 42gns., bidding not being brisk. Of the privately owned horses, a bay mare realised 44gns., and a bay gelding 54gns. Next week a batch of 100 horses from Topsham Barracks will be offered.
Western Times - Tuesday 14 January 1919


A Lunar rainbow, which was visible for about three minutes, was seen from Exmouth at 6.10 last evening, in the direction of Haldon.
Mr. J. A. Fitchett, manager of Exeter Hippodrome, was last night reported to be in much the same condition—if anything, a shade better.
The Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded 30262 Frivate (Lance-Corpl.) E. The funeral of the late Mr. John Warren, of 51, Summerland-street, Exeter, for fifty years employe of the Exeter City Council, has taken place the Higher Cemetery The service was conducted Rev. F. Jones, Rector of St. Sidwell's. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 17 January 1919

Exonian Charged with Theft of Fowls and Rabbits

Before Messrs. P. Kelland (in the chair), J Stores and P. Durden, at the Exeter Police Court yesterday, John Stamp. 17, Church-road, Exeter, was charged with being in possession of seven fowls and four rabbits, believed to have been stolen, in Magdalen-road on the 21st inst.—P.C. Wood stated that early that morning he saw defendant in Magdalen-road wheeling a bicycle with two bags. The smaller bag contained two fowls and the large one five. Four rabbits were hanging on the handlebars of the cycle. Defendant stated f that he had been to Rockbeare to a whist drive and had stayed until 3 a.m. He said that he had bought the fowls from his sister at Rockbeare. The constable doubted this story and arrested him on suspicion.
The Chief Constable (Mr. A. F. Nicholson) said defendant had been doing a little poultry dealing, and it was rather a coincidence that poultry should have been missed from the district. The Chief Constable asked for day's adjournment so as to enable the police to make enquiries.—The adjournment was granted, and it was agreed by the Bench that if property were identified as belonging to the County it should be handed over to the Police.
Western Times - Wednesday 22 January 1919

Homeward Bound.

It was cold, bitterly cold, at 4 o'clock yesterday morning, when, somewhere in England the notes of a bugle awoke a large number of Australian soldiers. Early the hour, and cold the weather, however, these well-knit sons of Britain were in high spirits, for the sound of the "Reveille" across the parade ground emphasised the fact that they had started on "the long trail which leads to home."' For these fellows, who had rallied to the defence of the Motherland when danger was at hand, had fought the good fight; with their splendid co-operation the war had been won, and now, their duty nobly done, they were about to leave Old England's shores once more for their beloved Australia. What wonder, then, that they were in the happiest moods, with the thoughts home in their minds Soon the first parties were on their way to the railway station to commence the first stage of their journey. Plymouth was their port of departure, and some travelled via the London and South-Western Railway and others by the Great Western Railway. Naturally, by the time they reached Exeter—the train bearing the first contingent reached Queen-street shortly after 11 —they were feeling rather cold, and anxiously wondering whether it would be possible, during their few minutes' wait, to get something hot. Hardly had the train pulled up than they surged out of the carriages and noticed, evidently awaiting them, a little party of ladies, with urns of steaming hot tea and parcels of buns. They were Lady Owen (Mayoress of Exeter) and her helpers at the Depot, who throughout the war have met troop trains and cheered the men with words of welcome and appreciation, while they handed them hot or cooling drinks, according to the season, and parcels of cakes.
Founded Mrs. Kendall King, the then Mayoress, in the early stages of the war, the Hospitality Fund, during the time Lady Owen has been Mayoress, has attained huge dimensions. More than 2,000,000 men have been entertained, and among them have been our own Tommies, as well as Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, South Africans, Americans, and, indeed, representatives of well nigh every nation or part of the British Empire taking part in the great fight for freedom. Whatever the weather, the ladies have met the trains in the early hours of the morning, as well as during the day, and acknowledgments of the hospitality received have reached the Depot from every part of the world. Many of the recipients yesterday, who passed through in three special trains, had been entertained by ladies on their arrival in England. As one fellow remarked the first hospitality they received in England was at the hands of her ladies and herself, and it was pleasing to know that a similar act should be among their last recollections of the Old Country. How the lads enjoyed their lunch !—many were the expressions of genuine thankfulness representative of the “Gazette" heard as he accompanied the men down St. David's Station.
Greatly to the London and South-Western Railway contingent's surprise, as they steamed into St. David's another train came into the station carrying some of their companions, apparently in the opposite direction. Shouts of "Where are you going?" were exchanged, and neither party could understand, until the situation was explained, how both trains could be going to Plymouth. About two things all were one mind, however. One was the kindness of the Mayoress and her ladies, and the other how good, was to be going home again. “I have not been home for four years," said one of the party, who fought at Suvla Bay and in France, "and I am longing to be home again. England is all well, but it is not Australia." And that was the prevailing note. One and all had left all at the call of the Motherland, but now that the danger was past they were eager to be home once more Our thanks go with them, with the hope that the ties of brotherhood have been strengthened during the war may grow stronger and stronger as time rolls on.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 25 January 1919

Fatal Termination to Exeter Trap Accident

Pte. Charles Wedgewood, who was thrown out of a cart in Pinhoe-road on Tuesday last, has since died in No. 3 War Hospital. Deceased and two other men were out driving when the horse bolted. One these jumped out to stop the horse, the other keeping his seat, and both were uninjured.
Western Times - Saturday 25 January 1919

Australian Band at Exeter

On Saturday there was an unusual incident at St. David's Station, Exeter. The Mayoress (Lady Owen) and the ladies of her Depot were busily engaged offering hospitality to the returning Australians, of whom three train loads passed through. In the first party was one of the regimental hands. The men were so delighted with their reception that they called for the band. The musicians "bolted" their tea, made a dive into the carriages for their instruments, and within a few minutes were playing lively tunes on the platform.
Western Times - Monday 27 January 1919

A Heavitree Defendant and the Dog Muzzling Order

The only case at the Exeter Police Court on Saturday, before Messrs. C. J. Vlieland (in the chair), P. Kelland and H. J. Munro, was a summons against Charles Smith, Cholwell Cottages, Heavitree, in respect of a dog at large unmuzzled. —P.C Harvey found defendant’s black Aberdeen terrier running about Quarry Lane without a muzzle, and when he saw Smith about the matter the latter exclaimed: "I wish had the man here who made that order—such nonsense! He wouldn't make any more." Harvey informed the Bench that defendant, at the time was working at some cow sheds and had muzzle in the sheds. It was his custom to let the dog run the roads in the vicinity unmuzzled.—Smith did not appear, and had written a letter to the magistrates stating that he kept the dog about the farm to kill vermin —The magistrates declined to accept this excuse and inflicted a fine of 10s.
Western Times - Monday 27 January 1919

Fell off chair

A little girl named Muriel Walters, residing at 31, King Edward-street, Exeter, fell from a chair at her home yesterday and located her right arm. She was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by Special Constable Steer, and after receiving medic attention was made an out-patient..
Western Times - Monday 27 January 1919

POW returns

Among, prisoners of war who recently returned home to Exeter was Pte. Stanley Pinn, of the Somerset Light Infantry, whose parents reside at 38, East John-street. He was captured in the enemy's last big push, on March 21st, 1918, and for ten weeks his parents heard nothing of him. His postcards and letters never reached home: he was posted as “missing” by the War Office, and was given up by all his friends as lost.
Western Times - Monday 27 January 1919

How They Were Stranded at Exeter

As result of either culpable neglect or unpardonable ignorance on the part of authorities at one of the dispersal centres, nearly a hundred demobilised men were stranded in Exeter on Sunday. Fortunately, they were well looked after, and yesterday returned to their respective homes quite happy. That however, was the outcome of the energies exerted by a number of ladies and gentlemen who have been engaged in caring for the soldiers at Exeter ever since the war began, and no thanks are due to the military authorities whose business it would seem to be.
It appears that on Sunday morning the men were dropped down on Queen-street Station from a special train from Salisbury Plain. They were for various parts of the county, and found as a time-table would have told the Transport Officer at the other end, that there were no trains to take them further. Their first call was to the Y.M.C.A., where the caretaker, understanding that they wanted transport, suggested that they should see the Mayor.
Accordingly a deputation was sent to call on Sir James Owen and were fortunate enough to meet him and Lady Owen on their way home from the Cathedral. The first thought was to provide them with food, and the deputation were taken to the Mayor's residence, and there entertained. Meanwhile, efforts were made to get motors, but it was impossible to “rise" them for such a large number, and the men were advised to go to the Y.M.C.A. All shops and restaurants were, of course, closed. The Y.M.C.A. however, rises superior to all difficulties in the way of commissariat. In order to make quite sure that there would be supplies, the Mayoress obtained from her Depot a quantity of tinned provisions.
Mr. E. S. Plummer Mr. Arthur Thomas, and Mr. May (secretary) were soon on the scene, and dashed all over the City in motors collecting the voluntary staff of ladies to provide for the requirements of the men. Later in the afternoon another batch arrived.
Most of the men wanted to be sent home at once, but all the motor volunteers had already gone into the country on their usual overnight week-end service, and so was impossible to oblige them in this way.
The “sleeping" of such a large emergency party was a problem, but with the aid of the temporary quarters at the old “Nugget” in Queen-street, everybody was made comfortable.
Yesterday, after breakfast, the men left the City by the early trains.
We understand that the Mayor Exeter has already communicated with the Secretary of State for War protesting against men being stranded in this way. It is hoped that the result will be that the military authorities will be instructed not to turn men out of the dispersal camp on Sundays unless arrangements have been made for them to reach their destinations.
Western Times - Tuesday 28 January 1919

An Important Case to Motorists at Exeter

A case of some importance to motorists was heard before Messrs. J. Stocker, in the chair, H. B. Varwell. and H. HalI, at Exeter Police Court on Friday. Robert Wilson, Kingsteignton, was summoned for driving a motor car in Sidwell-street, and using an electric lamp, the glass of which exceeded five inches in diameter, and was not obscured.
The Chief Constable explained that this summons was taken out under an amended Lighting Order, issued last December. It was advertised locally, and the police had given many warnings, but cases still arose.
Mr. Varwell: it a war measure?
The Chief Constable: It is under the Defence of the Realm Act. Certain lighting regulations were withdrawn and some remain in force. I fancy this particular restriction was provided for temporarily, in order eventually to do away with the very big glaring headlights which were used before the war.
The Chairman: They were dangerous both to drivers and people meeting the cars carrying them.
The Chief Constable: That is so.
Defendant did not appear in the present case, and was stated that when P.S. Underhill stopped him driving with the head-lights which were an infringement, he said at once that he thought all restrictions had been withdrawn.
Western Times - Tuesday 28 January 1919

Unmuzzled dogs

Elizabeth Knowles, the Victory inn, St. Sidwell’s. and Augustino Casalucci, 7, Guinea-street, Exeter, were fined 20s and 10s respectively, at Exeter Police-court, yesterday, for allowing dogs to go unmuzzled on January 24th.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 30 January 1919

Accident at Exeter

Mrs. Baker, widow, aged 82, residing with her daughter, Mrs. Davis, 30, East John-street, Exeter, fell out of the bedroom window last evening between 9 and 10 o'clock, and pitched into the street. She fractured her left arm, and was also suffering from an injured head and shock. She was attended by Dr. Brash, and conveyed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital on the police ambulance, and detained.
About 4.30 yesterday afternoon Ernest Williams was driving a horse and empty lorry up Summerland-street. Exeter, when Frederick Palfrey, aged seven years, of No. 7, Summerland-street, ran out from Bishop’s-court and collided with the lorry, the hind wheel of which went over the lad. He was taken to his home and examined by Dr. Brash. It was found that the boy had, fortunately, only sustained bruises.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 30 January 1919

"Ancient" Exeter Ancient housesThe above photographs do not illustrate scenes in devastated France, or the results of an air-raid, but depict the ruins in and around Maddock’s-row, Exeter. This this property was condemned some years ago, and demolition started early in 1914. The space originally occupied by the houses demolished as a dumping ground for the relics of buildings, etc., while around this square are houses, in more or less ruinous condition. It is alleged that the garden of one of the inhabited houses has been partially destroyed owing to the protecting boards erected by the Council being blown down. During the day the yard and the empty houses are the happy hunting ground of children, and it is a wonder no accident has occurred. Traders in the vicinity are suffering from loss of custom on account of Exeter’s “deserted village,” which, although within a stones throw of some of the city’s chief buildings, is doubtless rarely included in the tour of visitors to the “Ever Faithful” make under the care of an experienced guide. Readers of the “Gazette” can judge for themselves whether the houses around are likely to tumble down, while they can form a good idea of the safety or otherwise of the now “famous” lamp at the entrance to the Row. The communications we have published from the correspondence in the “Gazette” have condemned the present state of the property in no uncertain terms. One of the worthy members of the Exeter City Council has, however, characterised these communications as an absolute lie. We leave our readers to judge the photographs which of the two parties has properly described the position. “Gazette” photos
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 27 September 1919



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