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This Month in Exeter – 1917

Many changes in wartime city

Page updated 1st December 2017 for the newspapers in December 1917

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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 1917 at the end of the page. Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive

December 1917

What Exeter Motor Volunteers are Doing

The problem of the soldier on leave from the front and stranded in Exeter for the weekend is now being solved by the Motor Volunteers. Every Sunday four of their members are on duty with their cars or motor cycle. A motor cyclist Scout meets the soldiers St. David's station, and after ascertaining their destinations, takes them to the Institute in Gandy-street, which Mr. Kay has kindly placed at their disposal for this purpose. After a hot breakfast, as many soldiers as possible are kindly taken by Mr. Bale, of Barnstaple, in his newspaper cars, but, course, there are several left over. The Scout then calls up the car owners on duty and informs them where he requires them to go. Yesterday morning fourteen men arrived at St. David's station and were conveyed by the Motor Volunteers to their homes at Launceston, Holsworthy, Bideford. Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and South Molton. Thus, it will be seen at a glance, what valuable work is being accomplished by the local Motor Volunteers.
Western Times - Monday 03 December 1917

Topsham Offenders Against the Petrol Order
At Wonford Sessions at the Castle Exeter, yesterday.

Albert Amos, insurance agent, Topsham, was summoned for using petrol or petrol substitute for the purpose of driving a motor car contrary to the provisions of the Motor Spirit Restriction No. 2 Order at Topsham on the 24th November.
Supt. Buchanan explained that defendant, who was an assistant manager of an Insurance , Company Exeter resided at Topsham. and on the 24th returned from Exeter to his home in a motor car. He held a railway season ticket, and although he said he was more or less an invalid, and had had a long illness, that did not justify him in using a motor car for the purpose of his business, which he could do using the train or other means of conveyance.
P.C. Membury said when asked why he was driving his car, defendant replied "business." Witness told him he could have travelled by train, and replied that was not well enough to do that, and was obliged to use the car.
Defendant explained that owing to a severe illness some years ago, and the loss of the power of his right leg, a motor car was purchased for him. He was using it for the purpose of business. On the 24th November he had arranged to go to Stoodleigh in connection with the insurance of pictures. The place was many miles from a railway station. As was not well enough to take the journey he arranged the appointment for a later date, and was returning the motor car to the garage at Topsham when the policeman stopped him.
Supt. Buchanan pointed out that defendant could go to Exeter by train, and if he wished use the car for business purposes to reach remote places from railways, he should start from his headquarters at Exeter, where the car should be garaged.
The Bench dismissed the case on payment of costs because it was a first offence, the Chairman advising defendant to keep the car at Exeter in future.
Western Times - Wednesday 05 December 1917

Programme for Next Week's War Economy Campaign

Following is the programme, arranged by Exeter War Economy Committee for the War Economy Week, beginning at Exeter on Monday next:—
On Monday, a procession, including “The Tank," will leave Messrs. Standfield and White’s at 12 noon, proceed up Sidwell-street as. far as the Fountain, return via Sidwell-street and High-street as far as North-street, return through High-street to Bedford Circus for 12.30 p.m., at which hour the first sale of War Bonds and War Savings Certificates will begin, an office being fitted up for the same within the “Tank." The first purchaser will be the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Exeter (Mr. J. O. Owen), who will buy the first War Bond at 12.30 p.m., the Sheriff of Exeter buying the second, and the Chairman of the War Economy Committee (Mr. E S Plummer) the third. The sale to the public will take place from 12.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Monday evening there will be a grand free concert at 8 p.m. in the Victoria Hall…
Saturday's sales will take place from the "Tank" from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The day's procession, including the "Tank," will leave the Victoria Hall at 2.30 p.m., proceed through Queen-street, High-street. Fore-street, Bridge-street, Cowick-street, to Tram Terminus return to Bedford Circus, via Cowick-street, Bridge-street, Fore-street, and High-street.
Western Times - Friday 07 December 1917

Wonford Youth Placed Detonators on the Tram Track

In fining a youth of 16, 10s., the Chairman (Mr. H. Hall) at the Exeter Police Court yesterday, advised him not to play the fool again. The defendant, who lives at South Wonford was summoned for having, on the 29th November, placed detonators on the tram rails in Blackboy-road. and Fore-street, Heavitree, causing explosions and annoying the public—The Chief Constable (Mr. A Nicholson) told the Bench that on the evening in question two detonators were placed on the tram line in Fore-street, Heavitree, one in Blackboy-road by the defendant. When the tram went over them they caused much alarm. The same evening seven were put on the in Pinhoe-road, and were passed over by one car, but defendant denied having had anything to do with these. Three of the detonators were L. and S.W.R. fog signals, which had been stolen, it was believed, by an employee of the Company, and the matter was being investigated. The placing of these detonators on the tram lines was not a new thing, but had been causing trouble for months. It might have serious consequences and he hoped there would no such tricks in the future.—Asked why he did it, defendant replied that it was done merely in fun.
Western Times - Saturday 08 December 1917

Belgian Women Fined at Exeter

Two Belgian women, Josephine Vaudergeugd and Louise Marie Claeys, living at 25, Bartholomew-street West, were summoned at Exeter Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. H. Hall (chairman), H. B. Varwell, J. Stocker. and A. McCrea, for stealing a quantity of coke, value 1s 6d. the property of Edgar Bowden.—Through an interpreter the women admitted taking the coke, but pleaded than they thought they were doing no harm.
Detective-Sergt Walters, in consequence of complaints, was keeping observation near the Mint on the morning November 29th. when a carter the employ Mr. Bowden stopped with a load of coke, which he was about to deliver at the Mint School. When he pulled out the tailboard a quantity of coke fell out of the cart, and in the absence of the carter, who was delivering the coke in maunds (a British Indian word for a unit of mass), this was gathered up by defendants. Afterwards defendants spoke to some children, and these collected the coke which fell about the road every time the carter filled a mound and took it to defendants, who put it in their aprons. Witness followed defendants to their house, and recovered the coke, which weighed 39lbs. —Defendants were fined 2s. 6d., and warned as to future conduct.
Western Times - Saturday 08 December 1917

Drunk and disorderly

Bessie Cridland, fish hawker, 33, Coombe-street was charged at Exeter Police Court yesterday with being drunk and disorderly in Alphington-street on the 11th inst. She had been before the Court 13 times before, three being for drunkenness.—Fined and costs, with doctor's fee for dressing a wound.
Western Times - Thursday 13 December 1917

House auction

At the Mount Pleasant Inn, Exeter, yesterday, Messrs. Whitton and Laing, sold by auction three dwelling-houses. No. 23, St Anne’s-road, was old to Mr. Crews, of Exeter for £235, No. 22, in the same road, went to the same buyer for £227 10s. Round Meadow Cottage, Whipton, and half-an-acre of garden, went Mr. Shepherd, builder, of Exeter, for £320)
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 13 December 1917

The Devon Movement to Link Up All Discharged Soldiers

The Comrades of the Great War Movement was explained at a meeting for discharged and demobilised soldiers held at the Victoria Hall, Exeter, last evening the principal speaker being Captain W. H. Valentine Baker, who is responsible for the organization in Devon. He has established offices at 269, High-street, Exeter, and has, for some short time, been working assiduously to bring this County to the front, in the movement. The chair was occupied by Major Holland, who is associated with the Old Comrades' Association for the Devon Regt. Capt. Baker said he chose Devon for his personal sphere the work because, although not a Devon man, he fought with the glorious old Devons the Boer War—(applause). The Association was non-political non-sectarian, and would know no distinctions of rank.
Western Times - Friday 14 December 1917

Accidental death

The death has occurred at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital of Harry C. Neiass, formerly a first class P.O. in the Royal Navy. Deceased was serving in H.M.S. Highflyer when the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was sunk, and was subsequently transferred to the Warrior. He met with an accident which resulted in his discharge from the Navy last July.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 December 1917

Tank collection

Mr. C. J. Ross, who reached, nearly the £2,500 mark collecting on Saturday in connection with the Exeter Tank War Economy Week, received several more applications yesterday, and is resuming his visiting campaign to-day.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 December 1917

St Petrock's

The capture of Jerusalem by General Allenby's forces was celebrated by a thanksgiving service at St. Petrock s Church, Exeter on Sunday evening. Special hymns and prayers were used. The Rector (Rev. H. de Vere Welchman) conducted the service. The collection was on behalf of the Church War Working Party.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 December 1917

Food collection

The Devon Village Vegetables Depot at 91, Queen-street, in connection with the military hospitals in Exeter, reports on the second year's work as follows: Sacks and hampers of vegetables and fruit, 1,772; eggs, 6,008; butter, 111lbs. ; rabbits, 60; jam made at the Depot, 3.347lbs.; pickles and chutney, 313lbs.; collected in money-box for current expenses, £21 11s 5d.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 December 1917

A Demonstration at Exeter Yesterday

The decision of the Coal Controller to demonstrate the utility of Welsh coal for household purposes was put into effect Exeter yesterday, when Mr. Malcolm Evans, Bristol, local technical representative of the Food Controller, and Mr. R. A. Rolfe, Southampton, of the Coal Mines Department of the Board of Trade, attended…
The demonstration took place at Cornish's Court, Paul-street, in empty houses belonging to the City Council. When the company arrived fires were burning brightly in a kitchen range downstairs with coal from Risca Colliery, and a grate upstairs containing Partridge Jones (Lanerth) coal. Mr. Evans addressed the gathering, giving hints to householders on the lines of a circular already sent out to the trade on the use of Monmouthshire and South Wales coal. This coal, it appears, does not light quickly as pure domestic coal from other coal, fields but is more durable. It is admittedly more dusty than best household qualities, but, leaves a residue of clean cinders which should be carefully sifted from the ashes each morning and used again after the fire is well lighted. To light up quickly use more firewood than formerly. Place the coal, about cobble size, lightly on the firewood, avoid filling the grate too full as the coal requires space to expand when burning. Do not allow the fire to burn too low before adding fresh fuel, and keep the grate fairly free of ashes so as to ensure free passage for the air supply. Intelligent attention to these hints will tend to lessen the discomfort caused by the new obligatory use of fuel of a different description to that formerly supplied.
A success in itself with the coal used—which was specially sent down for the purpose– was felt by the majority of those present that the, conditions of the test did not meet local difficulties under the allocation of coal which came into effect in October. The day, being cold, clear and dry, was felt to be specially favourable, and the coal used was superior to that which had caused the local difficulties. In a second house a fire of Powell Tillery coal was blazing away cheerily, but critics pointed out that a comparatively large quantity was used, and the poor people who bought in quantities of 7lb. and 14lb. would have great difficulty in starting and keeping going a fire with small portions, especially of some samples of the coal which approximated to stones and dust.
“What you want to do," remarked one to the demonstrator, "is to get some of these people to bring samples their coal and then demonstrate with that—and"—he added in a remark that evoked laughter—" you gentlemen depending on the fire for getting your dinners cooked!”
Another objection urged was that the fires would require too much attention from the busy housewife, but Mr. Evans pointed out that it was war-time, and the best should be made of the situation…
Western Times - Wednesday 19 December 1917

Margarine and Pork Butchers' Shops Besieged

There was again a great hunt for margarine in Exeter on Friday, and at one company shop in High-street the queue for the greater portion of the day was of such dimensions that three, and at times four, members the City Police were busily engaged in regulating the traffic. This particular establishment closed on Thursday, the public being informed that the premises would be opened the following morning for the sale of margarine "so long as the supply lasted." When the shop door opened in the morning there was a goodly number assembled in order to make sure of their margarine. As the day advanced the queue grew in proportions, and the lady assistants, were kept busy for the greater part of the day doing half-pounds of margarine, but the supply was totally unequal to the demand, and before 5 o'clock the word was given that all had been sold out. Even then there were a number of persons outside the establishment waiting, and these were compelled to go empty away. Then other establishments were tried, but the would-be purchasers were met with the reply, one after the other, “No margarine." At the Exeter butter market there was also a queue, and here the supply was totally inadequate to meet the demand. Outside a pork butcher's establishment in Sidwell-street during Saturday afternoon a considerable crowd of people lined up, and the proprietor of the establishment was compelled to shut his front door and only admit a certain number of purchasers at a time. The various joints were rapidly bought up and rarely have the assistants experienced so busy a time. The demand for pork is undoubtedly due to the phenomenal price of poultry, the poorer classes being unable touch either turkeys (2s 6d 9d per lb.), geese (l1s 6d to 2s 6d per lb.), chicken (up to 24s per couple), ducks (up to 25s per couple)
Western Times - Monday 24 December 1917


Mr. D. W. Leach, Lower Shillingford, Alphington, near Exeter, has received official information that his third son, Private A. J. Leach, Devon Yeomanry, was killed in action in Palestine on December 3rd. He enlisted in November, 1914. His elder brother, Pte. G. S. Leach, of the Coldstream Guards, was at that time laying in the American Hospital at Paignton, suffering from wounds received in the battle of the Aisne. Previous to enlistment, Pte. A. J. Leach was in the employment of Mrs. Bannatyne, Haldon House. Another brother, Gunner E. G. Leach, is serving with the R.G.A. France. Pte. A. Leach will be missed by a wide circle of friends.
Western Times - Friday 28 December 1917

Fire at Exeter

Between 10.50 and 11 o'clock last night a fire broke out at the engine shed at the timber yard of Messrs. Mortimore Bros., Smythen-street, Exeter. The alarm was given from the top of South-street, and the Eire Brigade were promptly on the scene. Two jets of water were soon playing on the flames but from the first it was obvious that the shed, which was a new erection, and which contained a gas engine, chaff-cutter, circular saw, and engine oils, was doomed. The Brigade paid their attention to preventing the flames from spreading to adjoining houses, and in this they were successful. The shed, in which the fire originated, and which was composed of wooden walls with a corrugated iron roof, was burnt out, and the machinery damaged by fire and water. Fortunately, a huge quantity of stock timber was stored at the opposite end the yard, and this was untouched by the flames. Work had been carried on in the shed up to 6 o'clock, by which time Mr. Mortimore went round the premises, and everything then was, apparently, all right. It is surmised that the fire was caused either the overheating too he exhaust from the gas engine, or one of the bearings becoming overheated. The building and plant were insured, but the shed, which contained a number tools and other stock, was not covered by insurance.
Western Times - Friday 28 December 1917

An Excellent Exeter Record
An Excellent Exeter Record
The above are the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. Money, Regent-street, St. Thomas, Exeter. Len, of the Devons, has been returned as missing, believed killed, Fred, of the Royal Engineers, has been mentioned in despatches, and Bert, of the Royal Garrison Artillery has been twice wounded.
Western Times - Friday 28 December 1917

November 1917


How Working Parties Can Render Troops Seasonable Service
The cause for which the appeal is made justifies its repetition from yesterday's columns. We refer to that addressed to working parties in the district, asking them to kindly remember the minesweepers when they are undertaking fresh work? The Mayoress of Exeter's Depot stock of helmets, scarves, and other woollens for the minesweepers has been exhausted, and fresh supplies would be welcome. Blue preferred: As a matter of fact, working parties would be doing Devon's sons at the Front a great service if they hurried forward their supplies all sorts of woollens. With the advent of cold weather, the applications for woollens increase at the Depot every day, and the stock on hand is not large enough to keep pace with the demand.
Several applications have in the last few days received from Devonians in France for fancy costumes for use in Christmas entertainments they are arranging behind the lines. Can readers help them. Anything in the fancy dress line will do, and would no doubt be made use by the boys. Send it along to the Depot. The latest subscriptions to the Depot funds include helpful donations from the employees Messrs. Tremlett Bros., who have, on previous occasions, rendered very creditable service in this direction.
Western Times - Thursday 01 November 1917


Mr. W. F. Crouch, of 19, Church-terrace, Heavitree, has received the following telegram on the death of his son. Lieut. C. Crouch. M.C.. R.F.A., who succumbed to wounds received in action: "The King and Queen deeply regret the loss to you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service to his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.—Keeper of the Privy Purse."
Western Times - Friday 02 November 1917

Knocked Down by Motor-Car at Exeter

William Swiggs, 59, of 56, Exe-street, Exeter, was crossing Queen-street last evening and cleared a tramcar but was knocked down by a motor car travelling in the same direction, and driven Miss E. G. Greenslade, Casde Hill, Bradninch. He was taken to the Devon and Exeter Hospital suffering from severe scalp wounds, and made an outpatient.
Western Times - Friday 02 November 1917

St. Thomas Rural Council.

The usual meeting of the St. Thomas Rural District Council was held yesterday, Mr. J. H. Ley presiding.—The Medical Officer (Dr. Stirk) reported cases of measles at Clysthydon, where the schools were closed, and at Starcross. There was case of typhoid fever at Pinhoe. They had lot of typhoid there some years ago, but none since 1913 until now. They had been unable trace the source of this case, reports the analyst on two samples water not being hand. But so far the analyses the samples of water had gone, they appeared satisfactory. In view of the analyst’s reports being satisfactory, he would like to have the samples examined, and asked the Council to sanction that action, it should be necessary.—The Council agreed.
Western Times - Saturday 03 November 1917


Mr. J. A. Fitchett, the popular resident manager for the Exeter Hippodrome, has arranged for an excellent programme next week, it being anniversary week. Heading the bill will be Sam Springson, the distinguished Hebrew character comedian and actor, who will present his original Hebrew farcical comedy, entitled “Myers Fancy,” a real laughable production, produced and played by Springson himself, supported by a company of competent artistes. Another attraction will be Albert, the great ventriloquist, who will introduce his novel electric dancing figure. Thirza Fanson the unusual comedy girl, and the Claymore Trio, who are entertainers of note, will be responsible for two turns. Pus! Johnny Fuller, billed as the cat on the wire, will provide yet another attractive turn, and last, but not least, is Dave O’Toole, a comedian of some ability. There will also be also special war pictures on the bioscope. Patrons are recommended to book early.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 03 November 1917


At Exeter Assise yesterday, before Lord Shooter, St Thomas, Exeter, pleaded not guilty to stealing a horse, the property of John Whale. Mr. R. E. Dummett and Mr. W. T. Lawrance defended. Mr. Dummett having opened for the prosecution, his lordship asked Mr. Diummett if he did not consider it was a case for County Court. Mr. Dummett replied that, speaking quite frankly, if his lordship thought the hearing of the case would only be a waste of public time he was quite willing to withdraw. Mr. Lawrence having assured his lordship that there would be further proceedings consequent upon a verdict of not guilty, the jury, on his lordships instructions, returned a verdict of not guilty. The Judge ordered the animal to be returned to Mr. Whale.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 06 November 1917

Military Medal for Exeter Postal Official

Sapper Ernest Francis Radcliffe, Signal Co.. R.E. whose horne is at 45. Victor-steet, Heavitree, has been awarded the Military Medal for a conspicuous act of gallantry on the Western Front. On the night of September 26- 27 last, near St. Julien, he, together with Sapper Shear, another Exonian, who also received the medal was operating a signal lamp situated in a trench in the cemetery which was being heavily shelled. He helped to keep the lamp in operation until it was destroyed by a shell. He and Sapper Shear were partially buried in the trench. Though very badly shaken he remained at duty, and with his comrade helped to maintain communication from the same spot with a new lamp until relieved on the night of September 27-28. Before joining up between two and three years ago Sapper Radcliffe was on the staff at the General Post Offcice, Exeter.
Western Times - Friday 09 November 1917

Exeter Elects Mr. J. G. Owen for Fourth Time

Yesterday Exeter City Council unanimously elected Mr. James G. Owen to the Mayoral chair for the fourth year. The Council felt that in view of the local war organizations with which both the Mayor and Mayoress are closely and actively identified, it would he in the best interests of the city that there should be no change in the office of Chief Magistrate at the present juncture. It was the Mayor's intention retire, but he placed himself at the disposal the Council.
The ceremony the Guildhall yesterday did not attract so large a crowd as usual, but the gallery was fully occupied by ladies, and there was a moderately large crowd of the public in the body of the hall…
Western Times - Saturday 10 November 1917


Mrs. Pannell, of Portland-street, Newtown, has received information from the War Office that her husband, Pte. Walter Pannell (29982), Devon Regiment, attached to the Somerset L.I., missing since April 28th, is now officially reported killed action on that date. Pte. Walter Pannell was for 14 years an employee of the Exeter Gas Company, and in charge of the lamps in the Heavitree district. He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Pannell, and the second to be killed in action. They have two other sons still serving their country. Mrs. Walter-Pannell had already been notified by Pte. Hull, a comrade, that her husband had been killed, and this is now confirmed. Pte. Hull was in a shell hole at Greenland Hill, near Arras, on April 28th, when he saw Pte. Pannell coming towards him badly wounded in one of his eyes. Hull bandaged it and Pannell was just preparing to leave when was shot again, and died in about an hour. Hull stayed in the same shell hole for four . days, and then managed to crawl back to the Brltish lines, under cover of the mist.
Western Times - Monday 12 November 1917


King's Hall, St. Thomas, had a narrow escape yesterday from very serious damage by fire. The caretaker, Mrs. Simmons, on Saturday night lighted the stove of the heating apparatus, and when she left at 11.30 everything was in order. On arriving at the hall at 7.30 yesterday morning, however, she found the stokehole full of smoke and a quantity of loose coke burning. She fetched Mr. Lea, one the trustees of the hall, and, with the extinguishers kept on the premises and buckets of water, the fire was got under (control). Fire Brigade Supt. Pett was called, and formed the opinion that the outbreak was due to the overheating of the stove. The gas and electric installations were partially burned out, and other fittings damaged. The total los is estimated at £50.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 12 November 1917

Agricultural Tit-Bits.

At a Council meeting of the Devon Farmers' Union, Friday, Mr. Gent (Pinhoe) was appointed a delegate to the Central Wages Board.
Mr. W. Tremlett opines that cider cannot, under the new Act, reckoned on with wages.
Where land is unsuitable for corn growing farmers may substitute potatoes, one acre of potatoes being regarded as equivalent to 2¼ acres of corn.
Crediton War Agricultural Committee are seeking an authoritative report the results potato spraying in Devon.
Western Times - Friday 16 November 1917

Exeter Soldiers' Club Goes to a New Home

For many months past—two years, we believe—a Soldiers' Club has been established at 85, Queen-street, Exeter, which was kindly placed, free of charge, at the disposal of the Committee by Messrs. Palmer and Edwards. Now, however, the home of the Club has been changed, and, thanks to the generosity of Messrs. Deller, will in future be that spacious room in Bedford-street over the Lloyds Bank, known as the Assembly Room. That the Club is filling a want in the City will be appreciated when we mention that the average attendance at 85, Queen-street, has been 200 soldiers per evening. The cost of the upkeep is derived in part from the sale of refreshments and tobacco to the visitors, but £200 or £300 have, it is found, had to raised by voluntary subscriptions each year to make the balance-sheet level. In the coming months the usefulness of the Club is expected to be increased, and, in view of this fact, and the extra expense incurred in transferring to Deller's Assembly room, the Committee would be grateful if citizens and others interested in the soldier lads—and who can there be that is not?–will send along subscriptions, great and small, to the Hon. Treasurer. Mr. E. P. Holmes, of the Capita] and Counties Bank. Chancellor Pryke is the Chairman of the Committee, and Mr. C. T. K. Roberts is the Hon. Secretary.
Western Times - Friday 16 November 1917

Jam, Sugar, Flour.

Several eases were heard, Exeter, yesterday, connexion with contraventions of various Food Orders. Arthur Morgan, grocer, Howell-road pleaded guilty to selling strawberry and rhubarb jam at a price higher than that allowed. The Chief-Constable said this Jam came under "any other description,” the maximum price for which 41s 4½d, whereas it was sold at defendants shop for 1s 7½d. He did not suggest defendant was trying to make undue profits, or that he was acting fraudulently, but on a previous he occasion had been told by one the inspectors that jam was being sold in his shop at a higher rate than that allowed. He did not think, however, that gross carelessness had been shown. A fine of 10s was inflicted.

Mrs. Sarah Ann Rogers, of the Art Works, Heavitree-road, who was represented by her daughter, was fined 10s for using sugar obtain through the Sugar Commission for purposes other than for preserving fruit grown by herself.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 17 November 1917


Latest Casualties in West-Country The following casualties are officially announced :
Mrs. Warren, of 2, St. John's-road, Polsloe-park, Exeter, has received official intimation that her husband. Rifleman F. C. Warren, of the Rifle Brigade has been missing since October 13th.
Mr. A. H. Rousham, Schools, Exwick, has received official intimation that his son, Pte. Harold Gordon Rousham, London Queen's Regt., was wounded action the Palestine Front on November 7th.
Western Times - Friday 23 November 1917

Exeter Wife and her Bigamous Husband

Late yesterday afternoon, Court, Mr. Justice Hill granted Mrs. Ella H. Morgan, late of the Ropemakers’ Arms, Bathroad, Exeter, a dissolution of her marriage with her husband, Charles Ernest Morgan, on the ground of his desertion and adultery. The parties were married in September, 1901, at Exeter. Petitioner said her husband was violent towards her. They lived the Roseberry-road, Exeter, and her parents also lived in Exeter, Petitioner was now of the Globe Hotel, at Euston, London. Evidence given as desertion and the adultery respondent at Plymouth, and his Lordship granted petitioner a decree nisi.
Yesterday afternoon, in the Divorce Court, Mr. Justice Hill heard the undefended petition of Mrs. Rose Caroline V. Oliver for a dissolution of her marriage with her husband, William D. Oliver, on the ground of his desertion and bigamous marriage. Petitioner, who lived at Pinhoe-road, Exeter, said she married her husband on March 23, 1899. After her marriage her husband spent much his life in prison for acts of gross indecency and bigamy. There was one child of the marriage. Petitioner had had to maintain herself and the child by going out to service. In January, 1916, her husband pleaded guilty to a charge of double bigamy at the Swansea Assizes, and was sentenced by Mr. Justice Ridley to 18 months' hard labour.
Mr. Isaac Dix, a detective in the Cardiff City Police, said in July. 1915, the respondent was adjudged at Cardiff to be the father the child one Eligi Lilian Sweet, and ordered to pay 5s a week. Witness later arrested the respondent for the double bigamy, and was tried at the Swansea Assizes, where he pleaded guilty.
His Lordship said he would consider the evidence before him were sufficient to grant petitioner the relief she asked, or whether he should require additional evidence. The case stood accordingly.
Western Times - Tuesday 27 November 1917

Sunday House Inspection at Topsham

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. P. Kelland (in the chair), J. Stokes, and R. J. Upright. Perey Pratt, of St. German's Lodge Pennsylvania, was summoned for driving a motor vehicle and using petrol contrary to the Motor Spirit Order.—Mr. M. J. McGahey defended
P.C. Wood stated that Sunday, November 11, he was at Liverydole, and saw defendant driving a motor car towards the city. There were several occupants of the car. He stopped defendant, and asked him if he were using the car for business purposes. His reply was "Yes, business and pleasure combined." He added that he had driven a friend to Topsham to see a house. Told there were railway facilities, defendant answered that there were no trains. There were various Sunday trains to and from Topsham. and there were hackney carriages available for hire.

Defendant, in the witness box, said he recently came from the Cape. He took out a motor license, and had been using his car a good deal for Red Cross work. He was up nearly all the night before this occurrence conveying wounded soldiers from the station to the hospitals. On the afternoon in question he drove a friend of his, a Mr. Wright, to Topsham, to see a house. Mr. Wright came down specially for the purpose, and reached Exeter by train about 2.40. There was no train to Topsham which would have got him there before dark. They drove "Clistlands." the house they went to view, and returned directly after. The petrol he used was supplied under the authority of the Petrol Control Committee, who allowed him 16 gallons per month. The Chief Constable, in cross-examination, pointed out to the witness that the license bore a blue stamp stating that the petrol supplied under the license was for Red Cross work only. —Witness agreed that this was so, but he did not know at the time. He thought it was an ordinary license, and that this was in addition.
The Bench considered the Order had been disobeyed, but under the circumstances they would inflict only the small penalty of 10s.

Western Times - Wednesday 28 November 1917


Called to the Great Beyond.
PTE BOWDEN, Devons, 15, Victoria Cottages, Parr-street, Exeter, killed in action France on October 31st, at the age of 42. Previous to joining the Colours was employed by the City Council. His officer, writing sympathetically to the widow, says: I have been with your husband for several months, and have always found him a good soldier and a most trustworthy man. I was with him at the time he met his death, and it is some comfort to know that was killed instantaneously, and so did not suffer. He was buried by his comrades, and the service was read over him. He leaves a widow and four children, two sons and two daughters.

October 1917

The Month in Exeter.

TOPSHAM WOMAN And Two Children.

A triple drowning tragedy was discovered late Saturday night in the Exeter Canal, near Double Locks, the victims being a Topsham woman, named Florence Bell, about 34 years of age and unmarried, and her two children, aged 10 years and one year and nine months, while the woman's niece, aged seven, was rescued in the nick of time. About eight the evening Corpl. Richards and Corpl. H. W. Boalch, of the A.P.C., St. Luke's College, Exeter, were along the Canal near Double Locks, when they noticed what looked like rags on the bank. A closer inspection revealed them to be clothes, and at the same time they heard a gurgling sound coming from the water. Looking into Canal they saw a child floating on its back. They quickly got it out, and successfully tried artificial respiration. The child was taken in a boat by Pte. Gambrill, A.P.C., and Corpl. Richards to Mr Gregory's house at the Quay. Later, it was taken home by its father, Sapper R. J. Bell, Topsham, who is on leave from the Front.
The soldiers, having a suspicion that other people might be in the water, Corpl. and Pte. Gambrill searched the banks, and a short distance from Double Locks, on the side, saw the body of another child floating face downwards in the water. Getting into a boat moored near the bridge, they succeeded in bringing the child to the banks, and artificial respiration was tried, but in vain, and Dr. Stokes could only pronounce life extinct. This child was afterwards identified as Bell's ten-year old child. Both the County and Exeter were communicated with, and some underclothing and three hats having been discovered on the banks it was decided to drag a portion of the Canal. Among those who assisted in this work were P. S. Banbury and P.C's Endacott and of the County, and Sergt. Wreford, of the City; Mr. W. C. S. Hannaford, of the Double Locks, and a number of other helpers. After about hour and a half the body of the mother was discovered, and shortly afterwards that of the baby was also found The promptitude of the soldiers was commendable, and they must have come upon the scene very shortly after the tragedy occurred. It being a very misty night, and but little boating being indulged in, the affair was apparently not witnessed, and whether it was result of accident or design remains a present mystery.
… The inquest is fixed for this evening at five o'clock, at Double Locks.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 01 October 1917

Price of milk

The retail price of milk in Exeter is to remain at 6d a quart during October, but an additional charge of one penney will be made next month, owing to an intimation having been given by farmer supplying the members of the Exeter and District Dairymen’s Association that the wholesale charge of 1s 4½d per gallon, made last month, has been increased to 1s 5d for October, to 1s 7½d for November, and 1s 8d for December…
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 03 October 1917

Escaping Gas Causes Outbreak of Fire at Exeter

A gas explosion caused alarm in St. Sidwell’s, Exeter, yesterday afternoon. Albert Incledon, fitter, employed by the Gas Company, was engaged loosening a gas meter plug at the shop Mr. F. Dolling, tobacconist, and had a lighted candle. It seems that the plug came out suddenly and unexpectedly, and the escaping gas, ignited by the candle-light, burst into a big flame. Incledon, although singed about the head and arms, had the presence of mind to pick up the plug, and replace it in the pipe, thus stopping the gas from increasing the flames, and possibly causing a serious explosion. The fire burnt the woodwork of the window. Incledon and Fireman Bolt plied buckets of water on the flames, which were quickly I extinguished. The Fire Brigade, with Supt. Pett. summoned the fire alarm broken at Bedford Circus by P.C. Rugg, turned out, but their services were happily not needed. P.C. Jarman, who was duty in London Inn Square, regulated the crowd, which assembled in large numbers. The damage, which is slight, is covered insurance.
Western Times - Wednesday 03 October 1917


A verdict of “Found drowned" was returned at an inquest held at Double Locks. Exeter, on the bodies of Florence Bell, single, aged 34, of Monmouth-hill, Topsham, and her two little girls, aged ten years and one year and nine months, respectively, recovered from the Canal. The evidence showed that the woman and her children, together with a niece aged 7, went from Topsham Exeter, and on their way home in the evening—it was bright moonlight night—all four of them by some means got into the water, the niece being rescued in an exhausted condition, and the other three drowned. A couple of hats and other clothing were on the bank. The evidence given at the inquiry showed that, the woman was a very excitable nature, she had never been heard threaten to take her life or those of the children. The little girl who was rescued did not remember whether she fell into the water or was pushed, and said she did not know where her elder cousin was the time, it being dark. The foreman of the jury inquired whether the woman had been in financial difficulties, as only three halfpence was found on her. Sapper E. J. Bell, of the Royal Engineers, who was married last week, and whose child by former wife had been looked after by the deceased, said his sister had been drawing a maintenance allowance, of 10s 5d a week, which would not have been continued, and possibly she might have worried about the money. She might have thought his getting married would have made a good deal of difference, but she said nothing him about it.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 05 October 1917

A Railway Employee Found in the Exe

At an inquest held at the Court House, Exeter, last evening, relative George Harris, aged 64. Church-lane. Sidwell-Street, whose body was found in the Exe near Head Weir on Wednesday morning, evidence was given by Helen Zelley of York road, who identified the body. She added that the deceased, who was her uncle, had been working as a labourer in the goods' shed the L. and S.W. Company at Queen-street Station. He had been crippled for a long time: had been under the doctor's care, and on Sunday week last he complained he was very ill and unfit to work. Elizabeth Smale with whom the deceased lodged. said he had complained much of his leg during the past few weeks. On Monday, on returning home, he said he had lifted some iron and had strained his leg. He added that he felt almost tempted to put head under the train.— William Henry Bowden said about 3.20 a.m. on Wednesday saw the deceased walking down St. David's-hill. apparently much depressed P.O Parrish said On Wednesday morning he found a black felt hat and a stick on the drying ground near the Head Weir bathing place in Bonhay-road. He dragged the river and recovered the body of the deceased.—Dr. Pereira said the body had marks of violence. Witness had attended the deceased, who always complained of pains in his legs, which he considered to be sciatica. He also complained of the strain of his work, but refused to go on the club—The jury returned verdict of "Found drowned”.
Western Times - Friday 05 October 1917

War Savings

The scholars of the Mint Boys’ School, Exeter, have bought £500 worth of War god Savings Certificates since the end of January in this year.
Western Times - Tuesday 09 October 1917

Mild Autumn

Further evidence of the mildness of the season up to date has reached this office in the shape of a polyanthus with three blooms open on one stem. It was picked in her garden by Mrs. Curtis, of 11, Danes-road, Exeter.
Western Times - Tuesday 09 October 1917

Patriotic money stolen

A Licensed Victuallers’ Red Cross box has been stolen from the bar of one of the licensed houses in Exeter. We are asked to mention the fact to put on their guard persons in business hours who have collecting boxes exposed for patriotic purposes. This is not the first time since the war began that a mean a robbery of this kind has been perpetrated. In the present instance the box contained coppers and silver to the amount of several shillings. If one of these contemptible thieves, to whom even the succour of the wounded is not sacred, could be laid by the heels and given the punishment he so richly deserves, it might have a very salutary effect.
Western Times - Tuesday 09 October 1917


The case of an Exeter tradesman who had been arrested as an Army absentee was mentioned to the City Tribunal yesterday by Mr. A. J. Tucker. Applicant, who had carried on a cycle business in Sidwell-street, was said to have obtained skilled work in a Bristol munitions factory, but have been arrested and brought before the Exeter Magistrates. At the Court the military admitted a mistake, and he returned to work, but had now received another calling-up notice.
Lieut. Fursdon replied that several exemptions had been granted, and it was only after the issue of the warrant that the military were advised that a munitions protection certificate had been issued. Then the certificate was withdrawn, and the second calling-up notice issued.
The Tribunal decided that the case could not be re-heard.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 11 October 1917

Light Cases at Exeter

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, George Packer, 70, Holloway-street, firewood vendor, was summoned for having control of barrow in Queen-street without proper lights being attached. The vehicle was in charge of two boys who had not been provided with efficient lights, and the Chief Constable considered that the owner was the proper person to proceed against.—The Bench thought the owner could not be said to be in control at the time, and dismissed the case. They considered that those in charge of vehicles were responsible.
William Sercombe, basket maker, 8. Cowick-street, was fined 2s 6d in respect of a barrow without lights.
William Yeo, 5, Easton-place, Castle-street, a messenger employed at the Territorial Records office, Cathedral Yard, was fined 10s for not obscuring lights there. There was a previous similar offence.
Dick Ivan Pope, chauffeur, 11, Buller-road. was summoned for driving a motor-car inFore-street, with headlights, but no sidelights, and on an explanation being given was off on payment of the costs, 45.
Western Times - Friday 12 October 1917

Exeter Traders

At Exeter Police-court, on Saturday, Albert George Willis, butcher, of 135 Sidwell-street, was fined 10s for selling meat retail from a van in Oakfield-street, Heavitree, and not displaying a notice of the prices. Defendant did not appear. Albert Morrish, 45, North-street, was similarly fined for a like offence at the Lower Market, Exeter. Defendant said he forget to take the list to the Market. Philip Scott, Fore-street, was also fined 10s for a similar offence at the Lower Market. Defendant said was not aware he had to have a price list.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 22 October 1917

Exeter Library.

At the meeting the Governors of the Royal Albert Memorial, yesterday, a Special Sub-Committee appointed to consider the question of securing a site for a new library recommended the adoption of the following resolution: —"That the Governors represent to the Exeter City Council the increasing difficulty of finding accommodation for the gifts and bequests continually made to the City Museum Library and Art Gallery and for the proper exhibition to the public of existing collections. The further development of the institution is dependent upon the provision of additional accommodation, and the Governors express their desire that the Council will take early action for the erection of a new library by means of the grant offered by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and accepted by the Council on April 7th, 1909. The governors submit the favourable consideration of the Council of the utilisation of the land Council adjoining the entrance to the Rougemont grounds as a suitable site for such library…
…Replying to the Mayor, it was stated that the proposal was to erect the building where Rougemont House now stood.
Mr. C. J. Ross said he did not think the site admirable for a library as it was not sufficiently central. Such a place would be all very well for a retired gentlemen who desired to read amid the surroundings of the Castle and the solitude and quietness he might get there, but quite a different site was required for the library. A site opposite the Museum had been suggested. There might be monetary difficulties in obtaining this, but any money spent on it would be for the future benefit of Exeter.
The Mayor said the Governors would have been delighted to have obtained the site, alluded to by Mr. Ross, but such was not possible. They had now decided to ask the Council let the Governors have the Rougemont site if no other were available, so that the scheme might be proceeded with. The cost would be nothing. It would be absolutely futile to suggest to the Council that they should even spend J£1,000 on a site at present.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 23 October 1917

Hard Labour

H. S. Bathgate, artists, of Shields, who was court-martialled at Exeter on Saturday for refusing to put on a uniform, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour.
Western Times - Saturday 27 October 1917

Runaway Horse at Exeter

About 12.45 yesterday, a horse attached to a van belonging to Messrs. Veale and Co., Fore-street, while temporarily left by the driver in Bonhay-road, near the entrance to Exe Lane, bolted in the direction of the Ice Factory. Approaching from an opposite direction was a horse and trolley belonging to Mr. Kivell haulier, the driver of which, Harry Walker, Heavitree, jumped off and sprang to the head the runaway, which, though going at gallop, was pulled within half-a-dozen yards. No damage was done. Walker, who is an ex-artilleryman, who has seen service at the front, deserves great commendation for his courage, promptitude and coolness
Western Times - Tuesday 30 October 1917

Another Exonian Wins M.M.

Mrs E Maunder, of 7. Union-Street. St. Thomas has heard from her husband that he has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery on the field in France. Gunner Maunder R.F.A.. who was one of the first to volunteer for war service, joining up the same month that war broke out, has seen much fighting. He has been slightly wounded twice. Before the war was working Trews Weir Paper mills.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 October 1917

A Lympstone Man Charged With Deserting His Family

At the Castle of Exeter, before Mr. Harold Rowe, on Saturday, James Joseph Hart 24, Army pensioner. Lympstone, was brought up in custody under the Vagrancy Act, charged with running away and leaving his wife Flossie Olivia, and his infant child, William Edwin, whereby they became chargeable to the St Thomas Union.—P.C. Labdon stated that accused was handed over him by the police at Plymouth, where he was arrested.
Mr. W. B. Trick, clerk to St. Thomas Union, stated that defendant's wife and child were admitted to St. Thomas Poor-law institution on the 15th inst. It appeared from the report before the Guardians that the defendant ran away with the wife of a solder now serving in France. He wrote his wife stating that he would allow her 16s. a week, but she became absolutely destitute, and had to be relieved. Defendant also took away with him another child aged 17 months. On that evidence Mr. Trick asked for a remand till Tuesday next. It was only fair to the defendant, he added, to say that he wrote his wife a letter, after the warrant was issued but before he was arrested, stating that the woman ran away with would return on the following Monday, and his wife would do what she could for his mother, who lives at Devonport, he would send her money to come down there if she would keep quiet for a few days.
The Clerk (Mr. Pearce) said the child taken away must be returned to the mother.
P.C. Labdon said defendant was in very poor circumstances having no means of subsistence.
Defendant said he had a temporary pension of 16s. 5d. per week from Army losing the sight of his right eye in France. The soldiers wife had a separation 24s. 6d., but defendant was to say that this was used for her family. He denied that they had been living together. They stayed in the same house; the woman lived with his mother, and he in the next room. He had been out of the Army twelve months.
The question of where defendant could go if let out on bail came up.—Mr. Trick stated the home at Lympstone was broken up when defendant went away, the furniture, on the hire-purchase system being taken by the owner.—Defendant said he had no money to enable him return to Devonport, and he had nowhere go at all.
When it was suggested that he would be better off in custody, defendant enquired if he would have to stay the cells of be allowed to sit the guard room?
Inspector Hutchings, of the County police headquarters at Exeter, said there would be plenty of exercise. Defendant could work if he liked and be paid for it, and there was a library there—every convenience.
Defendant was remanded in custody until today (Tuesday).
Western Times - Tuesday 30 October 1917

Local News

John Triggs, haulier, of 56, Exe-street, was summoned at the Exeter Police-court, yesterday, for driving a horse and cart in North-street without front lights, on the 25th. Defendant, who did not appear, was fined 4s.
Gunner Harold Rowe was, at the Exeter Police-court, yesterday, charged with being absent without leave from the R. G. A. France, since the 27th inst. Lnc.-Corpl. W. Harvey, of the M.F.P.. said he found the defendant at St. Davids Station, Exeter, the 28th at 10.10 p.m. He was then on his way to London. Defendant stated he had been visiting friends and missed the train. Remanded for an escort.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 30 October 1917

Collings' Horse Sale at Exeter.

At Collings Horse Repository. Paris-street, Exeter, on Friday, 118 horses were offered at auction including 94 Army horses sold without reserve. These changed hands at very satisfactory prices, the highest figure for the Army lot being 50 guineas. Twelve hunters and driving animals were offered for Mr. C. W. Nelder, of Dulverton. A fine hunter, a chest nut mare, fetched 70 guineas, and others made from 67 and 65 down 21 guineas. The next sale will lake place on Friday, November 9th.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 October 1917


George Phillips, baker, of 19, Frog-street, Exeter, was summoned, at Wonford Petty Sessions, yesterday, for, on the 21st October, at Exminster, having in his possession five goldfinches, recently taken. Defendant pleaded guilty. Inspector Lale, R.S.P.C.A., prosecuted, and stated he found the defendant sitting at the foot of the railway bank catching these birds. He spoke to him, and said he was catching linnets. The defendant had nets, thistles, decoy birds, and other appliances used for the purpose of catching the birds. The inspector also said that when he told the defendant it was goldfinches he was catching, he said knew it and thought he could catch them until January. There were different kinds of birds in the cages, and in the stock cage were the five goldfinches. The defendant told the Inspector had been catching birds for the past 40 years, and this was the first time he had been caught himself. Banbury, who accompanied the last witness, also gave evidence. A fine of 30s. with 2s costs, was imposed. The Bench ordered the birds to released. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 31 October 1917

Doing Men's Work Wins Tommy's Approval
Doing Men's Work Wins Tommy's Approval
The above are four young lady painters–all Exeter girls–who are at present engaged in putting a little colour and freshness into Sherborne Railway Station. The wounded soldiers in Sherborne Hospital are much interested in the work the young ladies are doing. The fair painters are Miss Alice Slack, Miss Flossie Worth, Miss Lily Discombe, and
Western Times - Friday 19 October 1917

September 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Revitalising canals

Our new born zeal in relation to those inland waterways which constitute a memorial to the enterprise of former generations, serves as a reminder of the many canals established in Devon, some of which were the outcome of great dreams. The Tiverton Canal, for example, was designed with a view of connecting to the Parret, and thereby with the sea. Similarly, the original intention in relation to the Exeter Canal–the first ship Canal in Europe–was to hitch up with the Taw at Barnstable, thus providing communication between the English and Bristol channels. The incoming of the iron horse made the majority of the Devon canals derelict. A movement is now being made in the direction of revitalising the more important Somerset canals. A Labour Battalion at Devizes, undergoing training in canal work, will shortly be available for waterways in different parts of the Kingdom.
Western Times - Saturday 01 September 1917


The Exeter Guardians met yesterday. The weekly statistics showed that there were only 10 tramps in the City Workhouse during last week compared with 15 in the corresponding week of last year, and 17 in 1915.
Western Times - Wednesday 05 September 1917

Jumped from tram

Lily Grant (12), 16, Follett’s Buildings, Exeter, jumped from a moving tramcar in Sidwell-Street yesterday afternoon and sustained injury to her forehead. She was soon able to proceed home.
Western Times - Wednesday 05 September 1917

A bit of a holiday

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, Pte. S. Lamble was charged with being an absent for the four days. He was arrested at a lodging-house in the City, and now stated that he had been to Lapford. "I had a bit of a holiday,” he remarked to the Bench, who remanded him to wait an escort. The Magistrates present were Messes. A. T. Loram (in the chair), H. J. Munro, G. T. White, and H. Hall.
Western Times - Tuesday 11 September 1917

Sun time

The official change from Summer Time to Sun Time took place at 3 a.m. Monday, when the hour was altered to register 2 o'clock. The public should make special note of the effect of this reversion on the lighting-up time for vehicles and the shading of lights under the Defence of the Realm regulations.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 September 1917

Tram and horse

On the approach of tram-car in Cowick-Street, Exeter, yesterday, a horse which was standing attached to a milk float turned across the track, and, before the tram driver could pull up, the car knocked the horse down. The animal received a slight wound on the forehead and end of the near shaft was broken.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 September 1917

Wrong time

Among amusing experiences in connection with the reversion to Greenwich time is the following: At an Exeter institution the clock winder put the clocks on an hour instead of back. In consequence the children who live on the premises, and who attend the public schools at 9 o'clock, rose at a quarter to (Greenwich time) instead of a quarter to 8. The children did not consider it a joke when the error was discovered.
Western Times - Tuesday 18 September 1917

Pram Jam

Yesterday, at Exeter Police-court, Mrs. Lily Trout and Mrs. Nellie Rowe, of Greatwood-terrace, Topsham, were fined 2s 6d each for obstructing the footpath in High-street, Exeter, with a push-car and perambulator respectively, on September 12th. P.C. Weeks said defendants were walking abreast opposite the Guildhall, so that pedestrians had to go in the road. He cautioned them, and they went some distance one behind the other, and then proceeded abreast again until they came to the Arcade, where he stopped them again. Defendants said they were not aware that they were obstructing the pathway.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 21 September 1917

Exeter Butcher Fined for Killing in an Unregistered Place.

Exeter Police Court yesterday, James Sanders, butcher, 3. St. James-road, was summoned under the Town Improvement Clauses Act for unlawfully using as a slaughter-house a shed at No. 3, St. James-road, which was not registered or licensed for the purpose.—Fined 40s
Western Times - Friday 21 September 1917

Exeter Police Court.

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, the sitting magistrates were Messrs. J. Stocker (chairman) and H. Hall.—Albert Stevens, an ex-soldier, of 78, Sidwell-street, for being drunk and disorderly in High-street on the 20th inst., was fined 5s., the Chairman remarking that defendant had been a great fool. —Thomas Henry Price, naval man, of Preston-street, and Thomas Wright, shop porter, 11, Clinton-street, who were together at the time of the offence, were summoned for being drunk and incapable in High-street on the 20th. Price's leave expired yesterday, and Wright had been treating him. Each to pay costs, 4s.—Three youths for using obscene obscene language in the Heavitree Pleasure Grounds, had to pay 2s. 6d. each. They had got excited over a football match.
Western Times - Saturday 22 September 1917

Rats and sparrows

Mr. Roberts asked if the Rat and Sparrow Order was still in operation?
The Chairman said it was a very good thing and Mr. Roberts might assume that it was going on.
A Member: must we bring in the rats tails to the clerk? —(Laughter).
Western Times - Saturday 22 September 1917

Hit by cyclist

Frederick Laskey, aged 4 years, of Woodman’s Buildings, Haven-road, St. Thomas, ran in front of a cyclist in Cowick Street on Saturday night, and was knocked down, but only sustained bruises on the head.
Western Times - Monday 24 September 1917

Drunk on Iron Bridge

At Exeter Police Court on a Saturday, John W. Hewitt, farmer, was charged with being drunk and incapable on the Iron Bridge. He was represented by Mr. Norman Lake. It was stated he tripped up on the Iron Bridge, and inflicted such serious injuries to his face that he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. Mr. Lake said that defendant slipped up on orange peel. Fined 5s.
Western Times - Monday 24 September 1917

Terrible Experiences of an Exonian Passenger

The many friends of Mr. Reginald C. Bickle, of Exeter, will be much relieved to learn that he has arrived safely in the Malay Peninsula, after some terrible experiences, (on) the R.M.S. Mongolia, on which he was a passenger, striking a mine 70 miles off Bombay. After ten long and dreary hours in a S.W. monsoon sea, the lifeboat in which Mr. Bickle was taken struck a coral reef when 200 yards from land and in about 20 feet of water. He was in the water—which was full of sharks, the young married quartermaster being eaten (? as it appeared in the news report)—for half an hour, and was lucky in being saved by a survivor already on shore.
Mr. Bickle lost his entire kit and baggage, but is now in perfect health again, and settled in Malaya for a period of three years. Previous to taking this very long and dangerous voyage, Mr. Bickle was clerk at the Record Office at Exeter, having been given that post after seeing active service in Gallipoli with the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry, he having been wounded and disabled from the service. An old Hele's boy, Mr. Bickle visited the Singapore Fire Brigade Station, where another Helean, a son of Supt. Pett (ed-Superintendent of the Exeter Fire Service) of Exeter, served before proceeding to Shanghai.
Mr. Bickle asks us to mention that he would like to hear from his numerous friends in and around Exeter, his address being: "Kerilla Estate, Kelantan, via Singapore." Everyone will wish Mr. Bickle the best off luck in his new sphere of life, more especially as he has passed successfully through both fire at the Dardanelles and water in the Indian Ocean. Mr. Bickle's home is at Fore-street, Heavitree, and his parents would be pleased to give his friends any news when the mails arrive.
Western Times - Monday 24 September 1917

Killed by bomb

Official intimation has reached Mrs. A. White, of 40, Regents Square, Heavitree, of the death her brother, Driver J. Whitfield, R.F.A.. who was killed in France by an enemy aeroplane bomb, on the 8th September, 1917.
Western Times - Friday 28 September 1917

Strange names

It is great misfortune for a British subject to bear a German name. But that does not excuse anyone guilty of circulating scandalous reports or exciting public opinion concerning them. After all, the name is nothing—there are people in England to-day of British birth bearing British names, people who have never been out of the country, but who are a raging danger to the community and the nation. Let a Britisher, with a strange sounding name, come as a stranger into a district—a country district preferably—and at once tongues are set wagging, and those who simply revel in scandal, those who so delight over a cup of tea to relate what "I've just heard, my dear," and those who, from a distorted sense of patriotism, think it is English to let straight out what they think—before taking the slightest trouble to substantiate what they have heard —are on the war path, lives are made unbearable, and it simply serves them right if the person aggrieved has the pluck to bring them into Court.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 28 September 1917

Fire at Exeter Last Evening

Fire broke out in an upstairs room of a cottage occupied by Mr. E. Jones at the entrance to Parker's garage in St. Sidwell’s, Exeter, last evening. P.C. Heale, who noticed smoke issuing from the premises, entered the cottage and found the staircase full of smoke and a puppy dog on the landing. The tenants were not at home, Mrs. Jones having left for a few minutes to do some shopping in the locality. Crawling up the stairs P.C. Heale found the living room ablaze. He at once ran to a telephone and summoned Supt. Pett who, with members of the Fire Brigade arrived within a few minutes. In the meantime P.C. Heale, assisted by Special Constables Sobey and Langdon, and a neighbour, Mr. Ricketts, succeeded in throwing buckets of water on the flames, which were quickly subdued; not, however, before damage to the extent of £10 had been done, to the furniture and the walls. Several birds were killed, either by the fire or smoke. Mr. Jones was not insured. It is supposed that the fire was caused by a playful puppy dog and cat, having seized the ends the tablecloth and pulled it on the floor together with a lighted oil lamp, which ignited an arm chair between the table and the fire which was burning in the grate.
Western Times - Saturday 29 September 1917


Like Father–Like Son
Father and son
Like Father—Like Son. A CHIP of the old block Thomas George Gregory, of Rose Cottage, The Quay, Exeter, a well set-up schoolboy of thirteen, who has Just received at the hands of the Mayor (Mr. J. G. Owen) the Royal Humane Society's honorary vellum presented for courageous conduct in the rescue from drowning of boy named Manley, aged eight and half years, who fell into the river on August 4th. Unable to free a boat, Gregory jumped into the water, swam to Manley, and held him up until the arrival of his father in a boat. Gregory was also reported to the Society for another similar rescue of lad named Henry Lyne onJuly 7th, but the Society made the award for the second act of bravery. The gallant lad's father, Mr. T. R. Gregory, well-known boat proprietor at the Quay, has over 200 rescues to his credit, and holds several of the R.H.S. rewards. Young Gregory's feats are therefore notable example of "following in father's footsteps." Both father and son wero persuaded to face the camera for the above snapshot.
Western Times - Friday 47 September 1917

August 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Many Exonians Take a Trip to the Seaside

It was a quiet holiday in Exeter yesterday. Hundreds of citizens took advantage of the fine weather in the morning, and went away for day at the seaside—the short journeys to Exmouth, Dawlish and Teignmouth, being, of course, the most favoured. In consequence of this exodus, and the absence of any outstanding events that would attract holidaymakers in the City, the streets were comparatively quiet all the morning and afternoon. In fact, walking along High-street yesterday morning it was difficult believe that the day was August Bank Holiday. What a difference to peace-times, one was bound to remark. The Fair at the terminus of the Pinhoe tram service attracted a good many young folk in the afternoon, and allottees and their friends gathered in force at the show at Heavitree. Those were the only events out of the usual run, and it was noticeable that not only was pedestrian traffic very small, but there were also exceptionally few motor cars about.
The day will be remembered principally for the violent rain storm which came on about 5 o'clock. Heavy clouds brought a perfect deluge, and the members of the Volunteer Regt., joined by the Exmouth contingent, were caught by it on the road from Haldon. The water flooded the street channels, and houses in the Old Tiverton road suffered, in some places badly, through a chokage of the sinks. The storm lasted nearly an hour, and an abnormal quantity of rain fell for such a short time. About 7 o'clock, the storm cleared again, but it materially affected the early houses at local places of entertainment. The first house at the Exeter Hippodrome, for instance, was the smallest for Bank Holiday that has ever been known.
Western Times - Tuesday 07 August 1917

Charge of Theft From a Shed at Pinhoe

At the Juveniles' Court at Castle of Exeter yesterday, before Mr. A. C. Byrom (chairman), Mr. H. G. Morgan, and General Sir Richard Harrison, K.C.B., a lad aged 14½, belonging to the West Quarter, of Exeter, pleaded guilty to stealing four wheels and the frame of a perambulator, the property Mrs. Caperon, from a shed at Pinhoe on July 26th.—Evidence was given by P.S. Harvey to the effect that he learnt that the defendant had been seen in the neighbourhood. Questioned by witness at Exeter, defendant said the perambulator parts were given to him by another boy, but subsequently admitted having broken open the lock of the shed and taking them. Mrs. Caperon was not at home at the time of the theft. Defendant went about the country gathering rags and bones. Finding nobody at Mrs. Caperon's house he entered the shed and took the perambulator. The mother of the defendant gave witness every assistance. She now said that she had four children besides the defendant, whose conduct had hitherto been good. She had a chance to place him at work on a farm. —Supt. Buchanan said the defendant's father and mother were hard working, but both went to work away from their homes by day—the wife fruit picking—and the children were allowed to run wild in the West Quarter, where the defendant consorted with all the young rascals of that locality. There was an opportunity to place defendant on a farm, and the sooner it was done the better.—On condition that defendant went on farm at once, the Bench did not convict him, but ordered him be kept under probation for twelve months.
Western Times - Wednesday 08 August 1917

Military Medal for an Exonian.

The military medal has been awarded to Sergt. F. E. Gorfin, of 10, Alpha-street, Heavitree. No. 4649 Sergt. Joseph Edward Gorfin, Devonshire Regiment, now at Salonika, was sergeant of No. 8 Platoon until his company sergeant-major was killed, when he took over the duties of C.S.M. Throughout a raid he showed great courage and judgment, giving his company commander valuable assistance, and by his example encouraging men to further efforts. He has been twice wounded. Company-Sergeant-Major Gorfin is native of Heavitree.
Western Times - Saturday 11 August 1917

Runs Against a House at Heavitree on Saturday

Between 2 and 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, a tramcar, proceeding down Fore-street, Heavitree, jumped the points just below the Royal Oak Inn, and mounting the footpath ran against the house of Mrs. Edwards, on the right hand or southern side of the street. The rails of the garden and the porch at the door of the house were demolished, but the car remained on its wheels, the only damage it sustained being some slight dents on the front. There were only three or four passengers, who although much frightened were not injured. The car was travelling very slowly, and the driver, regarded an experienced and careful officer, instantly applied the brakes.
A similar accident happened at the same spot sometime ago and it is stated that the dangerous condition of the points has for some time past been the subject to comment in the locality. It is thought probable that a stone got into the groove of the metals, and caused the cars to leave the rails. A communication was sent to the Tramways Depot, and later in the afternoon a breakdown gang was despatched to the scene. The delay in the traffic was very slight.
Later information showed that when the tram arrived at the points outside No. 35, Fore-street, the magneto failed to act, with the result that the car jumped the points. It ran on the track for a short distance, and swerving to the right ran into Mrs. Edwards' garden and against the front door of the house.
There were five people on the car, one inside and four on the top, but they were not injured. The driver, Samuel Warry, kept perfectly cool, and held on to the driving gear. The breakdown gang were soon on the spot, and the car, after a time, was placed on the rails and taken to the depot. During the delay the traffic was regulated Inspector Snell and P C. Farrant.
Western Times - Monday 13 August 1917

Results of Angling Competition at Exwick

Sixty or so wounded from the Exeter V.A.O. hospitals took part in an angling competition at Exwick Mills on Saturday. It was the most novel event yet arranged locally for the entertainment of the wounded, and credit for its promotion goes to the Exeter Angling Society, and to Mr. F. Sellick, St. Sidwell's, in particular.
As a matter of fact, the whole idea sprang from a request made by wounded men recently to the Mayoress's Depot. They happened to be keen anglers, and they wrote asking if the public of Exeter would provide them with rods and lines. A Depot appeal was made in the Press, and immediately responded to, rods and lines having being sent to the Mayoress in good numbers. Then arose the question to how they should be distributed, and Mr. Sellick, as a member of the Angling Society, volunteered to take charge of them, while the Society, itself, offered the wounded men the privilege of fishing in any part of their waters. Since that time the men have made almost daily use of the rods, and fishing has enabled them to spend many a happy hour at Exeter.
The idea of angling competition sprang from all this, and Mr. F. Sellick and Mr. Cheverett did most the preliminary work. Mr. W. R. Mallett offered the use of his grounds at Exwick Mills, and prizes were forthcoming for the first fish caught, the biggest catch, and so forth. Over 60 men applied for permission to compete, and number of these, of course, are expert anglers. In order to provide for so many entrants, the members the Society lent their own rods and lines for the occasion, and also provided tea, etc., for the wounded, this being followed by an open-air concert. The ladies who had charge of the arrangements for the tea included Mrs. Sellick, Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Southwood. The programme in the afternoon was arranged so to provide a turn of comedy and laughable interludes, and on the other hand, there were, course, disciples of Izaak Walton among the competitors, who looked forward to the competition in a grimly serious frame of mind.
The results were as follow:—First fish caught (a good perch), Pte. Woodham; largest fish (a fine roach), Pte. Hooley; second largest fish, Pte. Woodham; best basket fish, Pte. Mills; second basket of fish, Pte. Pearce; consolation prize. Pte. Bennett. The prizes were presented by Rev. H. C. Brenton, Vicar of Exwick, and sports were held after the tea on the lawn, thanks being due for this arrangement to Mr. Meatherell, of the Mills. During an interval comedy sketches were given by Mr. Percy Burt.
The actual competitions were arranged Mr. Cheverett and Mr. Graf, and the Rev. R. A. Hamilton, of Topsham-road, kindly sent fruit, etc., for the tea.
Western Times - Monday 13 August 1917


A Series of Cases at the Exeter Juvenile Court number of schoolboys were brought before Mr. H. J. Munro (in the chair) and Mr P. Kelland, at the Exeter Juvenile Court yesterday. Most of them were charged with stealing fruit. The first two, however, were charged with stealing flowers from Heavitree churchyard, and it was stated that they were caught leaving the yard with sweet-peas stolen from graves. According to the police there has been good deal of flower stealing at this grave-yard of late. One of the lads who had been before the Court before, was fined 3s. 6d., and the other 2s. 6d.
Four other boys, who were charged with robbing an orchard at Whipton, were said to have been chased by the owner. They threw the apples away as they were running off. One of the boys told the Bench he was sorry. "I didn't think there was any harm it." added —The Chairman: But there is harm in it.—The Clerk: If someone went to your mother's cupboard and stole a loaf would you think there was harm in that ?—Defendant: Yes, sir.—The Clerk: And would cry "Stop, thief!"— Defendant: Yes, I should.—These defendants were fined half-a-crown each.
Six other boys were charged with stealing plums from a garden at St. David's.—Last Thursday afternoon Detective-Inspector Hoyle saw them standing against the wall of the garden, and one was lifting another up to pick the fruit. Directly they saw the detective they ran away, and he caught one boy with three plums in his pocket. The Inspector added that the boys were all clustered around the one on the wall, and were apparently waiting for the fruit to be thrown down —Fined 2s. 6d. each. Six very respectably dressed lads were charged with stealing fruit from a garden at Thornton Hill. The owner of the garden is present away from Exeter, and the boys got into it on the pretence of looking for a ball.—The Chairman, in fining them 2s. 6d. each, said that this sort of breaking into gardens and doing damage was much frequent, and in future cases the offenders would be birched.
Western Times - Tuesday 14 August 1917

Courageous Exeter Private.

Mr J A Ford 70, Pinhoe-road, Exeter, has been officially informed of the death of his only son of Pte William John Port, Field Ambulance R.A.M.C.. aged 20. On August 1st deceased was out with stretcher-bearing party bringing in wounded when a Boche shell fell close to him, killing him and a companion and severely wounding two others. Pte. Ford was educated at Shebbear College and Heles School Exeter. At the outbreak of war he was serving an apprenticeship at Exeter. Ford has received a letter from the deceased's commanding officer, which states: "Your son always worked steadily and conscientiously and was one of our best men. In my opinion had more than ordinary courage, and he died in action while cheerfully doing his duty.” The Chaplain of the 24th Field Ambulance held a memorial service on the 5th inst., which was attended by the deceased's comrades and men attached to other ambulances.
Western Times - Wednesday 15 August 1917

Plucky Exeter Constable Stops Runaway Pony.

About 6.15 last evening a pony attached to a trap belonging to Mr. Baker, of the Coach and Horses Inn, Sidwell-street, Exeter, and in charge of John Fletcher, Causeway's Court, Sidwell-street, was frightened by a heavy clap of thunder while standing in Longbrook-street. The pony, which had been momentarily left by the driver, who had business to do in a shop, dashed up Longbrook-street a very fast pace and came into London Inn Square. It looked if the pony and trap would dash into a stationary cab, but the animal suddenly swerved and just escaped the vehicle. P.C. Harvey, who was on point duty, without the least hesitation, made a jump to the head of the pony and held on to the reins, being pulled some yards before other willing helpers assisted the constable to bring the animal to a standstill. The plucky conduct of the constable is deserving the warmest praise.
Western Times - Wednesday 15 August 1917

Girl Falls From a Window in Holloway Street, Exeter

A serious accident occurred yesterday morning shortly after 8 o'clock in Holloway-street, Exeter. A twelve-year-old school-girl, Renie Nicholls, living at 77, Holloway-street, fell from a window on the first floor of that house to the roadway, a distance 12 or 14 feet. She was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by Ernest Wright, of 88. Holloway-street, who was the first to see her, and she was at once attended Mr. Domville, the house surgeon. Her condition was said to be serious. No one appears to know how came to fall from the window, but it is stated that the unfortunate child is subject to fits.
Western Times - Wednesday 22 August 1917

War use for the Exeter Canal

Are there really good times in store for the Exeter Canal! If so, I know one prominent citizen who will more than delighted. The inland waterways of the country are evidently going to get a bit of their own back, for the Canal Control Committee are writing to the various local authorities urging the use by manufacturers, merchants, exporters, and importers of our canals for conveyance of all kinds of traffic which can be so carried. In view the fact that railways are so severely taxed through depletions of staff for the Army, while they have to deal with an increased volume of traffic, the necessity of affording them relief by such diversion is urgent, and to assist it the Committee appointed three Sub-Committees, who will each have an independent Chairman, and be composed of representatives of canal companies and of carriers, with official representatives the War Office, Ministry of Munitions, and Railway Executive Committee, to exercise control over the canals in their districts. Of course, this will more closely affect the large inland waterways of the Midlands and North, but still, there may be a chance for the Exeter Canal—the oldest waterway in England—of having a look.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 18 August 1917

When Not to Ask a Policeman

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, Charles W. Lawe, of Clydach. Glamorgan, was summoned for riding a motor-cycle in High-street which had not two independent brakes. He stopped a police sergeant at the corner of Queen-street to enquire the way to Okehampton, and the officer then told him he would he reported for not having a front brake. He explained its absence stating that he had had an accident coming down from Wales. There were previous conviction for motor-cycle offences, and the fine was 15s —The magistrates present were Messrs. H. Hall (in the chair). J. Stocker. and J. D. Harris.
Western Times - Saturday 18 August 1917

Flgt. Sgt. A G RodgmanExonian Killed in Accident

Mr Rodgman, of Port View, Exeter, has just received news of the death, in flying accident near Oxford, of his younger son, Sergt. Pilot Arthur George Rodgman. Deceased, who was 22 years of age, had been flying about five months, and gained his wings on July 5th. He had been recently recommended for a commission in the R.F.C. Formerly he was in the employ of Mr. Roberts, tailor. Queen-street.
Western Times - Wednesday 22 August 1917

Accident in High Street, Exeter

An accident occurred in High-street, Exeter, opposite Messrs. Walton and Co.'s shop, yesterday afternoon, in which Conductor Layman, of Car No.6, was crushed between the tram and a waggon belonging to Messrs. Chaplin, the L. and S.W. Railway Company's agents. The tram, a Pinhoe-road car, it seems, was standing at its usual stopping place, and the conductor stood on the road conversing with the driver. The waggon, driven Mr. William Cockram, was coming up on the left hand side of the road from the Cathedral Yard. As it was passing the tram car it appears that Conductor Layman tried to squeeze between the two vehicles towards his platform, and was thereby crushed. With much presence of mind Mr. Cockram quickly pulled his horse up. It was found necessary to unload the waggon and lift it bodily on to the pavement in order to extricate the lad. This was done by a number of willing helpers under the guidance of Police-Sergts. Hurford. White, and P.C. Windeatt, and Layman was removed to the police ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he was detained.
On enquiry at the Hospital last evening we were informed that Layman was suffering mainly from shock.
Western Times - Wednesday 22 August 1917

St. Thomas Board, of Guardians.

At the meeting of St. Thomas Guardians yesterday, Miss Harris, of Budleigh Salterton was appointed attendant on the feebleminded.
A letter was read from the Clerk to the Devon County Asylum stating that the cost of maintenance of lunatics would be 14s a week as from August 1st. 1917.—The Chairman, Preb Buckingham, said that brought Digby and Exminster to the same level. Hitherto Exminster had always been below Digbys. Some little time ago Exminster was only 9s. 6d.—Mr. Courtney said the increase was quite injustifiable having regard to the general rise in price.
Western Times - Saturday 25 August 1917

Cycling Accident at Heavitree

On Saturday evening Gladys Salmon, aged 10, Park-road. Heavitree, while cycling from Heavitree-road to Barrack-road came into contact with a horse which was drawing a cart down Magdalen-road, and was knocked off her machine and badly shaken. Picked up by a soldier, she was taken into a house, and subsequently her home. The cycle was much damaged.
Western Times - Monday 27 August 1917

Damage on Farms at Exwick.

Damage on farm-land at Exwick was the subject of summonses heard before Messrs. F. J. Widgery (in the chair). H Munro. G. T. White. A T Loram, and H Hall at Exeter Police Court yesterday.—Catherine (Godbeer, and Elizabeth Shilston of Exwick Hill, were summoned for damaging fences at Cleve, Exwick. and two schoolboys of Exwick were summoned for doing damage to fences in a field at Exwick Farm.—Mr. Roberts, the tenant of the farm, told the magistrates that a good deal of damage had been done to his land lately by trespassers, and he had been obliged take out summonses with a view to checking the practice. The boys clambered over a growing hedge when they were blackberrying.—They were fined a shilling each and ordered to pay tenpence each damage.—In the cases against Mrs Godbeer and Mrs. Shilston, Mr Roberts said they were pulling wood from a hedge, and depredations of this kind had led to gaps being made.—Defendants emphatically denied taking any wood except what had decayed and dropped from trees They were fined 2s 6d each and the damage —Julia Berry, of Exwick Hill, was summoned for committing damage to growing corn, also belonging to Mr. C G Roberts of Exwick Farm. She said she was out with her children for a Sunday evening for a walk and lost the paths—The fine was 2s 6d and the damage.
Western Times - Tuesday 28 August 1917

Airship Over Topsham

At 7.40 a.m. yesterday the inhabitants of Topsham were considerably surprised to see an airship approaching from the north-west. It passed over the centre of the town at a good height, and was seen to be trailing a steel cable of immense length. This cable, which was touching the ground as the airship was driven to the south-east by the very strong wind which was prevailing, came into contact with the roofs of the houses of Messrs W. Newman and G. Underhill, of Fore-street hill, Topsham, in each case removing a portion of the ridge. It turned the electric light and telephone wires in the neighbourhood into a tangled mass, and altogether the damage caused by the cable was considerable. The car, which could be plainly discerned, contained occupants. The airship disappeared finally in a south-easterly direction.
The airship passed over Exeter, though apparently it was not seen by many.
Western Times - Wednesday 29 August 1917

Wounded Tommies Make War on Fish in the Exe.
Soldiers fishing at Exwick
A NOVEL EVENT, believed to be the first of its kind in the West-country, took place at Exeter on Saturday, when some sixty wounded soldiers from the local V.A.O. hospitals engaged in an angling competition the River Exe at Exwick Mills. The event was promoted by the Exeter Angling Society, and organised by Mr. F Sellick. of St. Sidwell's in conjunction with Mr. Cheverett and Mr. Graf. Notwithstanding heavy showers during the afternoon, the soldiers who included several expert anglers, had some good sport, and tea and a programme of amusements assisted in the enjoyment of the occasion. The above is a group of the competitors just before scattering to commence operations. "Western Times” Photo.
Western Times - Friday 17 August 1917

July 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Newspapers July 1917

English Oppose Germans in Exeter Thoroughfares

Seven boys, aged, from 10 to 13, of St. Thomas, were summoned at the Exeter Children's Court for throwing stones in Beaufort-road on June 27th. It was stated that the boys were in two gangs, and were firing stones' at each other. A window in the house of Mrs. Fisher was smashed. P.C. Parker stated that a considerable amount of damage had been done to property by boys in this neighbourhood. There were apparently two gangs—one known as the Oxford-street gang, and the other as the Regent's-street gang. They charged each other, and finished up by stone throwing. The mother of one the boys said one gang imagined itself to be German and the other English.—The Bench dismissed one the boys, and the other six were fined 1s. each. The magistrates present were Mr. Henry Hall (chairman), Mr. H. Munro. Mr. P. Kelland, Mr. A. McCrea, and Mr. J. Stokes
Western Times - Tuesday 3 July 1917

Damaging the Potato Crop at Topsham

At the Juvenile Offenders Court at the Castle Exeter yesterday, three boys, aged 10 to 13 years, were summoned for damaging, with intent to steal, potatoes growing in a field at Topsham on the 22nd June. The defendants pleaded guilty. The garden belonged Mr. Drew who said that about 18 stalks of late potatoes were pulled up. Evidence was given by P.C. Membury, of Countess Weir, the effect that he saw the boys pulling up the stalks. They apparently intended to steal the potatoes. He caught two of the boys. Addressing the parents, the Chairman said trespass which checked the production of the food supply at the present time was viewed with a great deal more seriousness than in peace time. Such conduct as the boys had been guilty of was disgraceful, and would, not be tolerated. Future offenders would be severely dealt with. In this case the parents would have to pay the costs, 4s each. The magistrates present were Mr. T. Snow (chairman) and Mr. W. B. Heberden, C.B.
Western Times - Wednesday 4 July 1917

Independence Day

This is Independence Day, and, probably, more Stars and Stripes will be flown to-day in England, than has ever been the case before—Stars and Stripes mingled the with Union Jack to mark the appreciation the people of this country upon the entrance of the United States into the great war. In many cities and towns the children will have their attention directed to the importance of the event, and verses of the National Anthem and "The Star Spangled Banner" will be sung. Exeter has had close associations with America since the very earliest trading days, and there are various carvings in the old oak which such a feature, some the business houses in the street, of the city. Independence Day will attain a prominence throughout the to-day wider than has previously done. The nation at the other side the Atlantic is very much in the limelight just now.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - 4 July 1917

A CO. and His Uniform Theft by a Gunner

At the Higher Barracks, Exeter, yesterday, two courts-martial were held Major C. H. Chichester, Devon Regt (President), Capt. J. Pryor, Devon Regt., and Capt. W. Spearman.
Private Norman Palmer, Devon Regt., attached Depot, Devon Regt., was charged with disobeying at Exeter on June 1917, the lawful command of his superior officer by refusing to put on uniform when do so Capt. H. Hawker, Depot, Devon Regt. He pleaded guilty. In a written statement defendant said his refusal was due to a conscientious objection, having previously held a certificate of exemption as engaged on work of national importance as a skilled agriculturist. He submitted that he was exempt from military duties under the provision of the Military Service Act.
The second case was that in which Gunner Frederick Riseley, the R.F.A. Officers' Cadet School, Topsham Barracks, was charged with stealing at Topsham Barracks, on June 25th last. 2s 6d the property of a comrade, Driver A. Furchell, and there was a second charge receiving the money knowing it to have been stolen. He pleaded guilty to the first charge and the second was not proceeded with.—The summary evidence showed that Furchell missed the 6d from his hip pocket when dressing in a barrack room.—Capt. R. Rose. Adjutant, R.F.A., said defendant was aged 18 years and 9 months. He had not been previously convicted.
The sentences will be promulgated due course.
Western Times - Friday 6 July 1917

Boy Drowned While Playing with Pals on the Pier

On Wednesday, about 7.45 p.m., Thos. Pym, the nine year old little boy of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pym, of Fore-street, Topsham, lost his life in a tragic way. He was playing with other boys on the pier when he fell into the water, striking against the structure, it is supposed, during the fall. Sinking into the water he was not seen again until the body was recovered by grappling irons by Messrs. W. Murphy and J. Pym. Dr. Macpherson, Nurse Turner, P.C. Membury and others were soon on the scene, and after the recovery of the body at once attempted artificial respiration, which they continued for two hours without success. Great sympathy is extended to the bereaved parents find family. The father a naval man and with the Fleet somewhere the North Sea.
Western Times - Friday 6 July 1917

Plucky Rescue from Drowning the Exe

A child named Beer, aged about 18 months, living with its parents in Horse Lane, the Friars, Exeter, fell from a wall on the Quay on Saturday afternoon and fell into the river. A boy named Wm. Clarke, of 47, Regent Square, Heavitree, who was in a boat endeavoured to reach the child, but overbalanced and fell into the water. He could swim and got hold of the baby and held it up for a time. Clarke, however, became exhausted, by which time Thomas Gregory, a boy 13½ years of age, living at Rose Cottage, the Quay, was attracted to the spot by hearing shouts. Gregory, who at the time was taking boats belonging to his father to an anchorage, promptly reached the spot and endeavoured to reach Clarke with a paddle but failed, and promptly jumped into the water and succeeded in holding Clarke and the baby until James Trump, who works on the Quay came along with a boat and rescued all the three persons the water.
Western Times - Tuesday 10 July 1917

Woman Seen to Jump in Front of a Train

About 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon the body of a woman, apparently about 30 years of age, was found on the railway line at the bridge near Mr. Hill's garden, between Heavitree and Whipton. It transpires that the driver and fireman of the 3.25 train from Exmouth saw a strange woman jump deliberately in front of the train, which was promptly pulled up. The body was badly mutilated, and the left leg cutoff. Police Inspector Snell and Acting-Sergt. Pike proceeded to the scene with Dr. Brash, and the body was conveyed to the mortuary. A remarkable fact that close to the body was a razor in brown paper, pointing the theory that the woman was determined on suicide. A wedding ring was found on the woman's hand. The body was last evening identified as that of Margaret Mansell, 81, Ladysmith-road, Heavitree, wife of an insurance agent. An inquest will probably be held to-day.
Western Times - Thursday 12 July 1917


At Exeter Police-court, yesterday, Henry Hurved of 5, Stuart-road. Heavitree, a private in the Devons, pleaded not guilty to doing wilful damage to a brick wall at No 3. North-street, Heavitree, on July 8th. Mrs. Emily Pidgeon of 10, Holloway-street, the owner of the property, said she was told that the labour for repairing the wall alone would cost 10s. It was repaired about two years ago, and was in good condition previous to Sunday's occurrence. When she to the defendant about the wall he replied “it only an ancient wall, and I was the worse for drink.”
Mrs. Langmead who lives No. 7, North-street, Heavitree, stated that while sitting in her front room on Sunday evening, about 3 o'clock, she saw some bricks fall in. She was unable to say who did the damage, but saw defendant throw two bricks into the garden.
Acting-Inspector Snell stated that defendant said he was resting against the wall, and part of it fell down. In witness's opinion it must have taken some pressure to have pushed it down.
Defendant, who said he had been wounded and was home on leave, told the Bench that he and three chums rested against the wall, part of which fell. He threw the two bricks into the garden, for the sake of other people passing.
The Bench found there was no proof of wilful damage, and the case was dismissed.
Defendant was also summoned for using obscene language in Stuart-road on July 9th, and pleaded not guilty.
Acting-Inspector Snell said that at about 8.45 p.m., while they were looking at the wall, an elderly man came along who was a mason. Defendant became abusive, and knocked the man down. Witness, with the assistance of another officer, took defendant, to his home. On reaching his doorstep, however, defendant took his tunic and cap off and challenged them to fight, using the' most violent and filthy language. Eventually, he was persuaded indoors.
P.C. Rigg, who corroborated, said defendant was the worse for drink, and behaved like a madman.
Defendant, against whom there were previous convictions for felony, was fined 10s.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 13 July 1917

For Embezzlement From His Employers at Exeter

At Exeter Police Court, before Messrs. T. Bradley Rowe (in the chair), P. Kelland, and H. J. Munro Saturday. Pte. Cecil Henry ltedmore 17. Reserve Battalion of the London Rifle Brigade, who appeared in khaki, was charged that, whilst being a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Ward and Co., he received, on 20th September, 1916, on behalf of his employers £13 6s, and afterwards embezzled it.—Accused elected be tried that Court, and pleaded guilty.
Mr A. M. Alford, for Messrs Ward and Co. said accused had defrauded the firm of £66 altogether. He was take as an office boy by Messrs. Ward direct from school, and, after going with another firm, returned to their employ in March 1915. He took orders and kept accounts at the Queen-Street Branch Office, and for a time sent out bills prepared at the Head Office at St. David Station. On September 14th. 1916, 7 tons of coal were delivered to a customer to Polsloe-road the price being £13 6s. This was paid to accused but the books showed the amount to be still outstanding in June last. An employee sent to the customer returned with a receipt signed “per pro Ward and Co. C.H.R. with thanks” for £13 6s. On the books being examined at the Queen-street Office, accused cleared away from the business, taking some cash (about £4) in the office. He was arrested on Friday last, after having joined the Forces.
The Bench, in view of defendant's youth, and not wishing to blast his career, imposed a fine of £10.
Western Times - Monday 16 July 1917

An Interesting Demonstration at Heavitree

The scepticism of those Devon farmers who are still doubtful of the utility of motors on the land would hardly survive a visit to Mr. H. G. Rew's farm at Woodwater, Heavitree, where one of the latest types of motor-ploughs has commenced work. When our representative arrived the farm yesterday the motor, a sort of smaller and more delicate edition of a traction engine, and mostly painted red, was merrily chawing some grass land as if it liked nothing better.
“We started yesterday,” said Mr. Rew, on coming down from the farm buildings to watch progress. He is an alert, shrewd looking agriculturist of the modern type, with the word "business-like" written all over him. "This, as you see," he explained, “is a hilly field, just the kind for a good test, and it was put down for permanent grass about four years ago. I am breaking it now to comply with the Government request for increased food production." The field, in fact, undulated in every direction. There was scarcely a square yard of flat in it. But the ground appeared to present no difficulties to the machine, notwithstanding that it was of stiff spine, and contained quantities of the tough lucerne root. The tractor, known as the "Moline-Universal," hails from America, and is said to be ideal for the average sized farm. Its points were explained by Mr. Hew, and a representative of the firm's agents in England, who is supervising the working for the first few days. The great fact about it is that the engine and plough are combined into one compact piece of machinery, and can be controlled at will by the driver. There is no plough trailing behind the motor, and requiring a second man to watch. The plough is detachable, and in its place in the same compact fashion can be attached a harrow, mower, or other agricultural implement. Thus the tractor, which is consequently not a tractor in the ordinary sense, can be used for various kinds of farm work.
The tractor has a length of about 13ft., and can turn in a 16ft. circle. It has a three furrow plough. To-day, as the ground was hilly, only two were being used, ploughing six inches deep, which is as far as the soil will allow. It can go a depth of ten inches if required. The speed in ordinary circumstances from 1½ to 3½ miles an hour, and, generally speaking, about twice as fast as an ordinary team ploughing. Mr. Rew calculated that his machine could plough six acres on ordinary ground in a day and a half, which compares with one acre a day for a pair of horses and man. He mentioned that on one occasion, with two mowing machines attached, this tractor cut 36 acres grass in 12 hours, at cost per acre for fuel. Two horse mowers in the same time would do about 20 acres. The consumption of fuel for ploughing is about two gallons per acre.
“I went to Surrey to see this machine work," remarked Mr. Rew. "I have studied several other types, but this my choice. It is much handier than the usual type, and in my opinion is just the thing required for Devon farms. This is the first of this type of machine to come into Devon, and I believe the first west of Bristol.”
Our representative watched the motor traverse the field for a few turns, which it performed expeditiously, efficiently and without difficulty. There was only one check, easily explained, and really a tribute to the facility of motor-ploughing. Mr. Rew is employing to drive the tractor his own carter, who has never driven a motor or engine before, or had any acquaintance with machinery. In coming up a slope the engine stuck, but it was a mere matter of handling the machinery. A brief explanation from the supervisor to the driver, and the tractor spurted away again without the least difficulty. The new driver has evidently made good progress, and his achievement, like Mr. Rew's, is a proof what others can do if they will only make the trial.
It transpired that Mr. Rew has no less than four women workers on his farm. "I am very satisfied with their work," he told our representative, "and should require a second driver the tractor I shall certainly consider the possibility of employing one of them in that capacity."
In which remark the sceptics among agriculturists who still cleave to old-fashioned methods to the exclusion of new, will find much food for thought!
Western Times - Friday 20 July 1917

St. Thomas Guardians and the Nursing Staffs Salaries

Preb. Buckingham presided at a meeting of St. Thomas Guardians on Friday, when the House Committee reported that the Workhouse nursing staff had applied for a war bonus The Committee resolved that by reason of the increased cost of rations paid by the Guardians there was sound ground for the application. —The report was adopted. The Chairman mentioned that the wounded in their institution were very well and happy. Mrs. Buckingham, through the kindness of some friends, had been able to purchase a gramophone, which was sent to the soldiers, and with which they were very pleased. They sent a letter of thanks to Mrs Buckingham. The gramophone would revert the benefit of Workhouse inmates ultimately.
Western Times - Friday 20 July 1917

Exeter Police Court

At Exeter Police Court, on Saturday, before Messrs. Kelland (chairman), H. F. Munro. and T. Bradley Bowe, Florence Keith, 48, North-street, was summoned for being drunk and incapable in St. Martins-lane on Friday night. Evidence was given by P.C. Winfield, who the defendant was in a helpless condition, leaning against a shop.—Defendant said she had been suffering from neuralgia and Influenza and she took a little too much port and brandy—A previous conviction was recorded.—The Bench now fined her 10s.
Mary Banbrook, Coombe-street, was summoned for driving a fish hand-cart on the foot path at Heavitree on the 18th inst.—P.C. Wood gave evidence.—Defendant was fined 5s.
Mary Lear, 30, of North-street, pleaded guilty to a charge of being drunk and incapable in North-street on the 17th.—She said she had been the country and had some cider. When near her home her legs suddenly gave way —The Bench fined her 5s.
Western Times - Monday 23 July 1917

Happy Ending to a Wonford Family's Suspense

A little girl, aged 7, named Shapter, whose parents live at Wonford, had a trying experience on Friday, and one which occasioned much anxiety to her family and a number of other people. She attends Heavitree Parochial School, and was present as usual on Friday afternoon. She did not return home, however, after school, and as the evening advanced her parents naturally became very uneasy. Inquiry was made by her mother and father, the latter sailor on leave, but no tidings of the child could gathered.
The police were informed, and scouting parties were organised under the direction of Acting-Inspector Snell. These continued their search with lanterns, lamps, etc., throughout the night, but to no purpose.
Anxiety as to the child's well-being increased, but trouble was happily allayed on Saturday when the child was discovered, by a woman who looks after the school, locked in the school lavatory. Presumably when the premises were closed on Friday evening the door of the lavatory was fastened without it being known that the child was inside. She had spent a lonely night there, doubt in very unhappy state of mind, and she was delighted to be released from her unwitting isolation as were her parents have her restored to them.
Western Times - Monday 23 July 1917

German music

There are still to be found not a few people who have some compunction about using anything which come from Germany savours of German origin. But, however much we may dislike the Germans, detest their militarism and lust for world domination, and abhor their brutal and tyrannical methods of warfare, there is no reason why we should discard everything because it originated in Germany. Some of the best music we possess to-day is by composers who were either Germans or Austrians, and some of the most popular tunes in our church hymn-books have come from the lands of our enemies. Evidently, Preb., Williams, the energetic Rector of St. James. Is not willing tear up such a fine tune as the well-known “Austria," for, on Sunday, when announcing the last hymn at the evening service, he remarked, “We are going to sing it to the old tune—so don't be afraid to sing it. We are going to use the German Colonies remember, and why not their tunes? The hymn was sung with much heartiness as ever. From musical point of view, it is certainly one of the grandest melodies Hymns A. and M. contains.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 23 July 1917

Entertaining the wounded

The wounded soldiers in the Exeter Hospitals cannot complain of want attention on the part of the people the city and district. Almost weekly sections of those broken heroes are invited to participate in some form of entertainment. But is doubtful whether they have ever had a better time than fell to their lot on Saturday when they were the guests of the city. Everything possible was done to show appreciation for the splendid service which the brave fellows have rendered to the Empire, the weather was a great factor in the success of the proceedings, and the whole affair was enjoyable as it could well be. The organisers of the treat were ably led by Mr. Jos. Gould and Mr. C. R. M. Clapp, while the most valuable assistance was forthcoming from the ladies. The wounded soldiers will not soon forget their entertainment by the Freemasons in the grounds of St. Luke's College.
Exeter and Plymouth - Tuesday 24 July 1917

Exonian Wins the Military Medal

Lance-Corpl. J. Baker, of the Devons whose wife Mrs. N. Barker, resides at 37, Fords-road. St Thomas, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in an action on April 24th, being presented with the ribbon on the field. Lance-Corpl. Barker, when he was recalled to the Colours in August. 1914, was employed at the City, Brewery, Exeter as a cellar-man. He was at Salonika for nearly a year, where he was wounded, and has since been in France. His previous seven years' service in the Army was in Malta and Egypt.
Western Times - Friday 27 July 1917


Mothers who are proud of their babies.
Mothers and babies
The above photos were taken by our representative at the Baby Show which took place at Sidmouth, on Tuesday, under the auspices of the local Maternity and Infant Welfare Centre. They show what fine promises of a coming robust generation Sidmouth has. In the top picture will be seen some of the "Prizewinners" and that proud mothers. The Mayor of Exeter (Mr James G. Owen), who addressed the gathering, is seen in the group, and also the Mayoress (Mrs J. Kirk G. Owen) Holding one of the champion babies. In pictures 2 and 3 the Mayoress is seen presenting some of the much-coveted prizes. Photo No. 4 shows a further group of competitors.
Western Times - Friday6 July 1917

June 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Former Exeter Goalkeeper Dead

The death took place at Swansea on Saturday of Walter Whittaker, who, in his day, was one of the finest Association football goalkeepers in the kingdom. Deceased, who was 37 years age, was a native of Manchester.
Whittaker was connected with the Exeter professional Association Club and kept goal for the City for two seasons, at one period being captain. In his day he was regarded as one of the best "keepers" in England, and though coming to Exeter somewhat late in his football career rendered the City Club signal service. On leaving Exeter he went to Swansea and for a time acted as player-manager there, having in his team another old Exeter City player, J Bulcock. He was known throughout the football world as "Big Walt" and at the time he was with Exeter he turned the scales at 13 stone odd. For that weight, however, he was nimble and alert, and ground shots he always dealt with smartly. Like most goal-keepers he was very fond of keeping statistics of his club's goal-average, and when at Exeter he was never so happy as on the occasion of a City victory against his old Southern League' Club, Reading. The advent of Pym, of Topsham, was one of the reasons for his leaving the Grecians.
Western Times - Tuesday 5 June 1917

Notes of the Day

Captain Livesey Wardle, in answer to an appeal which has appeared in this column, has very generously offered the loan of a billiard table to Miss Buller to use at the military hospital to be opened at Streatham Hall, Exeter. Miss Buller had accepted an earlier offer from Mr Byrom, of Culver, but the kindest of Captain Wardle is very much appreciated.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 7 June 1917

Exeter Footballer's Tribute to His Dead Comrade

Another letter has reached Exeter from somewhere in France written by Tom Griffiths, R.G.A., the former popular Exeter City professional footballer. In this letter he supplements what has previously written home (it was published in these columns at the time) about the death of his old athletic colleague at Exeter, Spencer Bassett, who was killed in France while serving with the R.G.A. "It was shock,'' Griffiths now writes. "to learn about poor Spencer. The Huns had been shelling a village, where he was billeted, all day and night. It happened about one in the morning. A shell dropped into Spencer's billet, and you may guess he was not the only one hit. A few of our lot were called out to give a helping hand, and when I got there Spencer had been taken away. His last words were, 'Tell Griffo' (the nick-name Griffiths was always known at Exeter) 'that I have been hit.' Just to think I missed seeing my old pal only a few minutes. . . was loved by all the boys, and was one of the finest fellows that ever stepped in two shoes."
Western Times - Friday 8 June 1917


The Exeter Food Control Campaign Committee have arranged tap open, next Tuesday, a Central Bureau at 44 High-street. The premises have been loaned for the purpose by the proprietors of the "Western Morning News," at the request of the Mayor of Exeter. Food, cooked on war ration lines, will be exhibited and offered for sale at the cost of production, but if will not be possible for the food purchased to be taken away until evening. A copy of the recipe used can be supplied with the food purchased. The Committee will be glad to have the names of ladies who are willing to contribute cooked dishes for exhibition and sale. Further information on this point will be given at the Bureau on application. Samples of the cereals available at the present time will be displayed. A domestic science teacher will be in attendance at the Bureau each day as follows:—11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., and 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Exeter Education Committee have decided to offer a course of three cookery demonstrations on the 13th, 20th, and 27th June. The demonstrations will be held in the afternoons at the Druids' Hall, Market-street, from 3 to 4.30, and the Bull Meadow Cookery Centre (entrance in Holloway-street or through Bull Meadow) from 7 to 8.30. Admission to these demonstrations will be free.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 8 June 1917

Exonian Fined for Failing to Register a Pony

Frederick T. Neil, yeast agent, Paris-street, was summoned at Exeter Police Court, Saturday, for failing to furnish by the 1st May certain particulars in respect of a pony on the 21st April last, as required under an order made by regulation 15 of the Defence of the Realm Act.—The Chief Constable explained that the Order was made on 17th April, and the police had to take a census of all horses and cattle. Notices were posted on the hoardings and inserted in the newspapers. After the census there was an impressment of all horses in the city, and it was surprising that any owner of a horse escaped. Notices were sent to all who were known to be owners, but defendant and others who were not known to have horses were not served. The Chairman said the maximum penalty was £100. Defendant was fined £1.
Western Times - Tuesday 12 June 1917

Sentence in the Exeter Court Martial

Pte. F. H. O'Brien, of the Gloucester Regt, who was court-martialled at the higher barracks on Tuesday on charges of deserting while under orders for active service, and attempting to escape from escort at Bristol, has been sentenced to undergo detention for 12 months–three months been remitted.
Western Times - Thursday 14 June 1917

Fined for Supplying Too Generous Teas

Robert Joseph Howard, lock-keeper, at Topsham Locks, was summoned, as the keeper of a public eating house, for serving John Ridd, at a meal between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., with more than two ounces, in the whole, of bread, Exminster on May 28th.
Evidence was given by P.C. Ridd (who at the time of the offence was in private clothes) to the effect that the defendant on Whit-Monday was doing a large business at Topsham Locks in supplying teas to visitors on the Canal. All persons seemed to be able to get what they required. About 5 p.m. witness asked for tea. He sat down at a table. Three persons entered in front of him. They were supplied with eggs, bread and butter, cream and jam. There was also cake on the table. Witness had tea consisting of six slices of bread and butter, three slices of bread and cream and jam. The bread was at least eight ounces. Each slice half over a 2lb. loaf was about an eighth of an inch thick. He was charged 9d. There was a tariff exhibited on the walls. Asked why he had not complied with the Food Controller's Order, defendant said he had not been warned about it. He added that he was permitted by the Exeter City Council to supply the teas, but they never said anything to him about the Order.—Cross-examined: There was nothing about the tea to complain of. It was well worth 9d.—In defence, defendant, who said he was a lock-keeper at Topsham-Locks, explained that his house was not licensed as a public eating-house. His daughter supplied teas to people using the Canal. Until the policeman spoke to him, he had never heard of the Cake and Pastry Order. He should have been pleased to have carried out the Order, as it would have meant extra profit on the teas. In fact, since the policeman's interview, his daughter had, owing to the restrictions, done much better than before.—In answer to Supt. Buchanan, defendant said he did not read the newspapers, and was ignorant of the Order. He had, however, heard that new bread could not be used, and that the public might be put on short supplies.—Mary Howard, daughter the defendant, said she supplied the teas. She had never seen anything relative to the restriction of bread. Where her cottage was situate it was extremely difficult to get newspapers.—Mr. Alford: I suppose since the constable called your profits have gone up by 60 per cent.?— Witness replied that the profits had increased considerably.—In reply to Supt. Buchanan, witness said she never heard her customers remark, "Suppose a policeman were come in now."—Mr. Alford said he thought a notice or warning should have first been given to the defendant by the police. There was no restriction on the quantity of eggs or cream which could be supplied. The Order applied only to bread and cake.
The Chairman said it was the first offence of this character that had come before the Bench, but they considered it a much more serious offence in its nature than the previous one. It was difficult for the Justices to believe, remembering how universal had the talk about the restrictions, that defendant knew nothing about them. He ought to have known them. For a wise purpose the authorities had placed these restrictions on the country. The Magistrates had their duty to perform at home, as had the lads abroad, and it was quite certain that these restrictions were absolutely essential and necessary. Defendant might have been fined £100, and sent to prison for six months. Under the circumstances, in this case, defendant would be fined £3, which, it was hoped, would be a lesson to him.
Western Times - Friday 15 June 1917

Australian Soldier’s Wedding at Exeter

The wedding of Private Sidney George Court, of the Australian Expeditionary Force, eldest son Mr. and Mrs. G. Court Bonhay-road, Exeter, and Miss Kate Annie Bartlett, daughter of the late Mr. Bartlett and Mrs. Bartlett. of Park-street. Yeovil, took place at St. David's Church, Exeter. Rev. T. Bell-Salter. vicar, officiated at the ceremony. The bride has been for five years a member of the staff at the West of England Institution for the Blind, where much interest was taken in the marriage The esteemed Superintendent the Institution. Mr. J. A. Pinn gave away the bride, who wore a cream costume and heliotrope hat. She had a bouquet of lovely roses from Mr and Mrs. Pinn's garden. Miss Bessie Shilston, wearing a white dress and pale blue silk coat and hat to match, and little Miss Nellie Rowlings (niece of the bridegroom), in white frock and hat were bridesmaids.
A number of the pupils of the West of England Institution were Present in the church. The bride was the recipient of many useful and handsome wedding presents from the Superintendent and Mrs. Pinn, the teaching and domestic staffs, and patients.
Western Times - Friday 15 June 1917

Exeter Hospital Nurses Picnic

Members the staff the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital were yesterday entertained by Lady Wills, wife of Sir Chaning Wills, Bart., President of the Hospital, to an outing to Turf. The party, numbering over a score, in charge of the Matron (Miss Smale) proceeded to their destination by the Canal, being taken in the Exeter Council barge. Tea was partaken of at Turf, and the weather being favourable, the outing proved a most enjoyable one. Other members of the staff not participating in yesterday's outing will entertained on similar lines later.
Western Times - Saturday 16 June 1917


At the Higher Barracks, Exeter, yesterday, the sentence on Pte. Hamlyn, Newton Abbot, objector, for refusing to obey an order, was promulgated. The Court-martial, which the previous day, found him guilty, and passed sentence of two years' hard labour. The finding was confirmed by the Officer Commanding No. 8 District, but twelve months ware remitted.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 16 June 1917


Dear Mr. Mayor,—
At the invitation of the Surveyor (Mr. Moulding), Councillor Hill and myself visited, all the Council allotments yesterday evening. With two or three exceptions, they were all looking wonderfully well. There is every promise of excellent crops, and we have nothing but praise for the men who have worked hard and deserve an abundance of potatoes and other vegetables. The Council is to be congratulated upon securing such a fine lot of allotment holders, and it is to be hoped that it may possible to retain them permanently.
Our only criticism is that some of the men, being over eager to obtain heavy crops, have planted their potatoes only 12 inches from row to row. Many have planted inches from row to row. At the outset the Allotment Committee strongly urged cultivators to plant their potatoes least two feet apart—two feet three inches in preference—and sets 15 inches apart in the rows. The result of planting too close is that, now the potatoes have grown up so vigorously, no sun can reach the roots, where the growing potatoes would receive that genial warmth so necessary for an abundant yield.
We were delighted to learn that the City Council has decided to spray the crops of the allotment holders free of charge, thus assuring the full effect of the labour expended on the cultivation of potatoes. There is no doubt whatever, not only from my personal experience of many years, but also from the reports of the Board of Agriculture, that spraying increases the crop many fold.
Ratepayers should be gratified that the Council has agreed to do the spraying, because it assists producing that abundance of food which so necessary at the present time. The effect of large crops in the allotments and gardens will be to reduce the competition for potatoes in the open market to a very large extent, and thus to make potatoes cheaper than they would otherwise be.
Mr. Hill does not know I am writing to you, but from his expressions of satisfaction when we were walking round, I am sure he would agree with all that I have written you.
Believe me,
Yours sincerely,
The Right Worshipful
The Mayor of Exeter.
Western Times - Monday 18 June 1917

Successful Entertainment of Wounded Soldiers

Delightful summer weather favoured an entertainment of 350 wounded soldiers from the Exeter hospitals, given Saturday by the Exeter Touring Cyclists' Club in the charming grounds of “Franklyn,” Cowick-lane, by permission of Mr. E. N. Snow and Mr Ward. The fete was organised by Mrs. R. Southwood. chief tea steward, Messrs. P. Thomas and J. R. Hill, ground stewards, and Messrs. W. Graf and H. Punchard, hon. secretaries, and there was an enthusiastic band of helpers numbering about 60. Sir Robert Newman Bart.. President of the Club, was unable to be present, through the illness of a relative, but among those in attendance were Colonel H. Batson and Colonel W. C. Richards, V.D. (commanding the 1st Exeter Battalion Devon Volunteer Regiment), who, with Mr. A. G. Littlejohn acted as Judges of sports held during the afternoon. Q.M.S. A. H. Stokes and a staff from the regiment assisted the stewards, and a capital programme of music was rendered by the Battalion Band, under the conductorship of Lieut E. Shobbrook. Various attractions included: Tipping the topper, in charge of Messrs Incledon. A. J. Innes, J. Sledge and Staff-Sergt Doritzzi; Aunt Sally, Messrs H. Chown, J. Walkey and W. A. Jewell; and the noted "Artful Thomas.” …
Western Times - Monday 18 June 1917

Tributes of Esteem to St. Thomas Late Stationmaster

There was a pleasing event in Exeter on Sunday, when Mr. D. C. Murrish. who for five years was the esteemed Stationmaster at St Thomas, Exeter, which has now been closed far the duration of the war, was the recipient of presents from the local railway official and general public and commercial travellers residing in the City. We believe that this the first time the commercials have in this way shown their appreciation of Exeter Stationmaster's services, and this speaks much for Mr. Murrish's popularity. The gathering, at which the presentations were made, was held at the Seven Stars Hotel, and was presided over by Mr. W. Bird, who expressed the high esteem in which Mr. Murrish was held everyone…
Western Times - Tuesday 19 June 1917

Inquests at Exeter

At Exeter Court House last evening the City Coroner (Mr. W. Linford Brown) held an inquest on James David Simons, aged four months, son of a Dutch waiter, of Parr-street, who came to Exeter from Bristol Saturday. The father said the child awoke about two o'clock on Wednesday morning, and was fed with barley water and milk. At 6.30 the child appeared to be asleep, and the mother, who had been suffering from headache, took advantage of the opportunity to take sleep. At 10 a.m. the infant appeared to be dead. A doctor was immediately fetched.—Dr. Pereire, who had made a post-mortem examination, attributed death to convulsions, caused by a distended stomach.—The returned verdict of "Death from natural causes."
A second inquest was held on Elizabeth Dymond, 76, wife of Wm. Dymond, plumber, of Codrington-street. Evidence was given by the husband to the effect that about midnight on Wednesday the deceased awoke, and shortly afterwards collapsed and died.—Dr. Brash said he attended the deceased four years ago for bronchitis and heart trouble. He was called about 2.30 a.m. on Thursday, and found her dead. He attributed death to heart failure.—A verdict of "Death from natural causes" was returned.
Western Times - Friday 29 June 1917

Exeter Child Talks Glibly of Suicide.

At Exeter Juvenile Court a boy aged 14, admitted stealing a £1 Treasury note from the mantelpiece of a house where he staying. The boy's mother stated that she could do nothing with him, and was very troublesome. When she reproved him he threatened to commit suicide, and she once had to pull him out of the water.—Defendant was ordered to be sent to a reformatory for four years, to remain in the Poor-law institution pending a vacancy being found, and his mother to pay 2s. per week towards his maintenance at the reformatory.
Western Times - Friday 29 June 1917

Exeter School Children and Little Air Raid Victims

The Mayor of Exeter has received the following letter; —
St. James Girls' School, June 23, 1917
Dear Sir.—Our girls were very grieved to hear the great suffering of the children of East London, owing to the recent air raid, and wished to do their little towards alleviating it. The enclosed guinea is the result of their effort. They thought they would like to send it to their own Mayor to forward to the Lord Mayor of London.
Yours truly,
Western Times - Saturday 30 June 1917

Exeter School O.T.C.
Distribution of shooting trophies, won by the Exeter School O. T. C
Distribution of shooting trophies, won by the Exeter School O. T. C. by Colonel Koe, commanding the 8th Regimantal District. (“Gazette” photo).
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 29 June 1917

May 1917

The Month in Exeter.
Accident at Exeter

About 12.35 yesterday, Maud Harper, residing at No. 8, Prospect Cottages, Blackboy-road, Exeter, was driving a horse, attached to a milk-cart, from High-street into the London Inn Square, when, owing to some unknown cause, the horse bolted, knocking down a young woman named Margaret Coats, employed the Globe Hotel, Exeter. Colonel Pickard, R.A.M.C, who happened to be passing at the time, rendered assistance, and Miss Coats being in an unconscious condition, was conveyed on the police ambulance by Acting Sergt. Wise, P.C. Norton and Special Constable Mr. Percy M. Dunsford to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where she was examined by the assistant lady house surgeon. It was then found that Miss Coats had sustained extensive bruises, and was also suffering from shock. She subsequently regained consciousness, and was able to proceed to her home The runaway horse fell in New North-road, and was secured by P.C. Norton.
Western Times - Tuesday 01 May 1917

How the Proceeds of a Robbery were Spent

At he Exeter Juveniles' Court yesterday, before Mr. P. Kelland (Chairman), Mr. Henry Hall, Mr. A. McCrea, and Mr. H. J. Munro, an errand boy, aged 13, of Heavitree, pleaded guilty to stealing cash box containing £3 8s 8d belonging to John Percy Osmond at Gras Lawn Lodge, between the 16th and 20th April. Another errand boy, aged 14, of Heavitree, pleaded guilty to receiving £1 2s 6d of the money knowing it to have been stolen. The Chief Constable explained that Mr. Osmond left the box on Monday, April 16th, in the ground floor front room of the lodge. He missed the box on Friday evening, April 20th. The police heard that the boy charged with the theft had been spending money freely, and on being questioned by Detective Edwards admitted the theft. In Church-street, Heavitree, he showed three notes to the boy who was charged with receiving. The latter said he should like one of them, and his wish was gratified They spent most of the money at the Fairfield, and on the river. One of them had 3s and the other left when they were interviewed the detective. Evidence was given by Detective Edwards to the effect that one of the boys was a native of London and the other was born in Ireland. Both had been convicted of previous offences. The father of one was in the Army, and the father of the other was in the Navy. The mother of one of the boys admitted that her son was out of her control, and had been keeping bad company The Bench adjourned the ease for a week in order that the boys might be medically examined with a view to their admission to an industrial school.
Western Times - Tuesday 01 May 1917

Notes of the Day

The fisherman of Topsham are netting a large number of salmon in the Exe. A day or two since a boat secured a fish weighing 22½ pounds. The various rivers in Devonshire have run down rather low, and trout have become rather shy. Fishing in the evening, however, should be good if the present weather continues. On the Axe there has been a large batch of grannom to which fish have been moving. The Blue Upright and the Olives still account for a good-many fish, but as, with the advent of warmer weather, there is more fly on the water, the fish are rather discriminating their choice.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 05 May 1917

Notes of the Day

The food question is becoming more serious than ever, and we may as well accept it as a fact that we are within measurable distance of compulsory rationing, unless everybody will honourably follow the instructions of the Food Controller. It has been deliberately announced that, the organisation required for the compulsory rationing of the United Kingdom, either by issue of bread cards or other means, is well in hand, and it will depend upon the attitude adopted by the general run of people in the country whether not, within the next eight weeks, compulsion is applied. Loyal self-sacrifice is demanded by every man, woman, and child within the United Kingdom. The King has exhorted people voluntarily to reduce their consumption of bread by not less than one-fourth. It is hoped his Majesty's proclamation will receive that consideration to which it is entitled—greater consideration, I may say, than one or two recent appeals the King has addressed to his subjects. Lord Devonport has also intimated that he may have still further to reduce the supplies of sugar to sweet manufacturers. In short, we are called upon to forego luxuries, and a very straight hint has been given by those authority to ladies to do with little less expensive hats and dresses. To-day the call is for grim determination the part of everyone to bring the war to a successful conclusion. This can only be done by, as I have suggested, considerable self-sacrifice on the part of all.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 05 May 1917

Notes of the Day

Households must be encouraged to sift and burn cinders, leaving only the dust to be collected. Kitchen waste, paper, etc., are now so valuable that separate collection is desirable. Refuse might be collected less frequent intervals. If organic waste is separately collected, or, in the last resort, burnt, there should little risk to health from a less frequent collection of the other waste. Some economy in street cleaning may also be possible, and lead to a saving of labour. Every endeavour should be used to make the different staffs of local authorities interchangeable, and to use the strong men for work for which strength is essential. By the proper classification of labour it may be found possible to make more use of men of lower physical standards, and also of women, a considerable number whom have already been employed by some local authorities.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 05 May 1917

Killed and Wounded

Major Victor Walrond, Royal Field Artillery, who was killed in action on April 26, was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. A. M. H. Walrond, formerly of Pinhoe and a nephew of Lord Waleron.
Pte. James Baker of the Devons, who was killed in action in France on April 14, belonged to Exeter, where he was formerly a Carter, and resided at 9, Brunswick Place, Paris-street.
Mrs A. J. Jarvis, of Exeter, wife of Arthur James Jarvis, has been officially informed of her husband's death from disease, in Turkey, on 16 February, 1917. He was a prisoner of war from Kut.
Mr and Mrs R. I. Partridge, 6, St John's Road, Exeter, have received a telegram from the War office informing them that their eldest son, Lieut W. I. Partridge, Devon Regt., was reported missing on April 25th after the recent fighting in Macedonia. Their youngest son is recovering from wounds received in France, and is in hospital in England.
Mrs A. W. Stapley, of Bartholomew Street, Exeter, was informed on Saturday that her husband, Augustus W. Stapley, of the R. A. M. C., had died of wounds on Friday. Previous to joining the army,”Guss" (As he was familiarly known), was employed at the Headwear Paper Mills. He was 31 years of age.
Mr. And Mrs. Loosemore, 85 Sandford Street, Exeter, have received the information that the eldest son, Stanley of the Warwickshire Regt., is in hospital in the north of England suffering from wounds received a week ago near Monchy. He was first shot in the right foot, and having crawled to a shell hole received further shrapnel wounds. He was able, eventually however, two crawl again to safety. Private Loossmore had lived at Birmingham before the war, but was well known to Providence Chapel circles at Exeter. He served his apprenticeship that Messrs Townsend's.
Western Times - Monday 07 May 1917

Remarkable Escapade of Exeter Baker's Horse

Yesterday afternoon a sensational incident was witnessed in the main artery of Exeter. Luckily, it was not attended with any serious damage. A horse, attached to a van was standing outside the baker's shop of Mr. Lock's, Sidwell-street. and was being fed by its lady driver while the vehicle was being loaded with bread. Its head collar had been removed, and the van-woman was holding the animal by the mane. Suddenly something startled the horse, which reared and, freeing itself from the lady's grasp dashed down the street. It careered at a fast rate through Sidwell-street, High-street, and Fore-street, evading all attempts to stop it, a task rendered the more difficult by the absence of the head harness. It is marvellous that, with the main streets full of vehicles of all kinds—including tramcars and motors—as well as pedestrians, as they usually are at this time of day, the horse and van escaped collision. Going down Fore-street, however, it was not so fortunate, for here it caught the side of an Exminster Asylum waggon. The result was that the hind wheels of the bread van were knocked off, but this did not check the onward rush of the horse. It continued its course, the van bumping along behind it, scattering the loaves it contained in all directions. Women and children scurried out of the way, naturally much alarmed at the unusual and untoward occurrence, even the temptation of a free distribution of the staff of life not being sufficient to induce them to tarry. Several men tried to get a hold on the horse, but without avail, until at last, beyond Exe Bridge, and after a mile course through the principal thoroughfares of the City had been completed, it was brought to bay by Alphington-street. The animal was cut about the hind leg and quarters by the van. After being freed of its burden it was led back to its stables, and the loaves collected and restored to the owner. It is little short of a miracle that such an occurrence should have been possible without causing any personal injury. The only damage besides that to horse and van was the knocking over of a bicycle, which suffered somewhat from the impact.
Western Times - Tuesday 15 May 1917


Last evening, just seven o'clock, two men, Lambert Westcott, 21, porter at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Cecil Hutchings, 30, grocer, 18. Magdalen-street, Exeter, engaged a canoe at Dorothy's boating stage, Exe Bridge, and proceeded to paddle down the river. On arriving at the entrance the Canal, Hutchings stopped rowing, and was in the act adjusting his seat, when by some means the canoe overturned. William Gregory, horseman and gatekeeper, in the employ of the City Council, heard shouts, and, on running out, saw the overturned canoe with the two men clinging to it. He called to them to hold on, and ran his own skiff. Within a minute he returned, and was found still clinging to the canoe, but Hutchings had sunk. With the assistance of Special Constable Rousham and Albert Squires, of 4, Exe View Cottage, he rescued Westcott. Squires then got the grappling irons which are kept near the gates, and recovered the body of Hutchings. Artificial respiration was at once resorted to by the Special Constable and Messrs. Squires and Gregory, and Ptes. Trimm and Julian, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, and was continued under the direction of Dr. Stokes. Life, however, was extinct, and the body was removed to the morgue.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 16 May 1917

Case of Cerebro Spinal Fever at Topsham.

At St. Thomas Rural Council yesterday, Prebendary Buckingham presiding, the Medical Officer reported a case of cerebro spinal fever—commonly known as spotted fever – at Topsham, where it occurred in the Post Office. He was notified of it by telephone late on Wednesday night. Yesterday he was able get Dr. Adkins, the County Medical Office of Health, to go down with him, and they investigated it. The patient, a boy, who is aged 15, goes to the Albert Memorial College, Exeter, where, amongst his other occupations he had been repairing lockers for a soldiers hospital. When linoleum was taken up, there was usually a lot of dust. There had been cases of the disease among, the soldiers, and it was quite possible this was the source of infection. He was communicating with the Medical Officer of Health of Exeter on the matter. With regard to the Post Office Topsham, it was quite separate from the house. The mother and three children were going with the grandmother, and the house would be closed. The Post Office would be carried on from outside altogether.
Western Times - Saturday 19 May 1917

OVER £220
Splendid Results of Exeter’s Forget-me-Not-Day

Despite the rain the street sales in connection with Exeter's Forget-me-Not day on Friday actually realised more than under ideal conditions last year. Not the most sanguine worker expected this. It was generally anticipated, in fact, that the totals were bound to be "down "—very much “down," and in view of the actual figures which the count reveals one inevitably asks to what must mainly be attributed the gratifying result?
Partly, no doubt, it must be attributed to the organisation of the Depot Committee, and partly to the enthusiasm the lady vendors favours, but more especially it due to the public's growing conviction of the great deserving the Hospitality Fund. The Fund has made Exeter's name world-famous, and whenever troops happen to be in the City they do not forget to drive that fact home. One instance, in point, occurred on Friday. On a Heavitree tram in the morning there was a citizen (there can be very few like him) who declined, when asked, to put a copper in the tram's Forget-me-Not box. An officer overheard his refusal, and roundly rated him upon it, telling him that thousands of men in the British Army spoke with gratitude of the Fund. Finishing, he gave his protest a practical turn himself putting half crown in the box…
Western Times - Monday 21 May 1917

R.G.A. Gunner in Trouble at Exeter

At Exeter Police Court, Saturday, before the Deputy Mayor (Mr. T. Bradley Rowe), Mr. P. Kelland, Mr. H. J. Munro. and Mr. C. J. Vlieland. George Arthur Woodford. Gunner, R.G.A., Higher Barracks, was charged with stealing, as bailee, a gent's bicycle valued at 30s, the property of Harriet Underdown, of Cowick-street, St. Thomas. The Chief Constable explained that Mrs. Underdown lent the bicycle to the defendant, who promised to oil it and clean it and return when he came to Exeter for the week-end. It was ascertained that he sold the machine at Zeal Monachorum for 15s. He was arrested at Exeter and the bicycle had been recovered. Accused's defence was that the bicycle was given to him, and that he did not sell it, but borrowed 15s on it. It was therefore, necessary to call a witness from Zeal, under these circumstances the Chief Constable asked for remand.—In reply to the Bench the defendant said he was a member the Expeditionary Force that went to France. He had been wounded and was a sufferer from shell shock. He had been in hospital and was not good health. He had been in the habit of visiting Mrs. Underdown’s to see his sweetheart. He had been in custody since Monday. The Bench remanded him in custody till Wednesday.
Western Times - Monday 21 May 1917

Useful Work in Eastern District of Exeter

The Infant Welfare Centre for the eastern district Exeter has been open just a year, having been inaugurated in May 1916. That it has proved its usefulness, also demonstrated the need that existed for such an organisation, is by the figures of the annual report, read by the hon. secretary Mrs Miller, at the first annual meeting new the Co-operative room, the premises the St. Sidwell’s section, Wednesday. It was explained that the eastern area, unlike the other welfare central of the city, owing to the wide distance that separated districts, had to have two rooms, one in Heavitree and one in St. Sidwells. Well lighted and ventilated, newly-decorated walls, and hung with admirable and sometimes humorous coloured prints illustrating the perils to which carelessness ignorance or bad conditions may expose the child-life of the nation, the room in which the meeting took place obviously admirably managed, and the same remark applies to the centre at Heavitree…
Western Times - Friday 25 May 1917

High-Spirited French Poodle's Bite at Topsham.

Walter Sturt. of Topsham, was summoned to show cause why an order should not be made that a black coloured French poodle dog, which was dangerous and not kept under proper control, should be ordered to be kept under proper control or destroyed. Evidence was given by Miss Ellen C Atherton, of Mount Howe, Topsham who said that about 6.15 p.m. on the i6th inst. the dog came behind her, bit her thigh, and tore her coat. She had to have the injury to her leg dressed, and there was still a mark there. The dog had sprung at her before, but this was the first time he had bitten her. The animal had also attacked other people.–P.C. Membury stated that on the 8th May he turned a corner at Topsham, rather sharply, and he unexpectedly met the dog, which rushed at him. He protected himself knocking it down with his truncheon. The defendant whom he subsequently saw, said the dog must have been worried. Complaints had been made to witness on the 3rd inst. about the dog, and defendant on the 4th told him that his wife being away the dog had been out in charge of the servant. Witness added that the girl seemed to be afraid of it.—Defendant explained that the dog was really harmless, but it was high spirited, and had a habit of jumping up to people in a friendly way. —The Bench made an order on defendant to keep the animal under control, the Chairman reminding him that in case of a further offence an order would have to made for the dog to be destroyed.
Western Times - Friday 25 May 1917


Capt. J. B. Harris, son of Mrs. Harris, of South-street, Southmolton, and grandson of Mr. J. Hinton Lake, High-street, Exeter, was returning from leave to Salonica when the boat on which he was travelling was torpedoed, and sank in a few minutes. Capt. Harris, with others, was picked up and taken to an Italian port, where every possible kindness was shown the rescued party, and the greatest respect paid by inhabitants at the funeral of the drowned. Capt. Harris is well, and at present somewhere in France trying to obtain fresh kit
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 25 May 1917


At Exeter, yesterday, Frederick Leonard Chapman. No. 1, Butt’s-road. Heavitree, pleaded not guilty being an absentee under the Military Service Act.
Lieut Fursdon. Recruiting-officer at Exeter, said defendant was given absolute exemption by the Watford Rural Tribunal on March 1st, 1916, on the grounds that he was a theological missionary student. He was then at Stanborough Park College, Watford, and was unattested. Later he removed to Exeter, and April 21st the certificate granted by the Tribunal was withdrawn, he was given one exempting him from combatant service only, and witness gave him notice to report for service on May 21st. He did not report, but before that date called at witness’s office and claimed exception from the Military Service Act because he came under the schedule as a minister of religion. Witness expressed his regret that could not agree, and said that it was a point for the Magistrates to decide. Defendant did not appear on May 21st.
Defendant said he was a member the Seventh Day Adventists, and started his theological course at the age of 14. He came to Exeter to attend the South of England Conference of his denomination, and that Conference was given a ministerial license, having completed his theological course. He had taken up ministerial work in Exeter, and claimed exception from the Act as he was a minister of religion. The Watford Tribunal withdrew his absolute exemption certificate because they said they had authority to decide his standing as a minister.

Adventist seeks military exemption

Pastor S. G. Haughey of Wandsworth Common, said he was President the South of England Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists, who had a membership of about 700 in the South of England. The ministerial certificate granted defendant was similar to those which had been granted by them since the sect was organised, about 1383. As a rule, students commenced their course at the age of 16 of 18, but if they had reached a certain standard were allowed to start 14. Defendant was a regular minister at their church. After a man had held a missionary licence for four years he was duly ordained to the ministry. Defendant was not ordained yet, but he was not a layman, and devoted all his time to the ministry. In fact, he was in the same position as a curate the Church of England, only the Adventists deferred ordination for four years. There were two ministers in Exeter, of whom the defendant was one. The Exeter community who had a meeting-house at Belmont numbered 21, but the ministers had to look after or assist with other communities in the South.
In reply to the Mayor, witness said defendant was junior, the other minister being in charge of the church. He was, however, entitled to perform every rite of the church except holy matrimony.
The Bench decided that in face of the evidence they had no option but decide that defendant was a regular minister, and therefore entitled to exception from military service. The case would be dismissed.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 25 May 1917


To the Editor of the "Western Times."
Sir,—Could any of your readers suggest a remedy for destroying these pests, which abound in thousands in the new Pinhoe-road Allotments, and are eating the potato stalks, cabbage plants, peas, beans and small seeds wholesale.
The grub, which I understand are commonly known as Leather Backs, are the worst enemies. They are to be found about an inch under the earth and close to the stalk of the growing plant, and are eating through good size young cabbage plants in a single night. All common remedies, such as lime, soot, vapourite, etc, have been tried and have failed.
I understand that the plants that are affected are mostly those that are planted in the new ground that has been turned this year. If a reader could suggest a good remedy I am sure that he would earn the gratitude of these allotment holders and


Exeter, May 24-th. 1917.
To the Editor of the "Western Times." Sir.—Will you allow me, through your columns, to tell near relatives of soldiers whose sight has been lost or seriously injured at the Front that they will not be obliged to restrict their visits to them, while in hospital, as announced in the new War Office Order relating to visits to wounded soldiers.
All blinded soldiers are supposed to reach the 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea, or in case of overcrowding there the 3rd London General Hospital. Wandsworth. We have houses-near each of these hospitals, where relatives of blinded men are put up free of all charge, and we pay their railway fares both ways from any part of the country.
In the event of blinded men being by accident sent to other hospitals we will always, on application, arrange for free railway travelling and accommodation of near relatives who wish to visit them. Requests on this matter should be made to the Secretary, St. Dunstan's, Regent's Park, London, N.W.I
Yours faithfully,
Chairman Blinded Soldiers' and Sailors' Care Committee
London, May 24th. 1917.
Western Times - Monday 28 May 1917

Exeter's Lead to the West.
Nutrious meals for all
Exeter has given a lead to the West by establishing a communal kitchen for supplying hot economically-prepared dinners upon a scientific nutritive bases as a cost of 2d per portion. On Monday, when the kitchen was opened by the Mayoress, the menu consisted of meat and vegetables, hotpot, and pudding made of rice, rolled oats, suet, milk and sugar. Other kitchens will probably follow this pioneer in the city. The above photo illustrates a scene at the opening and the insets show how pleased the recipients were with their first communal meal.
Western Times - Fiday 4 May 1917

April 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Exonian’s Kindly Thought of the People

There could be no "shadow of doubt” to the acceptability of the generous gift made by Messrs. Colson and Co. to the needy of Exeter, and distributed from the premises ("The Mansion House "), Cathedral Yard, on Saturday. This well-known House, having secured a big consignment of those very scarce, and consequently precious tubers from Cambridgeshire, determined let the citizens share in their good fortune and devoted no less than 8,000 lbs. weight to be distributed among the poor of the city. The idea suggested itself of distributing the potatoes as a business proposition among retailers in touch with the working class, but as their actual cost, the carriage having to be added to the purchase price, came to something like 1⅝d. per lb., and the retailers officially-fixed selling price is 1½d., this idea was obviously untenable. The principal of the firm, Mr. E. S. Plummer was, moreover, particularly anxious to make the potatoes a gift to as many as possible of the least well-to-do class, who, if they were not in actual need of food, since no exceptional distress is reported had certainly not been in a position to have any stocks of potatoes—or any other foodstuff, for the matter of that—and had not had any on their tables for weeks.

The method of distribution adopted by Messrs. Colson and Co and its success was a tribute to what foresight and organisation can effect when a practical business house like this gets to work on such a task. In view of the unruly scenes that have attended one or two smaller distributions of potatoes, when people have literally scrambled for the vegetable, and then, many of them, gone empty away, because the dealers stocks were exhausted, the authorities were a little anxious lest a disturbance might be created by such a wholesale allotment. But the whole proceedings were quiet, orderly, and pleasant in the extreme. The fifteen hundred people, each to be given 5bs of potatoes for their families were apprised by post-card of their good fortune on Saturday. Some of them began to assemble early, but the majority, having received explicit instructions from Colson and Co in the Press, did not come until close upon the advertised hour. Armed with the "potato tickets" that assured them the gift, they submitted readily to the kindly rule of the police present, who, with the good humour, kept them in a queue reached, at one time, round the Cathedral railings, from opposite the Mansion House to Southernhay. The actual distribution thanks to the splendid management within the house, took just half an hour. The staff of Messrs. Colson and Co., loyally co-operating with their esteemed head, as they have in many a philanthropic affair before, had put in a good bit of work previously. Young ladies from the showrooms had in fact, weighed the whole 70 odd hundredweight into brown paper bags of 5lbe. each, and they handed them out at four improvised stalls, filling as many doorways that open into the big hall of the Mansion House. The building has two large front entrances on different sides of this hall, and with one of the buyers of the firm outside instructing the ticket-holders and others inside directing them on, they came in one door carrying a potato card, and of the other clasping the much-appreciated gift with so much expedition that, as we have said, the whole of the three to four tons disposed of in half an hour, and just after eleven the Cathedral Yard was clear, while the house itself was once again in the possession of the Linen League, to whom the premises have very kindly been lent, for war work, by Mr. Plummer.
Interesting Incidents
That the gift of potatoes was a timely one and not misplaced was evident from many of the post-card requests to be included among the beneficiaries received by Messrs. Colson and Co. "I have five little children and no husband, not through the war," wrote a widow from a poor quarter of the city. “Would you kindly give me a chance of having a few potatoes, as I am a widow and only get a little at the washtub, and I haven't had any for a long time," was another post-card; whilst another woman, an invalided spinster, wrote that she had had no potatoes for ten weeks. ”The last time I had them," wrote a mother of several children, "was like fighting for the potatoes, as our men at the front fighting for king and country”. “We are a family of six, four of whom are future 'Soldiers of the King’ . . . We have almost forgotten what the taste of potatoes Is,” was another statement. Very interesting, as an expression of indomitable British optimism, was the post-card of a “Tommy" invalided out of the Army, having ”missed his leg at the Battle of Loos," who made his application in the form of a merry original rhyme…
”They'm beautiful potatoes." said another peering into her bag.—They certainly were “Up-to-Dates,” large, hard, aud and in perfect condition, unaffected by frost
Western Times - Monday 02 April 1917

Railway Station closed

St Thomas Railway Station, Exeter, was yesterday closed for the duration of the war.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 03 April 1917

Wonford Mother Fined for Giving Her Children Beer

The wife of a Territorial, Sarah Eveleigh. of Wonford-street. Wonford, was summoned at Exeter, yesterday, for giving intoxicating liquor to a child, aged four, on March 26th. She was also summoned for giving beer and stout to another child, aged three, on the same day.—The Chief Constable said that acting-Inspector Snell saw defendant in a passage-way of the Royal Oak Inn, at Heavitree. Her two little girls, aged three and four, were playing near by, and she called them and let them drink from a glass of beer and stout. When spoken to she told Inspector they would have cried if they not been given a drink. The Chief added that he should be satisfied with a conviction in one case.—Defendant now told the Magistrates that she acted unthinkingly —She was fined 10s.
Western Times - Wednesday 04 April 1917

Price of Beer in Exeter District

Exeter and District Licensed Victuallers' Society, at a meeting held to consider the fixing of prices for beers, in consequence of the new restrictions and increased charges, came to the following decision:–
Mild beer, 5d per pint; Burton beer and stout, 6d per pint. r
No esolution was passed with regard to the charge for glasses, and these will probably be sold at a pro rata charge, or, if glasses of less than half-pint capacity are used, at 2½d per glass. These rates apply solely to locally brewed ales, including the “Burton." Bass’s bottled ales and Guinness's stout were not considered, neither was any action taken in regard to spirits, the price of which will probably remain as at present. The increased prices for beers will take effect to-day (Wednesday), and circulars were issued to members of the Trade in the district last evening. The district covered by the Society includes, outside the City.,Topsham, Lympstone, Exmouth, Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth, etc.
Western Times - Thursday 05 April 1917


Easter attraction at the Palladium, Paris-street, Exeter, include “The Winning Punch,” and “Hulda from Holland.”
“The Dumb Genius,” a drama, is the feature of the program at the Exeter Empire, the first half of this week.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 09 April 1917

Rampant squirrels

Considerable interest has been evinced in a letter which appeared in the columns the "Gazette" Tuesday from the pen of Mr. Hudson, a prominent member of the Zoological Society, who wrote pointing out the danger there was allowing grey squirrels to exist in the Rougemont Gardens. Some little time since Sir A. Conan Doyle wrote to the Press pointing out the seriousness of the damage which, this animal was capable of doing, and the rapidity with which its numbers increased. I now read that squirrels in Regent's Park have increased in leaps and bounds.They are attacking the spring flowers, and committing wholesale damage. It just as well that the authorities should take the matter into consideration before there are any great numbers to be tackled, because it is evident from what has happened in the London parks, and in other parts the country, what an undesirable alien the grey squirrel is, and how necessary it is that he should be kept within bounds.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 12 April 1917

Exeter Youth Who Just Came of Age in Time

At Exeter Mayor's Court, before Messrs. H. Campion (in the chair), J. Gould and W. Browne, yesterday, the adjourned case was dealt with of Charles Henry Bealey, labourer, 4, Prospect-place, Rack-street, charged with stealing on the 3rd inst. from a cloakroom in the basement of 235, High-street, two ladies' purses and cash to the value of 3d, the property of Elsie Frances Davis and others, and also with stealing on the 3rd inst. from a coat pocket at No. 30, Southernhay West, a season ticket, value 13s, the property of Iris Pym.—lnspector Sanford said accused was remanded for the purpose of seeing if it was possible get him into the Army. He was found fit for service at the Higher Barracks, but the military could not accept him as it could not be ascertained if he was 18 years of age. He was, however, 18 on the previous day (Wednesday), and the military would now take him if the Bench dealt with the case in that way.—Mr. M. J. McGahey, for the relatives, said accused's parents died about five years ago, and he had since been residing with relatives. There had been five brothers serving with the Forces, one losing his life in the Jutland battle. Two previous convictions were for only trifling offences.—The Bench bound accused over for three months in one surety £2, and told him that if he got on well in the Army nothing more would be heard cases.
Western Times - Friday 13 April 1917

Run down by bicycle

As Mr. W. Eastley, 16, Eagle Cottages, Bonhay-road, Exeter, was cycling down Sidwell-street last evening a 2½-year-old child named Percy Luxton, living at 16, Gatty’s-court, ran out of the court and collided with him. Both fell to the ground, the child underneath Mr. Eastley. Happily, neither was injured. The cyclist is stated to have been going only a moderate rate when the accident occurred.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 14 April 1917

Friday is America Day.

I hope Exeter will not be behind hand in honouring it, if only making a good display of flags in the public streets. A great service of Dedication is to be held at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, which will be attended by the King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The Stars and Stripes will be flown together in a good many cities and towns of the United Kingdom, and I hope the citizens of the city historical city of Exeter will fall into line. The entrance of America into the war is a matter of supreme importance and interest to this country. We should lose no opportunity of showing our cousins across the Atlantic how delighted we are to claim them Allies in the great struggle which is now going forward.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 18 April 1917

Bread shortage

If people are not very careful there is going to be a shortage of bread in the country, but if all will do their best to eat within the limits suggested by the Food Controller, then a very difficult and trying time will be tided over without, it is hoped, great inconvenience. But it is clear that eating must be considerably reduced. And bread is more seriously involved than any other article of diet. There must be no waste, because everything is rising in price. Margarine went up nearly 9 per cent, during March, as compared with the previous, months. Meat, fish, flour, and tea have all advanced, until the increase in the working class family expenditure since the beginning of the war estimated at over 65 per cent.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 18 April 1917

Stolen fowl and eggs

There have been several cases of fowl-stealing in Heavitree district lately. Perhaps the epidemic will now end for a time. Yesterday a woman was charged, before the Wonford Bench, with receiving a hen and 15 eggs which her children brought home, but which she said she intended to return to the rightful owner. Her intentions stood her in good stead for the Magistrates discharged her, after expressing opinion that the case was one of grave suspicion and warning her as to the future. The youngsters were placed under probation. The case was a little out of the ordinary. The lads are eleven and nine years, age respectively. They went to a cottage in Pinhoe for some potatoes, but could not get any, but they collared a broody hen and 15 eggs. How they managed to get the prospective fowl-mother off her eggs and bring her away without being caught did not transpire. But the act was accomplished. An ordinary mother would have known very well there was something wrong in two little lads becoming possessed of a hen and sitting of eggs, and it was her duty to have at once sought the owner. But she dawdled about until the police came the next day, and after it had been ascertained that the boys had themselves declared they had taken six other fowls from different places, and that their mother had cooked and eaten them. Before the Magistrates the elder boy, on oath, denied the statement, stating he was so frightened by the visit of the police, he did not know what he said. The woman is the wife of a soldier. The boys are evidently not under the strictest control, and the Magistrates' caution, it is hoped, will have the effect of staving off further trouble in the household. When lads of nine and eleven prove adept at fowl-stealing, there is danger of their trying their hands at higher game.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 18 April 1917

Wounded at Jutland

Wounded in the battle of Jutland and discharged from the Navy after 3½ years' service, George T. H. Elsworthy, 21, laundry worker, 6, Commins Buildings, Wonford, was at Exeter Police, yesterday, fined 5s for being drunk in Fore-street, Heavitree. The bench referred to his service record, and he promised to be more careful in future.—P.C. Bishop gave evidence.
Western Times - Friday 20 April 1917


Field-Marshal Viscount French will visit Exeter Sunday to inspect the five battalions forming of the Devonshire Volunteer Regiment and Royal Defence Corps. In addition to the men his lordship will inspect in the city, a considerable number will be detached for duty on lines of communication. The latter, so far as the Exeter Companies are concerned, will parade at Longbrook-street Drill Hall at 9.15 a.m., under the command of Lieut. Boswell and they are expected to return to the city about 4 o'clock.
The remaining members of the 1st will fall in at St. James's Park at 12 o'clock noon, and will take their position on the parade ground at the rear of Topsham-road Barracks about 1 o'clock. The other battalions will travel to the city by train, and on arrival will march to the parade ground. Stretcher bearers and ambulance sections will be in attendance. Colonel Lord-Algernon Percy, A.D.C.. as senior officer, will command on the ground until the arrival the County Commandant (General Sir Harrison, K.C.B. C.M.G).
The commander of the Topsham Barracks (Colonel Stevenson) has kindly ordered the canteen to be opened to supply tea after inspection at charge of ninepence per head.
The public will be admitted to witness the inspection, and it is hoped the Devon Volunteer Regiment will receive a hearty reception in the Capital of the County.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 27 April 1917

New Department at the Royal D. and E. Hospital

The President moved that the Governors confirm the action of the Weekly Committee in deciding to open a department at the Hospital for the treatment of venereal disease in accordance with a request from the Local Government Board. He said the scheme had been carefully prepared, and it was proposed to obtain the sanction of the Local Government Board with a view to its being put into operation as soon as circumstances permitted. The expenditure would.be borne by the Local Government Board.
Mr. S. P. Pope, in seconding, said in the existing state of affairs it was absolutely necessary that treatment should be provided for these cases.
Mr. Michelmore supported the resolution.
Mr. Domville said they would hardly be able stamp out the disease, but they could greatly mitigate the consequences which fell on innocent sufferers. He emphasised the fact that the department when open would be absolutely free to the patients, absolutely confidential, and open to every resident in the county and city without any question. The whole of the expenses would be met by rates and taxes. The hospital itself would not put to any expenditure. The agreement with the County Council would be reviewed at the end of twelve months, and the Hospital would be recouped if it had suffered any loss. The motion was agreed to.
Western Times - Friday 27 April 1917

Cake and Pastry Order

The cutting off of pastry goods, which have been the backbone of the confectioner's trade, has left a gap which has to be filled. A suggestion is made in "The Baker and Confectioner” which will, I am sure, receive respectful consideration. It points out that the Cake and Pastry Order shows clearly enough what the baker and confectioner must not do; "but there are many things that he may to produce excellent real food value. Sugar and wheaten flour can only used in certain quantities in the mixtures, but the Order does not say that eggs and fat may not be used in any quantity, but these must be inside the goods and not the outside. The penny bun has been with us from time immemorial, and has formed the theme of many a jest as it has formed a modest meal for many a frugal person. But is there any reason why we should not have a glorified bun—a bun in which eggs and fat strive for supremacy—a meal in a mouthful, so to speak? Such a bun would yield something substantial in food value. Why should we not have a threepenny bun, a sixpenny bun, and one at a shilling, rich in everything , except flour and sugar .
“And the scone, too. It should positively bulge with nourishing eggs—liquid, frozen, or in other form—a food for a coster or a King! Considering the cheapness of liquid and frozen eggs, and the excellent supply we are getting, the confectioner can use them with the utmost freedom in his limited list of small goods. He will thus be putting on the market a palatable and nourishing food, and the public will forsake the diluted bread for the more appetising and nutritious bun and scone. To the public the egg to-day Will come as a balloon and a blessing in the bountiful bun and this inductive scone. Let our confectioners try it."
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 April 1917

Scenes Which Show How Exeter Folk Love a Potato.Potato queueWestern Times - Thursday 05 April 1917

March 1917

The Month in Exeter.

Tram and horse

Yesterday Charles Knight, carter Isca-road, Exeter, sustained an injury to his left leg and a cut over the right eye, on Exe Bridge, through the horse which he was driving taking fright at a tram car, mounting the footpath and jambing him against the bridge. The animal bolted along Alphington-street, where it was stopped by Acting-Sergt. Elford and Mr. E, D. Western.
Western Times - Thursday 01 March 1917

Cream on fire

Exeter Fire Brigade was called about 5.55 last evening to Oakhay Dairy, No. 55, Richmond-road, from which smoke had been seen issuing. The premises, which were locked up, were forced open by members of the Brigade, who found that a quantity of cream which have been left on a gas stove had caught fire. The fire was extinguished before any serious damage was done.
Western Times - Thursday 01 March 1917

Boy injured

A six years old boy named George Connett, of Homefield-place, Heavitree, while crossing Fore-street about mid-day yesterday, was knocked down by a motor cycle ridden by Mr. Thomas Pidsley, of Clyst St. George. First aid was rendered by Mr. T. Peters, of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Connett received injuries to his knees, and was also suffering from shock.
Western Times - Friday 02 March 1917

Exwick van has no lights

Harold Geal, van driver, employed by the Exwick Laundry, was summoned for driving a van in Fore-street, Heavitree, without two front lights at 6.45 the evening of February 23rd.—P.C. Reed stated that there was only one light on the van.—Defendant said when be started from Exwick he had two lamps, but he had a mishap to one them.—A fine of 2s. 6d. was imposed.
Western Times - Friday 02 March 1917

Suggestions at the St. Thomas Tribunal

St. Thomas Rural District Tribunal yesterday heard application from Mr. F. M. Parsons (A), baker, of Topsham, for further time to enable him to complete the training of his wife in the business. He should like another month, when he would join up. Capt. Vyvyan (military representative) suggested that the bakers of Topsham ought combine to make arrangements for carrying on a business like this. He suggested that the Bakers' Association might do something. Ultimately the Tribunal gave the applicant till the 16th March.
Another case was that of Percy Harris (A), baker, of Pinhoe, who stated that he had had a substitute, who, however, was a confectioner, and not a bread baker, and was, therefore, refused. The Chairman: Do you prefer to let the business go rather than have a substitute. Applicant: Yes, I should sell up.—In the course of discussion it was stated that a Mrs Rogers was carrying on business of a baker at Pinhoe in the absence of her husband, who had been called up. There were three bakers in Pinhoe before the war. Captain Vyvyan said several bakers from Exeter served Pinhoe, He suggested that arrangements should be made with the Bakers' Association to carry on applicant's business. The tribunal refused exemption.
Western Times - Saturday 03 March 1917

Exonian KIA

Official news has been received that No. 1705 Pte. H. G Marsden. Devon Regt., the second son of Staff-Quartermaster-Sergeant Marsden Army Pay Corps, and Mrs. R. Marsden, 93, Cowick-street Exeter, was wounded in action in Mesopotamia on 3rd February last.
Western Times - Monday 05 March 1917


To the Editor of the Daily Gazette.
Sir,—Having read in your "Notes of the Day” the paragraph referring to rabbits, I wish to state that the information is incorrect, at least, so far as l am concerned. Last Friday the price I paid was 1s and 1s 1d for shot rabbits and 1s 3d for trapped, and my selling price was 1s 1d to 1s 3d.
Yours truly,
Cowick-street, St. Thomas,
March 5th.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 07 March 1917

Bad Smash at Exeter Yesterday Morning
After Dash Down Fore-street Hill.
Graphic Narratives by Eyewitnesses.

Great excitement was caused in Exeter yesterday when it was learned that owing to an, apparently, runaway tramcar, accidents had occurred at Fore-street Hill and at Exe Bridge with fatal results. The casualties include one woman—a passenger on the car—killed, and several injured. A waggon horse was also killed.
The first part of the accident occurred in Fore-street Hill just after eleven o’clock. A trolley belonging to Messrs. Chaplin and Co., railway contractors, was proceeding down towards the bridge with a load of matches for Mr. Veale, grocer. The driver John Robinson, 29, Exe-street, had drawn somewhat out into the roadway to pass a barrow drawn up outside the pavement, when, without warning, a tramcar plying between Heavitree and Dunsford-hill collided with the waggon, overturning it, and smashing a wheel and the shafts. The collision, it appears, jerked the horse with terrific force against the shop front of Mr. R. Arnold, baker and provision merchant, killing the animal, whilst some show cases outside the shop were badly damaged.
Car Overturns
The tramcar continued down the hill at a fast pace, and at the approach to Exe Bridge left the rails. This part of the accident was witnessed by E. J. Milton, an iron moulder, 2 Friars' Gate. To a representative of the “Western Times" he said: I was standing at the corner of Commercial-road, and saw the cab coming full tilt down the hill. It was rocking on the track, and seemed out of control. The driver was at his post. At the commencement of the Bridge it left the rails and swerved to the right, proceeded some distance, and then overturned. So far as I could see, there were about five passengers in the car…
This was a long report. More on the crash can be found at Tram Crash
Western Times - Thursday 08 March 1917

Local Military Honours

B.Q.M S. A. P. Spicely, R.F.A., of 3, Oak Close, Heavitree, has now had a good many months at the Front, and has distinguished himself on more than one occasion. In July last year his gallant services were brought the notice of the General Commanding of his Division by his Officer Commanding and Brigade Commander, and on New Year's Day was mentioned in despatches. He has now been presented with the French Medal Militaire, which corresponds to the English Military Medal and carries with it a yearly pension of 100 francs. B.Q.M S. Spicely’s many friends in Heavitree heartily congratulate him upon the honour conferred upon him.
Western Times - Friday 09 March 1917

Colonial and "The Pretty Village" OF EXETER.

A young Australian who recently passed through St. David's Station, and shared in one of the Mayoress' Depot Hospitality Fund welcomes, was evidently so occupied at the time with the good fare provided that he could spare not a moment to reflect on the size of St. David's Station, and its importance as a railway centre. Indeed, he left Exeter (would you believe it?) under the impression that St. David's was a village station, and that Exeter was a "pretty village." The fact that this young Colonial should have so lacked all knowledge of Devon's capital may come as a bit of a shock to citizens jealous of the importance of the City, but his letter, sent to the Mayoress and received at the Depot, is too rich, in this reference to the hamlet of Exeter to miss. "I wish to thank you," he says, "for your kindness to us in providing the hot drink and buns when stopped at your pretty little village en route for —. The tea was very welcome to all.” Perhaps that is the best testimonial the Hospitality Fund refreshments ever had, for they obviously riveted this young Colonial's undivided attention. He had eyes for nothing else.
Western Times - Monday 12 March 1917

Exeter Children's Court

At the Exeter Juvenile Court yesterday an errand boy of Wonford was fined 5s for riding a bicycle furiously in Fore-street, Heavitree. on the 22nd inst.—Two schoolboys of Frog-street were ordered to be birched—six strokes and four strokes respectively—for stealing 14 periodicals from a bicycle in Edmund-street. The owner, Mr. A. J. Godfrey, left his bicycle about half a minute, and on his return missed, the papers. The lads offered them for sale to newsagents, including Mr. Pitman, who happened to be a special constable, and who took the boys to the police Station. One of the lads stated that they intended to sell the papers and go to the picture palace with the proceeds. The Bench thanked Mr. Pitman for his action in the matter.
Western Times - Tuesday 17 March 1917

Cider, But no Snack of Bread and Cheese

How the little perquisites of the poor melt away in war-time was shown at the Exeter Police Court, yesterday, when William Gaydon, labourer, of no fixed address, was charged with being drunk and incapable in Heavitree-Road on the 22nd inst.—Replying to Mr Stalker, defendant said he had registered for National Service, but that could not get any work; he didn't know why. He was a plasterer by trade. Asked why he did not buy food instead of drink, he declared that he purchased three pints of cider, and expected to get a bite of something with it. Before the war he could get a snack of bread and cheese from the counter. Now he could not get that.—The chairman(Mr. A. McCrea) said defendant had a bad record, and did not seem to be curable.—He was fined 7s, or seven days.
Western Times - Saturday 24 March 1917

Superintendent leaves

At the Castle Hotel, Exeter, last night, Primo C. Burbidge, superintendent of the Exeter Swimming Baths, who is leaving the city to take up an appointment at Sevenoaks, was presented by local buffaloes with a handsome marble clock, suitably inscribed. Bro. R. Pullen( R. O. H.) made at the presentation.
Western Times - Tuesday 20 March 1917

Wounded in action

Mr. and Mrs Pill, of Buller-road, St Thomas, have been informed that their son, Pte. T. Pill, of the Devons, was wounded in action in Mesopotamia on February 3rd. He went to India with the Devons in October, 1914.
Western Times - Tuesday 22 March 1917 See Journal of voyage to India by the Devons.

Dog steals joint

Two butcher boys had an exciting chase after a collie dog in St. Sidwell’s, Exeter, yesterday afternoon. The dog had secured a luscious joint of pork, and was seeking a quiet place in which to eat it. But the cyclist were seen on his track, and he had a great run for his prize.
Western Times - Saturday 24 March 1917

Swimming lessons for children

There is some doubts as to whether the swimming instruction for Exeter Elementary School children can commence on April 2nd, as the baths are in use by the troops, but it will be started as soon as they are available, and last years timetable would again be adopted.
Western Times - Monday 26 March 1917


Messes. James Guy and Son inform us that their land near Emanuel Church, St. Thomas, was not commandeered by the City Council, but voluntarily offered to the authorities for allotment purposes sometime ago, the offer being now accepted.
Western Times - Tuesday 27 March 1917

Ship Inn license

The Exeter magistrates, on the application of Mr. S. Ernest Crosse, have transferred the license of the Ship Inn, Martin’s Lane, Exeter, from Mr. R. W. Jones to Mr. W. E. Taylor, of Exeter.
Western Times - Wednesday 28 March 1917

TRAMWAY DISASTER AT EXETERTram crash1. The overturned Car, as viewed from the window at Mr. S. Randal’s Seed Establishment, Exe Bridge.
2. The car being dismantled by the tramway workmen.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 9 March 1917

February 1917

The Month in Exeter.


Yesterday, at Exeter Police-court, William Archibald A. Oliver, of the Era Hotel, Sidwell-street, Exeter, was summoned for driving a motor car at a dangerous speed on the 20th ult.
Acting-lnspector Snell stated that he was in Commins-road when saw a car being driven down Pinhoe-road at a "terrific rate." By the time he got into Pinhoe-road the car was out of sight. Subsequently, he was with another police officer in Pinhoe-road when he saw the car again, which he was informed was the one which had been driven furiously. After inquiries had been made, Mr. Oliver was seen. He denied that he was driving fast, but later, when spoken to on the telephone, he said he had no idea he was going at too great a speed, "but if people said he was he supposed must have been.
Defendant: "I said if witness swore to it I must abide by that, but I did not admit that my speed was too great."
In answer to the Mayor, Inspector Snell said it was impossible to estimate the speed at which the car was travelling. It simply flashed by the end of Commins-road.
P.C. Bishop gave evidence to similar effect, and Charles Sampson, butcher's assistant, said he dismounted from his bicycle because the car was coming at a terrific speed.
Defendant said he had been driving for ten years, and there had been no previous complaint against him. He could not call evidence in regard to the present case and must, therefore, leave the matter with the bench.
A fine of 10s inclusive was imposed, the Mayor remarking that the license would be endorsed on this conviction, and that was the real penalty:
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 02 February 1917


Mr. W. Westcott. King Edward-street, Exeter, was driving a motor-car up North-street yesterday afternoon, when two six-year-old boys, Edward Wood and Frank Spavey of Paul-street, ran out from behind a waggon immediately in front of the car, and were knocked down, Mr. Westcott at once stopped the car, and found that both boys were under the front part. With the assistance of Lce.-Corpl. F. S. Smith and Rifleman E. Bull, he took the boys out and conveyed them to the Royal Devon and Hospital, where Spavey, being found to have a fractured thlgh, was made an inpatient, and Wood, whose head was cut, was made an outpatient.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 03 February 1917

Horse bolts

Yesterday morning a horse and waggon, the property of Messrs. J. L Thomas and Co., was standing outside the shop of Mr Hutchings, at Eastgate. A bicycle placed against the kerb, near by, was accidentally knocked down. This frightened the horse, which bolted towards Sidwell-street. It was stopped at the top of Paris-street by P. S. White and a man named Frank Curtis, of Dunsford-hill. The bicycle was slightly damaged.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 03 February 1917

Relics for the Priory

Exeter Museum Library and Fine Arts Committee have assented to a recommendation that appropriate local relics be lent to the estates Committee for the exhibition at St Nicholas Priory under the charge of the Curator of the museum.
Western Times - Saturday 03 February 1917

Exeter Police Court.

At the Exeter Police Court yesterday, Jonathan Batters, labourer, of no fixed address, was brought up in custody on charges of failure to register and neglecting to report when called out for permanent service. When seen at a local lodging-house he stated that he had lost the papers, and admitted later that he was eligible for military service. He had been wandering about the country, and appeared in court in a very unkempt condition. The Chief Constable proceeded with the second charge on which Batters was fined 40s and handed over to the military for medical examination.
Western Times - Wednesday 07 February 1917

No lights

William Clarke, "Barton." Combe Raleigh, was summoned for driving motor-car in Forestreet Heavitree, without carrying lights on the extreme right and left of the car required by the regulations. He pleaded that he acted in ignorance and was fined 5s.
Western Times - Wednesday 07 February 1917

No rear light

William Sowden carter, 8, Snell's Cottages, Bishop's Buildings, Summerland-street, Exeter, for driving a pair of horses and an oil tank in Eastgate without a lighted rear lamp, was mulcted (fined) in 2s 6d. He stated that he did not know the light had gone out.
Western Times - Wednesday 07 February 1917

Widows Compensation

At the Exeter County Court yesterday Mr. G. H. Stephens (Gould and Stephens) applied on behalf of Mrs. Mary Latter and her infant son, that the £290 awarded her as compensation for the loss of her husband, a seaman, who lost his life when the S.S. Princess of Thule went down in Torbay in November last. £10 be paid out to the widow and balance invested in War Loan, £1 per month to be paid out for the support of the child—His honour decided that £20 should be placed in the Post Office, the balance of £270 invested in the War Loan.
Western Times - Tuesday 06 February 1917


There will be a military boxing tournament at the Victoria Hall, Exeter, on February 24. Those desirous of engagements should send names, weights, terms, and past records to the Boxing Secretary, 9th Reserve London Regiment, 47, St. David’s-Hill, Exeter.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 09 February 1917


A satisfactory report was presented by the police at Exeter Licensing Sessions yesterday. It stated there had been a decrease of drunkenness in the city, and that the conduct of the licensed premises had been generally good. All the licenses were named with the exception of the Nugget Hotel, Queen-street. The Magistrates’ Clerk said he had notice from the solicitors to the owners that they were not applying for renewal. The Mayor said the Licensing Justices were obliged to the license holders for the cordial way in which they had fallen in with the suggestions and restrictions in the interests of the public, and in compliance with the desires of the military authorities.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 09 February 1917

Competition of Trams and Motors

The introduction of trams and competition by motors” were the causes alleged at a meeting of creditors at Exeter yesterday by Alfred William Mill, of Pinhoe, and trading as a cab proprietor at Market-street, Exeter. The liabilities were estimated at £473 4s 1d, and the assets £104 16s 3d, leaving a deficiency of £368 7s 10d. Official Receiver's observations:—The receiving order was made on the debtor's petition, and an order of adjudication has been made. The debtor, who is aged 53, states that he commenced business at Cowick-street Exeter, about 1895, when he took over a business formerly carried on by T. R. Rogers. The purchase money was £250 to £30, payable by instalments, having no capital. After about two years he joined his brother-in-law, the said T. R. Rogers, in purchasing a business at Preston-street Exeter, of Mrs. Leach, for £1,800, of which £1,000 was paid down, and the balance was paid in instalments; £900 of the purchase money was advanced by a Bank on the security of two relatives, and £100 provided by T. R Rogers. The partnership was continued for ten or twelve years, when T. R. Rogers retired, being paid £800, which was provided by the debtor's wife. Since then he has traded on his own account. No accounts were prepared on the dissolution, but an agreement was drawn up by a solicitor. He has kept a debtors' ledger and day book, order book, and a rough cash book, which has not been balanced. He has not kept any creditors' ledger nor has he ever prepared any balance sheets or trading accounts. The debtor admits becoming aware of his insolvency about two years ago, but has continued to trade in the hope of improvement, or of being able to sell the business as a going concern. The household furniture, etc., at Harrington, Pinhoe, has been all claimed by debtor's wife, who is also the owner of the property, the whole being purchased by her with her own monies left her by relatives. The unsecured liabilities are follows:—Two for £227 11s. for forage supplied: one for £14 16s. veterinary services and shoeing; one for £145 15s, money lent by a friend; one for £51 5s 1d, undistrainable rent; twelve for £33 16s 2d.
The public examination has been fixed for Thursday next at the Castle of Exeter.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 09 February 1917


There were a large number of skaters to be seen yesterday and last evening both on the river Exe and the Canal.
Western Times - Saturday 10 February 1917

The Ruins of an Exeter School.

ONE of the most destructive fires experienced in Exeter in recent years occurred at St. Thomas (Okehampton-road) Council Schools early Friday evening. Mysterious in its origin—some think it began in a room at the rear of the premises owing to a coke stove, used for warming the building being overheated and igniting the woodwork—it spread with amazing rapidity, and the whole school was in a very short time a mass flames, whose tongues shot upward, high and fiercely. It was a wonderful and weird sight for the hundreds who quickly gathered to the scene. Dense volumes of smoke belched forth, being borne seaward on a gentle breeze—black clouds of disaster. Half-molten glass fell from every window, and there was continual clatter of sliding slates and tiles and falling debris as the roofs turned red and collapsed into the interior. The Exeter firemen, promptly answering a call, fought stubbornly with the flames, and it is no doubt due to the admirable efforts Supt Pett and his men, coupled with the good fortune of the wind being in a favourable direction, that Emmanuel Church, separated from the schools only by passage way, did not become involved. It was a good piece of luck, too, that the fire did not break out until after the 400 children attending the school had returned home for their teas. Everything seemed all right when Miss Newcombe, the Head Mistress, who was the last to leave, had a final look round. The above "snaps," taken by the "Western Times" photographer afterwards, give some idea of two thousand pounds' worth of damage which was done. Arrangements have been made for the children to continue their education at other schools in the vicinity.
Western Times - Friday 16 February 1917

No dog collar

At Exeter Police Court on Saturday, Archibald L. Matthews, Cowick-street, was summoned in respect to a dog not wearing an inscribed collar, and was fined 5s.
Western Times - Monday 19 February 1917

Trams crash

During the heavy fog in Exeter on Saturday morning two of the Council tram cars came into collision in Paris-street. Slight damage, including broken glass, was received by the cars, but no person was injured.
Western Times - Monday 19 February 1917

Farthing fund

We have received 16s 3½d from Miss E. Pursey, 25, High-street, Exeter, 30 farthings from Doris Sercombe, 50 farthings from “S.I.C.," and 96 farthings from Doris Res and 120 farthings from Margery Ley, Lyme Regis, for the Exeter Farthing Breakfast Fund.
Western Times - Tuesday 20 February 1917

Caught in bed with wife

At Exeter City Police Court yesterday, Charles Henry Holland, gunner, R.G.A., was charged with being absent without leave since February 11th, and was remanded for an escort. P.C. Harvey was granted 5s reward for the arrest. Defendant was found in bed with his wife at Bartholomew-street, Exeter, and tried to escape through the bedroom window. Anticipating this possibility the constable refused an invitation to not go upstairs, and did not go till he heard the wife shouting. It was stated that Holland had been six times an absentee from the forces.
Western Times - Tuesday 20 February 1917

Film for deaf and dumb

Through the generosity of Mrs. Sanders, of Stoke House, the pupils of the the Royal West of England Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, visited the Theatre to see the “Tank” films, yesterday afternoon. The entertainment was very much appreciated by the children.
Western Times - Wednesday 28 February 1917

Trench feet

Mr and Mrs. H Stoneman, of Bartholomew-street West, Exeter, have received notification from the Admiralty that their son, Pte. Fred Stoneman, R.M.L.I., is in hospital suffering with trench feet. It will be remembered the eldest son Harry Stoneman, was killed in action last March.
Western Times - Wednesday 28 February 1917


Wonford Bench yesterday granted a reparation order to Mrs. A. B. T. A. Jennings of Pinhoe, the husband, who is employed as a labourer at a munition works at Birmingham, being ordered to pay 15s a week towards her maintenance, and also the costs of the application. It was stated that the man had been employed at Exeter but went to Birmingham, where he could earn more money
Western Times - Wednesday 28 February 1917

Bicycle lights

For being in charge of bicycles on the highway at Broadclyst in the night time without lights, William Mills and John Willey, youths, employed at Stoke Canon Paper' Mills were at the Wonford Sessions at the Castle Exeter, yesterday, each fined 2s 6d. P.S. Harvey stated that he met them at 6.25 and the lighting time was 6.03. The defendants were on the way home from work.
Western Times - Wednesday 28 February 1917


The Ruins of an Exeter SchoolRuined school at St ThomasExtended caption for this photo in the column, left.
Western Times - Friday 16 February 1917

January 1917

The Month in Exeter.


The Mayor proposed a formal resolution to put into operation an order for suspending vehicular traffic to-day in the High-street between South-street and the London Inn Square between 9 a.m. and 11a.m., in view of the procession at the civic reception of the Lord Bishop of Exeter. The Deputy Mayor seconded.
Western Times - Wednesday 03 January 1917


The South Shields Town Council invited the support of Exeter Council to a resolution passed by them and forwarded to the Local Government Board to the effect that the treatment of cases of venereal diseases by unqualified persons should be made a punishable offence. They suggested that joint action taken in the matter by the various authorities which are concerned with the administration of the regulations for the treatment of these diseases. On the motion Dr. Vlieland, seconded by Mr. Depree, it was decided to support the resolution.
Western Times - Wednesday 03 January 1917

Ex-Soldier Found With His Throat Cut at Exeter

Yesterday afternoon shortly after 2 o'clock, George Ralph Williams, ex-soldier, living at 3, Elton-road, Priory-road, Heavitree was found with his throat cut. He returned home Thursday from employment at Warminster, and at two o'clock went upstairs, telling his wife he was going shave. Shortly afterwards she found him on the floor with a large wound in his throat.
She raised an alarm, and two soldiers went in and bandaged his throat, Inspector Snell and P.C. Wood were also on the scene, and Dr. Pereira and Dr. Bradford were fetched. On their instructions, Williams was taken to the hospital by Supt. Bowden and St. John Ambulance members. The wound was not likely to prove fatal.
Williams is aged 33, and was formerly in the Army, having served in France. He afterwards worked as an insurance agent, and was then employed by a firm of caterers at Warminster for a short time.
Western Times - Saturday 06 January 1917


Shortly after noon a gentleman, apparently between and 50 and 60 years of age, entered the shop of Mr. Wynne Tighe, chemist, High-street. Before being attended to he suddenly dropped, and died almost immediately. Dr. Brash, who was called in, found life extinct. The body was conveyed by P.S. and P.C. Jaiman to the mortuary. It was subsequently ascertained that the deceased was Mr. Isaac William Gusset, belonging to Watlington, near Oxford. He had come to Exeter from Penzance, and had taken a room at the Rougemont Hotel for three days. In his pocket was found a medical prescription, and it is supposed he visited Mr. Tighe to have it made up. His friends have been communicated with by Detective Walters.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 08 January 1917

General News

Another Rugby football match, R.F.A. Cadet School v. College, will be played at the County Ground, St. Thomas, Exeter, next Saturday afternoon, in aid of the Mayoress of Exeter's' Hospitality Fund.
The concert in connection with the Children's Red Cross Guild in Exeter, which takes place at the Hippodrome this afternoon, is in aid of the Exeter War Hospitals. An excellent programme has been arranged, and includes dances by Miss Rosa Couldridge's pupils and selections the the band of the Reserve Battalion London Regiment.
A steam roller belonging the City Council was working in Summerland-street, Exeter, yesterday afternoon, when a slight subsidence was noticed in the roadway adjoining the Elephant and Castle Inn. Investigation revealed a cavity beneath the crust of the road extending to a depth, of 12 feet or more, and also apparently proceeding for some yards down the street. The spot adjoins a sewer head, and it is thought that the Cavity has been caused by the attrition of water.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 10 January 1917

Exeter's Warm Clothing for Men on Naval Patrol

"On arrival back from patrol to-day," writes an officer of the Naval Reserve to the Mayoress of Exeter at the Depot, “I found your splendid bales of warm clothing awaiting me. It is indeed good of your Depot to send such a handsome gift, and I can assure you it is appreciated by all the hands. I had my coxswain down to help me unpack, and the grin on his face grew broader and broader each time he dived into the bale. It is a gift which will enable every man to have a change of warm garments when he finishes his watch on deck and goes below, probably both wet and cold, for it is not often that even oilskins will keep one dry long in bad weather on our boat. Again thanking you and all your workers, yours, etc'
Western Times - Thursday 11 January 1917

Contempt and Attempted Bribery at Exeter

An attempt to bribe a police officer that did not come off was related at Exeter Mayor's Court yesterday, when Joseph O’Neil, of 61, Glandfield-street, Balham, London, canvasser for a tea company, was summoned for driving a horse and van in Fore-street, Heavitree, on the evening of January 1st, without having a rear red light. Defendant did not appear—Acting-Inspector Snell, who proved the case said defendant at the time was anxious for him to accept 1s., saying "Here you are. Have a drink. It will do you good. Everything will be all right.” Witness replied that that could not be done, whereupon defendant said, "Don't be silly. Everything is quite all right."—The Mayor commented on defendant's contempt of the Bench in not appearing, and his attempt to bribe the officer, and said the fine would be £1.
Western Times - Friday 12 January 1917

Topsham Soldier Awarded the Military Medal

Residents in Topsham will be gratified to hear that Pte. Maurice Hill, Somerset L.I., and son of Mrs. Hill, of Exe-street, Topsham, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. The award was for rendering first aid to an officer in a battle on the Somme, getting him into a shell hole and ultimately back to the British trenches.
Western Times - Friday 12 January 1917

Alleged Slack Drilling of Cadets

A court martial held at Topsham Barracks yesterday, dismissed a somewhat unusual charge. Corpl. Clement Elgie, 16th Reserve Battalion, pleaded not guilty to neglect, whilst on active service, that, to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, at Topsham Barracks on January 10th, whilst in charge of a squad of Cadets on marching drill, he conducted the parade in a slack and slovenly manner…
… Regt.-Sergt-Major J. C. Hutchins said that on the morning of the 10th inst. at 6.30, accused was in charge of a squad of Cadets. The marching and dressing of the squad was badly carried out. No attempt was made to check or smarten up the squad. He spoke to the accused about it and reported the case to the Adjutant.—Cross-examined: All he said to the accused was “Put a little more ginger into it."
For the defence, Elgie, himself, gave evidence. He had had two years in the Army, he said, and had been drilling the Cadets for over ten months, and no complaint had been made against him until that morning. He gave the squad the order to double. They had gone round the drill ground about six times, when he gave the order to break into quick time. Some of them were very puffed, and he noticed it, and gave them a chance to get into position. Just then the R.S.M. came on the ground. It was very dark, and the R.S.M said to him, "Why don't you give them the time to march to?" He (witness) immediately did so, and went on and finished the parade. He had been drilling the class ever since, and two months ago he entered an examination with other N.C.O.'s and passed out top.
Cadet J. P Vyse, who had eight years’ service in the Army before he became Cadet, being Battery Q.M Sergeant, said he had been drilled by the accused since December 8th. and considered him an excellent instructor. In fact, he was much more particular than any other instructor. That morning he made them take off their coats, and no other instructor had made them do that. After doubling they were out of breath, and when they received the order to break into quick time they were doing their best to get into position; then the R.S.M. came up. Cadet D. J. B. Evans, who had seen some years' service as S.S.M. before becoming a Cadet, said had also been drilled by Elgie, who certainly showed no slackness on the morning of the 10th. Accused was an efficient instructor. Cadet P. W. L. Parkinson and Cadet J. also gave evidence for the defence One of these had had two and a half years the Army, and had never known Elgie slack in his control. The latter said Elgie was one of the best instructors they had.
Prosecutor and Mr. Alford having addressed the Court, accused was found not guilty.
Western Times - Tuesday 16 January 1917


The Mayor mentioned that the seal of the Council was affixed, as directed, to the address of welcome to the Bishop of Exeter, who, he was glad to tell them, was gratified with the warmth the reception given him in the seat of his diocese.
His Worship also intimated that a public meeting would held at the Guildhall on Monday afternoon next at o'clock to consider a resolution as to what the City and citizens shall forward the success of the War Loan.
A communication from the Local Government Board regarding the need for increasing the food production of the county by pig keeping and the development of poultry and rabbit rearing, was, on the motion of the Deputy Mayor (Mr. T. Bradley Rowe), seconded by Mr. J. Stokes, referred to the Sanitary Committee for consideration and report.
Western Times - Wednesday 17 January 1917

Their Employment in St. Thomas District

At a meeting of the St. Thomas War Agricultural Committee at Exeter, yesterday, a letter was read from the Board Agriculture and Fisheries stating that arrangements had been now made whereby all suitable prisoners of war, both military and civilian, who had had any experience of agricultural work would be allotted to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as a number of civilian prisoners of suitable physique who did not possess any previous agricultural experience. In the first instance the Board was able to place seventy-five prisoners at the Committee's disposal. Should the Committee decide that they were unable to frame a scheme for their employment the Board should be informed not later than January 30th, in order that the services of the prisoners might be utilised elsewhere. The letter further stated that batches of not less than 75 in number would be supplied to the county, and with a view to economising military guards it was essential that arrangements be made for housing the prisoners groups of not less than this number in depots from which they could be sent or drawn daily in small working parties, consisting as a rule of not less than five men. Prisoners thus employed would remain under military control, guards being provided both at the depot where they were housed and for each working party.
The Rev Guy Halliday (of Topsham) proposed that prisoners be located at Topsham. There was a suitable building to house the men in, and there was an application for 25 and plenty of work at Topsham.—The proposition was adopted.
Western Times - Saturday 20 January 1917

Exeter Council and Provision of Allotments

Although prior to the war there was a large quantity of land in Exeter cultivated as allotments, the City Council, are doing their best to provide more in order to encourage the citizens to comply with the appeal of the Government to grow an extra supply of food during the continuance of the war. There seems to be no lack of applicants for plots. Already about three hundred persons have applied to the Town Clerk, hundred of these having been received during the past week. The principal difficulty now to obtain the necessary land, more especially in St. Thomas where the demand for allotments is greater than the supply of land at present available. Negotiations, however, are proceeding with owners, and it is hoped that sufficient land will be forthcoming. Of course, the majority of suitable fields are already tenanted, and it is not easy to make arrangements for their conversion into allotments. Nevertheless, owners should at the present crisis, regard it as patriotic duty to supply the local authority with allotment ground as quickly as possible as the time has now arrived when it should be undergoing preparation for the coming season's crops.
Altogether, the Council have so far acquired about ten acres, which will be sufficient to supply about half the applicants each with a ten yards plot. Efforts are being made to obtain at least another ten acres, and owners therefore, who are willing to assist in the municipal scheme should immediately communicate with the Town Clerk. The authorities are making no profit out of the transaction. Except a small margin to cover expenses, which are very small, they are letting the allotments at the same rates as they are themselves renting the field as a whole. Rents for the plots vary accordingly, namely from 9d to 1s 6d per yard. It is understood that manure and seed will also supplied to the allotment holders at wholesale prices.
A large quantity of land in Exeter and the environs has long been under allotment cultivation. The City Council themselves have for several years past let for this purpose land for which they have no immediate use. For instance, at Duck's Marsh they let 2 acres 0 roods and 20 perches; St. Thomas 1 acre 3 roods; at Exwick 4 acres 2 roods; at Pince's Nursery 3 acres 1 rood 33 perches; Sylvan-road, 3 acres 0 roods 3 perches; and at Heavitree 8 acres 1 rood, a total of 23 acres 2 roods and 16 perches. The ten acres which have now been acquired bring the total municipal allotment acreage up to 33 acres 0 roods and 16 perches.
Several landowners are extending the area which they let as allotments. The London and South-Western Railway Company, for instance, are providing further allotments for their men in Mount Pleasant-road, and at least one private owner—a resident in St. David's—has ploughed up his lawn. It is understood also that the Right Hon. H. E. Duke, K.C., M.P. has decided to devote some of his grazing land at Maryfield to the cultivation of vegetables.
Western Times - Saturday 20 January 1917


Yesterday afternoon the inmates of the St. Thomas Workhouse received visit from the Lord Bishop of Exeter and Lady Florence Cecil. The visit was arranged at short notice, his lordship intimating his intention a few days ago to the Chaplain of the Workhouse (the Rev. H. G. Chalk) of preaching at the service in the chapel yesterday afternoon. The inmates who were able to attend were present the the service. Dr. Atkins (Medical-officer Health), Mrs. Atkins, Miss Atkins, Mr. W. P. Trick (Clerk to the Guardians!, Mr. and Mrs. Moore (Master and Matron), Miss C. M. Burrow, Mr. M. L. Baker (Relieving Officer) and Mrs. Baker, and members the indoor staff also attended. The Chaplain read the service. The Bishop read the second lesson, and preached a sermon from the text, "The peace of God, which passes all understanding." In a homely manner he spoke of the war, reminding his hearers of the hardships our soldiers and sailors had to bear. Alter the service the Bishop and Lady Florence visited the sick ward, chatting with each patient, and inquiring after their welfare. They then looked into the dining room where the remainder of the inmates were at tea, and, before leaving, expressed their pleasure at the care and attention bestowed by the staff on their charges. It is stated that this is the first occasion which a Bishop of the Diocese has visited St. Thomas; any rate, it is the first within the past 27 years.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 22 January 1917

Gardener Walks into the River in a Fog

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Charles Sercombe, an Exeter market gardener, aged 48, since the night of December 15th last, was cleared up at an inquest relative to his death conducted at Mr. Dart's house, Countess Weir, on Saturday by Mr. H. W. Gould, county coroner.
Agnes Lily Sercombe, 31, Weirfield-road. St. Leonard's, Exeter, identified the body as that of her husband, whom she last saw alive on the morning of December 15th at home. She went out leaving him in the house, and had not seen him since. His garden was at Ide, and he was accustomed to walk there every morning and return in the evening about 6.30 or 7. He usually returned through Commercial-road and way of the Quay She had learnt that he was in North-street, Exeter, the same day, and his most direct way home from there would be down South-street, through Coombe-street, and on to the Quay. She had never beard him speak of suicide. He had no troubles, and his health was very good. On the night of December 15th there was a fearful fog, and people had great difficulty in finding their way about. Miss Julia Courtney, 22, North-street, Exeter, a friend of the family, said on Dec. 15th at 6.15 p.m. deceased called on her, staying about ten minutes. He left saying he was going home to tea. He was quite cheerful and made no complaint. It was a very foggy night. Fred Henry Smith, Lime Kiln Cottages, Countess Weir, said at 9.30 a.m. the previous day he found deceased's body in the mill stream behind the millhouse Countess Weir, and gave information to the police. P.C. W. H. Cox, stationed at Countess Weir, deposed to recovering the body with assistance at the spot indicated. On it there was a purse containing two half-crowns, 1s., and 3¼d., a key a tobacco pouch, and a note book containing the deceased's name, but nothing to throw any light on his death. Deceased had been reported missing.
Dr. W. H. MacPherson, of Topsham, who had examined the body, said it presented the usual appearance death by drowning, and consistent with having been in the water for a month. There were no marks of violence. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death by drowning.'' It is supposed that deceased walked into the river during the fog.
Western Times - Monday 22 January 1917

Heavily Fined by the Exeter Magistrates

For leaving a light unobscured in a look-up shop at 16, Paris-street, on the night of January 18th, Ruby Sellick was summoned at the Exeter Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. J. Stokes (in the chair), P. Kelland, P. R. Gayton, and R. C. Upright.—P.C. Whitfield saw the light which was not screened in any way, just after midnight. It was shining on to the footpath and upon the building opposite.—Defendant said she left the light burning in the shop, which was very dark, the previous morning, when she left in a hurry to catch a train to Exmouth, where her mother was ill. She was worried and forgot to turn out the light.—Fined 5s. inclusive.
Described by Chief inspector Martin as a tramping drover, a man who had given the name John White, but whose real name was found to be Edward Pope, was summoned for allowing cattle to run loose at Cross Park, Heavitree, on December 29th. Defendant did not appear, and the Inspector, in asking the Bench to deal with the case in the man's absence, hoped an example would made of him.—P.O. Rigg stated that five cows and two calves were running about the road and on to the footpath, causing annoyance to pedestrians. There was no one in charge of them, and some time later defendant came out of a public-house. He was insolent, and said he had only been in to have half a pint. —Inspector Martin told the Bench that defendant had given the police no end of trouble for a long time. In April last there was a similar occurrence on the Honiton-road, when motor cars and other vehicles were held up by cattle which had been left to stray. On that occasion he gave the name of John White, as he did now, and said he lived at Newton Poppleford. A lot of correspondence ensued between the police, but defendant could not be found. On the present occasion there had been similar trouble, and the summons had had to be enlarged three or four times. They had now ascertained that the man's name was Edward Pope. A good deal of expense had been incurred in connection with the matter.—The Bench imposed a fine 20s., or 14 days' imprisonment.
Western Times - Wednesday 24 January 1917

Germans for Road Work in the St Thomas District

At the meeting of St. Thomas Council Friday, it was reported that the Road Committee had replied to the County Surveyor that the Council could take 30 German prisoners, and provide sleeping accommodation for them, to work on the roads.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 January 1917

The New Bishop of ExeterWelcome for the new Bishop. The Town Clerk Reads the City's Welcome.
Western Times - Friday 05 January 1917

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