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This Month in Exeter – 1918

Many changes in wartime city

Page added 30th November 2018 for the newspapers in December 1918

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Western Times


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

December 1918

Council Prepared to Proceed at an Early Date

In a report to the City Housing and Town Planning Committee state that the Town Clerk has made inquiries as the purchase of sites for the erection of houses for the working classes. The owner in one case had declined to negotiate, and in the other case he had been unable to make progress owing to the absence of the owner on military service.
The committee recommend that the Local Government Board be informed that the City Council are prepared to provide 300 houses at an early date on the terms set out the Board's circular of March 31st last; that the Board requested sanction for the erection 47 of such houses the utilisation of the sites in Pince's Gardens and Claremont-road, having regard to the fact that the land was immediately available and that the plans of the houses had been prepared; that the Council do authorise the committee to take immediate steps for the purchase by agreement or compulsory powers of three sites in the neighbourhood respectively of the tram termini in Pinhoe-road and Cowick-street and the neighbourhood of Barrack-lane.
Western Times - Monday 02 December 1918

Sad End of a Topsham Soldier

Quite a gloom has been cast over Topsham by the receipt of the sad news that L.Cpl. A. A. Minto of the Worcester Regt., was hourly expected home, had died in a German hospital three days before the conclusion of hostilities The deceased joined the 7th May. 1915, was transferred to the Worcester Regt. and Proceeded to France, being captured March 21st at St. Quentin. Previous to joining the army, he was employed by Green and Son, Exeter and was well known in Exeter, and being of a genial disposition he won a large circle of friends. He would have been 23 years of age on Armistice Day. Further details were furnished his chum L.Cpl. J. Voaden. M.M., of Wonford, who visited the deceased's parents on arriving from Germany. He stated that at St. Quentin they were fairly overran, being in the front line, and surrendered to a “mopping up” party, which treated them with kindness and consideration. They were sent to different camps, but one day he saw Mingo through the wires of a fresh place of internment. Mingo, on hearing the party were marching for better camp, watched his opportunity, and climbing the barrier went with them, and continued with him until the end. For the last two months they had been employed behind the German lines in Alsace, loading coal trucks, each being given a certain amount of work do and sharply prodded with the butt end rifle if it "was considered they were not smart enough. Their food consisted of vegetable broth and bread but the evening they would make all right with the sentry, and whilst one did the work the other would go to the village, where the French would give him potatoes. The parents of L.Cpl. Mingo have sent him parcels privately and through the Worcester Care Committee, but Voaden assures Mr. and Mrs. Mingo that their son had not received any, neither did he until two days before the Armistice, when one from the Care Committee was thrown into him. Voaden sold all he possessed for food, and that Mingo sold his old ring to a German for extra bread. Mingo was taken to hospital suffering from dysentery, which carried off lot of our men. He came out again, and was put to work, but had to return. The last time Voaden saw him he asked him to buck up, as it could not last much longer, to which he replied. "It will last too long for me, old man." He was removed the same night to the Military Hospital, and died the following day. November 8th. His funeral took place at Weivel Cemetery, Alsace.
Western Times - Tuesday 03 December 1918

The Exeter Magistrates and Small Fines

A reply to the criticism the small fines which some Benches of City Magistrates inflict for infringements of the present dog-muzzling order was made at yesterday's sitting of the City magistrates, the Justices present being 'Messrs. P. Kelland (in the chair), J. Stokes, B.C. Upright, and P. Gayton. There was only one case down for hearing, and in this, Farrier and Staff-Sergt. George Chambers, R.R., pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog found at large without a muzzle in Cowick-street, St. Thomas. Defendant lives in Church-terrace., Heavitree, and told the magistrates that had the dog chained up in his yard. While he was attending to his wife and daughter who happened to be ill, the dog broke the chain and bolted. He at once ran after it and called at the Police Station.—P. C. Whit field stated that he found the dog loose in Cowick-street.
The Chairman said that under these circumstances the fine would be 10s. Infringements of the Order were undoubtedly a serious matter, and hydrophobia was a terrible death. It was the wish of his colleagues, however, went on Mr. Kelland, that he should allude to the remarks made from the Bench last Thursday on the smallness of the fines inflicted persons summoned for not having their dogs muzzled. He begged say that many defendants could pay a large fine, whereas the same amount to many others would be a very great difficulty and hardship. He and his colleagues considered it very unadvisable for one Bench of magistrates to attempt to lay the law down for other Benches to follow…
Western Times - Wednesday 04 December 1918

Exonian Returns From Germany

Mr. and Mrs. A. Bell ringer have received a letter from their son, Pate. F. C. Bell ringer, 2nd Devon's, who has been twice wounded and gassed, and was taken prisoner on May 26th, 1918, to say. that he has been admitted into the King George Hospital, London, with septic legs, caused by working in a German coal mine, and glad to be back to old Blight, which he never expected to see again. He is going satisfactorily, and hopes return home in a few days.
Pate. Horace Hart, 1st-8th Middlesex Ret., son of Mr. and Mrs. Hart, 8, Barton-terrace, Alphington-road. who was captured on November 30th, 1917, at Cambrian, arrived home on Friday. He was among the first small party of British soldiers to arrive in Brussels after the cessation of hostilities, and witnessed all the rejoicings of the Belgians (already fully recorded in our columns) on the occasion of King Albert's triumphal entry.
Western Times - Monday 09 December 1918

Pensioner's Death at Exeter

A verdict of "Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was returned by the Exeter City Coroner (Mr. W. Clifford Brown) at an inquest conducted by him at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital yesterday. Deceased Was William James 60, an Army pensioner, 3, Ida Cottages, Paris-street, Exeter. According the evidence of the widow, he was discharged from the Army on 18th October, and appeared in his usual health, although he worried a great deal on account the fact that she had been ill recently. On November 27th she saw him in front of the mirror cutting his throat with a razor. She stopped him, and called Mr. Drew, who had the deceased removed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.—Dr. Danville. who attended Hen wood at the hospital, said the man was dazed when admitted, and remained so until his death. He was certainly not accountable for his actions.
Western Times - Friday 13 December 1918

To the Editor of the "Western Times.

Sir,—As our Exeter men, who have been prisoner of war are drifting home in twos and threes, it has not been practicable to receive them on their arrival in the City. But the Mayor and I are anxious to show them honour, and to entertain them the Guildhall, and a convenient date will January 2nd. We hope most of them will be repatriated by then. Will every repatriated soldier, of every unit—not Devon's alone—whose home is in Exeter send his name and address to me at the Guildhall, so that an invitation may be sent. I hope no man will be shy about it. We want to have a pleasant evening all together.
Yours faithfully,
J. KIRK G. Owen,

To the Editor of the “Western Times."

Sir,—Mr. Charles Care, on Monday evening, at Topsham, spoke in glowing terms of the splendid weekly wage now enjoyed by the agricultural labourer. Mr. Care said he was sure the labourer would not like to go back to prewar conditions. Has Mr. Care ever thought at all about the present purchasing value of that magnificent 31s a week? At the present time, and for time to come, that represents rather less than 17s 6d, on which the wife has to feed and clothe herself, her husband and children, replace crockery, etc., besides paying rent and rates.
And it is a scandalous thing that out of this Inadequate sum the employer is allowed to deduct two days wages in Xmas week, just when a few shillings more are needed for the children’s enjoyment—5s 2d for compulsory holiday on Xmas Day and another 5s 2d for compulsory holiday on Boxing Day. Yours truly,
December, 1918
Western Times - Tuesday 17 December 1918

Newton Abbot and Heavitree Flight Cadets

Flight Cadet Alan Edward Lloyd, aged 20, of Knobbles, Newton Abbot, and Flight Cadet Edward James Rice, 19, of Home field-place, Heavitree, Exeter, were killed on Saturday, in separate accidents, while making flights from a Flint shire aerodrome. At the inquest by the Flint shire Coroner last evening, verdicts were returned of "Accidentally Killed," no blame being attached to anyone.
Flight Cadet Rice is the son of Mr. Charles P. Rice, one of the assistant overseers for Exeter, with whom the greatest sympathy will be felt in his sad bereavement.
Western Times - Tuesday 17 December 1918


The Surveyor has reported to the Lighting and Cleansing Committee of the Exeter City Council that four new day carts are required, and three required repairing, two new refuse carts are required and two required repairing, and eight water vans required overhauling. He suggested that the Committee consider whether it would be advantageous to adopt some form of mechanical traction, wholly or in part, in place of horse haulage. In regard to the collection of household refuse, four electrical vehicles would do the work of 13 carts, and three or four large water would do the work of all the existing water carts. A sub-Committee, consisting of the chairman, deputy-chairman, and Mr. Ye, in consultation with the City Surveyor, were appointed to consider and report the comparative cost of horse and mechanical traction, and if necessary, visit localities where mechanical traction is in use.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918


The Estates Committee of the Exeter City Council have considered a communication from the Museum Committee, inquiring if open air accommodation for large war atrophic could be afforded the city. Arrangements were being made by the Government for distribution of such trophies and it was intended, if accommodation could be provided, to apply for trophies connected with the Devon Regiment. It was decided to inform the Museum Committee that open air accommodation could be provided for large war trophy exhibits.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918


The bill of the Exeter Hippodrome shows that great attractions have been again provided for next week. It is headed by Manuel Viga, who will pay his first visit Exeter. He has won a high reputation as an original comedy actor at all the principal places of amusement. Les Novacels will present their latest novelty in shadowgraphy designing comedy scenes, and portraiture with scissor. A capital turn will be by Joseph, the comedy swinger. Les Trois Cloches will appear in their musical and act, “The Home of Harmony," with which they have met with much success at the London Hippodrome and principal halls. They are three talented artistes, and introduce brilliant vocal and instrumental numbers. There will also appear Chas. Ancaster, the “inebriated" comedy juggler, and Frank Foster, a New Zealand tenor and conductor from the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. The bioscope pictures will be of a special character.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918


During November there were 64 births and 119 deaths in Exeter, the death-rate being 18.32 per 1,000, against 38.82 in the larger towns. The deaths included four from cancer. 26 from influenza, and three from tuberculosis. One death occurred at a public institution.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918


From November 9th to December 7th 158 deaths were registered in Exeter, 49 of which were due to influenza and its complications, as against 125 deaths from influenza out of a total of 204 deaths during the five weeks.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918


In view of an early commencement of building operations Pinces Gardens, the Estates Committee recommend the City Council that notice be given to allotment holders determining their tenancy of the building at Midsummer.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 28 December 1918

Festive Spirits at Exeter

A labourer, Robert Vicary, Queens Court. Island, pleaded guilty the Exeter Police Court yesterday to being helplessly drunk in High-street Thursday night. He was fined 5s. Another charge of being drunk and incapable Alphington-road against a discharged soldier was withdrawn, it being stated that defendant fell down while intoxicated and broke his leg. As a consequence, was now the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
Western Times - Saturday 28 December 1918

Exeter Man Killed on the Line Near Exeter

"Accidental Death" was the verdict returned at an inquest held at Stoke Canon on Saturday on Harry Jennings, aged 55, water-cress vendor, Preston-street, Exeter, whose mutilated body was found on the railway line Stafford Bridge, near Exeter. Deceased was struck with terrific force by the engine of a train, and Dr. Biddell, Thorverton, said death must have been instantaneous.
Western Times - Monday 30 December 1918

Exhibition You Should See. WONDERFUL exhibition of warWONDERFUL exhibition of war photographs—undoubtedly the finest camera work ever seen in the West—is the collection by Canadian official photographers now on view at the Exeter Museum. No one who wants to appreciate what war really is should fail to inspect the collection. Apart, however, from the essential claims of the pictures, the object of the exhibition is alone deserving of support. This is the form which the Canadian War Memorial is taking–passing on to future generations the best crayon and camera records of the part which Canadians have taken—and the proceeds of the exhibition go to help the Memorial Fund.
Western Times - Friday 13 December 1918

November 1918

Workers’ Educational Association

To the weekly class arranged by the Exeter Branch of the Workers’ Educational Association, Mr. Charles Berry, F.R.H.S., on Friday gave a valuable address, “Some Lessons from the 1918 Allotments.” The suitability of various kinds of potatoes was afterwards discussed.
Western Times - Monday 04 November 1918


The supply of flags in the country is naturally a limited one, as manufacturers have for some time past been unable obtain either material or labour for making them. The approach of the time when the public may be expected to desire to fly the colours of the various Allied countries, therefore, finds us with a shortage, and it is alleged that there something like a corner in the articles. In some of the liberated French and Belgian towns our soldiers on entering found the inhabitants with a profusion of Entente fags, and, surmising that these could not have been laid in anticipation before the German occupation, made inquiries and learned that just before the enemy's evacuation German agents had gone round selling these flags to the natives! Perhaps at this moment factories in the Fatherland are busy making British, French, and Belgian flags, which they hope to sell to us to celebrate Germany's defeat. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 09 November 1918


Anglers will welcome the decision of the Exe Board of Conservators to embark upon a scheme for re-stocking the Exe with salmon. The idea is not only to increase the head of fish running up the river, but to improve their strain. Those qualified to judge testify the success of a somewhat similar scheme some years ago, when Tay or Don salmon introduced into the river, either as yearlings of smolt greatly improved the fishing. It gave the Exe prettier and more sporting fish, and those who have watched the development of the river as one the best salmon rivers in the West feel the time has come for another attempt to improve the head and strain of the fish. Consistent re-stocking on the lines suggested is, no doubt, beneficial to the river. Major Will and Mr. E. J. Coombe, in urging the importance of increasing the trout, gave expression to an opinion long held by trout fishermen, especially in the lower reaches of the Exe, where the fish can, by no stretch of the imagination, be said to be as numerous as formerly. It is a matter of regret that the river should have declined as a trout stream. The causes are variously attributed to the alarming increase in the coarse fish and the greater number of salmon which now run the river, as also the drought which prevailed few years ago. Whatever the cause, in the opinion those who have fished the river for years it is hardly fair for the Conservators to charge 5s for a license to fish for trout when, in the lower reaches at any rate, they are so few in number as to be hardly worth while pursuing. It transpired at yesterday's meeting that fish for re-stocking could not be obtained, and the question was referred to the Watch Committee.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 09 November 1918


It is good news that the influenza plague is generally losing its extreme virulence. The medical authorities tell that such a visitation has no sort of connection with the war, but recurs at odd and long intervals. Some off us will, nevertheless, continue to “hae our doots.” It seems fairly reasonable that we have a few million corpses under a few inches of earth, with all sorts of drainage complications, and the rough-and-ready improvised sanitary arrangements for armies numbering tens of millions of men, without paying some the general state of health. All soldiers that I know are convinced that the so-called influenza epidemic is directly due to the war conditions, and there will eventually prove be truth in the general theory. A more difficult question upon which expert opinion differs, is the possible effects of constantly, and for long periods, drenching whole areas of France and Belgium with powerful and enduring poison gas.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 09 November 1918

No News Received to Early Hour

Up the time of going to press this morning no news had reached us of the acceptance by Germany of the terms the Armistice as laid down by Field-Marshal Foch. It was generally expected, apart from unforeseen circumstances, that the result would have reached London last evening, but on Saturday it was announced from Berlin that, consequent upon the heavy German barrage and machine-gun fire on the battle-front, the passage of the German courier from Headquarters was so delayed that he was not expected to reach the German Headquarters until Saturday afternoon…
Western Times - Monday 11 November 1918

The Enthusiasm of a Great Crowd

The news was posted in the window of the "Western Times" Office exactly at twelve minutes to eleven, and High-street became immediately transformed into a jubilant, cheering mass of citizens of all ages, and all conditions.
It was the long expected news at last! All day Sunday people had remained in the principal thoroughfare, anxiously awaiting its arrival, and for hours Sunday night there were thousands massed between Bedford Circus and Queen-street on the tip-toe of ex- pectancy. It was not until 10 o'clock Sunday evening that they began to thin, and not until eleven that the street-resumed its normal night appearance.
At 10 a.m. yesterday there was just the ordinary traffic in the High-street—nothing more. Pedestrians went stolidly about their usual business, and though there was a lively sense of the nearness of great events in the minds of everyone, it was well concealed.
Just after ten the first heralding of the news came along. The phone wires at the "W. T." office bore the information that Plymouth had picked up an Admiralty wireless of the effect that the armistice had been signed, and that flags were flying in the town and bands blaring forth the good tidings.Then a ring from Torquay! The same news there. Listen at the 'phone receiver! One could hear the bands playing and the wild, exultant shouting of the people in the Torquay main street.
Ten minutes later, and a, hurried, message came to hand from the Exeter Post Office. The news at last! Official this time, without a doubt—without shadow a doubt! The fateful, epoch-making document signed at 5 a.m., and fighting to stop at 11 a.m.—fighting to stop after these four years of agony!
At twelve to eleven the announcement was posted in the "Western Times" window, and at once began this remarkable transformation of which we have spoken. A cheer! Another and another. Thank God! Hurrah! Hurrah! A running and a clattering of feet. The news being shouted, up and down the City; and then people hurrying from everywhere. They came in hundreds. Boys and children scampered waving flags and shouting; clerks left-their stools and hurried out hatless; young lady shop assistants, hatless, too, came pell-mell scurrying to the scene; the swelling crowd pressed to with in view of the posted announcement, and soon the street was a swaying mass of jubilant, cheering, hat-and-flag waving rejoicers.
It was an unforgettable scene as the news spread and spread, and perhaps the phase of it which will leave the deepest impression on one's mind was a picture of weeping women. They passed along—there were quite a number of them—with tears of sheer joy coursing their cheeks, for what time the youngsters were shouting themselves hoarse. The flags had already appeared at the Guildhall waving triumphantly in the fresh morning breeze; each window soon bore its Union Jack, and across the street fluttered a bold line of our national emblems, overlooking the joy of the surging crowd, it streeled(sic) down the thoroughfares, its pent-up feelings at last finding vent and play.
One big Colonial corporal careered along dancing, and every now and again stopping to shake hands with friend and with stranger, kissing the girls, and lifting aloft the kiddies. Wounded soldiers in their hospital blue went along arm in arm ringing a school bell, twirling a hand rattle, their adventures on the battle-fields forgotten for the nonce. A procession of young women and lad munition workers strode to the scene in their overalls, cheering and singing, and a group of Colonial soldiers had already set the bell a-ringing at St. Petrock's, stopping only when people began to troop inside, thinking that the first of the thanksgiving services was already being commenced.
As mid-day neared the crowds became more and more dense. The whole High-street was a slowly moving, parading throng. Two wounded Australian privates outside the Guildhall, in the midst of their strident cheering, turned suddenly and grasped the hand of a British captain in a shake of joy; the next moment the three of them were there dancing a can-can of delight. Everybody and his neighbour, as the saying goes, had left work and trooped into the streets, and elderly citizens and usually very staid and phlegmatic citizens were in the very centre the rejoicings, taking a foremost share in them. Some Hele's schoolboys, fifty more, came marching along in a procession, adding their treble, high-pitched notes to the volume of triumphant choruses; fa ew convalescents from the military hospitals, not stopping even to put on coats, had run to join the crowds in their shirt-sleeves.
Among them was a Canadian, and it was fitting that just as he passed along the notice should be posted in the "W. T." window : "At dawn to-day the Canadians captured Mons." Mons! What memories the name recalled.
The youngsters in the streets were by this time sharing in a gratuitous supply of cocked hats made from a series of paper Union Jacks that the staff of Messrs. Walton and Co., had given away, as they were quickly turned out by the proprietor.
At noon Old Glory, with its Stars and its Stripes, was unfurled from the Guildhall, and very soon, either side of it, flew brave Belgium's colours and the Tricolour of France, avenged. High over the three ran still the Union Jack, and below, the street, passing backward and forward in front of the old, grey front of the Guildhall, the flags and the badges and the emblems of red, white and blue increased in dozens, in hundreds. Up the Fore-street hill, drawn by an old farm pony came a little four-wheeler, carrying a quartette of bedecked girl land-workers; they were dressed in their brown, field garb; they too, had "downed tools" and hurried into the City to share in the excitement.
Long before one o'clock the great majority of business establishments closed down for the day, and all classes of people gave them selves over to the sweeping wave of sheer joy that had surged through the city. Impromptu processions still filed up and down High-street, St. Sidwells and Fore-street, and it was wonderful how many thousands flags had come suddenly to light. The whole city was ablaze with them—simply ablaze, and by this time the posters had already announced the afternoon Cathedral service, and services at many other places of worship in the city. As one read these announcements, one gave a thought—a deep thought—to the dead, the great dead, who have made the Supreme Sacrifice for this Supreme Victory of Right, the Immortal Dead. In an hour like this, their memory is a thousand-fold precious, a thousand-fold revered.
Between one and two o'clock confetti made its appearance in the streets, and soon the roadways were smothered with it. The trams—all the trams which passed—were crowded, and from them all streamed flags and favours. At the rear of one as it went along St.Sidwell's, fluttered a Belgian flag, bright and new, its yellow band flashing as the car sped its way; a Belgian refugee walking on the pathway gave way to his feelings as he caught sight of it, and running up to the back of the car, raced beside it and, taking the flag from the hand which held it, waved it excitedly over his head; then passed it back to its owner, and resumed his journey, flushed and panting.
Whistles, toy-trumpets and bugles were everywhere, and always up and down the main street, up and down its full length, the people (all workers out to air their joy) passed slowly the to waving of myriad of Union Jacks. A procession of schoolboys from mean streets threaded their path through the throng; people-stood aside for them to go, for their approach was heralded by the beating of their improvised drums; one drum was an old kettle and another a bucket, upon which a stocky youngster, shoulders thrown back, was beating his martial rat-a-tat-tat in quite a good imitation of the music of the throbbing kettle-drum.
On the top of one car were twenty or so Colonials and wounded Britishers, their tunics and hats afire with the Red, White and Blue, they sang and laughed and cheered. So, as the afternoon wore on, Exeter settled down to its Armistice Day gaiety, each hour bringing its new diversion, and adding to the multitude of flags fluttering, waving, dancing everywhere.
Procession Scenes in High Street
The rejoicing reached its climax in High-street and Fore-street at 3 o'clock, the hour which the procession was timed to start. Viewed from the upper windows, the thoroughfare presented one massed sea of heads. Was there ever anything like it in the old city before? Were there ever such throngs and such cheering and merriment!
The Mayor and the civic portion of the procession awaited the military the corner of Queen-street, and when at last their turn came to fall in behind the first band, it with the greatest difficulty that the police were able to force a passage through the packed crowd for Councillors. Some worthy City fathers, in fact, had to give up the effort, and were borne back amid the throng.
The swirling music of the band passed into Queen-street, and the scarlet the Mayoral and Aldermanic robes gave a glint of high colour to the pulsating scene. How the crowd cheered the troops—the Cadets first, British and Colonials, some of the latter dancing and out between their marching steps; then how the cheers went out anew as the Waacs passed, trying to hide their high spirits under the mask of a stolid air; then the wounded—lads who had borne the brunt of the day's spent struggle, and now with light heart strode along to the accompaniment of a volley of cheers—none more deserving on this memorable day; and in the last part of the procession, the V.A.D. nurses—cheered to the echo, too, and going forward with a becoming dignity through the swelling, swaying stream of citizens.
No sooner had the procession passed than the centre of High-street became one immovable, close, packed mass—thousands on thousands crowded there. Police and specials struggled to cope with the impasse, but it was fully twenty minutes before a course could be forced with freedom. In the midst of it all, a tram came along, its way blocked just before High-street. Immediately scores tried to board it, and at last the driver steered back again, kiddies, Tommies, grown-ups, crowding on its footboards, fore and aft, and even clinging the outer edges. Order had been restored again by the time the procession returned, but the thousands were still there to welcome it back, and it wended its way round Queen-street corner to rising, falling waves on waves of shouting. The wounded once more came in for the biggest reception of all, and one Jock, wearing the Gordon's cap, adorned with tiny flags, walked along with the aid of a stick, waving a Union Jack and cheering, shouting all the way on this, the day of his life!
Western Times - Tuesday 12 November 1918

for the Fifth Term

Sir James Owen was on Saturday re-elected Mayor of Exeter for the fifth term in succession. Sheriffs are ineligible for more than one year, and consequently Councillor Harold Rowe has filled that office for the past year, but who is now on military service, is succeeded by Councillor William Townsend, the head of the well-known printing firm of Townsends and Sons. Although, since the principal political parties agreed to sink their partisanship during the war, the annual ceremony of choosing the City's two chief officers has been tame in comparison to what it used to in the days when political feeling ran high, the election, marked, as it is, by a stateliness which has varied very little for hundreds years—for the Mayoralty dates from Anno Domini 1200, and the Shrievalty from 1537—is still interesting and picturesque event. It was not surprising, therefore, that in the Guildhall, where, usual, the ceremony took place, there should have been both on floor and gallery, a large gathering, which included many citizens in addition to those connected with local administration. On the cross benches were the daughter of the Mayor and Mayoress (Mrs. Gatey), Mrs. Townsend (wife of the Sheriff elect), Miss Joan Townsend (his daughter), and Miss Townsend (his sister). The newly elected member for St. James' Ward quietly took his seat on the cross benches, and his arrival was marked by no demonstration. The gallery, as usual, was reserved for ladies.
At noon the entrance the procession of the chief actors in the proceedings, headed the mace bearers, was signalled by applause. The roll having been called by the Town Clerk, and the name of Mr. Plummer was greeted with applause. The first task of the Mayor was to welcome the new member for St. James…
Western Times - Tuesday 12 November 1918


Thanks were given to Mr. Kelland, J.P., by the Exeter Guardians yesterday for supplying fireworks for the inmates of the Poor-law Institution on Monday evening.
Western Times - Wednesday 13 November 1918

Expressing joy

General Sir Richard Harrison, presiding at sitting of the Wonford Bench at Exeter, said he could not allow occasion to pass without expressing joy that the war which had been raging for the last four years and three months was virtually at an end. Though there were great difficulties still before us, no doubt we could trust our legislators and political chiefs to do what was necessary to settle the affairs of the whole world. We prayed God that great good might all result to all mankind from this terrible war.
Western Times - Wednesday 13 November 1918

Death of Well-Known Exeter Footballer

Exeter and East Devon football followers will regret hear that Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, 5. Lansdowne Terrace, Exeter, have just received news of the death of their only son, Sergt. Fred Hunt, Instructor of Musketry of the Outram Rifles, from dysentry and pneumonia, at an hospital at Gaza. He volunteered for active service just after the outbreak of war, and left England for India shortly afterwards with the 2/4th Devons. Since then he has seen service in Palestines. Before the war he was employed at Mr. Harry Hems, and was a very keen and clever Soccer footballer, being of fine physique. He played as a back for St. Leonard's and St. Margaret's Topsham, and was then selected to play for Bath City. For several seasons previous to the outbreak of war he was one of the best, and certainly one of the most popular, of the Exeter City Reserve team. Much sympathy will go out to his father and family. His father, just after the outbreak of war joined the St. John Brigade, and has been doing his bit at the different hospitals in the City ever since.
Western Times - Wednesday 13 November 1918

Larger Petrol Allowances

The Automobile Association is authorised by the Petrel Controller to state that the present petrol allowances may shortly be increased. Business motorists will be the first to receive larger petrol supplies. As soon as peace is signed it is anticipated that the petrol allowances will be granted for ordinary motoring. The extent to which allowances will be increased will greatly depend upon requirements for military motor transport following upon the signing of the armistice. The Association has, however, received assurance that the present restrictions on petrol consumption will be removed as rapidly as possible.
Western Times - Friday 15 November 1918

Influenza's Toll at Exeter

It was reported to Exeter Sanitary Committee at their meeting last week that, during September there were 79 births and 58 deaths, and during October 98 births and 188 deaths, being 11.38 and 42.76 per 1,000 respectively as against 11.57 and 27.42 in the larger towns. The deaths included 12 from tuberculosis, 10 from cancer, and 114 from influenza and pneumonia; 8 deaths occurred at public institutions.
The Medical Officer reported that from 21st September to 2nd November 216 deaths were registered the city, 127 of which were probably due to influenza and its complications; 53 were males and 74 females.
Western Times - Monday 18 November 1918

Children's Celebration at Exeter Last Evening

Thanks to the kindness of Messrs. Colson and Co., Exeter, the children of the City last evening had an Armistice rejoicing that they will remember for many a long day. Upwards 5,000 of them were entertained in St. James Field to a capital display of fireworks, provided by the principal the firm, Mr. E. Plummer, who was assisted in the admirable arrangements made by Major Rev. H. de Vere Welchman, Captain A. Reed, and Lieut. W. Captain A. Reed, and Lieut., W. Knight (officers of the Cadet Battalion), Rev. H. G. Chalk, Mr. Force, Mr. C. Panter, the members of Messrs. Colson and Co's staff, and several other ladies and gentlemen.
The event began at 6 o'clock, and long before that hour a queue of children had formed up, extending, five deep, from the entrance of the gates in St. James-road to the railway bridge at Lion's Holt. On entering the field each child was presented with a piece of fruit-cake, a treat which was much appreciated. The three bands the Cadet Battalion, as well as the Exeter Salvation Army Band, rendered selections of music on the ground, and through the streets later, and of the Battalion also acted as torch bearers and greatly helped generally. At the conclusion of the firework display a Cadet Bugler sounded the “Fall-in," and the children formed up for a torchlight procession through the principal streets of the city. Foremost among them walked those in fancy dress, numbering about 80. They were headed by mounted police, and Supt. Rett, of the Fire Brigade, also mounted, helped to marshall the procession, which was exceedingly effective in the glare of the torches, by reason of the flags carried, and the great number of tall lances from which fluttered parti-coloured, pennants red and white. On the return to St. James' Field Doxolcgy was sung, and the National Anthem played the dismissal…
Western Times - Tuesday 19 November 1918


Mirth and melody reign supreme at the Exeter Hippodrome, an attractive programme having been arranged celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening this popular house of entertainment. Smith and Joyce, “Some singer and some fool," furnish a bright and sparkling turn. Versatile and. decidedly original, they create a favourable impression in their rendering of humorous songs, upon which they exercise their exuberant spirits in a manner irresistible. Indeed, it is one of the finest acts that have ever made the Hippodrome ring with laughter. Elsie Roby, the comedy girl with burlesque stunts, also makes a decided hit and keeps the audience in a continued ripple of laughter in song, dance, and story. The Omega Trio stand in the forefront ion equilibrists in a daring performance demanding great skill and endurance. Yorke and Sylvia are associated in an acceptable novelty entertainment. Cissie Nadene is a very engaging comedienne with a merry twinkle in her eye, and Henri Merton the original mimic in animal and instrumental studies, is decidedly clever. Pictures on scenes in London on Victory Day complete the programme worthy of the best traditions of the Hippodrome.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 26 November 1918

Mayor of Exeter Addressing Armistice Day Crowd at the Buller Statue. Mayor of Exeter Addressing Armistice Day CrowdThe above photograph, which we are able to publish by the courtesy of the "Western Weekly News," shows a memorable gathering at the Buller statue, at Exeter. The Right Worshipful Mayor (Sir James Owen) is seen addressing the large military and civilian gathering.
Western Times - Friday 15 November 1918

October 1918


An outstanding feature of an attractive programme at the Exeter Hippodrome this week is the original musical melange by Jean Schiller and Co. This talented musical combination is delighting large houses in an agreeably diversified vocal and instrumental programme. Miss Julie Dolaro, the possessor voice of adequate range and beauty created a favourable impression, especially in her song “When the ship of love returns.” Charlie Rich, the inimitable comedian establishes himself a great favourite. He keeps the audience in a continual ripple of laughter with his merry jests and topical allusions. Harry Bedford, a characteristic comedian also achieves great success in a series of mirth provoking songs. The Phil Rallis Trio, in their comedy, vocal and acrobatic act, are highly diverting, while Celeet's new ideas of equilibrium are very clever.
The manager, Mr. Jack Fitchett, apologised for the absence of Ethel Beach. who had been unable, owing to the railway strike, to reach Exeter to fulfil her engagement on Monday, but she will appear this evening.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 01 October 1918

Exeter Cellar Factory Strikers' Reception, at Ottery.

In connection with the strike at the Exeter City Collar Works, some of the male and female strikers visited Ottery St Mary by cycle and train, on Wednesday, with the view to getting the hands working at Messrs. Rice and Co's,. branch establishment the factory out, but the Ottery girls refused to listen to their persuasions, and quite a scene took place. Not only were the visitors booed, but were threatened by a number of discharged soldiers that if they did not leave the town they would be thrown over the bridge into the river, and they took the hint and quickly left. Several missiles were thrown from among the crowd, including apple cores etc. but the visitors escaped injury.
Western Times - Tuesday 01 October 1918

Exeter's Bishop on the Deliverance of the Holy Land.

The Bishop of Exeter, in the Diocesan Gazette, give expression his feelings of joy at the great deliverance in the Holy Laud. He says: "One cannot foresee the final effect of the great victory in Syria. It is probably one the turning points in the history of the world. I hope that we shall spend much time in thanksgiving for the victory. We can hope that not only many nations will lie delivered from the cruel rule of the Turk, but that the ancient people of the Jews will again fill the Holy Land—a land so wonderfully fertile that it needs but the labour of industrious people to make it flow again with milk and honey. But there are other thoughts beyond this, more mysterious in their nature, which we can sum up the great phrase, God is working His purpose out."
Western Times - Friday 04 October 1918

Old Man Knocked Down by Army Service Corp Car

The Exeter Coroner, Mr. W. Linford Brown, sitting with a jury, held an inquest at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital yesterday afternoon, touching the death of George Stone, an old-age pensioner, aged 83, of 29, Ebrington-road, who died in the hospital as the result of being knocked down by a motor car in Alphington-road Friday evening. Mr. W. J. Pring, transport officer, Exeter War Hospitals, on behalf of Miss Buller and the staff, expressed regret at the occurrence and sympathy with the relatives.
Evidence identification was given by a daughter of the deceased, who said her , father's sight and hearing were fairly good.
Miss Christine J. M. Clarke, of the Women's Legion, attached to the A.S.C, said about quarter past seven she was driving a motor along the Alphington-road towards Exeter. Just as she was passing Princes-street she suddenly saw deceased in front of the car. She did not know where he came from. She had a moment before she sounded the hooter, and she was driving between 10 and 15 miles hour. When she saw the man she put on her brake and swerved to the right to try and avoid him. The left headlight and wing, however, struck deceased. She immediately pulled up. There was no one about the time of the occurrence, but a taxi driver came along just after and she then went for a doctor. She had passed a stationary tram car a little distance before deceased appeared on the road. It was dark just at the spot, due to overhanging trees.—In answer to Mr. Pring witness said she had driven a car regularly since 1912 and had a clean certificate.
Miss Eugene Nolen, also of the A.S.C., who was with the last witness, gave corroborative evidence. There was a lamp at the end of Princes-street, but the light was hidden by the stationary tram car and trees.
P.C. Reed, who went to the scene of the incident, said deceased was knocked down and fell beneath the car which dragged him about two car lengths. He was able to see that the car had been travelling on its proper side before it reached the spot. From the marks showing where it had made a sharp swerve he should think the deceased must have been walking along beneath trees or stepped off the path into the road just by them. No one appeared to have witnessed the accident other than the ladies in the car.
Mr E J Domville, house surgeon at the hospital, said deceased's skull was fractured, and he bad lost a lot of blood. The injuries were quite sufficient to cause death. He died a few hours after admission. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death," and attributed no blame to the driver of the motor.
Western Times - Tuesday 08 October 1918

Elementary Schools Closed for a Fortnight

Owing to the large number of both teachers and scholars away from the Elementary Schools of Exeter because influenza, the Education Committee have decided to close the whole of the schools for a fortnight, as from Monday evening October 21. In some of the schools 50 per cent, of the-teachers were laid up last week. Over 30 the students of the Exeter University College have also been added to the local flu victims, but the classes there are being continued as usual. Meanwhile the medical faculty of the city are being kept exceptionally busy, and cases not only of the flu, but of pneumonia, have been very frequent in the city during the treacherous weather of the last fortnight.
Western Times - Wednesday 09 October 1918

Sir James Owen Accepts Office for Fifth Term

Sir James Owen, who was first elected Mayor in 1914, few months after the outbreak of war, and who has since continued in office, has bowed to the generally expressed wish of the citizens that should undertake the duties for a fifth term. Sir James, who is opposed to offices of this kind being held for extended terms, had hoped that each term would see the end of the war, and thus release the city, himself and the Mayoress from many the obligations in connection with the war, to undertake which, in view of their extensive and complex character would, was felt, asking too much of a new Mayor and Mayoress. Now that his Worship has consented to remain in office for a further twelve months, the continuity of the war work for our soldiers will be unbroken. This will give satisfaction to all classes…
Western Times - Friday 11 October 1918

War Films at Exeter

A large crowd assembled in Bedford Circus, Exeter, on Saturday evening, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Mayor (Mr. T. Bradley Rowe), to witness a series of war films under the auspices of the Ministry of National Service. A photograph of Mr. Lloyd George and the achievements for which he is credited, formed a conspicuous feature of the programme. The cinema, which is touring the West England—Chard and Yeovil are the next places visited—is in charge of Mr. Stephen Scott and Mr. Hutson, and the former delivered address on the pictures thrown on the screen, which were divided into three sections, i.e., Sons of the Sea, Women and the War, and the Western Front.
Western Times - Tuesday 15 October 1918

Five Sudden Deaths at Exeter

Five cases of sudden deaths were reported to the Exeter City Coroner yesterday. One of the deaths, that of Edward Kenneth Bamsey, aged 6, died at 24, Southernhay, on Saturday. The other four were those of Edward Walaron, 37, of 6, Russell-terrace, Elizabeth Sarah Vicary, 18 months, of 52, Preston-street ; Louisa Enscombe, age 43. 2 Colleton Buildings, and, Emma Chislett. 68. of 31. Summerland-street.
Western Times - Tuesday 15 October 1918

Influenza Epidemic in Exeter Abating

Although no returns as to the number of influenz patients in Exeter are available, it is believed by those in a position to gauge situation that the epidemic is on the decline. At the same time, there are few business establishments who have not had their already small staffs further depleted as a result of the epidemic. Some are experiencing great difficulty in carrying on. At one business establishment in the higher part the city there is a notice to the effect that the place is closed till the 21st, owing to the illness of the staff. At another shop there was notice that owing to a similar cause the hours of business have been curtailed.
Western Times - Wednesday 16 October 1918

Serious Death of Medical Men at Exeter

At an inquest at the Court House, Exeter, yesterday, relative to the death of Emma Mary Chislett, aged 68, of 31, Summerland-street, widow of Mr. Edwin Chislett, cabinetmaker, evidence was given to the effect that on Monday, after having had dinner in her bedroom, she came downstairs, and was about to go to an easy chair, when she collapsed.— Dr. Allen, who had conducted a post-mortem examination, attributed death to heart failure, brought about by commencing pneumonia.—The Coroner, who sat without a jury, found that “Death was due to natural causes."
At a second inquest, relative to the death of Louisa Alice Luscombe, aged 45, Colleton Buildings, The Friars, wife of a labourer, now serving in the Army, it was stated that she had had a cough during the past three or four years, but would never see doctor. On Friday she was attacked with influenza. After drinking a cup of tea on Monday, about 6 p.m., she looked very ill, and messengers were sent for a doctor. Although they were absent about an hour, they failed to get a doctor, and during their absence the deceased collapsed and died.—Dr. Pereira Gray, the Police Surgeon, who ultimately attended, found the woman dead. He told the Coroner that other persons were suffering from influenza at the house, and the deceased died from heart failure, due to bronchitis following influenza. Verdict: “Death from natural causes.''
Western Times - Thursday 17 October 1918

Strange Phenomenon at Exeter

About six o'clock last evening a sudden flash of light occurred at Exeter. It was observed by large of people, but no explanation of the phenomenon was forthcoming. Various suggestion were offered, one being that a big explosion had somewhere in the County.
Western Times - Thursday 17 October 1918

Sudden Death at Exeter

An inquest—the sixth held at Exeter within three days regarding sudden deaths—was conducted the City Police Court by Mr. W. Brown, yesterday. Deceased Was Emma Louisa Stevens, 19, of 30, Kiing-street. She died suddenly on Tuesday, after complaining to her father of pain in her chest and head.–Dr. Clapp said a postmortem revealed old pleurisy. She had also pneumonia, and this caused fatal heart seizure. Dr. Clapp added that deceased was a delicate person with curvature of the spine, and if she had been healthy and strong her heart would no doubt have withstood the strain. A verdict of ”Natural Causes" was recorded by the Coroner.
Western Times - Friday 18 October 1918

Young Conchy Fined at Exeter

A young man of respectable appearance, describing himself as an accountant, Edward Pedlar, 10, West Grove-road, Exeter, was charged, at the City Police Court, before Mr. I.C.M. and Mr. J. Stocker, yesterday morning, with failing to appear when called up for military service.–Defendant pleaded guilty, and the Chief Constable said he was a conscientious objector, and was 18 on July 30th last.— Defendant told the Bench he had stated his, conscientious views to the Local Tribunal. He was an International Socialist, and, believing in the brotherhood man, objected to taking life. He had held these views for two years.—Mr. Stocker: Since the war has been on? Defendant: You must remember was only 14 when this war started.— Defendant was fined £5, and ordered to be handed over to a military escort.
Western Times - Saturday 19 October 1918

Exeter Tramway Service

Consequent upon the influenza epidemic in Exeter, which has seriously affected the staff the Exeter Corporation Tramways, the service has had to be somewhat curtailed, and it is only fair to the Tramways Manager that the general public should be cognizant of the difficulties which he is at present labouring under. More than a third the staff, including eight motormen, is at present on sick leave, being down with influenza. This depletion of staff means that approximately three cars have had to be taken off the system. (Mr. Baldwin is, however, maintaining—and will continue to do so as long as the available staff permits—the usual ten minutes' service up to ten o'clock, with an eleven minutes' service for the remainder of the day. The mid-day dinner specials from Queen-street to Pinhoe and Queen-street to Heavitree are still running, and it hoped that these will be continued. In order to maintain the eleven-minute service, the staff are cheerfully backing up the Manager realising that is up to them to do everything possible so that the public shall not inconvenienced more than is absolutely necessary.
Western Times - Saturday 19 October 1918

Cycle Accidents at Exeter

On Saturday morning Mabel Huggins living in Blackall-road, Exeter, was cycling down High-street, and in trying to pass a wagon near the Post-office the wheels her cycle caught the tram line points and she was thrown heavily to the ground. She sustained a deep cut over the left eye, and was taken into the shop of Messrs. Milton, chemists, by P.S. Stacey and P.C. Parker. After first-aid had been rendered she was taken to her home. Miss Huggins when she fell narrowly escaped being run over by the wagon, and praise is due to the driver, Sydney Sanders, of Wonford, for the prompt way in which he applied the brakes and pulled up the horse.
On Saturday afternoon Doris Sanders, Brockwell's Farm, Sowton, was cycling down Fore-street, Heavitree, when owing to mishap to her cycle she was thrown off and sustained injuries to her face.
Sunday evening, about 9.45, Pte. Foreman, Canadian Forestry Corps, stationed near Exeter, was cycling down Fore-street, Exeter, when the wheel of his cycle caught in the tram line, with the result that the rider was thrown heavily. When picked up he was found to be in a dazed condition and badly cut about the nose and face? First aid was rendered by P.C. Harvey and Pte. Voss, St. John Ambulance Brigade, and Foreman was conveyed on an ambulance to the military hospital, where he received medical attention and was detained.
Western Times - Tuesday 22 October 1918

Muzzling Order in Force in the Country Districts

Exeter is not at present included in the area scheduled under the Rabies' Order, which applies only to the administrative Counties of Devon and Cornwall. At the same time dogs cannot be removed from Exeter to any place outside Devon or Cornwall without the permission of the Board of Agriculture. In the scheduled area —that is the Counties of Devon and Cornwall —dogs in public places have to be muzzled, and held on a lead, and when in any other than a public place they must be confined within an enclosure from which they cannot escape, and secured by the collar. Although Exeter dog owners have not at present to observe these requirements, they must remember that the Dogs Order of 1906 is in operation. That Order makes it illegal to allow dogs to stray. In short, dogs must, not be in public places unaccompanied their owner. If they are found straying it is within the province of the police to take them to the Police Station. Owners, therefore, must not be surprised if, under existing circumstances, this restriction is more strictly enforced than it has been hitherto.
Western Times - Tuesday 22 October 1918

New Oil Paintings Bought for Exeter

Four new landscape oil paintings have been bought by the Kent Kingdon Trustees for the Royal Albert Memorial Art Gallery, the purchase being reported to the meeting of the R.A.M. Governors yesterday by Mr. W. A. Cunningham. Three are of particular local interest being the work of Frederick R. Lee, R.A. who was born at Barnstaple in 1799, and first exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1824. was made R.A. in 1838, and his works are mostly landscapes. In his day they had a big vogue, and the pictures now secured for Exeter are two of them (sic) views near Crediton and one of the Teign Valley. The fourth purchase is a view in North Wales by H. Hughes-Stanton, A.R.A., who was born in 1870, and is now a leading representative of the modern English landscapists. Examples of his work are in the Tate Gallery.
Western Times - Tuesday 22 October 1918


Mr. Stocker thanked the proprietors the Exeter Theatre, the Hippodrome, and the Picture Palaces, for willingly agreeing a request to refuse admission to children under 14 during the prevalence of influenza.
Western Times - Wednesday 23 October 1918

Runaway Horse at Exeter

Yesterday morning, about 8.30, a horse attached to a spring waggon ran away, proceeding down High-street, Exeter. The driver, George Moule, of Sutton and Co.. Sidwell-street, stated that the horse bolted near the Arcade, and threw him to the ground, and he sustained bruises to his right side and knee. P.C. Blackmore, while on duty, secured the reins, and managed to bring the animal to a stand-still, thus avoiding a serious mishap, as the horse was on the point of colliding with a tramcar. Much praise is due to the constable in his prompt and plucky action. The streets were beginning to get crowded at the time, but no damage was done, and no one was injured.
Western Times - Friday 25 October 1918

Death of an Exeter Bank Cashier

We regret to announce the death of Mr. Ralph Hoggins, Velwell-road, Exeter, for many years cashier at Messr. Fox, Fowler's Bank in High-street, Exeter. Although of fine physique, and generally robust constitution, he had, it seems, been unwell of late. He did not, however, give up work until about the beginning of last week, When be was attacked by influenza. Pneumonia set in, and despite careful nursing and advice Drs. Andrew and Pereira Gray, he passed away yesterday morning at the age of 38 years. Deceased was widely known and highly respected, and deep sympathy will be extended to the widow. There are no children.
Western Times - Monday 28 October 1918

DEATH OF DR. E. A. Brash
Former Medical-Officer of Health for Exeter

We regret to announce the death which occurred at his residence, 35 West Southernhay, Exeter, yesterday, of Mr. Edward Alexander Brash. Deceased was taken ill about a fortnight ago with influenza and pneumonia developed. He leaves a widow, two sons, and three daughter, with whom all citizens will sympathise in their bereavement…
Western Times - Thursday 31 October 1918


The Fatal 'Flu.Miss Dorothy ProuseMISS DOROTHY (DOLL) PROUSE, of 21, Buller-road, St. Thomas, was but one of the many victims which the influenza epidemic has claimed during the past few days in Exeter. Miss Prouse succumbed to pneumonia, consequent upon the 'flu. In several other cases cardiac failure has been the result. Miss Prouse was a conductress on the City Trams, and was very popular among the staff.
Western Times - Friday 18 October 1918

September 1918

Raymond Entertains 700 Wounded

On Saturday 700 from the local hospitals and also some of the lads from the Whipton Reformatory were entertained at the Hippodrome by Raymond, the magician. And a fine entertainment it was, too. He kept them mystified for an hour and a half with a huge variety of his tricks–all his best and cleverest. No trouble seemed too much for Raymond in his exampling in his gifts for the lads in hospital blue.
Western Times - Monday 02 September 1918

Bishops third son killed

I should like, on behalf of readers, to express their very sincere sympathy with the Lord Bishop of Exeter and Lady Florence Cecil in the further great loss which has befallen them by the death, in action, of a third son in the war, information being yesterday received that Captain J. A. Cecil had made the supreme sacrifice.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 04 September 1918

Sugar shortage

I have been asked to state that people in the St. Thomas rural district must not be disappointed if they get no permit for sugar for blackberry jam. seeing that all that was granted has been disposed of, and that about 200 applications—late arrivals —cannot even be looked at, pending the rather unlikely advent of more sugar.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 04 September 1918

Cider shortage

Owing to the scarcity of apples, very little cider, if any, will be made this autumn. And that little will be made will almost prohibitive in price to those whose only beverage is the "wine the country.'" Somerset cider is realising remarkable prices at auction–100 hogsheads have fetched from 2s 11d to 3s 1d per gallon, the greater portion being purchased by London and Exeter buyers.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 06 September 1918


Mr. Otton, of Bridge Hill, Topsham, has grown a monster pumpkin. It weighs over 42lbs., is nearly 20 inches across, and 56 inches circumference.
Western Times - Friday 06 September 1918

Asylum Attendant Fined for Theft at Exeter

An asylum attendant of respectable appearance, Annie Falling, aged 31, giving an address in Cornwall, was charged at Exeter yesterday with stealing from a bedroom at Wonford House on September 5th a lady's purse, the property of Miss Hilda Crout. She pleaded guilty.—Chief Inspector Martin said accused had been employed as an attendant at Wonford House Asylum. There was nothing against her character, but she was not suitable for the work, and Thursday she was discharged. Before she went, Miss Crout, another attendant, missed the purse from her bedroom, and told defendant, who said, “I hope you don't suspect me of it." She was arrested when in a train about to start for her home, and then confessed the theft, and said, "I am willing to pay it all back. I don't know what made me do it." Inspector Martin added that this was the defendant's first offence, and she had had a very good character and respectable parents.—Under all the circumstances, the magistrates let defendant off with a fine of 10s, she promising to restore the money.
Western Times - Saturday 07 September 1918

Killed in Action

Second-Lieut. J. Pugsley, Devon Regiment, of Sydney-road, St. Thomas. Exeter, whose death in France (killed in action) is announced, joined the Devon Cyclists on the outbreak of the war at the age of 18. In 1916 he went to the Western Front, and was rather badly wounded at Monchy, when acting as a sniper. Taking a commission he returned to France in June last. Being of a genial disposition, he was very Popular, and will be greatly missed.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 09 September 1918


I was told that an excellent opportunity is now offered of establishing an Institute for the boys of Exeter in connexion with the Cadet Battalion. It is felt that such a place should prove of the greatest possible benefit to the lads, many of whom have little resources for wholesome recreation during their leisure, especially in the long, dark winter evenings, and that the social value of such an enterprise amply justifies one in adding this to the many urgent causes which claim our sympathy to-day. Major H. de Vere Welchman, who commands the Exeter Cadet Battalion, informs me that Messrs. Kennaway and Co., of Palace Gate, have very generously granted rent free the use a convenient house, No. 29, South Street. He adds "The scope of our work, which offers great possibilities, must depend upon the measure of support which we receive from the citizens and friends of Exeter. We therefore appeal earnestly for to establish, and annual subscriptions to maintain, this greatly needed work, and gratefully welcome small sums as well as large. Gifts towards decorating, lighting, and heating, furnishing and equipping of our rooms will also acceptable—a piano, small billiard table, bagatelle board, bookshelves cupboards, books and games, and materials for hobbies,’ fittings for a canteen, suitable furniture and pictures, etc. We appeal hopefully for a generous and prompt response that we may successfully launch this new development of the work of our Battalion in the interest, not only our boys, but also our city.” I need hardly say that I unhesitatingly commend this appeal the generous sympathy of my readers, for I know of no patriotic movement in the city more worthy of support of the boys to-day being the men of to-morrow, and those whom we shall have depend upon to defend our homes in the days to come.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 09 September 1918

Thought Them

“He seemed half mad. Indeed, from the way they were carrying on, I thought they were husband and wife, but found they were utter strangers." Thus spoke Mace-Sergeant Skinner, giving evidence at Exeter, on Saturday, in a case in which Edith Gregory, of King's Arms locks, summoned Harry Apsley, of 10, Holloway-street, for assault. He added that he was at the Guildhall when he saw Apsley put his fingers on the woman's throat. He rushed across, and before he reached them smacked her face. Complainant said she was driving a push-cart up High-street, and the cart touched defendant's foot. She apologised, but alleged that a little farther up the street defendant stopped and “let drive" at her face, remarking “If you cannot see where you are driving I will make you." She replied "You'll do something!" and he then gave her a blow in the face with his fist. She let go the push-cart (which had a baby in it), and was going for him as well when he caught her by the throat and broke her neck-chain.
Defendant's version of the affair was that was trying to conform to the new regulation to keep to the left, when complainant, who was on “her wrong side," drove into him, giving him a severe blow to the ankle. He said nothing at the time, but later she caught him up, and when he told her she should see where she was driving she became abusive, and said “You ought to able see where you are going with four eyes." “I wear glasses, and I think that remark was insulting," added Apsley. He denied hitting her, alleging that she scratched has hand, and he merely raised his hands to push her away. He had never hit a woman his life. Advising him to keep his temper in future, the Chairman (Mr. T. Kelland) informed Apsley he would have to pay 10s, ten days being allowed for payment
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 09 September 1918

Commander of the American Forces

An interesting visitor to Exeter this month will be General Biddle, the Commander of the American Forces in England, who has kindly undertaken to deliver an address in connexion with the local University Extension movement, on America and the War. The actual date is Wednesday afternoon, September 23rd, and the Theatre Royal has been secured for the purpose.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 10 September 1918

Little Boy Killed by a Motor Car

One of the most distressing fatalities that has occurred in recent years in Exeter happened near Stephen's Bow, High-street, about 11 o'clock yesterday morning, a little boy, five years of age, being killed by a motor car when accompanied by his mother. The accident naturally attracted a sympathetic crowd to the spot, and caused quite a gloom in the main thoroughfare the City.
Deceased was out walking with his mother, and was nearly in the centre of the street opposite St. Stephen's Bow. A heavy shower was just passing, and the little fellow was carrying an open umbrella over his left shoulder. The mother and her boy appeared, states an eye-witness, to be crossing to the opposite side of the street, and had got separated by one or two paces. The mother was calling him to her when a motor car approached coming down the street in its proper side of the thoroughfare. The driver saw the pair and slowed down.
The mother got clear of the car, and the child was really clear of its track when he turned, stooped, and was struck in the back by the mud-guard. He was thrown under the motor, and the hind wheel passed over him.
At the time the part of the street where the accident occurred was remarkable free from traffic. The shock to the mother was terrible, and in her distress she fell near the injured child in a dazed condition. Several people rushed to their assistance, and the child who had not uttered a sound, was then bleeding terribly from the nose. He was picked up and taken in the car to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, accompanied by the mother. A little while later he was reported dead.
Deceased's name was Rupert Hill, and the address of the mother is 4 Regent's Park, Heavitree. The father is Lieut.-Colonel Harry C. Hill, Indian Army, at present a prisoner of war in Turkey. The grandparents live at Heavitree and Mrs. Hill at Regents Park, Heavitree. The mother recently came from East Devon to live at Heavitree. The child died just as the hospital was reached, and the mother was subsequently removed in a pitiably distressed condition to her home. She has other children, the deceased being her second son.
The car was a hackney carriage belonging to Messrs. Yeo and Davey. The driver was Albert Edward Barker, of Parkhouse-road, St. Thomas. He had left the garage just before the accident, and was on his way to the Clarence Hotel. He states that he had sounded his hooter, and applied his brakes, and that the child appeared to stop and stoop down, rendering the accident unavoidable. Other spectators say that the mother and child were going across the road from Eland's to Green and Son's pavement. They had avoided a car going up the street and witnesses believe that when the mother called the unfortunate child, the latter must have supposed that she was referring to the car which had just passed, and, going forward, was knocked down by Messrs. Yeo and Davey's car, which he had not seen.
Western Times - Thursday 12 September 1918


A verdict of “Accidental death" returned at the inquest conducted by Mr. W. L. Brown, at Exeter, yesterday, on Rupert James Hill, the five-year-old son of of Lieut.Col. H. C. Hill (a prisoner of war in Turkey) and Mrs. Hill. 4, Regent's Park. Heavitree. The little fellow was crossing High-street, Exeter with his mother on Wednesday when he was knocked over by a motor car, and died on his way the hospital…
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette- Friday 13 September 1918

Funeral of the Little Victim at Heavitree

The funeral of little Rupert James Hill, the five-year-old victim of the sad motor car accident in High-street, Exeter, on Wednesday morning, took place yesterday at Heavitree. Deceased, who is son of Lieut.-Col H. C. Hill, D.S.0., of the Indian Army, and a prisoner war in the hands of the Turks lived with its mother at No. 4, Regent’s-park and was from thence that the mournful cortege proceeded to the Church at Heavitree for the final rites. Coffin, of plain.elm, with white mountings was borne on a wheel bier, covered with a white pall, upon which rested a wealth of bloom and wreaths sent by loving friends. At the foot of a cross on the coffin was a simple inscription Rupert James Hill, aged 5 years…
Western Times - Saturday 14 September 1918

Entertainment of Wounded Soldiers at Exeter

On Saturday afternoon the Exeter Cycling Cub entertained a number of wounded soldiers from the local Military Hospitals, at the St. James' Football Field. Invitations were extended to 250, but not quite so many were present.
Sports for the entertainment of the guests, and in which they also participated, were provided. Amongst other events here were musical chairs, a hat trimming competition, boxing contest, the combatants being blindfolded with jingling bells round their necks to give some indication of the position of one to the other, a tug of war between five ladies and four wounded Tommies, the latter using one hand only, which the ladies won, kicking the football, etc.
“Artful" Thomas, as the dude, created much amusement by his antics. He very good-humouredly allowed himself to become the butt for all and sundry shine at in the little show provided described as "Topping the Topper." He was quite an acquisition, and the soldiers appeared to thoroughly enjoy this item on the programme. A band, under the able conductorship Mr. Norman Kendall, rendered a choice and pleasing selection. Little Miss Mead distributed cigarettes. Tea was provided on the grandstand, and the ladies of the party excelled themselves looking after the comfort of the guests. A throng committee, of which Mr. Ernest Head was chairman, Mr. C. C. Harvey, vice-chairman, Messrs. S. Ernest Crosse, E. Stephens, and F. W. Wood, joint secretaries, were responsible for the arrangements, which were most satisfactorily carried out. Messrs. S. H. Thomas, Captain of the Club, S. Billelt. G. T. H. Hayes, L. Jones. J. Joslin, T. Lambooy, W. H. Porteny, and F. Thailand acted stewards. Mrs. Ernest Head distributed the prizes.
Western Times - Monday 16 September 1918

COAL CRISIS Mayor of Exeter's Grave Warning
At last night's meeting Exeter City Council

A circular letter was read from the Local Government Board pointing out the urgent need of economy in coal consumption, and appealing to all local authorities to set an example in economy reducing the consumption of coal, light and power to minimum, consistent with the necessary requirements of the public service, and impressing upon the public the paramount necessity of following such an example.
The Mayor said the President of the Local Government Board had also asked Mayors to bring before their Councils this question of coal economy. The war, continued his Worship, had been a succession of crises and appeals of one sort and another to local authorities. Last year they had an appeal for economy in food. The country did economise, and turned a very nasty corner indeed. He doubted if we should ever know accurately how near this country came to be driven to her knees by sheer force of starvation. Luckily we escaped that. Now, at a late period of the war, we were met by a crisis which was probably quite as acute and as dangerous as that food shortage. Most of the coal mines of France were not working now for France —they were in enemy hands covered by enemy guns—and therefore had to supply coal not only to maintain our own armies in France but for the industries—munition making and so on—of France. Italy also was dependent on the coal pits of England for her entire supplies of coal. The presence, too, in France of some millions of Americans, which were also dependent on us for coal, had accentuated the demand, and made it far beyond anything normal. This great abnormal demand on our pits for coal had come at a time when the actual output of coal was reduced, because a very large number men were taken from the mines for the Army, and because, unfortunately, the men left were older and less agile. Therefore the situation was very serious and critical, and unless the gap was filled up, either by increased production or by lessened consumption, or a compromise between both, those was nothing but tragedy ahead of us. Steps were being taken to bring miners back to get more coal, but that did not help so much the domestic position, which was that we could not have so much coal and light had been in the habit of having. He would like to remind them that it was one thing to get a permit for a certain quantity coal and light, but another thing to get the coal and the light, and there was a distinct, probability that this winter we should not receive from the Coal Controller the quantity of coal that apparently we were entitled to. Therefore, it was urgent that every household in Exeter should exercise the most rigid economy. If they had been making use of ten tons they must make five tons do, and similarly regard to light there must be the same reduction. Already it had been brought his notice, Chairman of the Committee, that there was shortage of coal in Exeter in regard to the trolley men who supplied the smaller class of consumer. Last week it was reported to him and the Fuel Overseer that in St. Thomas householders could get no coal. The Fuel Overseer dealt with the situation promptly, and was able satisfy the want, by drawing on the store which the city had. That was the line the Coal Committee were going to take. It would have to share and share alike, and if it happened there was a lack of coal, or temporary interruption in transport, and any dealer or merchant was holding a stock would have to hand it over to the Committee, who would deal with it in the interest of every class of the community. He would not put it stronger than that, but , the Committee meant business…
…The Coal Controller is issuing an Order bringing all fuel wood under control during the coming winter at a maximum price of 40s ton. In districts wood is produced it will be allocated as part of the coal ration.
Western Times - Wednesday 18 September 1918

To the Editor of the Daily Gazette

Sir.—Is it not time that, this "Keep to the Left" fiasco was brought to a close? The ratepayers' money is being expended right and left to bolster a fad of an official, and now, at the eleventh hour, three special constables have written in support. All praise them for their names. There were additional constables on duty in the High-street, on Sunday night purposely to worry people to keep to the left. Surely, Sir, in a city like Exeter people do not want in war-time to have these restrictions on their liberties.
Yours truly,
11, Church Lane, Exeter
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 24 September 1918

Suspected of Burglary Suspected of Burglary The above is a pen sketch, by the "Western Times" artist, of James Qualrough Russell, of Carnglas-road, Swansea, who was arrested by the Exeter Police in the early hours of last Friday morning on suspicion of being the person responsible for a series of audacious burglaries the St. David's neighbourhood. Among other things found in his possession when arrested were a loaded six chamber revolver and a flashlight. The magistrates on Friday reminded him for a week, and he will brought before the Bench again this morning.
Western Times - Friday 06 September 1918

August 1918

Refuse Exemption to Y.M.C.A Hut Leader

A Y.M.C.A. hut leader at Aldershot was among the applicants before the Exeter Tribunal yesterday, which met under the chairmanship the Mayor (Sir James Owen). This was W. N. Gilliard, 48, Grade 1, who was formerly a tailor in business in Exeter, and volunteered for Y.M.C.A. work on the occasion of an appeal in the City by Gipsy Smith before the military age was raised. Mr. L. D. Thomas supported the appeal.—Exemption was refused.
J. W. Bottexell, 50, Grade 1 chief clerk and accountant, employed by J. and H. Drew, estate agents, was given exemption till December 31st,. He has two sons in the Army and one in the Navy, and he is practically responsible for the whole of the internal administration of a very extensive business, dealing with many thousands of acres of agricultural and other land.
E. T. R. Martin, 50, Grade 2., estate agent of the City, was given till December 30th. He has been a special constable since 1914, and according to the Chief Constable was very valuable to the Force.
E. B. Gloyans, 42, Grade 2, managing clerk to Mr. H. Michelmore. was given till December 31st. In the case of an applicant who wrote that had enrolled for agricultural work, the Tribunal certified for a month's adjournment. He did not appear, and the Mayor pointed out that a principle was involved in the matter.— Captain Forward, the National Service representative, pointed out that applicant had been applying on occupational grounds and these circumstances having arisen, the regulations stated the Tribunal ought to dismiss the application.
H. Commin, bookseller, High-street, aged 28. Grade 2., was given till December 31st. The military appealed on previous exemption, and lost the case. The circumstances were said to the same now
C. Panter, draper, of Sidwell-street, was represented by Mr. Norman Lake. He is 50 and Grade 2, and was given till December 31st, to become a special constable.—Stanley Heath, auctioneer, land agent, and small-holder, aged 50, Grade 2, was represented by Mr. Gilbert Stephens. It was stated that he was Secretary of the local Dairy Farmers' Association. He was refused, it being stated that applicant had enrolled for war agricultural work, and had been accepted.
The case of H. E. West, 50, Grade 2, butcher, Sidwell-street, was adjourned for a fortnight, Mr. Lake mentioning that new regulations regarding butchers as certified men were now being published.
Western Times - Friday 02 August 1918


The report the Commission appointed in 1892 by the then Bishop of the Diocese to consider the question of the union of Exeter benefices and the alteration of their limits, the endowments of such benefices, and other matters relating thereto, provides interesting reading in the light of the proposal of the present Bishop to close St. Paul with St Pancras. St. Petrock with St. Kerrian, St. John, and St. Lawrence Churches in order that the demand for more chaplains for the Army may be met…
The Commissioners were of opinion that the work of the Church in Exeter would be greatly strengthened by a rearrangement and amalgamation of parishes which should aim at: (1) The removal of unsuitable and needless churches and the sale of their sites; (2) the erection of new churches where needed, and the improvement those retained: (3) the provision in each parish and for each incumbent of a sufficiently large sphere of work and an adequate income. With these objects in view, they recommended that the parishes of St. Stephen and St. Martin be disunited, and that the parish of St. Lawrence be united with that of Stephen. That this parish added (1) the portion of St. David's in Southernhay extending from to No. 17. Southernhay West; (2) the portion of the same parish bounded by Longbrook-street, the London and South Western Railway, and a line drawn from the railway bridge New North-road to some point on or near the Castle wall as to include the whole of Northernhay Place. That the Precinct of Bedford added to the parish. That the parish churches of St. Stephen and St. Lawrence taken down and the sites sold, and the proceeds applied for providing church accommodation in the parish. That Bedford Chapel also be taken down and a new church erected on the site, or else that the chapel be reconstructed and made the parish church or that the site sold and a new church erected elsewhere. The Commissioners farther recommended that the parishes of All Hallows Goldsmith-street, St Martin, and St Paul be united, and that the Precinct of Bradninch attached to the united parish for all ecclesiastical purposes. That £100 from St. Stephen's and St Martin's added to the income of this living, making it £229 and a house. That the churches Allhallows (Goldsmithsfretn and St. Martin taken down and the sites sold, and that a new church be erected on the site St. Paul, else that that site be also sold, and a-new church provided elsewhere. That the parish of St Pancras be united the parishes St. Petrock and St. Kerrian. That the church of St. Petrock be the parish church of the united parishes, and that St. Pancras Church be used as a mission chapel. They further recommended that the parishes of St. Mary Arches and St Olave be united: that the church of St. Olave taken down and the site sold, and the proceeds applied towards the restoration and improvement of St Mary Arches Church: that the parishes of St. John and St. George be disunited, and the parish of' St John united to that of Allhallows-on-the-Walls; that the income of St. John and St George be assigned to the united parishes of Allhallows and St. John; that the church of St John be taken down and the site sold, and the proceeds of the sale applied either in augmentation of the income of the united benefice for the enlargement of the church of Allhallows…

The Commission recommended that provision made for the rapidly increasing population on the eastern side of Heavitree, and since then a church has been provided Polsoe Park district. They also recommended that further provision be made in St. David's and St. James's either side of the Pennsylvania-road, and the erection of a permanent church to take the place of the iron one then known as Emmanuel. The iron church has since been pulled down, the district made a separate parish, and a new church erected.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 03 August 1918

Remembrance Day Celebrations

Sunday, being the fourth anniversary of the entrance of Great Britain into the war, was observed in Exeter as Remembrance Day, At 9.15 the troops of the Garrison, under the command of Colonel L. C. Koe, CO. of the No. 8 Regimental District, attended special Church Parade Service at the Cathedral. In addition, the troops, various auxiliary attended, including the Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Red Cross Men's Detachment, the St. John Ambulance Corps, the Q.M.A.A.C. Some of the units were accompanied by their bands. The sermon was preached by the Assistant Chaplain "General A, Tuckey), who said that had been chosen to champion the cause of the world's liberty; fight for Christianity, truth and right against materialism and evil. There had been a great God-ward turning during the past few months, and he attributed the brighter prospect to that fact. But there were still a good many barriers between us, as a nation, and God. On the conclusion of the service, Colonel Koe took up a position on the north-west corner of the Cathedral Yard, and took the salute as various units marched past in the following order:—Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Red Cross Mens Detachment, St. John Ambulance Corps, Q.M.A.A.C, A.S.C., Army Pay Corps, men from the Hospitals, Devon Regiment, and Royal Artillery Cadet School. The column marched, via Broadgate and the High-street to the London Inn Square, from which point the units marched home independently. The Union Jack floated over the Guildhall. (this is the first part of the article)
Western Times - Tuesday 06 August 1918

Free food

The substantial times yesterday imposed by the Exeter Magistrates on a well-educated woman, who was charged with stealing food, by means of trick, from an Exeter cafe, will not be found fault with. On one occasion the defendant had lunch and left without paying. Two days later she again put in an appearance, and after having meal, altered the amount of the bill, before tendering it for payment, from 2 9d to 4d. It was not the first time the management had had people falsifying bills; fact, it was said that such conduct was almost a practice with some people. Not only did the woman summoned yesterday defraud the proprietors of the cafe, but when she was about to leave the building on the second occasion she cast reflection on one of the assistants having made out the bill for the smaller amount. The fines and cost in the two cases amounted to about £10. This is a fairly large sum, but the woman may consider herself extremely lucky she was not sent to prison–as was another woman at the same Court last week—without the option of a fine. Defendant having plenty money, her conduct was all the more despicable.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 08 August 1918

Bank Holiday at Exeter

In Exeter throughout Monday rain fell with very little intermission. The sun shone out about mid-day and there seemed to be a prospect of the weather clearing, but the afternoon heavy showers put end to all chance of outdoor enjoyment. The few visitors to the City whiled away the time in inspecting the Museum, where there was a constant stream of people during the afternoon, and the Cathedral. At the picture palaces and the Hippodrome the afternoon performances were well patronised. Despite the weather, however, the annual vegetable and flower show held at the Heavitree Pleasure Grounds, and the annual sports of the Exeter Juvenile Lodge Oddfellows held St. James's Park, drew large attendances.
Western Times - Friday 09 August 1918

Fatal Accident

Through an accident near Pinhoe, about mid-day, yesterday, Mr. Salter, of Lake Farm, Broadcast, was instantaneously killed. He was driving towards Exeter in a governess car, and was near Sanatorium-lane, when the pony took fright passing a traction engine belonging to the Exeter City Council. Dashing towards the hedge, the animal overturned the car, throwing Mr. Salter out. The driver of the engine did his best to pull up, but deceased's head came in contact with one of the wheels. The top of his head was smashed in, and his neck broken. Ds. Steele Perkins, who was passing immediately went to Mr. Salter's assistance but found he was already dead. Mrs Bodle. who lives in one of the cottages near the scene of the accident, and who witnessed the sad affair, said she considered blame was attached to the driver the traction engine, The pony did not shy until it had practically passed the engine, the driver of which said that had deceased only put up his hand he would have stopped immediately. It stated, that the wheels of the traction 'engine' did not go over the man's head, the force of the fall evidently breaking his neck. Deceased leaves a widow and three children. Mr. Halter formerly resided at Sampford Peberell.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 10 August 1918

Third Son of on Exeter Family Killed

Mr. and Mrs Clow, of 30, Codrington-street, Exeter have received official intimation that their son. Pte. Bertram George Clow, of the Scottish Fusiliers, was killed in France on July 20th This is the third son Mr. and Mrs. Clow have given to their country, two others who were with the Colours. Ernest Albert, of the Field Ambulance, who was awarded the D.C.M. shortly before he was killed, and Henry Floyd, Royal Marines, having both been killed in action n France. Pte. Bertram George had a remarkable career during the present war. He was an old St. Sidwell's schoolboy, and when fifteen joined the Navy. He served in it for eleven years, and was at the battle of Jutland. He then asked to be transferred to the Army in order to have experience of land battles, and was allowed to join the Scottish Fusiliers. Not long ago he was seriously wounded in the head and shoulder, and had only just recovered from those wounds when he fell in action. Much sympathy will extended to Mr. and Mrs. Clow in their third war bereavement. There are two remaining sons, too young to join the Colours.
Western Times - Tuesday 13 August 1918

Prisoner of war

Lance-Corpl. C. G. Leaman. Devons, Heavitree, was posted as missing May His mother has now received a card from him saying he is a prisoner of war in Germany and is well.
Western Times - Friday 16 August 1918

An Incident in High Street. Post Office Cycle Damaged

A cab driver, Frederick Skinner, of Portland-street, was summoned at the Exeter Police Court yesterday for negligently causing, while driving in High-street on August 6th, damage to a bicycle. He pleaded not guilty.—The Chief Constable, explaining the facts, said that on the Tuesday in question, at midday, a G.P.O. telegraph messenger, Nellie Wood, was riding a bicycle from London Inn Square to Eastgate. She rang her bell several times, and suddenly saw a cab driven by defendant coming up High-street on the wrong side of the thoroughfare. She managed to jump off and save, herself, but the wheel of the cab damaged her machine and ran over part of one wheel.— Witnesses were called to bear out this statement, and sergeant of the military police told the magistrates (Messrs. Kendall King, in the chair, and J. Gould) that was no traffic such as would cause defendant to veer to the wrong side of the road.— Skinner persisted that a crowd of people blocked his way, and said he had been driving twenty-two years without complaint.—He was fined 10s.
Western Times - Friday 16 August 1918

Old-Age Pensioner Drowned in Alphington Brook.

At the inquest held the District Coroner (Mr. Henry W. Gould), at Alphington, on Saturday, relative to the death an old age pensioner named Thomas Elliott, evidence was given by the widow to the effect, that deceased left home about noon Friday to fetch his old-age pension. He was also in the habit of going around the district gathering water-cress and bird-seed. He was very feeble, and if he fell down could not rise without help.—A discharged soldier, named Reginald Brigby of Alphington, said about 1.30 p.m. he saw deceased pass his house going in the direction of the brook. Shortly afterwards a boy said there was a man in the water. Witness found deceased in the brook with his face and limbs in about 18in. of water. When pulled out he was apparently dead. —Dr. Stokes said the body presented the usual appearances of death by drowning. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned.”
Western Times - Monday 19 August 1918

Wounded Entertained at Pinhoe

The ladies committee of Pinhoe are to be congratulated on very successful result of their efforts to arrange an afternoon's entertainment for 100 of the wounded at Exeter Hospitals on Wednesday last. The weather was all that could be wished for, and on arrival the soldiers were very kindly entertained by ladies and gentlemen from the Exeter Hippodrome Company, together with the inimitable Mr. Wreford, of Broadcast, to a most topical and enjoyable performance. At 4.30 they were regaled with sumptuous tea, the provision of which, in these days, most have entailed much denial and saving on the part of the ladies who provided it. After tea the time was spent in music, etc., and a very happy party left Pinhoe by the 6.46 train.
Western Times - Monday 19 August 1918

Plymouth lad Drowned at Exeter

Reginald Kendall, aged 13, of No. 18. Abingdon-road, Plymouth, who for some time has been residing with Miss Heath, Beechcroft, Alphington-road, Exeter, was last evening drowned in the river Exe through falling out of a boat opposite Stephens Buildings, Okehampton-street. It appears that Kendall was in the boat with another lad, but particulars as to how he fell out were not forthcoming last, evening. The accident happened at 8.55, and the body was recovered by Mr. H. J. Pullman, who was assisted by police in the search, at about 9.30. The Coroner has been communicated with, and the inquest will probably be held to-day.
Western Times - Saturday 24 August 1918

Fishing News

Angling for fish has met with success, many fine specimens of roach, perch, and dace having been secured from the Exeter Canal and lower reaches of the Exe. The rivers are very clear, but in good volume for the time of the year. The end of the season for trout is rapidly approaching, and in early rivers, such as the Otter, fishing has been very quiet. Few fish have been seen to move. either in the day time or in the evening, and these have come so short to the artificial fly as to suggest that they are nymphing. A Greenwalls Glory or a Tups Indispensable, fished wet, will sometimes tempt these fish, which this time of the year are very wily. In the moorland streams, where the sportive trout have be more alert in their search for food, visitors have had nice dishes with the Blue and Red Upright, Infallible, and Red Palmer. Many peal have also been landed. Salmon fishing has been quiet.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 30 August 1918

To the Editor of the Daily Gazette.

Sir,—The Ministry of Food is anxious that none of the blackberry crop should be wasted, that everything should be done to harvest the crop, and that as large a part as possible should licensed factories to be made into jam for Army and civilian needs.
With this object in view an organised collection blackberries will be made throughout the county, and the County of Devon Fruit and Vegetable Society, of this address, will act as agents to the Ministry Food in paying the pickers and handling the crop.
The Food Production Department is cooperating with the Ministry Food in the carrying out of the scheme, and my Committee asks that landowners and farmers will assist to their utmost in this matter.
(1) Giving reasonable facilities for the gathering of blackberries from the hedges surrounding their fields, and
(2) By not clipping the hedges until the blackberries have been gathered.Blackberry pickers should please remember that can only go on private property with the goodwill the occupier, and should careful always to shut all gates and to leave dogs at home. My Committee will be glad you will make this known as widely as possible through your paper.
Yours faithfully,
Devon War Agricultural Executive Committee, 30, Queen-street, Exeter, August 29, 1918.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 30 August 1918

Rats and Destruction of Grain at Alphington

St. Thomas Rural District Council met on Friday, Mr. J. H. Ley presiding. The Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Quicke) reported that a complaint had been received from Mr. Lear of Alphington, that a field of oats had been damaged by rats. The Inspector stated that the damage was negligible and due to the corn having been left out of the ground too Iong-.— The question arose who was liable for the destruction of the rats. It was suggested that Mr. Lear himself should get rid of them.— Mr. Kingdon said it would be interesting to know what had been paid by the Council for the destruction of rats.—The Chairman said they were still paying.—Mr. Kingdon remarked that the farmers in their own interests should keep down the rats. There was too much laxity in that respect.—The matter was left to Mr. Quicke to deal with.
Western Times - Friday 30 August 1918

Two More Burglaries at St. David's Exeter

Two more burglaries were reported yesterday morning from the neighbourhood of St. David's, Exeter. They are apparently of precisely the same type as those mentioned in these columns last week, and in all probability are the work of the same hand. On this occasion however, one of the houses broken into was unoccupied at the time, the tenant being away on holiday. In the other case an angry was obtained, as in last week's instances, by the back garden and so by a back window or door.
Western Times - Friday 30 August 1918

Cosmopolitan Group of British Empire Soldiers. Cosmopolitan Group of British Empire Soldiers This picture taken in a ward at one the Exeter Military hospitals, shows how cosmopolitan our army in France is. These men have just returned from France. They are-Standing (nearest camera), Welsh and English; in bed (nearest camera), Norwegian, Serbian, Australian, Canadian, Scotch, and American. They are all from the British, Australian and Canadian Expeditionary Forces.
Western Times - Friday 30 August 1918

July 1918

The Exeter Bench Sends Him to Quarter Sessions

Samuel Rowe, aged 71, was again before the Exeter Bench, Saturday, charged with wandering abroad and begging for alms in Fore-street on the 28th inst. He pleaded guilty, and Chief Inspector Martin asked the justices to send Rowe to Quarter Sessions as an incorrigible rogue. He had been 109 times previously convicted, several times as a rogue and a vagabond. In reply to the Chairman, defendant had nothing say against such a course. In fact, he was going to ask the Bench to "bring him in as a rogue."
“That is terrible thing for a man to ask, is it not?" asked the Chairman.
Rowe: I wish to get six months or twelve months; I don't want keep coming before you. I know I cannot get six months here.
Evidence of begging was given by Mrs. Violet Stroud, Bridge-street. Mr. R. H. Parsons, of the Fore-street Post Office, and P.C. Windeatt. The last-named said he saw the defendant calling the houses evidently begging. Witness arrested him as was leaving the Post Office. When charged at the Police Station, he said, "All right; get on with it."
The Chief Constable went into the witness box and stated that on the 26th September, 1913. defendant was sentenced three months' imprisonment as a rogue and a vagabond.
Defendant was sent for trial at the City Quarter Session's Thursday next. The magistrates present were Mr. T. Bradley (chairman) Mr. P. Kelland, and Mr H. J. Munro.
Western Times - Monday 01 July 1918

Thatching Competitions at Alphington

At Aldens Farm, Alphington, considerable local interest was evinced in a thatching competition, and to the credit of the competitors be it said work was, generally speaking, well done. Five ricks were in competition, but owing to the absence of two of the competitors only three boys took part. Lessons had been progress for some time previous to the event, the instructor being Mr. Maries, who to congratulated on the success of efforts. The judges for last night’s event were Messrs. W. E. Walters, T. Wippell, and W. Cole… There was also a small competition of hay rope making… The prizes were presented by Mr. A. W. Pitts, who expressed the hope that the boys would come forward and help in the storage for the winter. They had done very good work, and congratulated them on way they had made the thatching.
Western Times - Tuesday 02 July 1918


The Hoopern-street School children subscribed £1 to Exeter's Butterfly Day.
At Exeter Police Court yesterday, Alice Tootell was summoned for not obeying a police signal at Queen-street crossing, and was ordered to pay the costs, six shillings.
Western Times - Friday 05 July 1918

Runaway Traction Train at Exeter

About 11.15 a.m. a traction engine, with a hay bailey and several waggons attached, was being driven down Fore-street by Edward Cheshire (attached A.S.C.), the near King-street, owing to the wheels skidding, the engine and trucks got out of control. The driver, finding he could not stop, blew his hooter as a warning. On approaching Bartholomew-street he endeavoured to turn into there, but being unable to so, he turned the engine around, facing up Fore-street, and came to a stop, the bailer and trucks being right across Fore-street, obstructing all vehicular and tramway traffic. No person was injured. Slight damage was caused to a lorry, the hind wheel of the cart being broken, and slight damage to two of the trucks. The tramway and vehicular traffic was resumed at about mid-day. Supt. and Private Ford, of the St. John Brigade, were early on the scene, but fortunately their services were not required. Eye-witnesses state that the highest Praise is due to Pte. Cheshire for the skill in checking the runaway by turning around in such a comparatively narrow space; it was really remarkable.
Western Times - Tuesday 09 July 1918

Exciting Scene at St. David's Station

A singular instance of wanton ignorance occurred at St. David's Station, Exeter, a few days ago, writes "Onlooker." and those who were present at the time could only marvel that the sequel was not one of a serious character. Indeed, but for the keen observation of a porter, a fatality would surely have occurred. Standing on the rails in the platform was a L and S.W.R. train, ready for departure to Queen-street Station, and the main down platform was fairly crowded. Suddenly above the usual humdrum of station activities the stentorian voice of a porter could be heard shouting "Hi! Hi!" Commotion soon followed, when the official was observed making full speed up the platform as a train was approaching on the main line. Then it was observed that a woman, laden with several cardboard boxes, had jumped down to the line from behind the L. and S.W.R. train, with the apparent intention of crossing the three sets of rails to reach the main No. 1 platform. As she got on to the permanent way it was noticed that a train was approaching by Exwick crossing, and that the woman could not possibly reach the platform in time. Fortunately she turned back—exceedingly scared on hearing the porter's warning, which time the incoming train had passed the spot where she intended to cross. It is a long time since anything foolish was attempted at St. David's Station, where the means of exit are so ample for all concerned. The porter is be commended upon for his promptitude in giving the warning.
Western Times - Thursday 11 July 1918


Mrs. Hawkins, of 3, Alma Place, Heavitree, whose son, Pte. E. Hawkins, Field Ambulance, was reported missing since the 27th of May, has now received a card saying he is a prisoner of war in Germany and is quite fit and well.
Western Times - Friday 12 July 1918

Topsham Woman's Threat to Drown Herself

An elderly widow, Rose Hill, of Exeter-street, Topsham, was charged, at Exeter Police Court, Saturday, with stealing from a stall in the Lower Market seven ounces of cheese, the property of Lendon, Bros., on Friday.—The Chief Constable said defendant was seen by constable to pick up the cheese and take it away. She excused herself by saying that hunger made her do it, but she had £10 17s 2d on her. She would have been bailed, but she said she would make a "hole the water." and was also responsible for other statements so strange, that it was advisable she should be remanded in custody for a week under the observation of the prison doctor.—A week's remand was ordered
Western Times - Monday 15 July 1918

Runaway traction engine–verdict

The Exeter Magistrates were yesterday asked by a representative of the Army Service Corps to state a case in respect of a conviction and fine imposed on a soldier for driving a military traction engine down Fore-street, which is a prohibited area for locomotives. The defendant was engaged in taking engine and some trucks from Honiton to Okehampton, and, not being warned in sufficient time that he must proceed to the lower part the city by Broadgata and the West Quarter, endeavoured to go down Fore-street and Bridge-street. When in the first-named thoroughfare one of the wheels skidded, and the driver, finding the engine getting out control, pluckily brought it to a standstill by steering across the road in Bridge-street. It was admitted by the prosecution that had the man not had the presence of mind to act as he did a serious accident would probably have occurred. For the defence it was contended that the municipal bye-law dealing with traction engines did not apply to servants of the Crown, and the Magistrate were asked to give their decision on the point. After a short consultation in private, they held that the bye-law was passed to protect public property, and imposed a fine of £1. If the case is taken to the High Court two or three interesting points will have be cleared up. Of course, it is not alleged that servants of the Crown can ride roughshod over local regulations, but it was pointed that these abnormal times drivers of military locomotives have often to exceed speed limits and break local laws in a variety of ways to ensure the satisfactory carrying out war work.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 17 July 1918

Fell off stage

Bertha Williams, aged 18, an inmate the Exeter Blind Institution, was last evening taking part in a concert at that Institution, when she fell off the end the stage, sustaining injuries to her side. She was conveyed the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the horse ambulance by Supt. Bowden, and detained.
Western Times - Wednesday 17 July 1918

Smashed glass

Two large panes of plate glass in the side window at Messrs. Knapman and Co.'s furnishing shop, Goldsmith-street, Exeter, were smashed yesterday. A horse attached to a milk float was standing outside, and Ernest, gill, who had driven it with milk from Hill Barton, Whipton, was the act of replacing an empty can when the animal started to turn, the side of the float coming in contact with the window. The damage is estimated at about £20 and covered by insurance.
Western Times - Wednesday 17 July 1918

Lost 10s notes

Will one the three gentlemen that were Pushing a cart up Fore-street on Monday evening last, between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m., kindly return the two 10s notes that, they were seen in the act of picking up, as it was paid to a poor widow's son by a trades-man in the same street for the boy to pay his employer—Kindly return to Police Station.
Western Times - Thursday 18 July 1918

Lost National Registration Card

At Exeter Police Court yesterday, before Mr. Harwell (chairman) and Mr. A. Steele Perkins, George Williams, labourer, of no fixed address was charged with failing to produce his National Registration Card when requested to do so by a police officer. The Chief Constable said prior to 1916 defendant defendant was registered in St. Thomas rural district, but lost his card. In November, 1916, he was supplied with a fresh one.—As defendant was due for medical examination that morning, the charge was withdrawn.
Western Times - Thursday 18 July 1918

Exeter Divorce Case: A Man With Three Wives.

On Friday in the Divorce Court, Mr. Justice Hill granted Rose Caroline Loveday Oliver a dissolution of her marriage with William Douglas Oliver on the ground go his bigamous marriage and adultery with Eliza Lilian Sweet, whom he married at Charles-street Registry Office, Cardiff, in January, 1916, and lived with as his wife at Helen-street, Roath, Cardiff. Petitioner married her husband at the Parish Church, Heavitree; in March, 1909, and lived with him at Yeovil and Pinhoe-road, Exeter. A few years after marriage, left her, and she next heard of his bigamous marriage. Respondent had also married another girl at St. John's, Pennydterran, Glamorgan, in February, 1916. Evidence was given as to the adultery with Sweet, she stating that she was not aware he was a married man when she married him.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 July 1918

Closing St Petrock’s

St. Petrock’s parishioners are meeting tomorrow evening in the Parish Room, to consider closing the church.
Western Times - Wednesday 31 July 1918

Property sale

Bude Hotel, Exeter, yesterday, Messrs. Whitton and Laing offered for sale, by auction, several lots of freehold properties. Brenda Villa, Whipton, was sold to Mr. Henley for £140. No. 52, Victoria-street, Exeter, was bought for £235; No. 53, Victoria-street, Exeter for £227; No. 54, Victoria-street, Exeter, for £231; No. 55 Victoria-street, Exeter, for £227 10s, and No. 18, Springfield-road, Exeter, for £233. Messrs. Gould and Stephens, Bedford-circus, Exeter, were the solicitors concerned.
Western Times - Wednesday 31 July 1918

Presumed Killed.
PTE. T. H. LANG, of the Devons

PTE. T. H. LANG, of the Devons, son of the late and Mrs. Qeorge Lang, of Exeter (Mr. Lang was Freeman the City) is vow officially reported to have been killed on April 24, .1917, on which date he was previously reported missing. The news was received by his sister, Mrs. Greenslade, of Bedford-street, Exeter.
Western Times - Friday 26 July 1918

June 1918

Fatal Termination to Exeter Railway Accident

Mr. John Down, of 28, Radford-road, Larkbeare, Exeter, mason in the employ of the L. and S.W.R. Company, who was recently knocked down and seriously injured by train between Queen-Street and St. David's Stations, and was taken the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, succumbed at that institution yesterday afternoon.
Western Times - Tuesday 04 June 1918

St. Thomas Council and Unrestricted Sale of Butter

At a meeting of the St. Thomas Rural District Council, held at Exeter on Friday, Preb. Buckingham (in the chair) informed the members that permits for sugar for jam making were in the post, and would be received in the course of a few days. He hoped the applicants in St. Thomas district would not disappointed that comparatively small amounts that had to be allotted. The new ration book would shortly be brought into use would also be distributed in the district in the next few days and members the Council would no doubt help those residents who found it difficult to fill the form. The sale of butter without coupons had been allowed, and the Food Control Committee had decided that this could continue up to June 24th.
Western Times - Tuesday 04 June 1918


A resolution was read from the Exeter Trades and Labour Council demanding that the City Council should immediately supply a playground for the children of St. Thomas in lieu of the playground taken for allotments.
Mr. T. B. Rowe moved that the letter go to the Estate Committee. There should also be an expression of regret from the Council that the wording of the resolution was so unfortunate.
Mr. Stockor hoped the Council would not let the children suffer on account of the wording of the resolution. If they could not get a permanent playground, let them at least get a temporary one for the four weeks during which the children were having their holidays.
Mr. Gayton protested against the apparent apathy of the Estates Committee.
Mr. Widgery said the Committee had tried hard to solve the problem.
Mr. Stokes urged the Council to take the County Ground for two months.
The matter was referred to the Estates Committee.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 05 June 1918

Fire at a Heavitree Inn

At 4.20 a.m. yesterday P.C-Wood saw flames in the bar of the Ship Inn, Fore-street, Heavitree. He roused the inmates and found that the partition of the bottle and jug department was on fire. He extinguished the flames with a few buckets of water, the services the Fire Brigade not being required. It is thought that a customer might have dropped a lighted match into a trough containing sawdust, which smouldered and eventually ignited the partition. Only slight damage was done.
Western Times - Wednesday 05 June 1918

Marriage of Former Exeter City Footballer

At Staveley Parish Church, the wedding was solemnised between Stoker W. Goodwin, formerly centre forward for Exeter City's Southern League team, and Miss Lily Augusta Newton, fourth daughter of the late Mr. J. T. Newton, of Bridge-street, Exeter, and Mrs. Newton, Churchill-road, St. Thomas. Following the service, the bridegroom returned to his duties in the Naval service.
Western Times - Thursday 06 June 1918

Blue and Khaki Tug-of-War at Exeter

The tug-of-war team at the Cadets School, Topsham Barracks, who secured premier place in the recent sports held at the Barracks, challenged the Exeter City Police team, with the result that the latter, captained by Inspector Martin, visited Barracks last night, and won by two to nil.
Western Times - Friday 07 June 1918

Memorial Service for Major Veitch at Exeter

A memorial service for Major J. L. Veitch, M.C., son of Mr. P. C. M. Veitch. J.P., was held at St. David's Church, Exeter, on Tuesday. Deceased, who was killed in France on the 21st May, was in command of a battalion of the Devons when struck down. He was buried with military honours in France on the May 23rd. The service at St. David's Church yesterday was attended by members of the family, several friends, and the staff of the firm of Messrs. Veitch and Son. The service was a simple but impressive character. The organist (Mr. F. J. Pinn) played Chopin's "Funeral March" and at the conclusion of the service "The Last Post was sounded by a trumpeter from Topsham Barracks.
Western Times - Friday 07 June 1918

Abusing a Privilege at Exeter

The Feoffees of St. Sidwell's were concerned at Exeter Police Court yesterday, in proceedings for the ejectment of a soldier's wife from a house in Parsonage Court. Defendant had not complied with a notice to quit, and under an ejectment order the period of 30 days expires to-day. The Bench—Dr. Delpratt Harris (in the chair) and Mr. A. McCrea—had to consider whether defendant could not comply with the order because of the war. Defendant, who has two children, said she could not get another house or apartments though she had tried every day since receiving the notice. Mr. J. H. Bartlett (Clerk to the Feoffees) said there were arrears of rent which had been the subject of difficulty, and defendant also persuaded adjoining tenants not to pay because they were the wives of soldiers. The Feoffees had refrained from selling her up.—The Bench decided that defendant had not shown any good war reason why she should remain in the house, and declined to extend the time, the Chairman remarking: “She only puts her finger to her nose and defies you to the end."
Western Times - Saturday 08 June 1918

Woman’s Body Found in the River Exe

The body of Lucy Ann Channon, aged 55, of Wonford. near Exeter, was found in the river Exe, between Trew's Weir and Salmon Pool, about o'clock on Saturday morning. It was first seen by a man named Westcott. The police were communicated with, and the body was removed to the mortuary at the Police Station. Deceased belonged to Alphington. but had been living during the past few weeks with her son at Wonford. She was missed on Friday evening. It was at first thought that she had gone to Alphington, but enquiry the latter place by her son, about midnight, failed to disclose her whereabouts. It is stated that deceased had been in ill health for some time.
Western Times - Monday 10 June 1918

DSO awarded

Captain (Brigade-Major) N. G. Pidsley, M.C., London Regt., elder son of Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Pidsley, of Sandrock, Pinhoe, has been awarded the D.S.O. for work done in Italy. Capt. W. G. Pidsley, who is 25 years age, was gazetted, Sec-Lieut, in the 21st London Regt. in September, 1913, went to France on active service March, 1915, and Italy in November, 1917. He has been twice mentioned in dispatches, and was awarded the M.C. in January, 1918.
Western Times - Tuesday 11 June 1918

Heavitree Man Celebrates His Entry Into the Army

At the City Police Court, before Messrs. A. Steele Perkins (in chair), H. B. Varwell, yesterday, Wm. Davis, Heavitree, was summoned for being drunk in Church-street on the 17th. inst.—Acting-Inspector Snell said defendant was very drunk, and was being assisted into his house by his wife and a man. Defendant, went indoors, and his wife said his conduct was excusable, as he was joining the army the next day.—Defendant: I don't deserve what I am here for. I think the police want something else do.—Defendant, who is aged 45, said he joined up the previous day.—There was a previous conviction in February last for being drunk and incapable—Fined
Western Times - Thursday 20 June 1918


Mr. and Mrs. J. Hill, of 30, Wellington-road, St. Thomas. Exeter, has received notification that their eldest son, Pte. George Hill, who had been reported missing since 21st March last, is
Western Times - Friday 21 June 1918

Fell out of tree

On Thursday evening Arthur Goodman, aged 12, was climbing a tree in Heavitree Pleasure Grounds when he fell to the ground and fractured his left forearm and also sustained severe cuts about the face. P.C. Wood obtained lint and bandages from the ambulance box in Fore-street, Heavitree, and rendered first aid. The boy was afterwards taken by his mother to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where was attended the house surgeon and out-patient.
Western Times - Saturday 22 June 1918

Tram worker joins up

Mr. John Gillard, plate layer on the tramway permanent-way of the Exeter City Council, has been presented with a handsome tobacco pouch, pipes, etc., from the workmen under his charge, as a token of their esteem and regard, prior to his joining the Forces.
Western Times - Saturday 22 June 1918

Unfit meat

During April and May 86 surrenders of diseased and unwholesome meat were made at the Exeter public abattoir and two at private slaughterhouses, including the carcase of 1 bull, 4 cows, 1 calf, 8 sheep. 5 lambs and 1 heifer.
Western Times - Saturday 22 June 1918

Bideford Man Sent to Prison by Magistrates

A remarkable story of a native of Bideford's long list convictions was told when James Vanstone, aged 31, was charged at the Exeter Police Court yesterday with travelling the L. and S. W. Railway from Whimple to Exeter without having paid his fare, and further with being drunk and using obscene language at the Police Station. He admitted the first charge, but denied the second.
Chief Inspector Martin said that defendant landed at Queen-street at 8.59 o'clock Wednesday night, and said he had travelled from Pinhoe. He paid from there and went away, but the station officials learnt from a passenger that defendant was in the train at Whimple. They went after him, and he was given into custody. At the Police Station he became very violent, and gave a lot of trouble. In the cells, in fact, his boots had to be taken away. Inspector Martin added that defendant had him a ticket from Chard to Honiton, and had obviously travelled from Honiton without paying. He was a native of Bideford, and had fewer than 45 convictions against him for all sorts of offences, mostly assault on the police. He had been discharged from the Army, and when in drink was most violent and dangerous. In fact, he had taken asylum six times owing to drinking bouts.
Defendant's story was that had lost his Army discharge and intended to come to Exeter for duplicates. He had made up his mind to get out at Honiton and walk the rest of the way, but had had some cider and forget to leave the train.
The Magistrates (the Mayor, Sir James Owen, Mr. J. Stokes, and Mr. H. Campion) fined him £1 or fourteen days, and he took the alternative.
Western Times - Friday 28 June 1918

Broken Leg

Henry A. Frost, 9, St. Davids-terrace, Exeter, was yesterday walking down Rockside, Bonhay-road, when he slipped, and falling, fractured his right leg. He was conveyed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the horse ambulance by Supt. Bowden (St. John Ambulance Association) and P-S. Underhill, and detained.
Western Times - Friday 28 June 1918

Missing in action

Mrs. Wreford, 7, Church-road. St. Thomas, Exeter, has received official information that her son, 2nd Lieut. C. Wreford, 2nd Batt. Devon Regt., is missing.
Western Times - Friday 28 June 1918

Photographer claims exemption

Stephen A Chandler, of Topsham, photographer carrying on business at Exeter, 43. Grade 1, who had been given exemption on conscientious grounds, on condition that he took up work whole-time on the land at a distance outside 50 miles from Exeter.— Against the exemption from combatant service the National Service representative appealed—Respondent in answer to his counsel (Mr. Halford Knight), said he realised the serious position in which the country was placed, and he was prepared, if his objection to military service were respected, to comply with the condition laid down by the Exeter Tribunal, though he thought it very hard. Some time ago he was sent to prison for distributing Pacifist literature, but the views that the literature expressed he fully concurred in. He knew the stand he took with regard to military service was unpopular, and that he was running the risk of serious injury to his business in consequence but no circumstances could he have anything to with the military machine, though would do all he could for the production of food.—Mr Lawson, National Service representative: you take photographs of soldiers?— Respondent: Yes, that is part of my business.—Mr. Lawson. They are part of the military machine.—The Tribunal dismissed the appeal, but attached the further condition to exemption that Mr. Chandler should take work on the land to the satisfaction of the War Agriculture Committee, and that it should he 50 miles from Exeter, and also from Southampton, where he has another business. The Chairman said they accepted his statement that he had a conscientious objection, though they regretted his attitude. They hoped he would make for it helping to grow food for the country.— Mr. Chandler: I will do my part.
Western Times - Saturday 29 June 1918

Girl Guide Winners of the Clinton Shield.
Ben "battle"–Edward Henry Screech
GIRL GUIDES from various parts of Devon took part in ambulance, signalling, cookery, needlework, and other competitions at Exeter on Saturday last. The photo is of the Exeter Company, winners of the Clinton Shield, given by County Commissioner, Lady Clinton, and competed for this year for the first time. The group includes Lady Clinton and the County Hon. Secretary (Miss Townsend). Owing to war conditions, the shield had not arrived, and the Guider the winning company holding the frame, also presented by Lady Clinton. Exmouth Company won the other county trophy, the Prichard Cup. During the past twelve months Devon Girl Guides have increased in membership from 400 to nearly 3,000.—"Western Times' Photo."
Western Times - Friday 07 June 1918

May 1918

Another Petrol Prosecution at Exeter.

Another petrol case engaged the attention of Messrs. P. Kelland and R, C. Upright at the Exeter Police Court yesterday.— Leonard G B. 145, Fore-street, was summoned for using petrol, on April 24th, contrary to the regulations. Lewis G. Webber, of the same address, was summoned for permitting the petrol to be used. Mr. M. J. McGahey defended. The Chief Constable explained that the first defendant was stopped when driving a car out of Queen-street, his and mother having seats behind. Mr. Leonard Webber said he was going to Crediton on business, and also to Colebrook Rectory. He could not have done the two journeys by train the same afternoon. The police, however, submitted that defendants could have left Exeter by train at 2.33 p.m., have been two hours at Crediton, and left at 4.41 for Yeoford. It was about 25 minutes' walk from there to Colebrook Rectory, and defendant could have got train back to Exeter from Yeoford at 6.49 p.m., or later.—Mr. Webber, in giving evidence, said had lost seven employees through the war, and was carrying on as best as he could. The petrol was granted him for use in his business, and he certainly thought he was justified in using it on this journey.—Mr. McGahey argued that there had been a perfectly reasonable use of petrol, but the Bench convicted, and imposed a fine of ? on each defendant, the Chairman remarking that this was light, it being recognised that tradesmen had difficulty in regard to labour shortage.
Western Times - Wednesday 01 May 1918


Today Mr. Linford Brown will hold an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Leslie Bannel, of 51, Cowick-street, Exeter. The little one, who is only, seven years of age, upset a kettle of hot water over himself on Thursday evening, and, despite careful medical attention, died on Friday evening.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 06 May 1918

Accidents Exeter.

On Saturday evening Private Robert Burton, an Australian soldier, was cycling down Southernhay into Magdalen-Street, when he lost control his machine and rode into the shop window of Mr. Simmons, bootmaker, smashing four panes glass and damaging the woodwork. Burton's injuries—cuts on the face and hands—were treated at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Col. Blake, J.P. of Bellair, Topsham-road, Exeter, while cycling along Topsham-road on Saturday, fell off his machine. He sustained several abrasions on the face, and was badly shaken. First-aid was rendered by Mr. Smale, and Dr. Gordon, who happened to be passing in his car, drove Col. Blake to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Western Times - Monday 06 May 1918

Painful Case of Exeter Munition Worker's Wife

The Exeter drowning tragedy was investigated at an inquest held before Mr. W. Linford Brown, City Coroner, at the Police Court yesterday. It will remembered that Mrs. Clara Reed, of Roberts-road, Larkbeare, the young wife of a munition worker, was found drowned on Saturday morning. She left home, only partly dressed, early that morning, taking her seven months old baby with her, and the body of the latter has not yet been found.
Harry Edward Reed, the husband, gave evidence of identification, and said his wife was 28 years of age. He last saw her when he was home from munition work last Easter, and she was then in the best of health and spirits. All her letters had been bright and cheerful, and did not know that she was depressed. She had had a lot of trouble with the baby's health, however, and in February last he knew that she had had pains in her head. She had never threatened to take her life.
Mrs. Wise, a neighbour of deceased, said she heard deceased's little boy, aged four, cry during Friday night and the baby once. On Saturday morning early witness looked out of her bedroom window, and saw the little boy in his nightshirt on the pavement. She thought deceased was ill, and on going into the house detected a smell of gas. Mrs. Roberts' bed had been slept in, and the gas had been turned full The previous day deceased had complained of a bad head and sore throat In answer to the Coroner witness said the gas was in the room where the mother slept, and where the little boy must have also been put to bed.
Iris Burgess, a schoolgirl, told the jury she fetched some milk for deceased Friday night, and on returning with it deceased said she had a sore throat and was nearly "mazed" in her head.
Mrs. Mary Reed, Baker-street, Heavitree, sister-in-law of deceased, said she was called to the house when deceased was missing, and at once smelt gas. In the bedroom all the windows were closed and the damper of the chimney was down, though this might have been done to prevent a draught getting at the baby. Robert Stephens, of Coombe-street, spoke of finding the body in the leat at Trew's Weir Mills. It was only partly clothed. Dr. Pereira Gray ascribed death to drowning, and the Coroner, in summing up, said there could be no doubt about the case being one of suicide. There appeared to have been a deliberate attempt to effect the same end by gas-poisoning, and fortunately the little boy escaped. The jury returned verdict "Suicide during temporary insanity brought about by pains the head."
Western Times - Tuesday 07 May 1918

Killed in action

Mr. and Mrs. Grayer, 69. St. David's Hill. Exeter, has been officially informed that their second son, Pte. J. Grayer, of the Wiltshire Regiment (late Dorsets) has been missing since April 10th.
Western Times - Friday 10 May 1918

Conspicuous Gallantry

Sergt. F. J. West, of the Dorsetshire Regt., has recently distinguished himself, and has received a Certificate of Record from the Major-General commanding the 17th Division, “In recognition of conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty exercising excellent fire control on the 22nd and 25th of March, 1918, thereby keeping the enemy at bay many occasions." All will congratulate Sergt. West this recognition by the Division Commander.
Western Times - Friday 10 May 1918

Homeless Wanderer a Nuisance to the Exeter Polices.

Edmund Scanes, who was described by the police as a nuisance to the whole of Exeter, was charged at the City Police Court on Saturday with sleeping out in a shed at the back of the railway in Cowick-street.—P.C. Carpenter found him fast asleep, his subsequent excuse being that he was too late to get in a lodging-house that night, and at the Workhouse they would not have him.—lnspector Martin told the Magistrates (Mr. T. Bradley Rowe and Mr. Kelland) that, although Scanes had money on him, he was a vagrant, and a positive nuisance in the City. He was always sleeping out, and lay in sheds with lighted pipes and matches. Lodging houses would not admit him.—The Bench remanded Scanes for a week in custody.
Western Times - Monday 13 May 1918

Cycling Accident at Exeter.

On Saturday evening Nettie Darch, 10. St, Leonard's Avenue, Exeter, and Bertha Dart, 64, Cowick-street. Exeter, were cycling down Heavitree-hill, towards Exeter, and when opposite Denmark-road collided with a boy, name unknown, who was standing in the road. The lad was knocked down, and both ladies were thrown heavily from their machines. The boy was uninjured, but Darch sustained bruises her head and arm, and, Dart injuries to her face and head. The two ladies were taken to the Devon and Exeter Hospital; and after being attended Dr. E. J. were made out-patients.
Western Times - Monday 13 May 1918

To the Editor of the " Western Times."

Sir,—The routes arranged for Wednesday's historic function in connection with the presentation of flags to the City is as follows: The Overseas troops, will assemble on Southernhay at 2 o'clock and march by way of High-street and Queen-street to Northernhay. The Civic Procession will leave the Guildhall at 2.15 and proceed through Queen-street to Northernhay. After the presentation ceremony, the civic and military processions will leave Northernhay by the Eastgate entrance, and pass down High-street to the Guildhall. Motor cars bringing the senior officers will follow in the rear of the military procession. Spectators should remember this and not close until after the motor cars have passed. The Mayoral procession, and the escorts with the flags, will pass into the Guildhall. The Oversea detachments, with the Guard of Honour, will proceed straight down High-street, turn into North-street, and march direct to St. David's Station. I hope-citizens in High-Street., Queen-street, and North-street, will hang out all the flags they have in honour of our visitors.
Yours very truly.
Exeter, May 13th. 1913.
Western Times - Tuesday 14 May 1918

Court Martial for Drunkenness at Exeter

A court martial of nine officers, with Colonel L. C. Koe, commanding No. 8 District, President, sat at the Higher Barracks, Exeter, yesterday, to try Captain. Colin Beddoes MsNaughten, R.E., on a charge of being drunk at Exeter on April 22nd. Captain F. S. Dodson, Somerset L.L, acted as Judge Advocate, and Captain W. B. Spearman prosecuted. Defendant pleaded guilty "in face of the medical evidence.”
The summary of evidence showed that P.S. Underbill saw accused near East Gate, Exeter, at 8.10 p.m., and consequence of his condition took him into custody. Sergt. P. Garner, M.F. P., Inspector Way, Exeter Police; Dr. J. Pereira Gray, Exeter; and Major R. W. Curtis, who saw defendant, were of the opinion that he was drunk. The doctor was sent for at defendant's request. In reply to accused's question whether he was in a fit condition to get home, he had replied: Yes, but you would not have been able to walk straight, as you can to-day.
Defendant, to the Court, said he was unwell on the afternoon of April 22nd, and came to Exeter for the purpose of buying some aspirin at a chemist's. The shop was closed, and he went to a hotel where he met some friends and had three drinks. Leaving the hotel he walked up High-street to catch the Heavitree tram. He was there accosted by a civilian policeman and subsequently arrested. When charged at the police station he demanded to be medically examined, and this request was granted.
Accused, on oath, further stated that he was a Conservator of Forests in Cape Colony from 1894 to 1909, and Inspector of Mines from 1899 to 1909. He returned to England in 1916, and volunteered for service in the Army. He was sent to France as a temporary Inspector of Works, R.E. in December, 1916. In April, 1917, he was appointed Staff Captain and Divisional Officer of Camps, Lines of Communication, until October, when he was instructed to return to England and await instructions. He had previously, in August, 1917, applied for permission to resign his commission. On April last he received communication from the War Office requesting him to send his resignation. As he received this when he was under arrest, he had not yet replied to it. He possessed a letter from his last Colonel as to his capacity and conduct. Captain Spearman read particulars showing that defendant served in the South African War as intelligence officer, and had the King's and Queen's South African medals. Sentence will be promulgated in due course.
Western Times - Wednesday 15 May 1918

Missing in action

Pte. Leonard Stanley Blackmore, second son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Blackmore, of Bere Alston, formerly Cowick-street, St Thomas, posted as missing France since March 22nd.
Western Times - Friday 17 May 1918

Interesting Revival of Old Custom at Alphington

Interesting old-time customs are being revived at Alphington. Last week there was the quaint ceremony of blessing the crops, and on Monday the custom of beating the bounds, which has fallen into desuetude since 1850, was again carried out. About thirty parishioners, including two ladies, joined in the tramp, and although the distance was not less than twenty miles and over some of the most hilly country in the district, all the party went through to the end. The time occupied in the perambulation was about twelve hours.
Western Times - Friday 24 May 1918

Woman's Body Found in a Ditch Near Alphington

Yesterday the body of woman was found in a ditch near the Tram Terminus in Alphington-road. Some children were playing at the spot and observed the body. A man working in Sellick's Nurseries was informed, and he at once proceeded to the ditch with a soldier and recovered the body, which was coveted with mud.
The body has been identified as that of Louisa Symes, aged 40, married, and wife of a clerk residing at Alphington. She stated have suffered lately from depression. The inquest will at Alphington this morning.
Western Times - Saturday 25 May 1918

Dogs Cause Accidents to Cyclists at Exeter

A boy named Charles Gorley, aged 9, living at Venice Villa. Queen's-road, St. Thomas, Exeter, was cycling down Bridge-street Saturday afternoon, and in attempting to avoid a dog. The animal ran into his machine, knocking the boy off. At the same time a motor van, driven Mr. Fred Norcombe, Bath-road, came along, and before could pull up, the van struck the boy. Norcombe stopped his van, and picking up the boy, conveyed him to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Dr. Domville, the House Surgeon, found the lad to be suffering from a wound, and contusions to the head and leg. The injuries having been treated, the lad was made an out-patient. His bicycle was badly damaged.
A young woman named Leah Trout, living at Trees-court, Topsham, was cycling down Paris-street, Exeter, on Saturday evening when a dog ran into the bicycle, throwing the rider to the ground. She sustained injuries to her head and wrists, which were attended at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Western Times - Monday 27 May 1918

Man Knocked Down by Train at Exeter

On Saturday afternoon Mr, John Down, aged 61, of 28, Radford-road, Larkbeare, Exeter, a mason in the employ the L. and S.W.R. Company, was knocked down by a train at the Queen-street end of the tunnel leading to St. David's, and suffered terrible injuries, his right leg being smashed off just below the knee. It appears that owing to the derailment of an engine, the section was being worked on the single line system, and Down, who was returning home from his allotment between the down rails, unfortunately got in the way of an up train, the approach of which he could not be aware of in time owing to the curvature of the track at this point. The accident was reported by the driver of the train to P. C. Shawyer, who, accompanied by Mr. Percy Gayton and others, hurried to the scene with an ambulance stretcher, on which Down was immediately conveyed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where amputation was found necessary. On inquiry last evening we were informed that Down was progressing as favourably as can be expected.
Western Times - Monday 27 May 1918

Great Recruiting Rally at Exeter
Procession Through the City and Open-Air Meetings

"Women of Devon—the Nation's Food I Supply depends on you," was the slogan at Exeter on Friday, when a big recruiting rally was held to help supply the need of whole-time workers for the Land Army, and part-time workers for the harvest. The national demand is for 50,000 workers, Devon's share being 1,500 or 1,600.
Friday's proceedings consisted of two processions with open-air meetings at the close of each. They were organised under the Devon Women's War Agricultural Committee …
The first procession started soon after noon from Queen-street .Station, in the precincts which there were animated scenes during the assembly. Keen public interest was taken in the event, a large crowd watching the formation of the procession, and others densely lining the prospective route. Leading the procession was the 1st Devon Regimental Band from the Depot (Higher Barracks) under Bandmaster Cox, and two banners conspicuously in evidence were inscribed, “F.P.D. Great Bidlake Women's Farm," in charge of a contingent of girls from the farm, and " Recruits wanted for the Land Army.—Apply Employment Exchange." Following the band came the Committee, and then contingents of the Land Army in their familiar uniforms. These included regular farm workers, and representatives of the Forage and Forestry Departments. Next was a contingent of women gardeners who had not signed on for the Land Army, and including two daughters of the Bishop of Exeter. Mrs. Buckingham led a party of part-time workers, 120 strong, largely from Exeter district, but some coming from further afield. These were as representative as the whole-time workers, and included some eight elderly ladies, who, however, member of the Committee remarked, were able to render valuable service. The following sections were composed of waggons and implements, mostly lent by the Food Production Department. For these the Devon Ploughing School lent 25 horses, and a contingent of soldiers from the farm who assisted preparing for the procession, but did not take any other part in it. Twelve of the animals were riding horses, which were handed over to the care of Land Army girls to ride in the procession, and among them were horses from Argentine ranches which the school had been able to break for so useful a purpose. Inspector G. Caunter, Metropolitan Police, instructor the school, and Mr. H. C. Paterson, county labour officer, were in charge of the arrangements…
The display-had its decidedly picturesque aspects, but the main impression was one of efficiency and workmanship, and the agricultural implements and tools carried by some of the women also made a forceful appeal. Previous to moving off the band appropriately played "Land of Hope and Glory." The procession, on emerging from Queen-street, marched over the following route: Fore-street, Exe Bridge, Cowick-street, Okehampton-street, Exe Bridge, The Market (where a halt was made), Tudor-street. Exe Island, Bonhay-road, Fore-street, and High-street, London Inn Square, for the first open-air meeting...
Western Times - Tuesday 28 May 1918

Girl Guide Rally Day Incident at Exeter

At Exeter Juvenile Court, yesterday, a boy aged 11 was charged with stealing, on the 22nd inst.. a purse containing £4, the property of Miss Fleming, of Chagford.— Chief-Inspector Martin said Miss Fleming Came to the City Wednesday last in connection with the Girl Guide movement, having £3 10s in Treasury notes and 10s silver. At a shop in High-street she missed her purse and contents from her coat pocket. As a result of police enquiries, defendant, who had been spending money, was brought to the police station, where £3 in Treasury notes was found on him. Some of the silver had been bidden under a wall, and found by another boy. The sum of £3 9s had been recovered. Some of the money had been spent at a Queen-street station automatic machine for chocolate. The Chief applied for an adjournment till next Monday for further enquiries.
Western Times - Tuesday 28 May 1918

St. Thomas Resident's Suicide in Two Inches of Water

The District Coroner (Mr. Henry W. Gould) held, an inquest at the Church Institute, Alphington, on Saturday, relative to the death of Louisa Symes, aged 40, wife of a foreman at a firm of wholesale druggists, and a resident of 3, Princes-street, St. Thomas. The deceased was found a ditch by the side the main road near the Alphington-road tram terminus on Friday. Dr. H. Sampson had attended her the previous day, when she was suffering from marked mental depression, and was physically very weak, the result of a serious illness about Christmas. People who were depressed often developed suicidal tendencies. The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while of unsound mind."
Western Times - Friday 31 May 1918

Killed in action

Sidney Roy Toms, of 176, Pinhoe-road. Exeter, a telephonist in the R.G A., was killed in action on April 27th by the explosion of ammunition, death being instantaneous.
Western Times - Friday 31 May 1918

Photo Which Brought Joyful News to Exeter.
Photo Which Brought Joyful News to Exeter
The above group of Devon lads who are prisoners of war in Germany was sent home recently by Corpl. W. J. King, whose wife resides at 38, Oxford-road, Exeter. Some time ago Corpl. King was reported killed. No stretch of imagination is needed to picture with what joyful relief his young wife cast away her mourning when the news came that he was still alive. Corp. King is marked X. Others in the group include Ptes. Caunter, of Ide, and Kerslake, of Pinhoe.
Western Times - Friday 24 May 1918

April 1918

Theft of Coal at Exeter.

Mary Ann Eveleigh, widow, of Preston street, formerly of Heavitree, was charged at the Exeter Police Court on Saturday with stealing from the Great Western Hotel, St. David’s, 36lbs of coal, valued at 9d., the property Mr. A. F. Parkes on the 16th inst. The magistrates were Mr. P. Kelland (chairman) and Mr. H. J. Munro.
The Chief Constable said P. C. Reed met the accused near the Railway Arch in Bonhay-road that morning. Seeing that she carried something under her apron he stopped her and found she had a quantity of coal, which she said she had bought at St. David’s station. Not being satisfied with her statement, he arrested her. She was formerly employed as a cook at the hotel, and since her discharge she had been seen near the cellar where coal was kept. In November, 1916, defendant was before the Bench for various charges of theft, and was placed under probation.—Sent accused to prison in the second division for 14 days.
Western Times - Monday 08 April 1918


A resolution was sent from the Exeter Labour Party calling upon the Council to provide a pleasure ground for St. Thomas children in lieu the one taken for allotments. It was urged that, in view the prosecution of children for playing the streets, it was absolutely essential that something should be done.
Mr. Stocker said he was strongly opposed at the time the playground being turned into allotments. It was as important that children should have a place to play in as that food should be grown. He believed that twelve months ago the Council received communication from the same organisation suggesting that the pleasure ground should be given up to allotments.
Mr. Gayton said this was not correct, because the Labour Party had been opposed all through to the pleasure ground being broken up.
Mr. Stocker said he was glad to know this. The matter was referred to the Estates Committee, who were requested to consider, the question the conclusion of the Council meeting.
Western Times - Wednesday 10 April 1918


Mr. Towill mentioned, in moving the adoption of the report of the Estates Committee, that 81 allotments had been added in the St. Thomas district since the last meeting.
Mr. Glanfield said there were still many disappointed applicant in St. Thomas, and asked if something could not done to satisfy their requirement.
The Mayor observed that the Committee were hoping to have had for the purpose of the estate to which allusion had been made, but they had not got it.
Mr. R. M. Chancellor said the Fair Field would make an excellent allotment ground, but the Committee were told it was a dairy farm. They did not wish to interfere with the milk supply, but all through the Easter it had been occupied by whirligigs, with the result that little grass for daily purposes would grow there this season. He protested against the statement having been made, though no doubt their officers only repeated what they were told.
The Mayor said no doubt the Chairman of the Committee would bear the matter in mind. The Committee’s report was adopted.
Western Times - Wednesday 10 April 1918


Mr. S. Steele-Perkins raised a point as to the portion of the higher cemetery set apart for soldiers' graves. He said that recently a nurse attached to the War Hospital, who had nobly served the country for two years died under distressing circumstances of a disease probably contracted in the course of her duty. Her friends hoped the honour might have been paid her being buried in the soldiers' part of the cemetery. A request was made to the Town Clerk as whether this was feasible, but the Town Clerk thought the resolution of the Council was such that consent could not given. He (Mr. Steele- Perkins) felt it was never intended by the Council to exclude any member of his Majesty's forces who had died on service, and gave notice that at the next meeting he would move that the resolution be enlarged to include all branches of the Forces who died in the service the country,
Western Times - Wednesday 10 April 1918

Proceedings Against Portuguese at Exeter Withdrawn.

The proceedings at Exeter Police Court against 46 Portuguese arrested at St. David's Station were withdrawn by mutual consent yesterday. The Portuguese Consul and the Board of Trade had been communicated with, and yesterday M. Bianchi, of the Portuguese Embassy, saw all the prisoners. Certain arrangements had been consented to by the defendants. The men had travelled from South Molton Road to St. David's Station without tickets. The fares would now be paid.
Mr. A. Martin Alford, for the G.W.R., said the Company had no wish to be vindictive, but they had no alternative to taking proceedings. The cases were then formally dismissed, magistrates being Messrs. A. Steele-Perkins, in the chair, H. B. Varwell, J. Stocker. and F. T. Depree.
Western Times - Thursday 11 April 1918

Sidmouth Motor-Cab Proprietors Summoned at Exeter.

At the Exeter City Police Court yesterday, William Dagworthy and Walter Daniels, motor cab proprietors Sidmouth, were each fined £5 (the former for each two offences), for unlawfully using petrol for the purpose of driving motor cabs outside the limits of the area which such cabs were licensed to for hire. The chauffeurs concerned were fined 10s. each, the Bench recognising that they acted under the orders of their principals. It was stated that the cars had been used for attending a funeral at Dawlish, or for driving an officer to catch a train at Exeter (on Good Friday when there was no train from Sidmouth), for driving two ladies to Exeter. In the latter's case a doctor's certificate was produced, which recommended that as one of the ladies was a cripple it would be better for her to be motored to Exeter and so escape the inconvenience of having to change trains at Sidmouth Junction. The Mayor remarked in the latter case that had it been a matter of life or death for the lady to come to Exeter to see a doctor, it would be some mitigation, but the certificate only spoke of more convenience.—The Chief Constable said it was suspected that offences of the kind were going on, and received a communication from the Board of Trade on the matter, the Board also supplying a list of cabs licensed by the Sidmouth authority. Their information with regard to the matter came from the County Police. The cars were stopped while proceeding through Heavitree.
Western Times - Friday 12 April 1918

Railwayman's Death at Exeter

At an inquest held at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital last evening, relative the death of George H. Organ, 35, Pinhoe-road, fireman on the L. and S.W. Railway, who died at the institution on Tuesday a few hours after admission, the Coroner explained that the deceased met with an accident two months ago. He, however, went back to work, but was again taken ill and was home a month. The question for the jury would be whether death was due to the accident natural causes. A post mortem examination had been performed. He (the Coroner) proposed to take evidence of identification and adjourn till next week. The widow having identified the body, the jury adjourned till Wednesday afternoon next.
Western Times - Saturday 13 April 1918

Roll of Honour

Mr and Mrs. A. Cole, of 31 Wonford-road, Exeter have received official information that their only son, Lance-Corpl. Arthur Richard Cole aged 23, died of wounds on April 10th in Flanders.
Western Times - Monday 22 April 1918
Lance-Corpl. C. Mingo. Worcesters, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mingo, Topsham, is officially reported missing since March 21st. He was formerly on the staff of Messrs. Green and Son, Exeter, and had been in France about two years.
Western Times - Monday 22 April 1918
Mrs. Phippen, of 8, Mansfield-road, Exeter, has been informed, through the War Office, that her husband, Sapper H. H. Phippen, Royal Engineers, has been missing since March 21st. He was for many years on the staff of the "Western Times" and “Express and Echo."
Western Times - Monday 22 April 1918
Mr. and Mrs A. J. Shapley, 157, Sidwell-street, Exeter, have been informed that their son, Pte. L. A. Shapley, of the Wilts, was wounded on 10th April in France, and is at present at the 1st Western General Hospital, Fazakerley. Liverpool. Previous to joining the army, he was at the Exeter Gas Company's office at Southernhay.
Western Times - Monday 22 April 1918
Official information has been received by Mr. and Mrs. W. Luxon, of High-street, Topsham, that their youngest son, Sergt. W. B. Luxon, Worcesters, has been missing since March 21st, when the German offensive commenced. Sergt. Luxon has six brothers now serving, two being in the Navy, and four in the Army.
Western Times - Wednesday 24 April 1918

Fatal Accident at Exmouth Junction

Walter Perkins, aged 17, of Nutbrook, Withycornbe, Exmouth, in the employ of the London and South Western Railway Company was last evening, about. 8 o'clock, caught between the buffers of and engine and the first carriage of a train, while coupling up at the Junction. He was promptly removed on the railway ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, suffering from severe internal injuries. From the first little hope was entertained of his recovery, and he succumbed to his injuries about midnight.
Western Times - Thursday 25 April 1918

Accident at Heavitree.

Charles Bray, farm hand, Newhayes, Clyst St. Mary, was driving a horse and cart, laden with brewer's grain, down East Wonford Hill towards Heavitree Bridge, when a portion of the harness broke. The horse became frightened, and reared, breaking both shafts, and capsizing the cart. Bray was thrown to the ground, and received injury to his left leg and hand. He, however, retained grip of the reins, and, though the animal bolted, was able to pull it up.
Western Times - Friday 26 April 1918

Former Vicar of Parish Buried at Exwick

The funeral of the Rev. Lionel Williams-Freeman, who died at the Chaplain's House of the Devon County Prison, Exeter, took place Exeter, Thursday. The deceased, who was aged 50, was vicar of Exwick from 1897 to 1912, when he exchanged for the living at Narborough, Leicester. In July last he left Narborough, and since September he had assisted the Rev. T. M. Bell-Salter, vicar of St. David's, Exeter, being Priest-in-Charge of St. Michael's. He had also been acting chaplain at H.M. Prison.
Western Times - Saturday 27 April 1918

Boy's Death from a Kick at Exeter

Harold Knowles, aged 2 years 9 months, of No. 4, Bartholomew-street, Exeter, was yesterday afternoon playing in Sun-street, when he had been staying with some friends, and got under the legs of a horse drawing a London and South Western Railway Company's wagon. The little fellow received a severe kick in the head. He was promptly conveyed to the Royal Devon and Hospital, where he died last evening about 6.15 The Coroner has been communicated with and an inquest will be held to-day.
Western Times - Saturday 27 April 1918

Scene at Queen Street Station

There were animated scenes at Queen-street Station, Exeter, on Saturday evening when a number of the survivors of the Zeebrugge and Ostend Naval raid passed through on their way to Plymouth. They were all Royal Marines, and the party was made of five officers, including Lieutenant George Underhill (brother of Sergt. W. Underhill, of the Exeter Police Force) and two full coaches of rank and file. The men were in high spirits, and were proud to display the Vindictive's flag, which was waved from the window. Several friends of the men were on the station, and the heroes were given a hearty send off. Many of the men bore traces of last week's raid, but more than one survivor said he “would not have missed it for anything."
Western Times - Tuesday 30 April 1918

Motor Accident at Silverton

Charles Dymond. aged 34, a Silverton baker, was out delivering bread, yesterday, with a motor-cycle, to which a carrier is attached, and when proceeding along the main road a tradesman's motor van came up from a side road, and ran into him. He was seriously injured, and was conveyed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by motor, and was there found that his injuries consisted of a compound fracture of the right leg, and cuts about the face and hands. Both the motor van and the motor cycle were much damaged.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 April 1918

Suspension of Exeter Tram Service on Sundays

We understand that at a meeting of the Exeter Tramways Committee, on Saturday, the instruction of the Board of Trade for the reduction of electric power on all tramways undertakings by 15 per cent, was considered. Two courses were open to the Exeter Committee, either reduce the week-day service or knock off the Sunday service entirely. The latter course was decided on, and consequently, there will he service on Sundays in Exeter until further notice.
Western Times - Tuesday 30 April 1918



Exeter's "Ben Battle"
Ben "battle"–Edward Henry Screech
THIS is a photo of the Exeter "Ben Battle," who can claim what is probably a unique record in the war. Mr. Edward Henry Screech, whose parents reside at 23a, Dixs Field, Exeter. Formerly in the Army, he was called up at the outbreak of war, during which he has been wounded five times (four stripes and another to come), gassed twice, buried twice, and won the D.C.M. for trying to rescue a Devon officer, being subsequently discharged when an acting-sergeant in the Devons. Notwithstanding this, however, he has recently, hearing that the need for men was urgent, patriotically joined again, going into the A.S.C. motor transport section. Congratulations to Mr. Screech on his fine example will be coupled with sympathy at the bereavement he has lately suffered in the death of his wife.
Western Times - Friday 26 April 1918

March 1918

Exeter Postal Official's Work in Germany

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

Death of Rev. Cobham Gibbs M.A.

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

Mother Accused of Drowning Her Baby

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

More Land Acquired in Heavitree and St. Thomas

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

Wedding at Heavitree

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

Tuberculous Pork: Heavitree Butcher Fined

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

Remarkable Story of Cheap Seances

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

Boy Steals and Destroys Jewellery and Treasury Note

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

Devon and Exeter War Hospital Supply Depot

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

St. Thomas Rural Council

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

Football Ground Stand Destroyed

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

Wonford Bench Discharge Order for Maintenance

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

Wife's Suicide After a Nervous Breakdown

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

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

February 1918 _________________________________

Salutary Fine Imposed on a Heavitree Dairyman

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


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

Concert for RD&E
Concert at St. Thomas

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

Exeter Drover Fined to Not Carrying a Lamp

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

An Exeter School Attendance Case.

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

Trap Accident at Heavitree

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

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

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

Why Discharged Soldier Stole a Quart of Whiskey at Exeter

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

To the Editor of the "Western Times."

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

Local news

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


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

Received by Mayor and Sheriff at Exeter

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

Unusual Tramway Incident at Exeter

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


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

A Topsham Application

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


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

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

January 1918


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

Cowick Street fire

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

Runaway at Exeter

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

West - Countrymen Well Represented

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

Local News

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


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

Market Auction Opened by the Mayoress

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

Warning in Regard to Exwick Lights

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


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

Accident to an International Footballer Exeter.

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

Fields Submerged in Exe Valley

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

Little Boy Drowned in Bonhay Leat, Exeter

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

Into Alphington Street Houses

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

Streets of Adventure

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

Port Royal Experiences

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

Yacht Wrecked at Exeter

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

Death of a Topsham Fisherman

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

Expert Demonstrations at Exeter

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

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

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