Black Sheep Sunday

Black Sheep Sunday – Wallace Walker Wilkinson (1899-1946)

Wallace Walker Wilkinson is my wife’s 3rd cousin 2x removed. His parents are William Walker Wilkinson and Annie Gostelow. Wallace and my wife’s common ancestors are David Gostelow and Susannah Sewell (my wife’s 4x great grandparents.

Wallace was born on 28 September 1899 – his birth is registered in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

On 21 June 1920 Wallace married Louisa Elizabeth Hazel in Grimsby. Just over three years later things had started to take a wrong turn for Wallace and Louisa. The Hull Daily Mail ran the following story on 20 August 1923 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Wallace Walker Wilkinson - Hull Daily Mail - 20 Aug 1923STOLE £14 AND DESERTED WIFE AT GRIMSBY

At the Grimsby Borough Police Court this morning, a gardener named Wallace Walker Wilkinson (23) was sentenced to four months hard labour for stealing £14, the property of Jack Thompson, a grocer, from the house, 106 Earl Street, between August 7th and 11th.
The evidence showed that Mrs Thompson put £14 into a cash box, which she locked and put in a drawer in the front bedroom. The key was placed in another drawer. Two days later defendant, who had been lodging at the house with his wife and child, left the house and did not return. Two days after that Mrs Thompson missed the money.
Detective Watson arrested the man in Grimsby last week, and Wilkinson admitted taking the money and going to Rochester.
Superintendent Whitty said that defendant, who had been to a reformatory school and Borstal, had said that differences with his wife led him to commit the theft and go away. Defendant had left a letter to his wife, saying that he was going away for good, and that if any attempt was made to follow him he would “do himself in.” and his child as well.
“I’ve nothing to say; let’s get it over,” was defendant’s only comment in court.

The following extract from the Police Gazette of 9 August 1918 shows that Wallace had been arrested and was awaiting trial at Wiltshire Quarter Sessions on 8 October 1918 for stealing a jacket and other items. It also suggests that he had previous convictions for burglary and larceny in Grimsby and Leigh (Lancashire).

Wallace Walker Wilkinson - Police Gazette - 9 Aug 1918

At his trial in October 1918 Wallace was sentenced at Marlborough Court to six months in prison.

I can’t find any later reports of Wallace being in trouble again.

He passed away sometime in the September quarter of 1946 – his death is registered at Skipton, Yorkshire.

Black Sheep Sunday – Joseph Lockington

Joseph Lockington is my wife’s great grand uncle – in other words a brother of her great grandmother, Susanna. His parents are John Lockington and Susannah Sowden – my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Joseph was born in Tetney, Lincolnshire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1851.

By the time of the1881 census Joseph had moved to Middlesbrough in Yorkshire and was working as a labourer in the iron works. He married Ellen Elizabeth Johnson sometime in the June quarter of 1880 in Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately Joseph found himself in the local paper – the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough on 21 November 1883 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Joseph Lockington - Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 21 November 1883.png

CHARGE OF INDECENT ASSAULT AT MIDDLESBROUGH – Joseph Lockington, an iron worker, employed at Messrs Fox, Head, and Co.’s works, was brought up on remand before the Middlesbrough Magistrates this (Wednesday) morning on a charge of committing an indecent assault upon Mrs Martha Usher, the wife of a workman who is also employed at the same place as the accused. The statement of the complainant was that the accused went into her house in Disraeli Street and, in the absence of her husband, seized her round the waist, kissed her, and committed an indecent assault. When the case originally came before the Court Mr Teale, solicitor for the defence, asked for an adjournment till today (Wednesday), in order to call evidence to contradict the statement of the complainant. Several witnesses were now called; and, after hearing their version of the circumstances connected with the affair, the Stipendiary Magistrate (Mr C . J. Coleman) said the evidence was of such a conflicting character that he did not feel justified in convicting the accused. Case accordingly dismissed.

You would be forgiven for thinking there must have been “several witnesses” in the house at the time of the alleged assault – me too. The newspaper story is a bit flimsy when it comes to witness evidence – in fact there isn’t any detail at all to help the reader form an opinion.

As far as I can tell Joseph didn’t make the papers again.

Black Sheep Sunday – James Pearson Lonsdale (1909-1979)

James Pearson Lonsdale is my 4th cousin 1x removed. He was born on 28 March 1909 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. His parents are Thomas Lonsdale and Louisa Pearson. Our common ancestors are Isaac Kighley and Ellen Jackson – my 4x great grandparents.

Unfortunately James found himself in the newspapers two or three times at least.

The first time was in 1928, just a couple of weeks before his nineteenth birthday. On 12 March the Leeds Mercury reported the following story (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

James Pearson Lonsdale - Leeds Mercury 12 March 1928.png

FATAL COLLISION WITH TAXI

Fatal injuries were received at Addingham, on Saturday evening, by John William Hayton (28), of Woodgate Farm, Silsden Moor, as a result of colliding while riding a motor cycle with a taxicab, driven by James Pearson Lonsdale, 12 Gordon Street, Keighley.

The article does not suggest any blame was attached to James and I haven’t found any follow up articles.

By the time of the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Thomas and Louisa Lonsdale and their children had moved from Keighley to Middlesex.

On 22 January 1944 the Middlesex Chronicle reported on a less serious offence (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

James Pearson Lonsdale - Middlesex Chronicle 22 January 1944.png

NO EXCUSE TO OFFER

James Pearson Lonsdale, 27, Lampton Road, Hounslow, was summoned at Spelthorne Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, for improperly using motor fuel at Church Square, Shepperton, on December 5th. He pleaded guilty.
P.C. Fleet stated that he saw a motor car being driven by defendant and stopped him. Questioned, Lonsdale said he was issued with petrol for journeys between his home and his work at Acton, adding that he had driven over from Hounslow to Shepperton and really had no excuse to offer. Told that the facts would be reported with a view to prosecution, he said: “Must you report it?” The distance between Shepperton and Hounslow was seven miles.
Defendant stated that he was called upon by the W.V.S. under the voluntary car pool system to collect a patient who had been suffering from flu. He acted on a telephone call and did not receive proper instructions for the journey.
Asked by the Chairman (County Alderman H. Fear) why he did not explain to the officer, defendant said he was too aghast at being stopped.
The Chairman: That’s nonsense.
P.C. Fleet said there was another man with Lonsdale, and they both left a hotel.
Defendant was find £2.

Petrol became the first commodity to be rationed in the UK after the start of WW2.

In July 1942, the Ministry for Homeland Security asked the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) to run the Volunteer Car Pool (VCP). By 1944, there were over 570 VCP schemes across Britain, involving transporting people to hospital as well as other duties. This evolved into the various services and now takes the form of Community Transport.

 

Black Sheep Sunday – Frederick Stephen Myers

Frederick Stephen Myers is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Tom Myers and Mary Ellen Procter. Our common ancestors are William Stowell and Ellen Lane – my 3x great grandparents.

Frederick was born on 24 April 1893 in Burnley, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Frederick is living at 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, Lancashire and working as a cotton weaver. At some point in the next eleven years Frederick went into partnership with George Mitchell and Daniel Roscoe working as electricians under the name of George Mitchell &Co.

On 2 February 1922 that partnership was dissolved but Frederick and George continued in business under the same name. Just over five years later the pair found themselves in court over National Insurance Contributions failures. The Burnley News of Saturday 19 March 1927 ran the following story (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Frederick Stephen Myers - Burnley News 10 March 1927.png

UNSTAMPED CARDS

Burnley Firm and Insurance Contributions

BENCH AND A BAD CASE

At Burnley Police Court, on Wednesday, George Mitchell, 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, and Frederick Stephen Myers, 43 Clevelands Road, Burnley, trading as G. Mitchell and Co., electrical and mechanical engineers, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1925, and three breaches of the National Health Insurance Act, 1924.
Mr. J. H. Sinkinson, prosecuting, said the defendants had three employees, Henry Hargreaves, Harold Barrett and Cecil Ibbotson, an apprentice, to whose unemployment and health insurance cards they had failed to affix stamps. In the case of Hargreaves defendants failed to pay health insurance and pensions contributions for 20 weeks at 1s. 6d. a week, a total of £1 10s. No contribution was made for the whole of the last half year up to the time of the visit in November of an official of the Ministry.
Regarding unemployment insurance contributions, the defendants during the period 1925-26, failed to make, in respect of Hargreaves, sixteen contribution at 1s. 3d. weekly, and during the current period had failed to pay for twenty weeks, a total of £2 5s. In the case of Barrett twenty health insurance payments, representing £1 10s., and twenty-four unemployment insurance payments representing another £1 10s. were not made. With reference to Ibbotson, nineteen health insurance contributions were not paid – £1 8s. 6d. in all – and they could have taken proceedings in that case in respect of non-payment of unemployment insurance. The total amount of arrears for which defendants were summoned was £8 3s 6d.
“I don’t know how your worships look on these cases.” said Mr. Sinkinson, “but to me they appear as very serious matters.” Proceedings had been taken in that Court previously, and the Bench had expressed very strongly their feelings concerning the neglect of employers who failed to affix the required stamps. The newspapers, recognising the importance of such cases had given most extensive reports of them which must have been read by defendants, who could hardly plead that they knew nothing about it. Personally, he could hardly find words sometimes to describe employers who thus would deliberately jeopardise the rights of working men and women to the health insurance, unemployment insurance, and pensions provided for them by the State. Often officials had great difficulty in securing benefits for claimants because of the neglect of employers to affix stamps. In that case each defendant had rendered himself liable to a £10 fine in each case. Of the two he was afraid that Myers was the most to blame, for he had undertaken the clerical work of the firm. A bad feature too, was that Myers had taken 1s. 6d. a week from the wages of his employees as their contributions to health and unemployment stamps, or 2d. more than he was entitled to deduct.
Mitchell said that he did not know that the cards had not been stamped.
Myers said at the time the cards should have been filled up he was off ill for a fortnight. He could not find Hargreaves’s card when he came back. He offered to stamp them, but they were taken away. He was told by a cashier at a local engineering shop that 1s. 6d. a week should be deducted from wages, and since he had been informed that it was 1s. 4d. he had refunded the difference. On account of Hargreaves’ card having been lost he kept putting off the stamping of the cards.
The Mayor said the magistrates regarded the case as a bad one. Defendants would be required to pay the arrears and each would be fined 10s. including costs in each case, and special costs, a total of £13 7s. 6d.

Black Sheep Sunday – Bertram Lewis (1909-1968)

Bertram Lewis is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are John Lewis and Agnes Harrop. Their common ancestors are James Owen and Martha Brockhouse, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Bertram was born in Sandbach, Cheshire on 7 April 1909. He was baptised on 13 May 1909 at St James church, Congleton, Cheshire.

In the 1911 census Bertram, his parents and older brother John, were living in Booth Street, Congleton, By the time of the 1939 Register (compiled at the outbreak of WW2) Bertram had moved south to Surrey and had married Ellen Colborne sometime in the first quarter of 1936. They were living at Bullriding Farm, near Cobham and Bertram was the farm foreman.

Unfortunately Bertram appeared in the local courts a couple of times and the Surrey Advertiser reported both incidents (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

The first report was on Saturday 23 March 1940

Bertram Lewis - Surrey Advertiser 23 March 1940.png

At Guildford Borough Police Court on Monday, Bertram Lewis, of Bullriding Farm, Cobham, was fined £3 for exposing an unhealthy cow for sale at Guildford Cattle Market on December 19th.

The next report is from Saturday 13 October 1945

Bertram Lewis - Surrey Advertiser 13 Oct 1945.png

FARMER FINED

DANGEROUS DRIVING AT COBHAM
At Kingston on Thursday, Bertram Lewis, a farmer, of Tyrley, Surrey Gardens, Effingham, was fined £5 for driving a car in a dangerous manner at Between Streets, Cobham, on the night of Sunday, September 16th, and £1 for failing to stop on the signal of a police officer in uniform. – Defendant was also ordered to pay 10s. 6d. costs.
Mr. A. A. Kilvert appeared for defendant, who admitted the second offence, but denied driving dangerously.
Evidence of P.C. Vicary and P.C. Herbert was that at 10.15 at night defendant rounded a corner from the main road at a fast speed and the car mounted the pavement, and after regaining the road swerved across the road to the opposite kerb. Afterwards defendant drove by P.C. Vicary, who flashed his torch at him and called out.
Defendant, who said that he had been driving for 17 years and was the holder of a clean licence, stated that his speed at the corner was not more than 20 miles an hour. At the time of the alleged offences he had a black-out and did not remember anything that happened. He was very exhausted at the time following an illness.

Bertram died in 1968 and as far as I can tell didn’t trouble that local papers again.

Black Sheep Sunday – John James Spears (1848-1906)

John James Spears is the husband of my wife’s 1st cousin 3x removed, Sarah Jane Broad.

Sarah Jane was born in 1849 and her birth is registered at Congleton, Cheshire in the December quarter. Her parents are James Broad and Ann Owen. The common link between my wife and Sarah Jane is James Owen and Martha Brockhouse, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

On 1 September 1870 Sarah Jane married John James Spears in Manchester, Lancashire. James was born at Newton Heath, Lancashire in 1848. After their marriage they lived in the Chorlton area of Manchester – John James working as a warehouseman.

John James found himself the subject of a County Court action for damages and the case was reported in the Manchester Evening News on Friday 10 February 1899. The case was also reported in the Bradford Daily Telegraph (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

John James Spears - Manchester Evening News 10 Feb 1899.png

A TALE OF DOG AND HORSE
SINGULAR COUNTY COURT ACTION

His Honour Judge Parry, sitting in the Manchester County Court, today, heard an action for damages for injuries to a horse belonging to Messrs. Eastman’s, Limited, butchers. Mr. Langdon appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Cobbett represented the defendant, John James Spears, warehouseman, Lister Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock.
Mr. Langdon said that in November last Mr. Harris, sub-manager for the plaintiff firm, was driving along Everton Road, when a sable collie dog, belonging to the defendant, rushed out of the house, barking furiously, and rushed at the hind legs of the mare. The result was that the mare became restive, and kicked out and injured her legs by striking the steps of the vehicle. The animal was valued at £40, and it had to be sold for £21, while it was, later on, re-sold for £15.
Harris, the sub-manager for the plaintiffs, stated that the mare was a four-year-old, and was bought in Ireland last August for £28. The defendant’s dog had frequently rushed at the mare.
In reply to Mr. Cobbett, witness said he could not say that the dog bit the mare.
Mr. Langdon said the case was taken under 28 and 29 Vic., chap. 60, wherein it was provided that the owner of every dog shall be liable in damages for injury done to cattle or sheep. That, he contended, placed the responsibility on the owner who kept the dog at his own peril. There was a similar case decided in 1868, when a horse, which was being driven along, suffered injuries through kicking out in consequence of being bitten by a dog.
His Honour asked what magisterial jurisdiction there was over ferocious dogs, and Mr. Cobbett said the justices were at liberty to order them to be kept under proper control or to be destroyed.
His Honour said a dog might not be ferocious or mischievous, but might bark and jump about with pleasure.
Mr. Langdon said a dog might, for its own pleasure, go into a larder and steal a leg of mutton, but that would be mischievous.
Considerable argument followed as to whether the statute intended that there should be actually injury inflicted by the dog, Mr. Langdon contending that the injury arising from the action of the dog was sufficient for his claim.
His Honour reserved his decision until the 23rd inst.

So everyone involved in the case had a couple of weeks to wait for the Judge to decide the outcome of the case. As promised he gave his ruling on 23 February 1899 and fortunately the Manchester Evening News reported it for us.

John James Spears - Manchester Eving News 23 Feb 1899.png

SINGULAR ACTION AGAINST DOG OWNER

His Honour Judge Parry, at the Manchester County Court this morning, gave judgement in the case of Eastmans, Limited, v. John Jas. Spears which was before the court recently. The claim was for £21 11s 6d damages alleged to have been caused to the plaintiffs’ horse and cart in consequence of the defendant’s dog barking and frightening the animal. The plaintiffs, for whom Mr. Langdon appeared, are butchers, and Mr. Cobbett represented the defendant, who lives in Lister Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. The Judge stated that the facts of the case were that a carter was driving a horse and cart along the roadway when a dog barked and the animal bolted. The horse kicked the step of the vehicle and so injured itself. He (the Judge) found that the dog did belong to the defendant, but that it was not a mischievous animal. The dog rushed and barked but it did not bite the horse. The injuries caused to the horse did not naturally arise through the barking of the dog and that there must be judgment for the defendant with costs.

I’m sure John James and his sable collie were very relieved at the outcome. Not so much Messrs. Eastman’s Ltd.

Black Sheep Sunday – Eddie Price

Eddie Price is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Edward Price and Leah Musgrove. Our common ancestors are Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Turner – my great grandparents.

Eddie was born on 23 March 1929 in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

I found Eddie in the local newspaper, the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times twice in the space of eight months. He was in trouble with the police for motoring offences.

Clitheroe Advertiser and Times – Friday 26 August 1949 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Eddie Price - CAT 26 August 1949.png

Motor Cyclist Fined

Pleading guilty to driving a motor cycle with no white front light, being the holder of a provisional driving licence and not displaying “L” plates at the front and rear of the cycle, and to carrying a passenger other than a qualified driver, Eddie Price (20), of 24 Larkhill Cottages, Old Landgho, was fined a total of £1 at Clitheroe County Magistrates Court on Monday.

Eight months later Eddie was involved in a more serious offence. If this had happened in more recent times it would certainly have been a candidate for Police Interceptors on the telly!!

Clitheroe Advertiser and Times – Friday 14 April 1950 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Eddie Price - CAT 14 April 1950.png

Easter Saturday Police Chase At Whalley

A NIGHT chase at Whalley was described at Blackburn on Monday when Eddie Price (21) farm labourer, Larkhill Cottages, Langho, was charged with taking away a car without the owner’s consent, driving it without an insurance policy, and while disqualified from holding a licence. He was fined a total of £15 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Evidence was that the car was missed from outside shop premises in Whalley New Road, Blackburn, on Saturday night.
Its description was circulated by wireless and the car was seen parked just outside Whalley by P.C.s Wood and Ellison, stationed at Whalley. As they approached the vehicle, they heard footsteps and saw the prisoner running away. They gave chase but lost him in the dark.

BEHIND DOOR

Price was eventually found, crouching behind the shippon door of a nearby farm. He told the police later: “It is a long walk from Blackburn. I took it.”
Price asked for another case of taking away a car from the Union Street car park, Blackburn, in March, to be taken into consideration.
Chairman of the Bench, (Alderman J. Charnley) complimented the constables in the manner in which Price had been caught.

 

Black Sheep Sunday – Elizabeth Espley (nee Stanier)

Elizabeth Stanier is the wife of my wife’s 3rd cousin 2x removed, Joseph Espley.

Joseph was born sometime in the September quarter of 1881 in Leek, Staffordshire. His parents are John Espley and Emma Gibson. The common ancestor of John and my wife is John Aspley – my wife’s 4x great grandfather.

Joseph married Elizabeth Stanier sometime in the December quarter of 1907 – the marriage is registered at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. There were four children born over the next five years:-

May – 1908
Joseph – 1909
Reginald Joseph – 1911
Doris – 1912

In the 1911 census the family are living at Percy Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent and Joseph is working as a “tailor marker”.

In the summer of 1925 Joseph died – his death is registered in the third quarter of that year.

Three years later Elizabeth found herself in the Hanley Stipendiary Court as reported in the Staffordshire Advertiser on 8 September 1928 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Elizabeth Espley (nee Stanier) - Staffordshire Advertiser 8 Septemer 1928.png

At Hanley Stipendiary Court, on Monday, Elizabeth Espley, a widow, residing in Anchor Road, Longton, was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment on a summons for knowingly making a false representation for the purpose of obtaining an additional allowance under the Widows and Orphans’ Pension Act. Defendant did not appear, but a solicitor, who prosecuted on behalf of the Ministry of Health, stated that she signed a declaration that her daughter, Doris, aged 16, was still attending a day school, whereas the girl had left school. As a result of the untrue statement defendant had wrongfully obtained the sum of £13 5s.

Elizabeth didn’t remarry and she died in early 1955 – her death is registered in the March quarter in Stoke-on-Trent.

Black Sheep Sunday – Amos Clarkson

Amos Clarkson is the husband of my 5th cousin, Phyllis Wilson.

Phyllis was born on 23 March 1911 at Keighley, West Yorkshire. Her parents are Herbert Morris Wilson and Gerty Smith. Our common ancestors are Patrick Tattersall and Mary Gordon – my 4x great grandparents.

Amos was born on 23 March 1908 in Silsden, West Yorkshire.

On 22 April 1933 Amos and Phyllis married at the Parish Church in Silsden. At the time of their marriage Amos was a Police Constable and living at Taylor Street, Batley, West Yorkshire.

Unfortunately Amos found himself in trouble and in prison in 1947. The story was covered in the Daily Mirror on Friday 28 February 1947 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Amos Clarkson - Daily Mirror 28 February 1947.png

11-inch footprint clue puts P.C. in gaol for 3 years

A Policeman with footprints eleven inches long and a stride of twenty-eight inches, is to serve three years’ penal servitude.
He is Police-Constable Amos Clarkson, 38, of the West Riding Constabulary, who lives at Halifax Road, Hightown, Liversedge, Yorks, and sentence was passed on him at Leeds yesterday.
Footprints with diamond hallmarks, found inside the shop from which £25 10s. was stolen, coincided with Clarkson’s, it was stated.
Thirteen days after a robbery in a baker’s shop, police hid in it and were there when Clarkson entered. He ran away when taken in custody.

“I Lost My Head”
Clarkson told the Judge he was not near the shop on the night of the theft. “I lost my head.” he said, when asked why he ran away.
Passing sentence, the Judge said he was painfully conscious of the disaster the verdict meant to Clarkson and his wife and family, but it was impossible for him to take a lenient view.
Clarkson’s wife was carried screaming from the court.

Black Sheep Sunday – Herbert John Croft (1898-1961)

Herbert John Croft is the husband of my 2nd cousin 2x removed, Agnes Ann Ainsworth.

Agnes was born on 23 September 1898 in Kendal, Westmorland. Her parents are Ralph Ainsworth and Margaret Ann Louisa Birkett. Our common ancestors are John Carradice and Ann Ridley – my 3x great grandparents.

Herbert was born on 7 June 1898, also in Kendal.

When WW1 broke out Herbert enlisted for service with the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment on 28 July 1915. His regimental service number was 19829. His attestation papers show his age as 19 – in fact Herbert would not even be 17 for another two months.

However in just over 12 months Herbert was discharged as being “physically unfit” for service. He attended a medical board on 1 August 1916 and it is reported that around three years earlier he had been in hospital in connection with a heart problem and that since then he had “never had good health or felt perfectly well”. As a result he was finally discharged from military service on 15 August 1916.

About five years later Herbert married Agnes Ann Ainsworth – the marriage is registered in the second quarter of 1921 in Kendal.

Over the next 12 years Herbert seems to have had some “issues”. He appears in the Lancashire Evening Post at least three times (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

27 August 1921

Herbert John Croft - Lancashire Evening Post 27 August 1921.png

At Kendal, yesterday, Herbert John Croft, junr., was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour for drawing out-of-work benefit whilst he was at work. He secured temporary employment to drive a motor ice-cream van, and whilst following that occupation went to the Kendal Labour Exchange and signed the register to the effect that he was out of work.

11 February 1933

Herbert John Croft - Lancashire Evening Post 11 February 1933

At Kendal, yesterday, Herbert John Croft, jun., motor engineer, a native of Kendal, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody until Monday on a charge of stealing an axe valued at 3s. 9d., the property of Messrs M. J. Croft and Son, Wildman Street, Kendal, the previous day.
The Chief Constable (Mr. P. O’Neill) objecting to bail, said there would probably be a more serious charge preferred against Croft.

I haven’t been able to find any other report relating to this offence.

10 June 1933

Herbert John Croft - Lancashire Evening Post - 10 Jun 1933.png

The story of a drunken man who threw a stone across the principal street in Kendal, striking the wall of a public house and narrowly missing women with babies in their arms, was told at Kendal yesterday, when Herbert John Croft, jun., aged 35 years, a Kendal engineer with no fixed address, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly at Highgate, Kendal, on Wednesday, June 7th. Defendant pleaded “Guilty.”
P.C. Marshall said he saw defendant throw the stone, and found two more in his pockets. When spoken to defendant said, “I know what I am doing.”
Defendant, who said he threw the stone at a man who had struck him, was fined £1.

The thing bothering me about the last two newspaper stories is the fact that Herbert is said to be of no fixed address. I’m left wondering what happened to his wife Agnes and their daughter Mavis Doreen who had been born in 1921.

In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Herbert is at 95 Windermere Road, Kendal. He is described as “married” and working as a “motor engineer”. In the same Register Agnes is with her parents at 30 Union Street, Kendal, together with her daughter Mavis.

So were Herbert and Agnes now living apart? Had they been separated since Herbert was described as of “no fixed address” six years earlier? Questions to which I am not going to get any answers now!

In some ways I feel sorry for Herbert. Perhaps being “physically unfit” had a serious impact on him. Or maybe he just made some wrong choices.