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This Month in Exeter – 1919

Many changes in wartime city

Page added 31st December 2018 for the newspapers in January 1919

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Back to historic events in Exeter

Western Times


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

January 1919

Engine Driver's

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

Bad Half-Crowns in Circulation at Exeter

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

War Memorial for Heavitree

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

Horse Sale at Exeter

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


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

Exonian Charged with Theft of Fowls and Rabbits

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

Homeward Bound.

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

Fatal Termination to Exeter Trap Accident

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

Australian Band at Exeter

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

A Heavitree Defendant and the Dog Muzzling Order

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

Fell off chair

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

POW returns

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

How They Were Stranded at Exeter

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

An Important Case to Motorists at Exeter

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

Unmuzzled dogs

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

Accident at Exeter

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

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



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