Local Suffragettes, Another Demonstration, The Eastern Post and City Chronicle, Saturday 7 August 1915

The Eastern Post and City Chronicle

Saturday 7 August 1915

Local Suffragettes, Another Demonstration

On Sunday next August 15th, a joint demonstration of suffragettes under the control of Miss E. Sylvia Pankhurst, will be made by means of a procession from East London to the Queen;s Hall, Langham Place.

Resolutions will be moved to the following effect:-

(1) That women employed on War Service shall receive the same rates of pay, whether by time or piece, as the men whom they may replace, and that they shall in no case be employed on Governmental work, however unskilled, at a lower rate than 5d an hour.

(2) That Government action shall be taken to keep down the cost of living, and that Government departments and Arbitration Courts shall take the cost of living into consideration in fixed rates of wages.

(3) That women need the vote to protect their homes and wage; and

(4) That this meeting protests

(a) against any attempt to tax wages;

(b) against any further taxation of the necessaries of life,

(c) against any attempt to reduce expenditure in old age pensions, public health work, nursing or educational activities, and calls upon the Government to turn instead to the great landed and capitalist monopolies and to take control of the national mineral and other resources of the country and thus obviate the need for further taxation of the people.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Hackney Archives

Sacrificed His Life To Save Others

The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette

Wednesday 28 July 1915

Sacrificed His Life To Save Others

A remarkable case of a Tottenham soldier’s sacrifice is reported. Private Charles Davis, of the Border Regiment, happened to drop a bomb in a front line of trenches captured from the Turks, and, without hesitation, sat down upon [words obscured] to save his comrades from the effects of the explosion. He was instantly killed.

Sergeant C. H. Moor, who lives at South Hackney, says he was personally acquainted with ‘Smiler Davis’, who lived at Tottenham, and knew him to be a thorough good fellow. When war broke out he was called up from the 1st Class Reserves.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Hackney Archives

Poplar’s Red Cross Collection, The Eastern Post, Saturday 26 June 1915

The Eastern Post

Saturday 26 June 1915

Poplar’s Red Cross Collection

Poplar has proved itself remarkably generous in response to an appeal for the Penny Fund for sick and wounded of the St John Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross Society. Something has been subscribed at every house, and the total is over a penny per head for every man, woman and child in the borough.

The the Town Hall on Monday night, the Mayor (Councillor A. H. Warren) said that a large body of workers went from house to house through the borough, visiting 34,000 houses in 600 hundred streets, and he had pleasure in handing over to the fund a cheque for £695 3 s 3d (cheers.)

Viscount St. Cyres […] said he informed his cousin, a lady very well known in Poplar, Lady Buxton […] and she cabled “Quite sure Poplar will top the list.” That proved to be correct, for Poplar has easily done that so far, beating Kensington by £130 (cheers.) He regarded that as a great triumph for the East End borough over the court borough (cheers.)

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Hackney Archives

Compensation For A Mutilated Finger, The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette, Friday 18 June 1915

The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette

Friday 18 June 1915

Compensation For A Mutilated Finger

In the case at the Shoreditch County Court on Wednesday in which Alice Cornish, aged 14, of 42 Retreat-place, Hackney, applied for compensation in respect of injury to a finger. Mr A. C. Robinson, solicitor, said the defendant, Mr A. J. Appleby, of 76 Paragon-road, Hackney, had paid £5 into Court, with a denial of liability.

The £5, he stated, would more than compensate the girl up-to-date for the loss of her salary of 6s. per week, but the applicant, being an infant, he wished to obtain on her behalf a declaration of liability to cover any future happening.

Giving evidence, plaintiff said that on April 7th she was sorting out tin can bottoms, and her duty taking her near a shearing machine which was being operated by another girl for cutting the wires for the handles, the little finger of her left hand was caught between the blades and the top joint cut off. She had been twice to Dr. Oldfield, of Paperbuildings, Temple, and had not done any work since the accident. She did not wish to go back to that class of work again.
Dr. Oldfield said the finger was perfectly healed over now.

Judge Cluer, in granting a declaration of liability and allowing 32 8s for compensation, with 8s costs, remarked that if a person had a permanent disfigurement he or she was not so marketable a person as anyone who was sound. A child of the applicants age might find it [word obscured] difficult to obtain work.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Hackney Archives



The War Diaries of the 17th Battalion (Stepney and Poplar Regiment), London Regiment

The East End of London contributed a sizeable number of men to multiple theatres of the war. One contribution came from the 17th Battalion (Stepney and Poplar) of the London Regiment. The headquarters of the regiment was found on Tredegar Road in Bow, and allowed men from the East End to volunteer in groups to serve their country or escape their lives. After training in St Albans, the men arrived in France at Le Havre in March 1915. The Stepney and Poplar Regiment was sent to the front at Loos. The majority of these first months consisted of work parties, transportation between positions and the constant threat of barrage by trench mortar and heavy artillery. Indeed, the first casualties of the war for the Stepney and Poplar battalion came from German artillery. They were soon to be placed in reserve, near a small industrial village, called Le Philosophe, which was located near a number of coal mines and railway tracks.

12th June 1915 – East of Village of Foss, South of Le Philosophe

A Company left firing line. D Company centre firing line. B Company in reserve in village. Orders received to the effect that this Battalion is attached to 140th Infantry Brigade and that we should be relieved from the front line that evening. Battalion relieved in front lines at 8pm by 7th City of London Battalion. March to billets A-B Companies and HQ in Le Philosophe. B, C, D Companies in billets at Mazingarbe. Transport still at Houchin. Battalion in billets and all correct at dawn next morning.

Loos map

Map of the area around Loos in 1915 – Philosophe is located in the top left corner, the location of the reserves. The British lines are depicted in red, the German positions in green.

Despite the respite from frontline duties, it became apparent that postings to the reserves could be just as perilous for the men of the East End. After a long night of transportation, they faced the threat of constant bombardment. Despite attempting to carry on normal duties, it was a day that saw the battalion sustain a considerable number of casualties.

13th June 1915

Battalion still attached to 140th Infantry Brigade and in Brigade Reserve. Enemy shell very heavily during the day. HQ and billets of A-B Companies coming in for a bad time. Thorough inspections of kit carried out during the day. Divine services held this day by Mr Wood and Mr Atherton, Brigade chaplains.

Casualties as follows:

Company Rank Name Nature of Casualty Remarks
A Rifleman White, F. Killed by shell @LE PHILOSOPHE Buried today
A Harris, E. Wounded in action by shell @LE PHILOSOPHE Taken to 142nd London Field Ambulance
A Fall, L.S.
A Legg, J.
A Ghunt, F.
A Pitchfork G.L.
A Heath, E
A Weller J.W.
A Aldrich, A.
A Saylor, H. B.
A Carver, L.
A Hagger, J. C.
A Biggs, H.H.
A Jones, J.W.
A Sweeney, J.
B Bonsall, R. J. Seriously wounded Taken to 142nd London Field Ambulance
A   Still, A.W.

The above were killed and injured by two high explosive shells. White and Bonsall had already been injured by one shell, but went back to rescue some civilians.

As the majority of these East End soldiers were billeted near miners’ cottages, it was conceivable that civilian mine workers could be found in the line of fire. Rifleman White was killed trying to affect a rescue. He was described as a “native of London” and his age was given as 21 one years old. His father, Mr D.H. White and mother Mrs L White lived on Mile End Road.

Grave register white Grave Report White

For the next few days, while awaiting orders, the battalion was held in reserve billets, under sporadic bombardment by heavy German artillery and incendiary bombing from German aircraft.

Researcher: Jacob Smith

Sources: War Diaries of the17th Battalion, London Regiment WO 95/2737/1, National Archives and Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/

German’s Sudden Death, The Eastern Post and City Chronicle, Saturday 29 May 1915

The Eastern Post and City Chronicle

Saturday 29 May 1915

German’s Sudden Death

Worry, and fear lest the British authorities would send him back to Germany, was stated by Henry Schwinge, formerly a beer retailer of Plaistow, to have been responsible for the death of his brother, George Schwinge, aged 66, a registered alien, who fell and expired in the Cambridge-road, Bethnal Green.

When the circumstances attending the death were investigated at the coroner’s court, it was stated that the deceased had been working in Smithfield Meat-market for a good many years, having been in this country 40 or 50 years.

Dr. Wynn Westcott, the coroner, asked why the deceased was afraid of having to return to Germany.

The brother replied he could hardly say, except that it was due to his inability now to speak much of the Teutonic tongue.

After hearing medical evidence, the jury returned verdict to the effect that death was due to a ruptured large aneurysm of the heart.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Pot-Pourri, East End News and Chronicle, Friday 28 May 1915

East End News and Chronicle

Friday 28 May 1915


It is interesting to note that seventy-five per cent of the hotel employees of London have left owing to the war. There were a large number of Germans in London, but the recent internment order cleared many of them out. There are practically no French-men, except in the kitchens, and these really cannot be done without now the Italians are going, and things have reached a climax. In consequence of the great demand for skilled hotel employees of the British Hotels, Restaurants, and Club Employees Society are now developing a scheme for the extensive use of women labour.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Great Political Changes, The East End News and London Shipping Chronicles, Friday 21 May 1915

The East End News and London Shipping Chronicles

Friday 21 May 1915

Great Political Changes

Mr. Asquith himself made a brief but momentous statement on Wednesday in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister said:-

“I cannot say more at the moment than that steps are in contemplation which involve a reconstruction of the Government on a broader personal and political basis. Nothing is yet definitely arranged, but to avoid any possible misapprehension I wish here and now – as the Home is to adjourn – to make clear to everyone three things:

First, that any change that takes place will not affect the offices of the head of the Government or of the Foreign Secretary. (Cheers.) They will continue to be held as they are now.

The second is, there is absolutely no change of any kind in contemplation in the policy of the country in regard to the continued persecution of the war with all possible energy, and by means of every available resource. (Loud cheers.)

The third and the last point – … any reconstruction that may be made will be for the purpose of the war alone.”

Researcher: Sophie Ogbonda-Jardine

Archive: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Dinners to Wounded and Convalescent Soldiers, The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette, Wednesday 19 May 1915

The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette

Wednesday 19 May 1915

Dinners to Wounded and Convalescent Soldiers

In connection with the dinners and teas which are being given to soldiers and sailors who return wounded or convalescent from the Front, Mrs Rita Fiske, of Mare-street, who has charge of the gifts of foodstuffs from Australia, wishes it to be understood that any man who is invalided back from the Front has an open invitation to attend. The dinners are given twice a week at St. James’s Parish, Clapton, and the teas will be given on Monday at the Public Library, Stoke Newington.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Hackney Archives

Alleged Flagrant Disregard of the Lighting Order: A Fine of £100, East London Observer, Saturday 15 May 1915

East London Observer

Saturday 15 May 1915

Alleged Flagrant Disregard of the Lighting Order

A Fine of £100

Hjalman Ohlson, 58, described as a Swedish subject, and assistant superintendent at the Scandinavian Sailors Home, West India Dock-road, Poplar, was charged on remand, with failing to obscure the lights at the Home at 11p.m. in the 2nd inst.

[…] As early as December, apart from minor warnings, defendant had been specially warned about keeping his lights obscured. On the 20th December he was again warned by Sergeant Mercer, and, after that, on several occasions by Lieut. E. Haymer, of the 7th Battalion County of London Regiment. The latter officer had warned defendant three times, and before the 2nd of May he had five distinct warnings, but apparently took no steps to diminish the danger to this country. If defendant was convicted he was liable, as an alien, to be deported, and although he [Mr Muir the prosecutor] did not ask for that to be done in that case he desired to call public attention to the fact that such persons must pay more attention to the warnings of the authorities.

[…] The extent of the lighting offered to any person in an air craft a most valuable land mark. At the spot most important goods were stored, and naval and military operations carried on; and nothing could be more mischievous than the light in the Home.

[…] [The] defendant had been guilty of a serious offence, and fined […] £100, or 21 days’ imprisonment.

Researcher: Lauren Macmillan

Archive: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives