Taunton Courier 15 Mar 1916 Somerset County Appeal Tribunal MEAKER Marnor Farm Pitney, RICHARDS High Ham, TOWNING Merricks Farm Huish Episcopi, BARRINGTON of Isle Abbots

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Taunton Courier. Bristol & Exeter Journal, and Western Advertiser Wednesday 15 Mar 1916

Page 3 Column 2 & 3




The first meeting of the Somerset County Appeal Tribunal was held at the Shirehall, Taunton, on Saturday. The Hon. W. B. LINDLEY presided, and there were also present Messrs. H. H. SHEPHERD, H. W. P. HOSKYNS, M. MINIFIE, E. HARDEN, and H. E. B. HAWKINGS, and F. W. PENNY. Lord St. AUDRIES represented the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Mr. SHARPLES, of Ilminster, represented the military authority.

The Hon. W. B. LINDLEY said that before commencing the business it was advisable that the public should know the arrangements that had been made by the Committee. They were shortly these:- There was one appeal Tribunal for the country of Somerset, but the county was a very awkward one for getting about, the railway communication was not good to any particular centre, and for the convenience of appellants and also for the convenience of members of the tribunal, it had been decided that the tribunal should sit, subject to any exceptional cases, in two divisions. One division would sit at Taunton and would hear appeals from the districts of Bridgwater and Yeovil, and the districts West of that. The other division would as a rule sit at Bath and would hear appeals from local tribunals east of the Bridgwater and Yeovil divisions. So far as the Taunton division tribunal was concerned, they would in all probability sit once a week, exactly how often would depend upon the number of cases and appeals to be heard. The next sitting would be on Saturday at 11.30. There was one other matter he thought he ought to mention. He, personally, and one or two other members of the Committee, had had private letters and communications from people who had appealed to the Committee. That was not the proper course to adopt. The Government regulation to local tribunals, that applicants must not “get at” or influence members of the Committee before whom their case was to be heard, applied equally to the appeal tribunal. Such letters would only prejudice the recipient, who would naturally come to the conclusion that he had not such a case as could be stated openly in public court. It should be understood that appellants must not communicate with individuals of the Court, and this, of course, applied to those interested in appellants as well as to the appellants themselves.
Mr. Joseph MEAKER, of the Manor Farm, Pitney, Langport, appealed against the decision of the Langport tribunal in respect of his son Stanley Cecil MEAKER, aged 23, who did the whole work of the farm, with the assistance of a boy aged 12, with the exception of the milking. - The local tribunal refused the application. - Mr. F. W. BISHOP represented the appellant. - Mr. MEAKER stated that two men had left him to join the Forces, and his son could not go instead of one of them as he had bad eyes. - In reply to Mr. T. G. COGGAN, appellant said he only employed casual labour before the war. - Mr. COGGAN observed that the man was in Class 2, category B, and when he was called up it would be a bad job for the country. - Lord St. AUDRIES said it did not matter if the man was in good health or bad, as without him the farm could not be cultivated. - The tribunal, having regard to the farm and the health and condition of the man, issued an instruction to the local tribunal to issue an order of exemption for two calendar months from that day.

Mr. Francis RICHARDS, of High Ham, Langport, appealed in respect of his son Hy. Samuel RICHARDS, 24, whose application to the Langport tribunal had been refused. - Appellant has three sons, aged 24, 21, and 15 years, the son aged 21 having been medically rejected. He had a stone hauling contract for 800 tons with the Langport Rural District Council. - In reply to Lord St. AUDRIES appellant said his son cut about 180 acres of grass for other farmers. - Appeal dismissed.

Mr. Tom TOWNING, of Merrick's Farm, Huish Episcopi, appealed on behalf of Herbert SMITH, a carter, of Drayton, whose application had been refused. - Appeal dismissed.

Mr. Edward BARRINGTON, of Isle Abbots, who farms 270 acres, appealed on behalf of his son, Ed. James BARRINGTON, farm bailiff and shepherd. He employed four men and two boys. The local tribunal had refused his application. Two men (20 and 23) had enlisted. He had advertised for men but got no replies. - Appellant was represented by Mr. J. A. MAYO, Yeovil, who asked for six months' exemption. - Two calendar months granted.

An appeal was entered by Mr. Harry Lionel SAMWAYS, grocer's managing clerk, of East street, Ilminster, who stated that four of his father's employees, including one son, had enlisted. - The military authorities thought the case was one requiring consideration, as he appeared to the the mainstay of the business. - Appellant's father appeared, and said the son who was in the West Somerset Yeomanry, had come back and was now taking part in the business. - Appeal dismissed.
Mr. E. J. K. WHEADON, who conducts a grocery business on behalf of his father at Silver-street, Ilminster, was granted three months' extension by the local tribunal, but against this decision he appealed. He did not support the appeal in person, and the military representative said he understood that the application was withdrawn. - The Chairman said they saw no reason why the time should be extended, and the appeal was dismissed.

Mr. Henry Marwood HEXT, of The Lawn, Ilminster, appealed on behalf of his son, John Henry HEXT, of the firm of Taylor, Hunt, & Hext, on the ground that he was indispensable, as several of their men had enlisted. One son had enlisted and another had been rejected. - By Lord St. AUDRIES: It was customary to have two auctioneers in a market, and at their last sale they had three. One auctioneer could not conduct the sale of buyers left to catch trains. His son assisted in valuations of farms at a change of tenancy, that was a considerable part of their business. There were many Lady-day tenancies, and during the next month or so they would be busy with valuations. - One calendar month granted.

Albert Geo. BOWN, of Wearne, Langport, appealed on behalf of his son Reginald Geo. BROWN, a cowman and general farm hand. - Appellant did not appear, and Lord St. AUDRIES stated that although he had written to the man he had not replied. - Appeal dismissed.

Mr. Frank MEAD, of Grienton, Bridgwater, appealed for Mr. Frank ARTHUR, a carter in his employ. - It was stated that a cowman in appellant's employ had been ill, and the local tribunal suggested that when the cowman recovered Arthur might be released for military service. - Mr. MEAD said that since that decision he had employed another cowman. Arthur, however, was needed, and could not be replaced. - Dismissed.

Mr. Geo. D. CLARKE, of Chedzoy, Bridgwater, described as a farmer, appealed on his own behalf. The appeal before the local tribunal was disallowed because “the total quantity of land farmed was almost negligible.” - Applicant said he rented the farm from his parents and took possession in September. - Dismissed.

Mr. Harold James DAY, Dyer's Green Farm, North Petherton, engaged in the dealing business, appealed on the ground that he did all the business – farmed 30 acres, attended to the sheep and cattle, and bought and sold. - Dismissed. - Applicant asked leave to further appeal, and in answer to a question said he attested because he understood that if he remained unattested he would not be able to appeal. - Lord St. AUDRIES remarked that this was generally understood at that time. - Leave to appeal refused.

Mr. Stanley John BAKER, of East Huntspill, carrying on business as a butcher at Highbridge, appealed on his own behalf. - The local tribunal refused his application on the ground that they “were not satisfied that the business belonged to appellant.” - In answer to Mr. F. W. BISHOP, applicant said he did his own slaughtering, and had put all his money in the business. - Applicant stated that he started the business four years ago, when he was 18 years of age, and the military representative said that the local tribunal were under the impression that a lease would not be issued to an infant as applicant then was. Applicant was not present at the hearing of his appeal before the local Court. - In answer to Colonel TREVOR, it was stated that appellant's father was 40 years of age and was formerly a butcher. - Two months' exemption.

Mr. Frederick John MEAKER, a baker, of Woolavington, appealed on his own behalf. - The local tribunal held that the “business is so small as to be quite insignificant,” the observations containing the addendum that applicant's father was alive and might take charge of the business. - Two months granted.

Mr. William James GROVES, of Kingston Farm, Othery, appealed for his son, Mr. Geo. GROVES, described as a carter. - The local appeal was disallowed because applicant had another son who could assist him. - Lord St. AUDRIES having suggested that it was an advantage to a farmer to have his sons working for him, applicant agreed, and said his two sons worked 30 hours a day instead of 24. - The Chairman asked if women could not be obtained to milk, whereupon Lord St. Audries pointed out that women, unless trained when young, were not good milkers. - Two months' exemption.

Mrs. Ann BOWN, of Thorngrove-lane, Middlezoy, Bridgwater, appealed on behalf of her son, Mr. Wm. BOWN, a cowman. - Six months' exemption.

Mr. Wm. Henry JUDD, West End Stores, Spaxton, appealed on his own behalf, stating that the country round formed the bulk of his business, and as his mother and sisters would not be able to do this work they could be said to be dependent upon him. Many people did not recognise the fact that a country business was a necessity for the people. If the country shops were crippled people would have to pay more wages. - Three months' exemption granted.

Colonel E. TREVOR appealed against the decision of the local tribunal, who granted Leonard Thomas BELL, of the Priory, Woolavington, a conditional exemption. The application was made by Mr. W. H. BELL, the father, who rents 45 acres, and the military authorities appealed “as, in view of the small acreage, they considered the man could be dispensed with, as another brother lived within a few hundred yards, and the land was worked between them.” - Lord St. AUDRIES said the total amount of land was 195 acres, of which 80 were arable. They milked between them 29 cows, and if there was a case for exemption this was one. - BELL stated that when the war broke out he was in the West Somerset Yeomanry, but was discharged as medically unfit. - Colonel TREVOR: “Then you needn't trouble very much.” - The Chairman: But it's you who made the appeal. - BELL produced his discharge, whereupon Colonel TREVOR asked him why he didn't show it to the military authorities? - BELL: “I have shown it half-a-dozen times.” - Colonel TREVOR: “Not to me.” - BELL: “I showed it at Bridgwater.” - Appeal dismissed.

Colonel TREVOR also appealed, as recruiting officer of Bridgwater, against the exempting of Alfred Henry TAMBLING (33), a single attested man, a bread baker and deliverer, in the employ of Mr. H. W. THOMPSON, of Cannington. - Conditional exemption had been granted by the local tribunal, but the recruiting officer submitted that TAMBLING was not a bread baker in the strict sense of the word, and that his principal occupation consisted of the distribution of bread, groceries, &c. - Mr. THOMPSON, in answer to Colonel TREVOR, said the man was a baker, and did considerable work in the bakehouse. Colonel TREVOR could come over and see for himself if he liked. - Colonel TREVOR: I should make a very bad bread baker. (Laughter.) - Appeal allowed, and local tribunal instructed to grant six weeks' in place of the conditional exemption.

Messrs. SULLY & Co., of Bridgwater, London, and Weston-super-Mare, appealed against the decision of the local tribunal in respect of Wm. Simons GROUTAGE, their chief clerk, aged 33. - The local tribunal dismissed the application, as they considered the man would be more useful in the Army than in civil employment. - The appellants stated that the man had been in their employ for 20 years, and was indispensable to their business. They required time to replace him. - The manager (Mr. HELPS) said they now had to work Sundays to complete their work. - Granted two months.
Mr. William John Fletcher HURFORD (33), master saddler, of Eastover, Bridgwater, appealed for temporary exemption – beyond the three weeks granted by the local tribunal – to enable him to get his friendly society work settled up, and instruct someone to carry on the work. He was corresponding secretary of the Bridgwater district of Oddfellows and secretary of a local Lodge. With regard to his business, he was a partnership with his father, and without him it would probably have to close down. That would be a serious loss to them both. - An officer of the Oddfellows' Society supported the appeal, and informed the tribunal that Mr. HURFORD's work was of great importance, and they had been unable so far to get anyone to take it over. - Six weeks' further extension granted.

Herbert Stanley TURNER (19), 27, Taunton-road, Bridgwater, assistant to an insurance commission agent, appealed on the ground of hardship owing to his father's mental breakdown. He was quite prepared to join the Army, but it would be at the expense and ruination of his home. - Appeal dismissed. - Appellant: Can you tell me, sir, who is going to take the responsibility of the home if father gets another attack, which he no doubt will, as it has worried him enough already? - The Chairman: No, I cannot. - Appellant: Nor can I.

Mr. Clifford Charles SPRIGGS (33), cycle agent, of Bridgwater, appealed for exemption for business reasons. His business would have to be closed if he went, and his father would suffer hardship, because he acted as manager and book-keeper in his father's coal business. His father was 72 years of age, and could not very well manage without him. - The Chairman pointed out that everyone had to put up with a certain amount of hardship and loss at this time. - Six weeks granted.

Mr. Albert PARSONS, of 16, Barclay-street, Bridgwater, appealed on behalf of Harold PARSONS, aged 29, a single, unattested man, a sawyer, who was indispensible to the business in working a steam saw. Appellant was unable to get hands. He supplied boxes to the brickyards who were under Government contracts. Of thirteen children ten were daughters, one son was dead. If this son went he would have to stop or do what he could himself. - Six months' exemption granted.

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