Taunton Courier 11 Jul 1917 Somerset Appeal Tribunal includes William A. B. BADCOE of Barrington and Sidney BECKEY of Pitney

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal, and Western Advertiser Wednesday 11 Jul 1917

Page 6 Column 4 and 5




Judge the Honble W. B. LINDLEY presided at a sitting of the South-Western Panel of the Somerset Appeal Tribunal at Taunton on Saturday, Mr. F. S. COPLESTON being the military representative, and Mr. R. R. C. VERNON, D.S.O., representative of the Board of Agricultural.

Leave to make a further application was granted to Arthur John BOND, manager of the Somerton branch of Messrs. Geo. Small & Sons, Ltd., he having been given a month's exemption, no further application without leave, on June 9th.

On June 5th the Bridgwater Borough Tribunal granted six months' exemption to Vivian Geo. CRAWFORD (33), A, married, of Hillcott, Durleigh, Bridgwater, a wholesale grocer's manager for Messrs. W. CRAWFORD & Co., and the military representative now applied for that exemption to be made final. - The appeal was resisted by Mr. F. W. BISHOP. - Mr. CRAWFORD, sen., stated that he did the travelling, whilst his son was at home managing the business, but Mr. COPLESTON suggested that they might use the penny post and save the waste of petrol. The exemption for so long a period was unnecessary, and he thought it should be cut short. - Mr. F. W. BISHOP said the Government controlling of foodstuffs had thrown a great deal of extra work on the wholesale grocers, as they had to fill up a large number of forms. - Military appeal dismissed, the man being in a certified occupation.

A similar application was made in respect of the six months application granted on June 22nd to James Douglas WARE (38), married, A, corn merchant and wholesale warehouseman, of Wembdon, Bridgwater. - The appeal was resisted by Mr. F. E. WEATHERLY, who contended that his client was doing a considerable business of national importance, and that he was the proprietor and directing head. He had been appointed buyer and storing agent for seed wheat by the Government in connection with the Food Department. - In reply to Mr. COPLESTON, respondent said he was employed at Bridgwater, and had a branch at Plymouth. Bridgwater was a port, and he was -----ed? there on the docks. There was no Dock Committee at Bridgwater. It would be impossible for his brother to return from Bristol to manage the business, although he had a financial interest in it. He was 43 years of age, and his firm was a very important one. There was no other manager or director, and since his chief clerk died he had only had six days' holiday, taken one day at a time. His father was at present living at Holford, and he would rather shut up the business than ask him to return to it. - Military appeal dismissed, the tribunal being of the opinion that the business was one of national importance.

Messrs. Lewis Wing, Ltd., chemists of Weston-super-Mare, appealed on behalf of Evelyn Arthur SMITH (25), Ci., single, manager of their establishment at 8, The Boulevard, Weston-super-Mare. The firm has three shops in the town, and at present there are only two qualified chemists – SMITH and the Managing Director, Mr. BONAR. - Dismissed, not to be called up for a month.

In the case of Reginald Arthur RENDELL (19), A, single, a cowman and carter, employed by his father, Fredk. RENDELL, of Marsh Hill Farm, Yeovil Marsh, the local tribunal alleged that the man had refused a suitable substitute. - Mr. C. F. SAUNDERS supported an appeal by Mr. RENDELL, who said the man, BANBURY, who was sent as a substitute, was satisfactory at milking, but when put at chain harrowing he could not do it at all. He was a mason's labourer. - Mr. VERNON said there were hundreds of mason's labourers working on farms all over the country, and were very useful. They usually started from the farm. - Appeal dismissed.

Dr. Duncan GRAY supported an appeal by Mr. PHIPPEN, of Weston-super-Mare, on behalf of Arthur George BOULT (37, Cii., cabinet maker and general wood worker in his employ, and is the only man left in the business. - Dismissed, not to be called up for a month.

Dr. GRAY supported an appeal by William Henry John CUMMINGS (38), married, Bii., ladies' and general tailor, of Weston-super-Mare, who has been in business on his own account for five years. - Dr. GRAY said this was a strong case of a one-man business. He did the actual tailoring himself, in addition to the buying. The tailoring was nine-tenths of the business. - Dismissed, not to be called up for a month.

Messrs. Lawrence Bros., printers, of Weston-super-Mare, appealed on behalf of Elias DAVIES (36), Ci., a monotype mechanic in their employ, and were supported by Mr. TYRRELL, who stated that the work could not be done by a woman. At present the man was in a certified occupation, but that would cease on July 23rd. They were not claiming on that point, but they now had a staff of eight, instead of 30, and DAVIES was the only man who understood the machine. They had sent a discharged soldier to London to be trained at a cost of about £4 per week, and they asked that the man should be exempted until he returned in September. - Exempted to September 1st.

Mr. TYRRELL also supported an appeal by Barnabas Thomas BUTTER (41), Ci., married, retail draper, of 34, High-street, Weston-super-Mare, and stated that seven of the male employees had enlisted, the remaining male employees being a window dresser over age, and a discharged soldier. Altogether there were 58 employees. - Three months' exemption.

William A. B. BADCOE (40), married, Ci., of Barrington, Ilminster, grocer and provision dealer, appealed against the decision of the Langport Rural Tribunal, which, on the 21st ult., withdrew his certificate of conditional exemption, and gave him to August 1st final. A letter was read from the Rector of Puckington supporting the application in the interest of the people of the district, who were dependent upon Mr. BADCOE for the supply of provisions. - Appellant described the extent of his business, and submitted that as an isolated food distributor for three villages he was doing work of national importance. If he had to go the business could not be continued, and there would be very small chance of his re-starting after the war. He had for some time been a member of the Langport Volunteer Training Corps. Owing to old age and illness the local postmaster had recently been obliged to give up, and appellant had been called upon to take over the work. There was no-one else in the village able to take it on at once. - Exemption for three months granted, appellant in the meantime to endeavour to make arrangements for his wife and son (age 17) to carry on the business.

The military appealed against the decision of the Bridgwater tribunal, in exempting on June 22nd for four months Bertie William Van TRUMP (32), married, Class A, a member of the Tone Vale Manufacturing Company, engaged at the Bridgwater factory. The four months' exemption, which was given in substitution for conditional exemption on a military review application, was granted having regard to the statement that the firm employed 400 to 500 girls and women, and that the services of Mr. Van TRUMP were essential to the carrying on of the factory. The appeal of the military representative was that the temporary exemption allowed should be made final. - Mr. H. J. Van TRUMP (Mayor of Taunton), appeared to answer the appeal, and informed the tribunal that the firm had lost 54 of their men, who had joined up, and they had trained a number of women to do collar cutting. This was an entirely new trade for women, and he believed theirs was the only firm who had put women on such work. They had now in hand an order for 40,000 dozen collars, which were going to the Colonies. They kept stocks in London, Manchester, and Glasgow. They now employed over 600 women and girls at Bridgwater and Taunton. Mr. Van TRUMP also incidentally mentioned that his eldest son was killed in action at the Front last year. - Military appeal dismissed.

Sidney BECKEY (39), married, Cii., of Pitney, harness-maker, was appealed for by his employer, George STACEY, of Cheapside, Langport, who stated that he worked mainly for farmers of the district. The man was passed Cii., although he had only one eye. - Dismissed.

The military representative appealed in the case of Arthur Ernest CHAFFEY (27), married, Class A, of Stoke-under-Ham, boot and shoe dealer and repairer, who was granted conditional exemption on the 11th June by the local tribunal. - Mr. E. C. McMULLEN, solicitor, of Yeovil, resisted the appeal, and said the local tribunal dealt with the application entirely on case 61? of the Central Tribunal. They took into account the question of the competition of the Co-operative Stores, and considered they were trying to drive out the small trader. - Military appeal allowed, but man not to be called up for a month.

Robert STACEY (33), married, Bi., boot repairer, of North Newton, claimed to be in a certified occupation in appealing for further exemption. - Appeal refused, but not to join up before 7th August.

Mr. W. T. BOOKER supported an appeal by Mr. E. PHELPS, coal, corn, cake, and hay merchant of Glastonbury, who sought further exemption for John ALEXANDER (32), married, Cii., manager of the Shapwick branch. - Mr. BOOKER said that two sons of Mr. PHELPS, formerly in the business, were now on service. He had advertised and done everything possible to get a substitute for ALEXANDER, but without success. Shapwick was an isolated place, and practically all the customers of the business were small holders. It would be a great inconvenience to them if the Shapwick business had be closed. - It was pointed out by the military representative that the man, ALEXANDER, was away from the store two days a week engaged in other work, and Mr. PHELPS said that he went and took charge on those days. - Appeal refused, but man not to join before the 21st August.

William W. PETTITT (37), married, Cii., of Wiveliscombe, mail cart driver, in the employ of Messrs. PURCHASE, of Taunton, appealed against the finality of the exemption to September 20th granted by the local tribunal. - Mr. H. G. SPILLER, in supporting the application, said the local military representative was willing that the man should have three months' exemption. The local tribunal agreed to this, but granted the exemption without the right to apply again. - Appeal dismissed.

The military appealed that the four months' temporary exemption of Herbert Stanley HOOK (34), Bi., married, master grocer, of the firm of Messrs. C. J. Hook & Sons, Golden Key, Bridgwater, be made final. - Mr. HOOK, sen., stated that he was in business at Yeovil with his eldest son, who was temporarily exempted. Bridgwater was the branch business, which he acquired in November, 1913, when there were two shops connected with it, one of which they had had to close. Herbert Stanley HOOK managed the Bridgwater branch. - The Chairman remarked that in these cases they thought it better not to make the exemption final, because the local tribunals had knowledge which they had not got. - The appeal was dismissed.

A similar military application was made in respect of Robert ANDERSON (36), married, Class A, buyer and manager of the Bridgwater Co-operative Society Stores. - Mr. W. T. BOOKER appeared for the Society, the President of which, Mr. WESTBURY, attended and answered questions. - Military appeal dismissed.

Ernest WILKINS (40), Cii., married, of Station-road, Taunton, manufacturing confectioner, appealed for further exemption, and Mr. W. T. BOOKER, in supporting the application, said he was last given exemption for a month because the tribunal wished to see what the position would be with regard to the restricted sugar supply. - Mr. BOOKER explained the extent of Mr. WILKINS' business, which, he said, was a one-man business with very heavy financial liability. Serious hardship would result from the closing down of the business. - Mr. COPLESTON submitted that manufactured sweets were a luxury. - Exemption granted for four months.

In the case of Wilfred Francis Henry ADAMS (33), Ciii., of Taunton, it was stated that an appeal that came before that tribunal last year was adjourned sine die. He subsequently became a medically rejected man, and then, under the Review of Exceptions Act, was re-examined and classified Ciii. The application was now made because the right of appeal lasted for only 30 days after receipt of notice for re-examination. - The Chairman said the fact of Mr. ADAMS having been discharged from military service in June of last year terminated the appeal before the tribunal, because he was no longer under the Act. Now that he was re-classified for service his application should go before the local tribunal. The appeal would be remitted to the Taunton Borough Tribunal.


The tribunal again had before them the singular case of Sergeant Percival Charles EWENS (34), Class A, of the Somerset Territorial head-quarters, who also carried on business as a glove manufacturer at Yeovil and Taunton, and who was granted exemption from overseas service by the Taunton borough tribunal some five weeks ago. He obtained this decision on evidence submitted that the terms of re-enlistment offered him last year by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, were that if he re-engaged for the period of four years he would be exempted from service overseas. Sergt. EWENS accepted this offer, instead of taking his discharge, as home service would enable him to supervise his business, and since his re-enlistment on April 6th, 1916, he had opened a branch factory in Taunton, investing a large amount of capital in it. Because of the definite agreement that he should remain in England his partner, also a former time-expired man, re-engaged and is now on service. The case was taken to the Appeal Tribunal by the military representative, and the application for the withdrawal of the local tribunal's exemption was heard on the 23rd June, and adjourned for a fort-night. - Mr. C. F. SAUNDERS, of Crewkerne, represented Sergt. EWENS. - The Chairman now stated that the appeal was adjourned in order that the matter might be considered, as it was a case of an unusual character. He was not present when it was heard, but had been asked to give the decision of the members who had the case before them. Their decision was that the military appeal should be dismissed. The circumstances were rather peculiar. Sergt. EWENS had served in the Forces for a long period, and when his time was up he re-engaged for four yours on the special understanding that he would be required only to serve in this country. After this agreement was made, and he had re-enlisted on those terms, he, trusting that the undertaking would be kept, invested a very considerable sum in the business of glove making, carried on at Yeovil and Taunton. Since then the Military Service Act had come into force, enabling the military authorities to call upon him for general service, and also giving him the right to apply for exemption to the tribunals. He made an application to the Taunton borough tribunal, and that tribunal granted him exemption from foreign service only. The members of the Appeal Tribunal who had heard the case did not wish to express any opinion upon the propriety of the local tribunal making such an exemption for this reason. The Army Council had issued an instruction in which they said that in such cases as these the power of a tribunal is limited to granting exemption from service overseas. As at present advised the Appeal Tribunal did not agree with that. They thought that under the Military Service Acts tribunals had the right to grant total exemption in such cases. They did not decided that point because in the first place the Army Council did not press for any other view, and, secondly, because the man himself did not apply for total exemption, and was satisfied with exemption from foreign service.

Mr. COPLESTON suggested that the case should be gone into, as it was not, in his opinion, fully heard on the previous occasion. The agreement upon which Sergt. EWENS relied was made under Army Council Instruction 301, which was cancelled by A.C.I. 641 of this year.

The Chairman: We are not deciding it. The Appeal Tribunal though it right, when they were dismissing the appeal and leaving the exemption standing, to express doubt as to whether that was the exemption which they themselves would have had the right to grant had the matter come before them in the first instance.

Mr. COPLESTON: The recent Act, Review of Exceptions, has wiped out all that went before. There is no doubt about that, and the man is liable for service overseas. If you are going to let him off altogether I should certainly want to argue that point.

Mr. C. F. SAUNDERS: The reason why he had not asked for total exemption is that he is bound by an honourable agreement.

The Chairman: The tribunal don't wish it to be thought that they assented to the view expressed in the Army Council Instruction that tribunals had no right to grant exemption in such cases except from overseas service.

Mr. SAUNDERS mentioned the fact that Sergt. EWENS' partner, after seeing active service in Gallipoli, retired home-time-expired, and re-enlisted because of the agreement which enabled Sergt. EWENS to remain in this country.

The Chairman said he thought Mr. COPLESTON was correct in saying that the understanding came to an end with the passing of the new Act.

Mr. COPLESTON proceeded to read the A.C.I., which states that tribunals have powers only to grant exemption from overseas service, and the Chairman asked why the Army Council should try to deprive them of their statutory powers. What authority had the Army Council for saying that their powers were so limited?

Mr. COPLESTON: Tribunals have no power to decide that a man in the Territorial Force on home service shall be demobilised. If the man is to be released from military service the natural thing to do would be to ignore this agreement made some time ago, and leave the man to apply to the Army authorities to exempt him from service overseas. I am thankful the tribunal has allowed me to refer to an Army Council Instruction, because two weeks ago it was treated as if it was not worth the paper it was written on.

The Chairman: I don't think that was suggested. The tribunal may look at an A.C.I. as expressing the view of the Army Council, but it does not in any way bind the tribunal.

Mr. COPLESTON: I was given to understand that an A.C.I. must not be produced and read.

The Chairman: I think it is quite clear that the Army Council Instructions are not instructions to the Tribunal, but to the military. We have to deal with regulations laid down under the Act, or by the Local Government Board.

The military appeal was dismissed.

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