Taunton Courier 24 Oct 1917 Somerset Appeal Tribunal includes BROWNING Watchet CHURCHILL and BAKER Ilminster KNIGHT and STRAWBRIDGE Bridgwater Sidney FOURACRE Trull

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser Wednesday 24 Oct 1917

Page 6 Column 3 and 4




The Somerset Appeal Tribunal, at the Shirehall, Taunton, on Saturday, dealt with twenty-two applications from various districts, within the South-Western area. Judge the Hon. W. B. LINDLEY presided, and Mr. F. S. COPLESTON acted as military representative, whilst Mr. R. R. C. VERNON, D.S.O., represented the Board of Agriculture.

The Chairman announced that application for leave to appeal again had been made by Ernest TIDBALD, licensed victualler, of the Commercial Inn, Moorlinch, whose chief occupation was the cleaning of the drains on Sedgmoor. Owing to the wet weather this work had been considerably delayed, and on that account the tribunal thought they ought to allow a fresh appeal.

A similar application had been made by Messrs. Risdon & Leversha on behalf of Wm. BROWNING (19), Class A, of Watchet, who is in their employ. This was refused.

The military representatives appealed for the withdrawal of the certificate of exemption to January 1st of Edward Thomas CHURCHILL (18), Class A, butcher, in the employ of his father, Richard Dawes CHURCHILL, of Ilminster. - It was stated that the father is totally incapacitated, being paralysed and an invalid. The young man had to do the buying and slaughtering, and without him the business could not be carried on. Serious hardship would ensue if he were called up for military service. - Mr. COPLESTON said there were four butchers? in Ilminster, and the local National Service Committee considered that two of them could supply the needs of the town and release two for military service. Mr. CHURCHILL refused to have anything to do with a co-operative scheme, and he had done nothing to get his place filled. - Mr. F. W. BISHOP, for the appellant, said the younger brother, aged 16, was not able to slaughter bullocks or sheep. Mr. CHURCHILL, sen., being paralysed could take no part in the business. An older son was in the Army, and there were three children attending school. - The Chairman observed that the case was one of very considerable hardship, but, having regard to the boy's age and medical category, the right order would be to allow the military appeal, with the direction that he should not be available for service before the 1st January.

A similar appeal by the military was made in the case of Walter Clifford BAKER (20), Ci., bread baker, employed by Messrs. Baker Brothers, bakers, of Ditton-street, Ilminster. - Mr. F. W. BISHOP, who represented Baker Bros., remarked that this again was a case in which no notice of appeal or grounds of appeal had been sent to the respondent. It was very clear, under the rules, that notice should be sent so that the respondent might know what he had to meet. - Mr. SIMEY observed that the notices should have been sent from Ilminster. - Messrs. Baker Bros. stated that they supplied a great part of the town of Ilminster and neighbouring villages. In March last the elder brother and senior member of the firm voluntarily joined the Army so that the younger brother might remain at home, as he was in a delicate state of health. He was first medically rejected, but on re-examination classified Ci. They were of opinion that he should be placed in a lower category. - Mr. COPLESTON submitted that there was a sufficient staff to do the work of this business without Walter Clifford BAKER. - The Chairman said that if it was correct that there was an older brother and a boy in the business they did not see why it was necessary to retain this young man. - Mr. BISHOP protested that statements were made to the tribunal as statements of fact, and it was not fair that they should be made without proof on military appeals. - The Chairman said that having regard to the requirements of the Army, and the need for bakers, they would make the same order as in the previous case. The military appeal was allowed, the man not to be available for service until 1st January.

Simeon DINHAM (32), Ciii., small-holder and road contractor, Chard rural district, applied for renewal of exemption. His last certificate was granted on condition that he worked twelve hours a week on land other than his own. This he had carried out. - Mr. COPLESTON asked the tribunal to direct that the man be re-examined. It was the general opinion of the locality and of the local military representative that he was classified too low. He was a road contractor out in all weathers. - The Chairman said there was no conflict of medical opinion in that case. - The date of appellant's? classification card was November 3rd, 1916. - In reply to the Chairman, Mr. COPLESTON said there had been a good deal of local criticism with regard to this man's medical category. He was able to work in all weathers, and one would expect him to be higher than Ciii. - Mr. DINHAM said he was working full-time on the land. He farmed 15 acres, 12 of which were arable. - Mr. VERNON? Remarked that as the man had been fulfilling the conditions and was Ciii. he didn't see why the military should ask for his re-examination. He was doing good work on the land. - Appeal adjourned for case to be referred to the War Agricultural Executive Committee.

Messrs. Welsh & Clarke, Ltd., collar and shirt manufacturers, of Somerton, appealed for the further exemption of Richard Harold CARTER (36), Ci., managing director, designer, and pattern cutter. - The application was supported by Mr. F. E. METCALFE, of Bristol, who explained the importance of Mr. CARTER's work for the firm, mentioning the fact that 104 women were employed at the factory. A considerable proportion of their work was for the export trade. - Mr. GRACE, accountant, of Bristol, stated that he dealt with the finances of the firm, and considered Mr. CARTER absolutely essential to the management of the business. - Conditional exemption.

Mr. McMULLAN supported the appeal of Harry SEABRIGHT (29), Class A, married, bread baker, of Pen Mill Steam Bakery, Yeovil, who asked for conditional exemption. He baked about twenty sacks a week, and supplied over 300 customers daily. His wife did the delivering, and appellant had only a small boy to help him in the bake-house. There were only seven bakers in Yeovil, which was much below the average of other towns on the basis of population. There were 16,000 to be supplied by the Yeovil bakers. - Mr. McMULLAN said that Mr. SEABRIGHT had tried to sell his business, and had advertised for a man to carry on the work in the bakehouse, but without result. The demand for bread would be greater in Yeovil when the thousand soldiers to be billeted there arrived. The Chairman said that on the grounds of national interest and hardship the tribunal would grant conditional exemption to the 20th? April.

Albert S. ELLIOTT (24), Ci.,? watchmaker and jeweller, of Yeovil, was appealed for by Mrs. ELLIOTT, his mother, who stated that without him the business would have to close, her husband being unable to continue it owing to failing eyesight. Her son had been employed at the Westland Aircraft Works since March last, and was temporarily exempted conditional upon his continuing to work on munitions. He worked at home at his own trade in the evenings and whenever he had any spare time, and in that way they were able to carry on the business. - Conditional exemption granted as long as he remained employed at the aircraft factory and continued to carry on his father's business in his spare time.

At the request of Mr. McMULLAN, the appeal of Lyndall FORCE??, of Yeovil, was taken in camera, and resulted in the granting of four months' further exemption.

The military representative appealed in the case of Robert BIRD (19), Ci., of Woodlands Dairy, Yeovil, who in September was exempted to the 1st January next. It was stated that Robert BIRD assisted in working a dairy farm with his brother, an exempted man. Their mother was a widow, who had brought up a large family, four of her sons were in the Army. In these circumstances the local tribunal considered the exemption should stand?. - Mr? McMULLAN? appeared on behalf of Mrs. BIRD. - In reply to Mr. COPLESTON, Mrs. BIRD said her son Robert assisted in the milking, and was an essential help in the business. They had 400 customers. One of her soldier sons was home wounded, having lost a leg, and he was not able to do any work yet. - Mr. COPLESTON said there were many milk vendors? in the town of Yeovil who were employing girls for milking and delivering. - The military appeal was allowed, the man not to be available before the 1st January.

Three months' further exemption was granted to William MILLS (28), Class A, married, wheelwright and undertaker, of Hatch Beauchamp.

The tribunal had again before them the appeal of William KNIGHT, insurance agent, of Bridgwater, whose application, on the ground of ill-health, was adjourned on the 25th August to enable him to go before the Central Medical Board. As stated at the previous hearing, the man was formerly employed whole-time on a farm, but had to give up this work owing to ill-health. He then took on insurance, but continued farm work for three days a week. He was unable, however, to do heavy agricultural work. He attested under the Derby scheme, and on September, 1916, was discharged from the Army after two days' service on account of valvular disease of the heart. Called up for re-examination under the Review of Exceptions Act he was classified Cii, by Taunton Military Medical Board. Against this he appealed, and produced a certificate from his own doctor stating that he was still suffering from serious heart weakness. The Central Medical Board, however, has passed him in Class Ci., which is now field service at home or in France, practically the same as Class A. This result was reported to the tribunal. - Mr. BAKER, superintendent to the Prudential Company, supported the man's appeal, and asked that exemption be given him to the 15th January to enable him to finish up the work to the end of the year. They had not appealed for any other man in their district. - The Chairman said that having regard to the fact that he had been rejected from the Army as unfit, they thought it was a case for the Central Medical Board. As they had now passed him Ci. the tribunal did not think there was any grounds for granting the appeal. The application was, therefore, dismissed.

Barnabas Thomas BUTTER (41), Ci., draper, of Weston-super-Mare, sought further exemption, stating that he had 59? employees, and could not get anyone to carry on the business for him. There was not a draper in Weston who could release a man to carry on his business. - Mr. TYRRELL, of Weston supported the appeal, and the tribunal granted a further three months' exemption.

John HOLCOMBE (33), Cii., licensee of the Bird in Hand Inn, Bishop's Lydeard, appealed for further exemption stating that besides his own business he looked after a small farm and posting business for his widowed mother. He had been doing that since his brother joined up, the brother having formerly worked for his mother. He had also been helping others <sic> farmers in accordance with the condition of his last exemption. - Conditional exemption granted on the same conditions as before.

The military representative appealed against the decision of the Bridgwater Tribunal in granting on October 5th three months' exemption to John STRAWBRIDGE (41), Class A, married, of Bridgwater, yardman and driver of mails, in the employ of Messers. Aplin & Sons, Let., jobmasters and contractors. - Messrs. APLIN stated that four horse drivers had left them owing to the war, and they had been only able to replace one. STRAWBRIDGE was engaged twice daily in driving mails for the Post-office. Mr. APLIN said they did a considerable amount of hauling in the district, and altogether employed about 14 men. Three of the men drove mail carts. Every effort had been made to obtain a substitute. - Appeal allowed, but man was not to be available for service before 1st December.

Mrs. FOURACRE, widow, of Trull, appealed on the ground of serious hardship for the exemption of her son, Sidney FOURACRE (18), Class A, now a carter employed by Mr. DAY, formerly in the employ of Mr WILLIAMS, wine and spirit merchant, 3, Cheapside, Taunton. - Appellant stated that Sidney was her seventh and last remaining son. She was left a widow many years ago with eight young children to bring up. Six of her sons had joined the Army, and one was killed in action in May last. Her only daughter was married to a soldier. She begged the tribunal to allow her to keep Sidney, who was helping to maintain the home. She was now in poor health and unable to keep herself. - The local tribunal reported that the son, Sidney, joined up some time ago, but was released as being under age. They considered it a terribly hard case for the mother, but in view of the lad's age and classification, and the fact that his mother could claim dependence allowance, they did not feel justified in granting exemption. - Mrs. FOURACRE explained her position to the tribunal, and showed that she was mainly dependent upon her son, Sidney. - The Chairman said the appeal raised a very difficult point. They did not think there was any hardship from the money point of view, but Mrs. FOURACRE had had six sons in the Army, one of whom had been killed and another wounded. Because of this they thought they ought to let the last son remain at home, and he would be exempted conditional upon his continuing to support his mother. The case was unlike others that had come before them, and if the military representative would like to appeal to the Central Tribunal leave would be granted.

Walter John BALMAN (39), Bi., married, family grocer and provision merchant, of Minehead, appealed on the ground of hardship, stating that he was proprietor of a one-man business. - Dismissed, but not to be available for service until the 6th January.

The military representative appealed against the exemptions granted to January 5th to William Lock HAWKER (34), Class A, married, master baker, of Minehead, and Charles PILE (37), Class A, married, master baker of Alcombe. These applications were taken together, and heard in conjunction with an appeal by Reginald John BODDY (38), Bii., married, also a master baker, of Minehead. - Mr. C. BLACKMORE appeared on behalf of Messrs. Hawker & Boddy. - It was stated in respect of Mr HAWKER that he was carrying on an extensive business in Minehead, and formerly employed five men. He had now only one Ciii. man to assist him; the whole of his time was taken up in the baking. He considered he was classified too high, and asked to be re-examined by the Central Medical Board. - The local tribunal reported that they had selected Reginald J. BODDY? as the one who should go, because he had a partner who could carry on the business with assistance. - Mr. BODDY stated that he and his brother carried on the largest baking business in West Somerset; they had over 600 regular customers. His brother had only one arm, and consequently could not assist in the bread baking. They had only one lad to assist them?, whereas they formerly employed six men, all of whom had been called up. He was a member of the V.T.C., and a regular attendant at drills. He was refused further exemption by the local tribunal on the 5th October. - Mr COPLESTON said these three men were brought before the tribunal at Minehead by arrangement. There were four bakers in Minehead, more than sufficient for the needs of the population. He did not press for BODDY if the Army could get one of the general service men. - Mr. HAWKER stated that he was now baking twenty sacks a week, and had to assist in the delivery of the bread. He had four hundred customers, and during the ---iday season he baked at least 30 sacks a week. - Mr. PILE said he baked seven sacks a week, and Mr. BODDY stated that his average was 30 sacks a week, and fifty during the season. All the bread was made by hand. His brother helped in delivering bread, and in making confectionery. - The Chairman: You cannot bake 30 sacks a week single-handed? - Mr. BODDY Yes, with the help of a lad. I give the whole of my time to bread baking. - The Chairman said these cases were very difficult to deal with. In the first place the three bakers were all in certified occupation, but they had come to the conclusion – like the Minehead Tribunal – that one should be spared to the Army. The difficulty was to decide which one should go. Both in the national interest, and in point of view of hardship, they thought the man who could be best spared was PILE, who was only baking a third or fourth of what the other two were doing, therefore the loss of his services to the district would be much less a loss than in the other cases. His wife and three children would get the separation allowance, and would be very little less well off than at present. On the other hand the tribunal thought it? would be a very great hardship on PILE if sent away at once, and if he came back to find his business gone. Unless Mr. PILE disposed of his business in the meantime arrangements ought to be made to keep it going for him. They proposed to allow BODDY's appeal, and give him exemption to the 6th January, and the two military appeals would be dismissed, and the exemption of HAWKER and PILE extended by one day, to the 6th January. If they found that PILE had been unable to make arrangements for the preservation of his business through the withholding of assistance by either of the other two bakers then one of them would have to go instead of PILE.

Mr. W. T. BOOKER, registrar of Wellington County Court, appealed on behalf of his chief clerk in the County Court office. Arthur John EXTON (19), Class A, who, he claimed, was indispensable. The application, though nominally made by him (Mr. BOOKER), might fairly be described as an appeal by the Treasury. Correspondence between Mr. BOOKER and the Treasury officer, Mr. BRIDGMAN, was read in support of the application. - Mr. BOOKER described the efforts he had made to obtain a substitute. He had advertised in West of England daily and weekly newspapers, also in the “Law Journal,” and had had his name on the Labour Exchange list for many months. The Labour Exchange sent him one man, who, according to his own account, knew all about County Court work, but the morning?? after his arrival in Wellington he was arrested for fraud, and was now in prison. Whit regard to women substitutes he had been in practice thirty-six years, and had not seen women engaged in County Court work yet. EXTON? had to issue summonses, levy executions, and arrest debtors if necessary. He would not be appealing for a clerk if it concerned his private practice, but could not sustain the responsibility of that official work without a capable and reliable assistant. - The tribunal dismissed the appeal, remarking that they would leave it to the local tribunal to decide if Mr. BOOKER made further application. - Judge LINDLEY did not adjudicate in this case.

Mr. HOSEGOOD, of Minehead, supported the appeal of Charles BRYANT (35), Cii., married, builder and contrator, of Alcombe, and the view of the local tribunal in dismissing his last application was that he could not be fully occupied in his business now that building was practically stopped, and that skilled carpenters and joiners were badly needed in the Royal Flying Corps. - Mr. HOSEGOOD said that Mr. BRYANT had a weak heart, and would be unable to stand military service of any form. He asked that the appeal might be adjourned for a fortnight to enable him to take up work of national importance. Skilled men were wanted at the Government saw mills, Minehead, and Mr. BRYANT had been offered work there. - Mr. COPLESTON urged that appellant would be of greater service to the country working at his trade in the Royal Flying Corps. - The Chairman said that in the absence of ? medical certificate they must accept the Cii classification, and in the circumstances they thought it very desirable that he should get work in the Army as a carpenter. - The appeal was therefore dismissed.

The military representative appealed in respect of Leonard BATTEN (22), Cii., single, baker's assistant and vanman in the employ of J. Shapland & Son, Wellington. - Mr. J. E. SHAPLAND said he baked 60 sacks a week – His son, aged eighteen, would be called up within a week, and there would be one man less to do the work. BATTEN's health was very bad at the present time, and he was really unfit for any military service. - Military appeal allowed, but man not to be called before the 20th November.

Messrs. Thomas & Co., coal merchants, appealed on behalf of Frederick REX (35), Cii., married, manager of coal and agricultural feeding stuffs depot. - The opinion of the local tribunal was that other members of the staff were quite capable of carrying on the work done by REX – Mr. W. T. BOOKER mentioned that six month's exemption had been given REX on his own personal appeal, and he asked that the firm's application might stand adjourned until then. - Adjourned to the 9th March next, with liberty to either party to apply.

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<NOTES: Sidney FOURACRE son of Henry or Harry FOURACRE and Ellen HINES>