Taunton Courier 15 Mar 1916 Taunton Rural Tribunal MUSGRAVE Upper Cheddon, Kingston, WYATT West Monkton, Harry MILLER North Curry

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Taunton Courier. Bristol & Exeter Journal & Western Advertiser Wednesday 15 Mar 1916
Page 3 Column 4 & 5 Page 5 Column 6 & 7



Mr. A. SHIRE, a traction engine proprietor, of Thurlbeer applied for a temporary exemption for his employee, Arthur BOND, and he was granted a month.


Mr. T. W. BELLAMY, 24, of the Post-office, Shoreditch, Taunton, a voluntarily attested man, appealed on the grounds that he had been engaged in Gospel work in Somerset and Devon with a view of mission work abroad. He added, “I apply for exemption from combatant service because I have conscientious objection as a Christian. I am willing to join the R.A.M.C. or a non-combatant unit. My reasons in supporting the application are 'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight' (St John's Gospel, xviii., 36).” He added that it was not compatible with Gospel work to take life.

The Chairman: Have you read another part of the Bible where the Israelites were told to go and fight: - Yes, but is not that according to the Mosaic law?

Mr. Wyndham SLADE: What are you? - A Christian.

What do you do? - Evangelistic work.

Are you paid for it? - Yes.

The Chairman: What creed are you? - Open brethren.

An exemption from combatant service was granted.

Mr. James STOCKS, of the Gospel Hall Cottage, Bagborough, described as an evangelist, colporteur, and deliverer of letters also objected to military service on conscientious grounds. Believing he had been called to preach the Gospel, he had refused, at financial loss, employment in the cycle trade, and even when the canvasser called upon him he explained his conscientious objection.

The Chairman: Your conscience prevents you from fighting? - Yes, absolutely.
Even to keep the Germans out of this country? - Yes. The Lord Jesus Christ came to save life and not to destroy it, and I seek to be His follower.

Sometimes you destroy life to save it? - I could not conscientiously put a bayonet through a man.

Have you any objection to saving life? - If I join the Army Service Corps or the Ambulance I shall be linking myself up with things that are not of God – war is the height of devilry. I am absolutely against combatant or non-combatant work. It is a huge war machine and I will have nothing to do with it. I have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
The tribunal granted an exemption from combatant service, and applicant said he would appeal against this decision.


Applying on behalf of his adopted son, Mr. S. COTTY, a farmer, of Curland, said his son was the only help he had. He had given up some of his hauling work, thereby making provision for the departure of his son to join the Colours. - Two months granted.

Mr. Clifford OSMENT, of Haydon, farming 24 acres at Fox Hole, Creech St Michael, claimed to be engaged in a certified occupation, and in addition would be unable to pay rates, rents, and taxes if called to the Colours. - Applicant's father, Mr. Thomas G. OSMENT, also applied on behalf of his son, Mr. Tom OSMENT, who worked on his farm at Haydon, where he also managed the machinery. Applicant further stated that he could not manage both farms. - In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Clifford OSMENT, said he was a mason by trade, and had orders in hand at present. He had no stock on his farm. - The tribunal refused Mr. Clifford OSMENT's application, and granted six months' exemption in the other case.

Stating that he farmed over 330 acres of land, 131 of which were arable, Mr. James David BROOK, of Lydeard St Lawrence, applied for the exemption of his carter, James BARNETT, and was allowed six months.

Mr. W. H. SPARKS, of Staple Fitzpaine, complained that there was not labour to be got, and appealed on behalf of his son, aged 19, who attended to the cattle. He farmed 266 acres, sixty of which were arable. - Six months' exemption.

Mr. C. S. DREW, farmer and butcher, of Stoke St Mary, said he could not manage his business without the assistance of his son, Roy John DREW, and he therefore applied for his exemption. - In answer to questions, applicant said the son on whose behalf the appeal was made was at present serving in the Army, and was now on leave. His intention was to be attested and placed in a group “but they told him the tale and he went in the Yeomanry.” It being not understood why an appeal should be made for a soldier already serving, applicant explained that he had written to the Military Authorities, who said that if his son had enlisted for home service only he would come under the Military Service Act, and appeal on his behalf could therefore be made to the local tribunal. - Application refused.

An application of Mr. Jesse WELCH, a garden labourer, of New-road, Bishop's Hull, was made on the ground that his mother, who was over 70, would be left alone and unprotected, and also that he was necessary to his employer's business – Fourteen days granted.

Mr. John COLES, of Budleigh Farm, Wellington, said by his father, Mr. John COLES, senior, to be the only man on a farm of 101 aces, was granted six months' exemption.

Mr. George RICHARDS, 29, of Lillesdon, North Curry, stated that he farmed sixty acres, had 16 dairy cows, and had lost his only man and boy. He applied for total exemption, and was granted six months.

Mrs. ARCHER, of Bishop's Hull, made application for Henry MATTRAVERS, a general man on her farm. - One month granted.

The grounds of the application of Mr. Hedley MUSGRAVE, of Upper Cheddon, was contained in his reply to a letter recently circulated by Lord DERBY, and was to the effect that he felt convinced he would be serving his country more effectually in the present crisis in the production of food on his 200-acre farm than he could in any military capacity. - In answer to questions, applicant said he had the sole management of the farm. - Mr. BRUFORD, being related to applicant, did not adjudicate. - Six months' exemption granted.

The application of Sidney Charles WYATT, a wheelwright and carpenter, Stoke St. Gregory, was refused, as was also the application made by Mrs. GRANGER, of Staple Fitzpaine, on behalf of Robert DAVEY, her nephew.

Mr. R. Leslie BLACKMORE, a carter and engine-driver, was described by his father, who made the appeal, as the only man he had on a farm of 103 acres. - Six month's exemption.

An application of Mr. Walter COUSINS, of Ruishton, on behalf of his son, Mr. Gordon COUSINS, described as a baker, was refused. - In answer to questions by the military representative, applicant said that his son was a jeweller by trade, but came home when a workman left to join the Army. Since he had been home he had tried to get into an aeroplane works.

An application for the exemption of himself and two employees was made by Mr. Sinclair SMITH, of Ash Priors, who farms 235 acres of land, 125 of which are arable. - Mr. SMITH, who is 25, said the farm could not be carried on without his personal supervision. - He was allowed six months; exemption, and a similar period was granted to a carter named SEALEY. - The application in respect of Frederick MARTIN, a cattleman, was refused.

Mr. Walter WESTLAKE, farmer, of Otterford, claimed exemption for a carter named SHIRE, and said he had lost three men since the war. - Six months' exemption granted.

A like application was made by Mr. Walter DOBLE of Chruchstanton, in respect of a carter named COOK. - Three months were allowed, and applicant was told that he must try to replace the man during that time.

Mr. William BERRY, of Churchstanton, applied on behalf of his son, described as a cowman. - The application was refused.

Mr. George FORWARD, of Bickenhall, applied for Frank PERRY and Albert G. GARLAND, workmen on his farm of 240 acres. - The tribunal held that one of the men should go. - GARLAND was exempted for six months, and the application in respect of PERRY was refused.

Mr. Albert A. G. FORWARD, also of Bickenhall, applied for exemption on the ground that he managed a farm for his mother. - Six months granted.

A similar application was made by Mrs. MATRAVERS, of Bickenhall, in respect of her son, aged 21. - Six months allowed.

Mr. Edwin DAY, of Durston, applied for the absolute exemption of his son, aged 35, and was granted six months' exemption conditional upon the farm being carried on as at present.

Mr. Albert WEBB, of Churchstanton, applied on behalf of Edwin GREEDY, a carter, and the only man on his farm of 93 acres. - Three months granted.

An exemption of three months was also granted John HECTOR, a carter, of North Curry, the application in this instance being made by Mr. William James WARREN.

Mr. Charles SEALEY, a carter, of Stoke St. Gregory, was granted an exemption for six months, as was also Mr. Samuel GARLAND, a farmer, farming his own land as Stoke St Gregory. - Mr. Wm. B. BARRINGTON, of Mere Green, Stoke St. Gregory, said that with the help of a boy he farmed 60 acres. - Six months granted.

Mr. John SELLICK, of Luxborough Farm, Spaxton, applied on behalf of Thos. S. SELLICK. - He said he had a difficult farm to manage and a delicate family. - Six months granted.

Mr. W. QUICK, of West Hatch, applied for the exemption of his son, and said it was out of the question to employ women. “They prefer an afternoon walk,” he commented, and added that many labourers were leaving the land to work on the railway. - Three months' exemption.

Mr. W. J. SAUNDERS, of Norton Fitzwarren, in support of his application for Wm. John SEAWARD, said he farmed 500 acres. SEAWARD had charge of 300 sheep and 100 bullocks, and assisted in the management of the land. - Six months granted.

Mr. Richard WARREN, of Lydeard St Lawrence, in applying on behalf of his son Wm. Chas. WARREN, said that out of 76 acres he had 60 acres arable. - Six month's exemption.

Mr. Lola WARREN, of Lydeard St. LAWRENCE, in appealing on behalf of his son, aged 34, said he had read a lot in the newspapers about slackers, and he hoped the tribunal would not consider his

son a slacker for he had done the work of three men since the war started. - Applicant had one son serving. - Six month's temporary exemption.

Mr. T. St. Vincent TAYLOR, of Poole Farm, Taunton, appealed on behalf of his carter, Charles GREENSLADE. He stated that he had a large milk round and supplied the soldiers in the Barracks and in huts with milk. The carter was a married man with a family. - Applicant believed the man was not attested. - The Chairman: Then he is free at the present moment. - The application was dismissed.

Messrs. William James WYATT, 35, and Herbert Francis WYATT, 28, farmers, of West Monkton, applied for total exemptions. It was stated that the farm consisted of 240 acres, half of which were arable. There were four men employed, but two of them were partially disabled. - The tribunal considered that one of the brothers should serve, and granted the elder a temporary exemption for six months. - The application of Herbert Francis WYATT was refused.

Mr. H. E. CROSS, implement maker, of Halse, applied for the exemption of his only smith, William LOCK, aged 32, and he was granted six months.

Mr. John SPARKES, of Churchstanton, applied on behalf of John Wm. PALMER, the only man on his farm. - Seven days' exemption.

Mr. S. J. VILE, of Haydon House Farm, Taunton, applied on behalf of his son, aged 19, who assisted him on the farm, upon which there were thirty head of cattle, and 180 sheep and lambs.- Six months' exemption.

Mr. Edgar John DAY, of Stoke St Mary, applied for an exemption for his carter, Geo. BAKER, and was granted a temporary exemption for six months.

Mr. T. BEVIS, of Rumwell, made application for the exemption of his son, aged 25. - Applicant stated that he had two farms of nearly 200 acres, and that if he lost the assistance of his son he would be unable to continue in business. - Six months' exemption.

On the application of Mr. John BOLT, of Bishop's Lydeard, the tribunal granted an exemption of three months to applicant's son, Mr. Wm. B. BOLT, who assisted in the management of his farm.

A similar exemption was granted to W. H. BOOBYER, a withy worker, of Curload, Stoke St Gregory, application on his behalf being made by his father. Mr. Henry BOOBYER.

Mr. Wm. COUSINS, of Creech St. Michael, applied for John POOLE, aged 19. In answer to Mr. BOLSHAW, it was stated that POOLE was formerly a mason's labourer, but went to work on the farm at applicant's request in November. Women could not be got to do the work. The Chairman remarked that if these people would not help the country they could not expect the country to help them. The women would find themselves in the wrong box if they refused to assist. - Application refused.

Mr. George WEST, Ham, Creech St. Michael, a married man with six children, in his application said if called to the Colours he would have to give up his dairy. - Applicant not appearing the matter was adjourned for further particulars to be obtained.

Applications on behalf of Messrs. Harry MILLER, Fred STENSON, and H. DYKES, were made by Mr. K. E. PREW, Lillesdon, North Curry. - Applicant, it was stated, was unable to attend owing to illness, and consideration of the claims were therefore adjourned.

Page 5 Column 6 & 7


(Continued from page 3.)

Mr. Robert BRUFORD presided at a sitting of the Rural Tribunal on Tuesday. Other members present were Messrs. Wyndham SLADE, T. G. STONE, J. SUMMERHAYES, A. E. EASTWOOD, G. L. BOBBETTT, J. WHITE, and C. NORMAN. Captain WILDEBLOOD and Mr. A. S. BOLSHAW were the military representatives, while Mr. W. F. B. DAWE acted as clerk.

Mr. William HARTNELL, Mount Pleasant, Otterford, appealed on behalf of J. SHIRE, in his employ. - It was explained that an appeal was made by Mr. HARTNELL at a previous Court, but on that occasion, owing to his deafness, he was not satisfied that the whole of the facts of his application had been gleaned. He therefore asked that the application should be re-opened, when he could be represented by a solicitor. Further facts having been placed before the tribunal, SHIRE was granted three months' exemption.

The military representative having stated that the case of Mr. George WEST, of Creech St. Michael, who had six children, was one for an exemption of some sort, the tribunal granted six months.

Application on behalf of William Cyril ASH, 19, described as a shepherd, was made by Mr. W. J. ASH, of Howleigh, Pitminster, and he was granted one month.

Charles ROWSWELL, a carter, on the application of his employer, Mr. John G. JEANES, North Curry, was exempted for three months. Applicant, explaining the labour shortage, said that when men were paid 6s a day for cutting withies, farmers could not compete.

Mr. Herbert COUSINS, of Ruishton, appealed for Bertram HARVEY, carter and cowman. - Two months, to enable applicant to obtain female labour.

Mr. Albert PINE, of North Curry, appealed for John STENSON, carter and labourer. - Captain WILDEBOOD: Haven't you a son who could take charge of the horses? - Applicant: He is only 17 – but he has a farm of his own. - Mr. SUMMERHAYES: He started in business very young. - Exempted for six months.

Mr. John WHALE, of Pitminster, on whose behalf application was made by his father, Mr. Robert WHALE, was granted six months.

Mr. William J. WESTCOTT, Angersleigh, applied for his carter, George PALMER. - Two months.

Walter BLACKMORE, a cowman, employed by Mrs. H. WAY, of Creech St. Michael, who appealed on his behalf, was exempted for a fortnight. - The military objected to this claim.

Mr. William BOWERING, of Yarford, Kingston, appealed on behalf of George William FUDGE, a cowman. - It was stated that at the outbreak of war applicant's son and workmen joined the Army, and the Chairman, in announcing an exemption for six months, said the tribunal had much sympathy with Mr. BOWERING, who had done all he could. They only wished that others had done as much. - Mr. BOWERING said he would not have made the appeal that day if the man on whose behalf he appeared had been anything like strong.

An application by Mr. Henry SANDFORD, of Stoke St. Gregory, on behalf of his son, John Alfred SANDFORD, was refused.

An exemption for two months was granted Clifford CHEDZOY, of Stoke St. Gregory, application on whose behalf was made by his father Mr. Walter Robert CHEDZOY.

Mr. Henry J. PRIDDLE, West Hatch, made application on his own behalf, and also on behalf of his brother, Mr. Percy PRIDDLE. - The application in respect of the latter was refused, Mr. H. J. PRIDDLE being granted six months.

In the application of Mr. William Charles SUMMERS, of North Way, Halse, the tribunal granted six months' exemption, conditionally upon his brother, for whom an appeal was pending, serving. - The Chairman said the tribunal felt strongly that one of the brothers should serve.

A similar exemption was granted Mr. R. H. GREED, butcher, of Kingston.

Mr. GRABHAM, of Culmhead, appealed for three sons. - The Chairman said the tribunal felt that applicant should allow one of his sons to fight for his country. - Applicant: I don't know whether I can spare one, sir. - Exemptions for six months were granted in two cases, the other being refused.

An application by Mr. Alfred CHARD, a farmer, of Stapley, Churchstanton, was refused.

Applications on behalf of Harry MILLER, Fred STENSON, and Herbert DYKE were made by Mr. J. E. PREW, Lilllesdon, North Curry. - The application of MILLER was refused, six months being granted in the other cases.

Similar exemptions were granted Harry B. MUTTER and Fred SUMMERHAYES, applications for whom were made by Mr. T. G. STONE.

Mr. J. R. VENN, of Tolland, made application for his two sons, Mr. Clifford John VENN, a shepherd, and Mr. Waldron VENN, a permanent invalid. - an absolute exemption was granted in the latter case and six months in the former.

Applications by Mr. W. H. FEWINGS, Lydeard St. Lawrence, on behalf of Wm. G. FEWINGS, a cowman, and by Mr. HEMBROW, Slough, Stoke St. Gregory, on behalf of Henry Charles PERRY, were refused.

Six months' exemption was granted Reginald BLADON, a carter, application on whose behalf was made by Mr. Wm. HOUSE, Stoke St. Gregory.

Mr. James THOMAS, Halse, appealed for Bedford CORNISH, a carter. - Refused.

Mr. James CROSS, of Lydeard St. Lawrence, appealed on his own behalf and that of a shepherd in his employ, Henry John ROWE (35). - six months in each case.

Mr. Robert BARRINGTON, of Stoke St. Gregory, applied for exemption for his carter, Herbert Wm. PERRY. - Six months.

Mrs. Georgina BOWEY, North Curry, appealed for Reuben BOWEY. - Three months granted.

Two months was granted John BOWERMAN, a traction engine driver, of Lydeard St. Lawrence.

Mr. Albert ALLERCOTT, a miller, of Bagborough, applying on his own behalf, was also granted two months.

Mr. Richard J. GOMER, of the New Inn, Halse, applied for his son, Alfred John GOMER, and was refused.

Mr. J. H. BURSTON, of Fitzroy, Norton Fitzwarren, applied for exemption for two brothers named TRIMM, both 21 (twins), and both cowmen. Applicant said that he had never been so understaffed in his life, and that if one of the men had to go both would go. - Exemption granted for six months and two months.

Mr. F. CARTER, Bishop's Lydeard, applied for Fred HOOPER, a cowman. - Refused.

Mr. Seymour HEWITT, of Trull, applied for his son, Robert Morley HEWITT, ploughman and shepherd. - Three months.

Applications for J. CULLIFORD and Simon MORLE were made by Mr. John SKINNER, Yarde Farm, Combe Florey. - The former was exempted for six weeks, and MORLE for six months. - Applicant: If you take away the labour you may as well take the farm.

Mr. Walter DARBY, of Lydeard St. Lawence, appealed for a man in the employ of his son, who was called up on the outbreak of war, and is now in the W.S.Y. - Six months' exemption.

Mr. David DAY, of Thornfalcon, applied for Herbert KEATS (19), a carter, and was allowed three months.


Mr. J. H. HICKS, of Hill Crest, Bishop's Hull, appealed on behalf of his son, Mr. Petherick HICKS (18), a student at Taunton School, and who, it was stated, would probably be called to the Colours in February. - The application was made on the ground that Mr. HICKS was “taking special study for examination in engineering, which study will be beneficial to the nation, and on conscientious grounds, all war being contrary to the spirit and teaching of Jesus Christ – Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you.”

The Chairman: Who holds these opinions, Mr. HICKS?

Applicant: My son.

The Chairman: I do not think we can accept his opinion by proxy. That is no evidence to show that he holds these opinions.

Applicant: He is here.

Mr. Petherick HICKS stepping forward, the Chairman asked: What do you object to, my lad? - I have a conscientious objection to all warfare, as being contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ. -
How long have you held these opinions? - Ever since I knew anything at all.

The tribunal, having refused the application, Mr. HICKS, sen., asked leave to put a question. He added: “I have communicated with Sir John SIMON, and I am here at his request.”

The Chairman: Very well, please be brief. What is the question?

Mr. HICKS: I want to know what you know about Jesus Christ?

The Chairman: That has nothing to do with it. Next case please.

Mr. HICKS was understood to say that he would make a further appeal.


In the case of Mr. Tom G. WINSLADE, of Boroughbridge, the military authorities lodged an objection to the decision of the tribunal at the last sitting, when WINSLADE was granted an exemption. The objection was lodged on the ground that all the facts in the case were not brought to light. - In answer to Captain WILDEBLOOD, Mr. WINSLADE said the brother whom he had quarrelled with came home after the last tribunal meeting, but had not assisted in the management of the land. Further, this brother was going to join the Navy.

Captain WILDEBLOOD: It is not a fact that in your neighbourhood great discontent has arisen because you were exempted, and that because of it men have said they will serve six months in prison before they will go? - Not that I know – You do not accept insinuations that this is a put up job altogether? - No – The tribunal withdrew the exemption.


Mr. Reginald SPEARING, of North Curry, the son of a widow, appeared before the Court and asked for an exemption for one month to enable him to arrange a sale of his effects. He said he appealed to the tribunal on March 3rd, but was not given the slightest consideration. He made it plain upon the papers he then presented that if called to the Colours he would have to sell his cottage, garden, and land.

In answer to the Chairman, Mr. SPEARING said he did not appear at the Court when his application was heard. Two Courts sat on the same day, and he attended the wrong Court.

One month granted.


Mr. Sidney VENN, an agricultural labourer, of Otterford, applied for an exemption on the grounds that he had an objection to fighting because it was contrary to the spirit of the New Testament, and also because if he was taken away his father and mother would be in great difficulty to replace him. - In answer to questions applicant said he had held “conscientious” opinions ever since he had been brought up in the Sunday School. When the canvasser called on him he said he would join, but he did not commit himself to writing. The Military Service Act also was not passed at that time, and nothing was said about conscientious objections. - Applicant added that he had five brothers in the Army and one in the Police Force. He himself had tried to join the police. - Application refused.


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<NOTES: Hedley MUSGRAVE son of Edward MUSGRAVE and Louisa DAVEY, married Caroline Fanny HELLIAR

John STENSON son of Thomas William STENSON and Mary Ann or Polly HEARN, married Edith Mary PIPE

Albert PINE was the stepfather of Edith Mary PIPE>