Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Spy Fever Strikes Again

Application by George Alger for a post as clerk at the Bedford Bank, 1841 [BD413]

Wednesday 26th August 1914 (Bedford): Spy fever has struck again in Bedford. Mr R. W. Alger was wheeling his elderly mother down the Goldington Road in a bath chair when he heard a German speaking in broken English. He reported the man to two Highlander officers and continued walking. Two mounted soldiers were sent to inform the police, but there was obviously some mix up over the message as they pointed out Mr Alger to a policeman as the suspected German. He and his mother were then taken to the police station. Meanwhile word got round the town that the old lady in the bathchair was a German in disguise! A hostile crowd gathered outside the police station and shouted some very choice words at those inside. Fortunately all was quickly resolved as Mrs Alger’s late husband had been a manager at the Bedford Bank for fifty years and the family is well known to the Chief Constable. Mr Alger and the old lady were escorted out the back entrance of the bank and order was restored.

Source: Bedfordshire Times 28th August 1914

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