Friday, 20 March 2015

Boots for Sale

First World War Soldier's Kit [National Archives UK Flickr]

Saturday 20th March 1915:  James Kirby of Burr Street appeared before magistrates at Luton today charged with buying two pairs of boots which were the property of the military authorities from a soldier. Mr Kirby, a dealer, said that Private George Mellor of the 2/7th Battalion of the Notts and Derby Regiment had told him the boots were his own, and that he had some more in his kit bag. He claimed he would not have bought the boots if he had known he was doing anything wrong. .

The Chief Constable wished it to be made know to the people of the town that they could not buy clothing, boots, groceries, or any other items from the army. Captain Whitehead said he was under instruction from the General Officer Commanding to bring this to the attention of the Bench. Purchases of this type had been taking place, and the military authorities had reported this to the police. He stated that it was difficult to discover where the men disposed of their boots. The Chairman of the Bench declared it was a disgrace that people should purchase anything from soldiers and that Mr Kirby must have known what he was doing when he bought boots that were being worn by a private in uniform for next to nothing. The magistrates imposed a fine of £10 with 8s costs, with the option to serve one month’s imprisonment as an alternative to paying the fine.

Source: Luton News 25th March 1915

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