Saturday, 16 May 2015

Anti-German Demonstrations at Bedford

The Crown Public House, 2010 [BLARS]

Sunday 16th May 1915: This weekend Bedford has seen its first anti-German demonstrations. The first took place on Friday night at the Crown Inn, at the junction of Cauldwell Street and Britannia Road. The landlord, Mr Kasteleiner, although born in Germany is a naturalised British subject and has been the licensee of the Crown for around thirty years. His wife is believed to be of English parentage. Rumours passed around the town yesterday that the public house was to be attacked, and the demonstration began soon after nine o’clock. Windows and furniture were smashed, a slot machine was broken up and the money taken, bottles of whisky and cigars were thrown out, and the buffet at the back of the bar was destroyed. Part of the wall adjoining the pub was pulled down and the bricks used to carry out the destruction. Furniture elsewhere in the downstairs rooms of the house and other articles were carried away by bystanders. A piano was overturned and badly damaged. By the time the police arrived there was little they could do; order was not restored until after midnight.

Last night a second attack took place, this time on the premises of Mr. A. Scheuermann, a pork butcher, at 13 Tavistock Street. Mr. Scheuermann is also a naturalised British subject; one of his sons is with the British Expeditionary Force in France and his daughter is a military nurse. Although soldiers were on duty outside the shop the large plate glass window was broken. The crowd rushed the shop but were held back by the soldiers. Reinforcements were sent who closed off that part of Tavistock Street and prevented further damage.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 21st May 1915

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