Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A Muddle Over Railway Vouchers

Leighton Buzzard Railway Station c.1910 [Z50/72/174]

Thursday 30th March 1916: Two Leighton Buzzard men have appeared in court charged with failing to present themselves to join the army as instructed. William Abraham, a 32 year old labourer, was supposed to have presented himself at Luton on 20th March. When arrested he claimed that as his railway voucher was dated the 18th he went on that date, but was told to go home until the 20th. As he did not have another railway voucher he did not return. When questioned in court he said he had been forced to borrow his fare back to Leighton Buzzard. The magistrates were told it was not permitted to give another ticket if a man made a mistake - the Chairman of the Bench pointed out that in this case the mistake had not been made by the recruit! As it was felt Mr. Anderson was not trying to avoid military service, he was simply to be handed over to the military authorities.

Amos Field, a 40 year old labourer, appeared very nervous and was almost inaudible when he made his plea of "not guilty". Superintendent Matthews said that when Mr Field was brought in he said he had never received a notice. Colour-Sergeant Handley said the notice had been sent to Mr. Field together with his railway warrant, and produced papers and counterfoils as proof. Mr. Field was to be handed over to a military escort

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 4th April 1916

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