Thursday, 7 April 2016

A Tale of Two Brothers

Billingsgate Market 1876 [Wikimedia]

Friday 7th April 1916: The County Appeals Tribunal held yesterday at Luton had to deal with a confusing case in which the papers of two brothers from Leighton Buzzard had become mixed. One of the brothers is married and the other single, but the Tribunal had some difficulty establishing which of them was which. After efforts were made by the applicant and his solicitor to establish his identity, the Tribunal agreed that the man whose appeal against military service they were considering was 24 years old, single and partly responsible for the support of another, younger brother and a sister. At the Local Tribunal his brother had been given four months’ exemption, but his own application had been dismissed.

The applicant said that he and his brother had two shops, a fish and game shop which they managed between them, and a fruit shop in another part of the town which was managed by their sister and had been started so that she could help to support herself. Three of their employees had left and enlisted, and although they had tried to find replacements they had been unable to do so; it was stated that if the applicant was not exempted the business would have to close. He acted as salesmen and delivered country orders on a motorcycle, while his brother attended Billingsgate market three times a week – the Tribunal were told this was absolutely necessary as “if you want good stuff you must go and choose it yourself, or you have anything palmed off on you”. However, a member of the Tribunal pointed out that many retail dealers, with considerably larger businesses, ordered their goods by telegraph. It was also suggested that if the applicant’s younger brother was employed by the business he could take over the motor cycle deliveries. The appeal was refused on the grounds that one of the brothers must go, and the applicant appeared the most suitable.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 7th April 1916

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