Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Bigamy in Bedford

Wednesday 16th August: Annie Emmie Tully (nee Williams), aged 20 years, of Union Street, Bedford, is charged with bigamy at Bedford Borough Sessions. Annie confessed to marrying Private Herbert Parry whilst her husband, Charles Tully, was alive. Annie married Tully on the 14 March 1914 in Llaneley [presumably Llanelly, Monmouthshire], but two years later she married Private Parry of the 2/1st Brecknocks (South Wales Borderers) at Trinity Church, Bedford. The 2/1st Brecknocks were billeted at 72 Chaucer Road, two streets away from where Annie lived on Union Street. This marriage was witnessed by a Miss Florence Haddow of Russell Street, Bedford. On the 7th August, Annie turned herself in and signed a statement in which she testified that Charles Tully had ‘knocked her about’ shortly after getting married, and, several months later during her pregnancy. Her baby had been born dead following a beating and Annie left home, taking the bed sheets to pay for lodgings. Annie returned to her husband upon his request, but found him to be just as violent and so left him for good in January 1915.

Chaucer Road, Bedford, c.1910
 (Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service, ref: Z1306/10/12/1)

Interestingly, Parry testified that he had known Annie for two years, so it would appear they met not long after Annie married Charles Tully in March 1914. It seems likely that Annie met Parry when his regiment was formed in Brecon, Monmouthshire (the regiment served as a ‘home’ regiment and did not serve overseas) in September 1914 and that she followed him and the regiment to Bedford in 1915. It would be an extraordinary coincidence if they both happened to be from the same part of Wales and ended-up a few streets away from each other in Bedford. 

Source: Bedfordshire Times, 18/08/1916

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