Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Biscot Soldier Wants to Go to Prison

Soldiers at Biscot Camp c.1916 [Z1306/75/16/18]

Thursday 22nd February 1917: Private Francis Merritt, a soldier stationed at Biscot, has been remanded in custody at the Luton Borough Sessions after smashing a plate glass window at the shop of Robert Fuller in Waller Street and stealing five shillings worth of chocolate which he did not want. After his arrest Private Merritt told Police Sergeant Janes “I have done it for a purpose, and if I don’t get my purpose I shall do something worse afterwards.”  When asked by the Clerk of the Court whether he had done it to get out of the Army, the soldier replied: “I gave up a very good position when I enlisted, but so far as the Army is concerned it has absolutely ruined me. I have been in France and done my share. I was wounded on the Somme, and then I got sent to prison for nothing. I said the next time I went to prison I would go for something.” The Court was informed that Private Merritt had just been released from prison after three weeks. The Clerk told him “It looks as though in a fit of temper you have blasted your career.” When asked if he wanted the chocolates Private Merritt replied “No, I did not want the chocolates. I don’t eat chocolate, I am an athlete.”

Source: Luton News, 22nd February 1917

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