|T.R. Wilmer's butcher shop on Wilmers Corner (Ref: Z50/11/20)|
12 September 1916: A deputation of master butchers appeared at a Bedford Borough tribunal to defend the necessity of keeping men in the trade. The tribunal were of the opinion that there were a number of young men engaged in the butchering trade who could enlist in the Army. The tribunal thought that the butchers could work together in order to release men for the fighting line. Alderman H C Dunham, acted on behalf of the butchers association, explained that slaughtermen were of the utmost importance and not one butcher in Bedford employed a man for slaughtering only. Slaughtermen, he reported, were now employed in more general work, such as carrying carcasses to the shop and making-up goods like sausages. He argued that those men currently in the trade were absolutely necessary and the work was not suitable for women. Additionally, the price of meat was so high that it was crucial to have competent people to prepare it. In response to questions put to them, the deputation of master butchers estimated that there were between 40 and 60 butchers in Bedford.
Source: Bedfordshire Standard 15/09/1916