Wendover Remembers, May 1918

The Germans continued their major offensive on the Western Front attacking into the French sector along the Chemin des Dames. By the end of the month German troops had reached the Marne and Paris was threatened. American forces took part in the fighting for the first time. Britain suffered its largest (and last) attack by German aircraft. 49 people were killed and 177 were injured. Nicaragua and Costa Rica declared war on Germany.

Much to the relief of Wendover families no casualties were reported from the front in May 1918. However at home the Aylesbury Petty Sessions Court was kept busy with several cases involving men of the Wendover area. William Taylor, a carter of Wendover, was charged with supplying a prisoner of war at Halton Camp with cigarettes in contravention of the Defence of the Realm Act. The defendant pleaded “guilty through ignorance.” It was stated that in the course of his occupation Taylor had occasion to go to the camp. A notice was posted in a conspicuous place warning civilians against having any dealing with the interned persons. Sergt. Frank McGill said on looking out of the office window at the camp he saw Taylor approach one of the prisoners and hand him a parcel, and the prisoner gave him some money. The Chairman commented: “How any man could make arrangements to supply prisoners of war at this time was beyond his comprehension. It was a very serious offence, and they could fine him £100 and send him to prison for six months but as this was his first offence, as a warning to him and all other people, they must order him to pay a fine of £1, or in default one month’s imprisonment”.

Harry Foster, a woodman of Worlds End, Wendover, was summoned for using threatening language at Weston Turville on May 4. He pleaded not guilty. John Thomas Walton, a farmer of Weston Turville, said that on May 4, in the Wendover Road, Foster shouted at him that he ought to be in the Army, fighting the Germans.” Walton said that he made no reply. Later in the afternoon Walton again met Foster, who resumed his shouting. Walton claimed that Foster had subjected him to annoyance for a considerable time in the presence of other people, and he felt bound to take proceedings against him. The Chairman said that it was evident that the defendant had used offensive but not threatening language and dismissed the case. He said the Court must, however, warn Foster not to say anything to annoy people in that way again. He hoped they would shake hands and be friends. Defendant: “No sir; I will never shake hands with such a man”. Complainant: “I merely wish this annoyance to cease”.

Mr F Purssell of Small Dean Farm applied to the court for the possession of a cottage and farm buildings at Worlds End, occupied by George Beckett. He explained that the tenancy comprised a cottage, farm buildings, and a strip of land. Mr Purssell occupied 16 acres of land adjoining, and now required the farm buildings and the cottage for an employee. Mr Beckett claimed he should be paying only 6s per week rather than the 7s demanded and the only reason he was being turned out was because Purssell disputed the rent. The chairman said it was clearly a case in which the owner of the cottage was entitled to possession, and the usual order for ejectment would be made.

Bucks Herald published a notice congratulating Mrs Ann Bonham, the oldest inhabitant of Wendover on reaching her 90th birthday. It reported that she enjoyed good health, and was able on her birthday to thread a needle and do needlework without the aid of glasses. She was if fact 94 and lived until 1923 when she died aged 99.

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