Another Week - 12th July.
News had reached Congleton of the death of Pte A Cumberbatch, of the Coldstream Guards, who had died in Kettram Military Hospital, from pneumonia.
Pte Cumberbatch, who previously lived at Brownlow, Astbury, was a member of the Cheshire County Constabulary, stationed at Sale, prior to enlisting about eight weeks before he died.
The war was coming to an end and the question of the returning men had started to worry people.
A public meeting in connection with the Congleton branch of the North Staffs Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Association was held on the fairground.
The mayor, Coun F Jackson, said the object of the meeting that evening was to see that “justice was done” to the discharged soldiers and sailors.
He said that as Englishmen they prided themselves on being patriotic, and if they were true to their patriotism they would never let these men, “who had fought their battles”, want for anything they deserved, nor be “robbed of their just claims”.
This association had been formed to protect the interests of the discharged soldiers and sailors, he said He said it was up to “every true Englishman” to see that some employment was found for the men so that they might not suffer any severe financial loss and place them as near as possible in the position they were before the war.
There was also a row about the allocation of meat rumbling on.
Congleton Food Control Committee investigated a complaint, made by a local pork butcher, as to his supply of meat.
Mr H Hackney said he had gone to Congleton market to fetch his beef and mutton and was told that there was no meat for him.
Mr J Hankinson said it appeared Mr Hackney had drafted into a pork and general butcher, unknown to the other pork and general butchers in the town, although the local butchers’ association had been in the habit of allowing him beef to make up his shortage when it had been difficult for him to get pork.
What they had given him out of a kindness, he now wanted to be made permanent, and a week ago, without the knowledge of the association, they learned he had decided to become a pork and general butcher.
When the association found he refused to buy pigs, they considered he was taking advantage of them, and they unanimously decided that in view of the shortage of meat Mr Hackney might report the same, should he make up with hard meat.
The chairman said it was the duty of the food committee not to take care of any butcher, but of all the butchers’ customers.
He did not think the committee had any right to recognise differences between the butchers’ association and any of its members. These differences should be settled among the members.
Coun Thursfield: “Why does Mr Hackney refuse to buy pigs?”
Mr Hankinson: “Because he thinks our meat is the best.”
Finally, as we reported at length the other week, the local rogue, William Taverner, of West House (aka Victoria College), West Road, Congleton was up at Chester Assizes before Sir EM Bray and a jury, facing what at his subsequent appeal was described as “an exceedingly ingenious and subtle swindle”.
He was indicted for the falsification of accounts in a book belonging to his Middle Age Pension Friendly Society.
The court was told that Taverner made his money by inflating the income and concealing the true income, although real people were duped into sending him money.
The court heard that he entered into the books of the society a “colossal” subscription, which was never received, and, to conceal the true income, drew thousands of dummy cheques that merely transferred money from one of the society’s accounts to another.
He was allowed to draw a small percentage of income for admin expenses. By inflating the assets, he made the small percentage a large sum of money, all the while spending his clients’ pension contributions.
Taverner was sent to prison and his house was sold, Lyndon Murgatroyd reporting that John Hall JP, from Leek, bought it for £4,000. Mr Hall presented it to the National Children’s Home and Orphanage in 1923, and it became part of Danesford, and is now apartments.
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