It is said that a man in uniform does indeed attract the ladies, sadly this knight in shining armour turned out to be a cad and a bounder amongst other things.
Our story begins with the Rutter family from Salford taking a short holiday in Bakewell, a small market town and civil parish in the Derbyshire Dales district of Derbyshire.
The daughter Emily met a soldier Private William Graham from the West Yorkshire Regiment who was convalescing in a nearby Military Hospital from injuries he had received on the Western Front and they soon struck up a friendship.
Emily asked him to write to her at the family home on West High Street, just off Cross Lane, which he dutifully did.
The enterprising Private Graham went one better when he turned up unannounced at the family home looking resplendent in his new army uniform, complete with Military decorations, four wound stripes and he had even been promoted to a Lance Corporal!
He told the family that he was on leave for a further week and would then return to the Western Front to fight for King and Country.
The Rutter family welcomed him into their home where he soon made himself comfortable, he was given his own bedroom and was fed three meals a day, the least they could do for this brave boy.
However this idyll was shattered on the Tuesday morning when at the breakfast table he told Emily that he was going upstairs to change his clothing, he was that long getting changed that she became suspicious and rightly so as it turned out.
He came downstairs and brushed past her without saying a word and left the house, sadly a search revealed that he had taken with him a silver watch and several gold rings valued at £3 - four shillings.
He didn't return that day and so the local police were informed, and by a simple twist of fate, he returned the next afternoon possibly for his dinner and was met by Detective Needham and Detective Dutton who promptly arrested him and took him to Cross Lane police station for questioning.
A search of his clothing revealed the watch and rings, which Private, sorry Lance Corporal Graham denied ever having seen before.
To add to this confusion Mrs Rutter whose husband owned a shop at 91 Cross Lane came into the police station and told the Detectives that Graham had been in her shop earlier that day, she was in the rear feeding chickens in the yard, she came into the shop and found him behind the counter.
She asked what he was doing there, again he simply walked past her and strolled off along Cross Lane, taking with him, three flash lamps valued at three shillings.
William Graham was charged with theft and appeared at Salford Magistrates Court the following day.
Further misery was heaped upon his no doubt slumped shoulders when a Military escort appeared and informed the Magistrate that Graham should be charged with wearing Military decorations that hadn't been awarded to him, also the wound stripes were a lie and worst of all he was not a Lance Corporal, he had simply promoted himself and purchased the insignia, what a bounder but not in the same class as Percy Topliss the Monocled Mutineer.
The Magistrate sentenced him to three months imprisonment for the theft of the jewellery and for the Military impersonation he was given a further months imprisonment, a total of four months in total.
Ironically this would have saved Private Graham from any further military action as the Great War would end up in November 1918.
As for Emily duped in love by a chap in his uniform, hopefully she learnt her lesson and possibly married a policeman, by all accounts a more honest type of chap.
LS Lowry could have easily painted pretty landscapes but instead he chose to paint what he saw, and that is without a doubt the most defining trait of Salford, we say it how it is, we tell it how it is and we keep it real.
So with that same spirit in heart, add local wordsmith Simon Williams to that list, he has put pen to paper to recall a vision of a Salford he witnessed himself as he grew up here, a Salford that for many is long gone, all but existing in memories.
The perfectly titled book 'My Salford: Poems From The Heart' is a collection of 40 poems that are utterly unique to us, the people of Salford and as we all know the pope is a salfordian and he endores it.
Each poem is a vivid recollection of events which have shaped our City as well as Simons life, from the gritty memories of the 'scabs' who walked through the doors during the miners strikes to a nostalgic poetical walk down Langworthy Road and remembrance of this once bustling high street.
From memories of a 5 year old Simon visiting the local sporting mecca that was once the Willows, a stadium filled with the greats who would go on to inpire Simon in later life, to the drug culture during the 80's which devastated the lives of many a Salfordian, Simon himself no stranger to their danger.
Simon has seen it all and done it all, he is an accomplished Author, an avid charity fundraiser who has raised countless thousands for local charities and causes, he also runs the 'Sounds of Salford' radio station which beat out American online stations at their own game by topping their podcast charts. He is without a doubt a Salfordian through and through, he is one of us, wears his heart on his sleeve and has the fire and passion in his heart for this City. A true unsung local hero.
Never forgetting his roots 'My Salford' is available for free on Kindle as Simon is aware how cash strapped this City is, but for those who have a few quid extra there is an old school paperback physical copy available for your personal library it is just a measly £4.82 via Amazon. It is well worth investing in as this is one of those books that in future years will be a Salford bible. Well after all, the Pope is a Salfordian.
Buy here: Click To Buy
By Tony Flynn
I am certain we have all witnessed shocking behaviour on our buses, trains and trams over the years, I can still recall the horror of the last bus out of Victoria bus station as a callow youth and have witnessed a hail of meat and potato pies being hurled in a scene reminiscent of Agincourt, yes the good old days.
So this story from August 1919 reminds us that loutish behaviour is not a modern day phenomenon as two drunken chaps bring a new meaning to, men behaving badly.
Amos Williams 28, who lived at Irlams Place, Salford appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with with being drunk and disorderly in Eccles New Road and assaulting a female tram conductress, Ethel Featherstone.
Inspector Mitchell told the Court that Williams and his chum, Joseph Mullen boarded the tram at Eccles Cross and were going to Weaste to meet a female friend.
However this journey to meet the mystery woman was curtailed when Amos Williams loutish behaviour resulted in the police being called.
Whilst the conductress was collecting fares upstairs, he decided it would be fun to continually ring the bell much to the annoyance of the other passengers.
One one occasion he rang the bell so vigorously that driver slammed the brakes on thinking it was an emergency stop, much to Williams amusement.
An elderly chap, Edward Smith, had the temerity to tell Williams to behave and asked him what he thought he was playing at?
Williams responded by grabbing hold off his legs and dragging him to the floor of the tram, were he began kicking him.
Ethel Featherstone. came downstairs to see what all the commotion was about and asked him what he was doing, his reply was to slap her across the face and then attempted to push her off the tram, which fortunately had stopped.
I noticed the driver of the tram hasn't come racing to her rescue!
The police were called at Weaste and managed to drag the two drunken men off the tram and into police custody and reflect on their behaviour.
In his defence, Amos Williams told the Magistrate:
"I had drank a lot of beer that day"
Truthful but hardly the best defence he could have come up with is it?
He was fined £1 or 30 days imprisonment for being drunk and disorderly, also he was fined £3 and six shillings for assaulting Ethel Featherstone or 28 days imprisonment, with the fine being paid to her in costs.
P.C. Cormie took to the stand to testify against his co-accused, Joseph Mullen who was also charged with being drunk and disorderly.
He told the court that Mullen kept interfering with Williams arrest, using bad language and even going so far as to attempt to incite the tram passengers to help release Williams!
Williams was hardly popular with the tram passengers so I should imagine his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Mullen told the Magistrate:
"All I did was to walk to the police station and see how my pal was and if he needed any money, then I got arrested"
He was fined £1 or 14 days imprisonment.
So a warning for us all, don't balloon on public transport unless you want to spend the night in the cells and face a possible hefty fine..and I haven't mentioned a single person I know!
By Tony Flynn
For the answer lets take a visit to Salford Magistrates Court, September 1918 to see what the Stipendiary Magistrate had to say.
Our story starts on board the S.S. Chicago City a Cunard Liner boat that was moored at Porto Empedecole in Southern Italy, which was picking up amongst other cargo, cases of wine to be transported back to Salford Docks.
What could go wrong?....The Captain was soon to find out.
Alarm bells should have rung when it was noticed that several seamen had begun drinking heavily from the cargo being loaded onto the boat from cargo lighter boats, a type of flat bottomed barge which would transfer goods and passengers to and from moored ships.
The Captain immediately put an armed guard on the ship and another on the shore in an attempt to stop the pilfering of wine by the crew.
I think you can guess where this story is going and how its going to end.
At 3am the next day the Captain was woken up by the Second Officer who told him that he was concerned about the amount of noise coming from number three hold.
The men along with the Chief Officer prudently armed themselves with revolvers and went to see what the commotion was all about.
As can be expected it wasn't a pretty sight, he saw a number of men lying on the floor, surrounded by empty wine bottles, others were singing loudly and as the Captain put it, "The men were mad drunk" A lovely expression.
The men were locked in the hold overnight, presumably they had drunk all the wine that was being stored there and left to sleep it off.
The next day the Captain found that none of the men detained were capable of working and were "not in a fit state to be talked too"
They were then given one last chance to explain their innocence, none of them were able to do so.
They must have shifted a lot of wine or it was very strong stuff for al of them to be unable to work or even speak properly.
The ship sailed to Salford Docks without further trouble, no doubt the booze was firmly under lock and key if not an armed guard!
Ten men were arrested by the dock police, they were, Patrick Birch, George Kyfinn, Daniel Delaney, Michael McKenna, Velkhelm Hansen, Maurice Crosby, Herbert Atwood, Harry Ward, Daniel Fitzpatrick and Jesse Baker.
They were all charged with the theft of seven cases of wine valued at £25 the property of Cunard Liners.
The merry matelots were were defended by Herbert Cunningham whilst Herbert Vaudrey appeared for the owners.
Cunningham told the Stipendiary Magistrate that there was no truth in the allegations that they broke into the cargo, although it was obvious the cargo had been tampered with, however there were 31 men on board the ship and the men in the dock hadn't been seen doing the damage or theft.
He continues that it was true that the men were very drunk but asserted that they had bought their liquor ashore and therefore had committed had no crime.
Be honest that's not a very convincing argument for their innocence is it?
The Stipendiary obviously not believing a word, said that he thought, "the men had broken into the cargo and after a heavy drinking bout, no doubt had a craving for more drink and committed the offence that they were charged with"
He then fined each man 50 shillings or £2-10 shillings-0 pence which was about a weeks wage for the men, and a fairly hefty price to pay for going on a bender.