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  • 100 YEARS AGO: SALFORD MOTHER IN LAW USES HAND GRENADE IN A FIGHT


    Tony Flynn
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    History With Flynn

    I think we have all heard the Mother In Law jokes and how they make their Son in Law's life a misery with constant nagging, but this story from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, September 1921 puts a new spin on that old chestnut.

    Leah Perry, 49, and her daughter, Cecillia, 27, appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with assaulting, Molly Perry, her Daughter in Law, who had the misfortune to marry her eldest son.

    Molly appeared in court with her head swathed in bandages and sporting, two black eyes, she told her tale of woe to the Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr P.W. Atkin.

    She told him that that Leah and Cecillia had made her life a misery for the past four months, beating her, stealing her wages, called her, "filthy names" and had threatened  to split her head open if she didn't leave her husband.

    When her, husband, Frank got in from work, she told him what had happened, his remedy to this solution was that they both go for a walk and chat to avoid any trouble.

    Their walk took them along Cross Lane which was famous for the number of pubs there, and also it's colourful clientele in the evening, hardly the place to calm one's shattered nerves I would have thought.

    Frank as noble as ever, nipped in the pub for a pint and left, Molly outside waiting for him, I think you can guess what is going to happen...

    Leah and Cecillia just happened to be taking a stroll along Cross Lane when they spotted her, incredibly, Leah produced a hand grenade and struck Molly over the head with it, she then passed it to Cecillia who, walloped Molly over the head with it twice, knocking her out, and the poor girl remembered nothing until she woke up in Salford Royal Hospital.

    Frank who had possibly finished his pint came out of the pub to see what the commotion was all about, only to see his Mother and Sister knocking the living daylights out of his poor wife.

    P.C. Wilson who happened to be passing arrested both women and took them to Cross Lane Police Station, both women denied ever having seen a hand grenade and that they were the one's who had been attacked.

    The Magistrate adjourned the case for a day and warned the women that he was considering sending them for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

    The following morning, Detective Smith told the court that drink was the cause of this quarrel  and the family squabbling, and that the hand grenade had been brought home from the war by one of Mrs Perry's soldier sons, and was harmless...unless you were hit over the head with it several times, presumably?

    MR Atkin then told the accused women that he had thought of sending them to prison but he would bind them over for 12 months if they promised to stop drinking and leave Molly alone.

    They agreed to this and were discharged from the court.

    I have a nagging feeling that the Magistrate had made the wrong decision and that he hadn't seen the last of these feuding ladies.

     



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