Lawrence Armstrong alias Hanby, soldier, arrested for theft

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Where: Unknown

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When: 30 September 1915

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Name: Lawrence Armstrong alias Hanby
Arrested for: not given
Arrested at: North Shields Police Station
Arrested on: 30 September 1915
Tyne and Wear Archives ref: DX1388-1-262-Lawrence Armstrong AKA Hanby

The Shields Daily News for 8 October 1915 reports:


Today at North Shields, Laurence Armstrong (21) of the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers was charged with having stolen on Sept. 20th a box of cigarettes valued at 5s from the shop of Henry Nicholson, tobacconist, Saville Street. An assistant of the prosecutor’s said she was serving a customer on the above date, when accused entered the shop, picked up a box of cigarettes and went away.

Defendant was further charged with having stolen a dress ring, valued at £1, the property of Valone Harrison, conductress of a tramcar on Sept. 14th. The prosecutrix said the accused boarded a car on which she was following her employment. He asked to look at her ring. She took it off her finger and showed it to him. Witness then went to collect some fares and while she was thus engaged the accused got off the car.

Detective Mason said that when accused was arrested on the previous charge a pawn ticket relating to the ring was found in his possession. Accused pleaded guilty and said he was very sorry. He had been seven months at the front and had been gassed. He was committed to prison for 14 days on each charge”.

These images are taken from an album of photographs of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court between 1902 and 1916 (TWAM ref. DX1388/1). This set is our selection of the best mugshots taken during the First World War. They have been chosen because of the sharpness and general quality of the images. The album doesn’t record the details of each prisoner’s crimes, just their names and dates of arrest.

In order to discover the stories behind the mugshots, staff from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums visited North Shields Local Studies Library where they carefully searched through microfilm copies of the ‘Shields Daily News’ looking for newspaper reports of the court cases. The newspaper reports have been transcribed and added below each mugshot.

Combining these two separate records gives us a fascinating insight into life on the Home Front during the First World War. These images document the lives of people of different ages and backgrounds, both civilians and soldiers. Our purpose here is not to judge them but simply to reflect the realities of their time.

(Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email [email protected].


Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 54901
portrait interesting unusual prisoner crime criminal northshields policestation mugshot arrested soldier firstworldwar hat imprisoned northumberlandfusiliers theft stealing militaryuniform ww1 army youngman socialhistory lawrencearmstrong aliashanby military arrest northshieldspolicestation 30september1915 committed 1stnorthumberlandfusiliers charged cigarettes 5s shop henrynicholson tobacconist savillestreet dressring £1 property valoneharrison fascinating striking distracted detectivemason accused pawnticket pleadedguilty northshieldspolicecourt 19021916 northshieldslocalstudieslibrary microfilmcopies shieldsdailynews newsreport criminalrecord publicrecords transcription homefront button pocket coat crease emblem wrinkle head face shoulder eye nose

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    optimal chicken

    • 03/Oct/2015 07:35:01

    Another great read. I wonder if gas had genuinely been the reason or he was simply trying it on?!

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    • 05/Oct/2015 16:36:13

    Kind of looks like the Actor Damien Lewis who played Major Richard Winters in "Band of Brothers".

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    Jose Esteve Photography

    • 07/Oct/2015 18:39:32

    Great capture!

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    tom clearwood

    • 11/Oct/2015 07:56:41

    each of these little stories is like a page out of a Pat Barker novel

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    • 18/Jan/2022 00:10:37

    Thank you for your post in : Portrait★Faces