George Fay, soldier, arrested for stealing

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Where: Unknown

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When: 09 December 1915

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Name: George Fay
Arrested for: not given
Arrested at: North Shields Police Station
Arrested on: 9 December 1915
Tyne and Wear Archives ref: DX1388-1-262-George Fay

The Shields Daily News for 13 December 1915 reports:


George Fay (29), a soldier, was charged at North Shields today with being an absentee from the 4th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, while stationed at the Bath Hotel, Tynemouth, on the 23rd ult. He was further charged with having stolen on the same day from a dwelling house situated at 4 Northumberland Terrace, six Treasury notes, valued at £5 10s, the property of Capt. Kenneth Woolhouse. The first charge was not proceeded with. Captain Woolhouse, of the same regiment, said that the defendant was his servant. On the 22nd ult. he changed his uniform and the notes were left in his pocket book, which was in his tunic. The defendant was reported absent the next day and witness looked in his book and found the notes had been stolen.

PC Magee said that the defendant came to the police station and asked to be detained as he was an absentee. He also stated that he had stolen some money. When charged he replied “It’s quite right”. Defendant pleaded guilty and said his health made him do it and he did not get his pay regular. The defendant, who had been bound over at Whitley for larceny of a cheque, was sent to prison for six weeks with hard labour”.

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: 24057
portrait interesting unusual prisoner crime criminal northshields policestation mugshot arrested soldier firstworldwar hat imprisoned 4thbattalionsherwoodforesters bathhotel tynemouth theft stealing militaryuniform ww1 army man socialhistory servant

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    tom clearwood

    • 11/Oct/2015 07:47:34

    another great project, you are showing the rest of the museum world the way, I hope they catch up sometime. This stuff brings real life... to life!