James George Chase, munitions worker, arrested for obtaining money by false pretences

Download this image

Love this? Please support us and...

More from this collection

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Unknown

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 22 January 1916

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Name: James G. Chase
Arrested for: not given
Arrested at: North Shields
Arrested on: 22 January 1916
Tyne and Wear Archives ref: DX1388-1-264-James G Chase

The Shields Daily News for 28 January 1916 reports:


At North Shields today, James George Chase (23), a munition worker, residing at Lynn Villa, Billy Mill, was brought up on remand, charged with having unlawfully obtained by false pretences, from Joseph Emery, the sum of £20, with intent to cheat and defraud, between Dec. 13th and Jan. 17th.

Joseph Emery stated in May last he became acquainted with the defendant. During the latter part of that month the defendant told him something about an estate in Australia, valued at £70,000. About the 17th December, witness received a letter, which was supposed to have come from a detective at Scotland Yard, and his wife received a wire for £10 to be sent to the defendant in London, and witness sent it. On the 10th inst. the defendant returned from London and handed witness a sealed envelope. He opened it and found it contained two documents. After reading them, defendant asked is he was satisfied and he said it seemed to be alright. On the 17th inst. the defendant asked for another £10 and witness gave it to him. On the 21st inst. witness communicated with the police and on the 22nd obtained a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.

Det. Radcliffe stated that on the 22nd inst. he arrested the defendant in Saville Street, and brought him to the Central Police Station. He read the warrant over and defendant replied “I can’t say anything until I have seen Mr Emery”. Afterwards he said there was no truth in the statement regarding the fortune. When charged this morning he replied “I admit everything: I know I have done wrong”. Defendant pleaded guilty and had nothing to say.

Mr Emery, recalled, said he had not believed half the defendant’s statements from the first. The defendant had said that a young man had to go with him to Australia as a bodyguard to bring the money back.

The defendant was committed to prison for one month in the second division.”

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: 46888
prisoner crime criminal northshields policestation mugshot arrested falsepretences tophat munitionworker billymill imprisoned fraud sepiaphotograph digitalimage socialhistory man jamesgeorgechase fascinating unusual munitionsworker arrest detained deception money 22january1916 portrait criminalfacesofnorthshieldsfirstworldwar firstworldwar wartime face mysterious northshieldslocalstudieslibrary microfilmcopies newspaperreport courtcase shieldsdailynews transcription 190216 northshieldspolicecourt prisontime sentenced 28january1916 lynnvillabillymill josephemery £20 neutralbackground grain blackframe mark suit withdrawn distracted immaculate bowtie shirt cleanshaven wrinkle property australia warrant detradcliffe savillestreet centralpolicestation pleadedguilty seconddivision crease fabric cloth england ribbon

Add Tags
  • profile

    optimal chicken

    • 09/Nov/2015 18:53:43

    Ouch. £20 back then was a lot of money.

  • profile


    • 09/Nov/2015 20:57:14

    quite the dandy, wasn't he? What a dapper villain!

  • profile


    • 10/Nov/2015 21:04:59

    Wonderful piece of social history

  • profile


    • 18/Jan/2022 00:10:58

    Thank you for your post in : Portrait★Faces