Sarah Dowd, arrested for stealing money

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Where: Unknown

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When: 09 February 1916

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Name: Sarah Dowd
Arrested for: not given
Arrested at: North Shields
Arrested on: 9 February 1916
Tyne and Wear Archives ref: DX1388-1-266-Sarah Dowd

For an image of her accomplice Christina Haggerty see

The Shields Daily News for 9 February 1916 reports:


Today at North Shields … Sarah Dowd (32), 8½ Norfolk Street, and Christina Haggerty (36), Brannen’s Lodging House, South Shields, were charged with stealing on the 8th inst. a purse containing £5 in Treasury notes and 4s 6d in money, from a foreign seaman. Sergt. Spindler said that at 9.30pm he was on duty in the Borough Road, and the prosecutor had hold of the two women, whom he accused of robbing him of his purse, with £5 in Treasury notes, 4s 6d in money and some coins. While the prosecutor held the women, witness looked round on the ground with the help of his flash-lamp, and found the purse open, 4s 6d in silver and some coins but not the Treasury notes. Accused were remanded for eight days.”

The Shields Daily News for 11 February 1916 reports:


Sarah Dowd (32) of 8½ Norfolk Street, and Christina Haggerty of Brannen’s Lodging House, South Shields, were brought up on remand at North Shields roday, charged with having stolen from the person of Dionesios Macres, a purse, valued a 6d, containing five £1 Treasury notes, 4s 6d in silver and nine coins, while in Borough Road, about 9.25pm on the 8th inst. The Chief Constable (Mr J.H. Huish) said the prosecutor had gone to sea and the charge was withdrawn.”

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: 35022
prisoner crime criminal northshields northtyneside policestation mugshot stealing theft norfolkstreet arrested sad portrait woman firstworldwar ww1

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    optimal chicken

    • 16/Nov/2015 16:57:02

    I should never say this but she looks well dodgy haha!

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    bawdy kittens

    • 18/Nov/2015 20:23:40 Desperate times ... there wasn't any social security in those days ... you did what you had to do to survive. The seaman was probably drunk at the time but he wasn't arrested and he returned to sea and the charge was withdrawn.

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    Andy Millican

    • 03/Feb/2017 21:27:31

    A big thank you to the Archives staff. Your hard work is much appreciated.

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    • 10/Apr/2022 01:00:20

    She probably had some experience at pickpocketing, moreso as a means of survival.