Gambling on a Sunday

Hertfordshire Mercury, 24th July 1915


At Hertford County Sessions Harry Cooledge, Stephen Matthews, and Thomas Taylor, of Essendon, and William and Joseph Francis, of Howe Green, were summoned for gambling with cards in the cricket field at Essendon, on Sunday, July 11.  All except Cooledge appeared and pleaded guilty.  P.C. Smith proved the offence, and produced the cards and a shilling’s worth of coppers which he took from the defendants.  The Bench asked the defendants, all young men, if they were prepared to enlist.  One said he was too short and had been refused, another said he was in the Guards but was discharged because he was flat-footed, a third said he had been rejected because of his teeth, and the fourth had been rejected twice.  Colonel Daniell said there was now a Bantam Battalion which would take the short man, and the restrictions had been relaxed so as to admit the other men.  The Bench bound over the defendants for a fortnight, and if in the meantime they enlisted, the charge would not be proceeded with, but if they did not enlist they would have to come up for judgment at the next sessions.  All four defendants promised to try and enlist.  With regard to Cooledge, a warrant was issued for his arrest, but if he enlists it will not be executed.

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