Our German guest sent to prison

Hertfordshire Mercury, 6th March 1915


At Bow Street Police Court on Friday, Henry Sonnet, 56, a German gardener of Old Cross, Hertford, was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment for travelling more than five miles from his registered address without permit.  The prisoner, who was said to have lived in England for 30 years, went to Waltham Cross to seek employment, and, not being successful,  he travelled on to London, and there gave himself up to the police, being practically destitute.

This alien enemy has been the subject of much adverse criticism in Hertford for some months past, for prior to the war he was vehemently anti-British in his views, and many Hertford people will be glad to hear he is in safe custody at last.  Sonnet was at one time employed at the German Farm Colony at Munden, and then he came to Hertford and was given work at the gramophone factory.  On the outbreak of war his attitude towards the English, who were giving him hospitality, became very much changed and subdued, but he was spurned by almost everybody, and became destitute.

Then a tender-hearted gentleman at Hertingfordbury gave him domicile for a time, until his neighbours began to get indignant about it, and Sonnet at last found his way into the Hertford Workhouse.  This caused much heart-burning amongst certain people in the town, who protested against an alien, and especially a German, being kept at the expense of the local ratepayers, who demanded his removal to an internment camp.

Last week the local police gave him permission to go to Waltham Cross, where he thought he could get employment at one of the nurseries, and failing in this he appears to have at once given himself up to the Metropolitan Police.

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