A rum do, indeed!

Hertfordshire Mercury, 16th September 1916


At Hatfield Petty Sessions on Monday, Edward George Sautier, a soldier, was charged with stealing a bottle of rum and a bottle of orange bitters, and also with being an absentee from the Army.

Miss Wilson, manageress of a refreshment room at Hatfield Station, said that the defendant, on 6th September, had been in having a drink at the bar at about 4 p.m.  She had left the bar at about 4.45 p.m. and, when returning at about 5 p.m., had noticed that two bottles were missing from the bar.  She valued them at 16 shillings.

Reuben Randal Larkin, a wounded Australian soldier, said that on 6th September, he had seen the defendant in Hertford Road, Hatfield.  He had come up to Larkin, shaken his hand, and had asked him to have a drink.  The defendant had produced some rum and some orange bitters.

PC Spencer gave evidence of arrest.

The defendant pleaded not guilty, but said that he had been drinking heavily for a week.  He said that, as far as his memory served him, the bottles had been given to him by two unknown soldiers.  He said that he had been drinking beer all day, seldom drank spirits, and that was why he was giving it away.  He said his Regiment was going to France in about a week’s time, but he did admit to being an absentee.

The Chairman of the Bench said that it was a great pity that the defendant should be  “..fooling around like this.”  He would be remanded to await an escort back to his Regiment, and would be put under the care of a probation officer.

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