At a special bench hearing at Bishop’s Stortford on Monday, Ernest Fordham, Walter Martin, Thomas Walker and Joseph Henry Walden, privates in the 4th Battalion, Leicester Regiment, were brought up charged with stealing 4.5 gallons of ale, the property of Edward Tingey Course, landlord of the Shades, Bridge Street, on Saturday evening.
Mr Course gave evidence of having missed the cask from his cellar, and Police Sergeant Gravestock stated that, from enquiries he had made, he was led to visit the house of Mr Charles Swain, pork butcher, Bridge Street, where the prisoners were billeted. He told them the object of his visit, and Martin took him upstairs where, in a cupboard, he found the cask partly empty.
The Sergeant charged the four men, and they made no reply. The accused were remanded in custody until the Thursday when they pleaded guilty and said that they had taken the beer in a drunken freak.
They were each fined £1 including costs.