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Appeals Tribunal
for the Shoe Manufacturers

There are many Tribunal reports in the Rushden Echo - these are just a sample.

Rushden Echo, 2nd March 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

The Military Authorities And The Boot Manufacturers
An Agreement “Binding in Civil Life.”

Monday, present: Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., C. Bates, G. Miller, J.P., C.A., and C. Cross, C.C., with Mr. G. S. Mason (hon. clerk), and Mr. J. S. Mason (military representative).

Mr. J. A. Gotch, recruiting officer, of Kettering, attended the sitting of the Tribunal, and referred to the arrangement made between the military representative and the Boot Manufacturers’ Association.  He said: You will remember that you granted exemptions to operatives in the boot trade in ratification of an agreement arrived at between the Sub-area Commander, No. 2 Sub-area, and the Boot Manufacturers’ Federation, which was confirmed by the competent military authorities.  Under this arrangement, all men married or single below the age of 31 in category A (with a few special exceptions) were released for service by the manufacturers by the end of 1916 on the understanding that men over the age of 31 should be conditionally exempted until March 31st.  The special exceptions referred to were to be held back not longer than January 31st and the men thus excepted have now joined the Colours.  The cases of men employed by manufacturers outside the Federation have, in the main, been dealt with on the lines of this arrangement.  The military authorities regarded this as a binding arrangement, and had no intention of departing from it, but a power extraneous to and higher than they has decided otherwise, and I am instructed to apply for a withdrawal of all certificates granted to men of military age who are in categories A and B1, with the exception of foremen over 27 if married and over 30 if single.  The arrangement referred to was prominently brought to the notice of the proper authorities by those on the military side who were responsible for it.  But the necessity of the case and the desirability of having a uniform treatment in all centres of the boot-making industry led the proper authorities to their decision, which is expressly stated to override all local arrangements.  I therefore ask you to consider these cases again in the light of the altered situation, and to withdraw all the certificates of men in categories A and B1 in order that they may be at once available for military service.  This will not, of course, affect their right to lodge appeals on personal grounds.

The Chairman: They have not taken into account the new orders.  One manufacturer was written to three times last week, asking for supplies of boots, and the third letter said that if the supplies were not sent more regularly proceedings would be taken.  How can they furnish boots if the men are taken?

Mr. Bates mentioned the vast number of boots required for the Russian, English, Italian and Rumanian Armies – all fresh orders, and required during the next three months.

Mr. Knight: They could not get the boots if they take the men from the factories.

Mr. Bates agreed, and added: The manufacturers are employing as many women as possible.  Women are working some machines which they ought to have nothing at all to do with.  Within the next month the whole of the boots manufactured will be for the Government and for our Allies.  The leather is all bought up so that it would be impossible to manufacture boots for civilians.

Mr. Wilson, solicitor, of Kettering, representing the Boot Manufacturers’ Federation, asked the Tribunal to deal with the cases in the same way that other Tribunals had decided to do.  His clients felt they ought never to have been brought there to answer the claim now made by the military authorities, who sought to break an arrangement entered into between the military and the manufacturers – an arrangement put in writing, and which would be binding if entered into by civilians.  The manufacturers felt it would be unfair for one side of the arrangement to come and ask that it should be broken.  Orders had been given and received on the assumption that the men exempted from military service would be entitled to remain in civil employment for the time fixed on.  The manufacturers had loyally abided by the arrangement, and certain men had been taken who otherwise would have remained in certified occupations.

Mr. Gotch said he did not mind the cases being adjourned for medical examination in each case.

The Tribunal, thinking there should be uniformity of action on the part of the Tribunals, adjourned all cases for medical examination.


A hairdresser and tobacconist, 35, married, made an appeal, and said that if called to the Colours he should have to close his business. – Adjourned for medical examination.

A partner in an engineering firm was granted exemption while he was required to work for the Royal Army Clothing Department.

Three months’ exemption was granted to a tradesman, 31, married, who is running his business entirely single-handed.

A man appealed for his son, a carter, 24, married, passed in C1, and said that his other four sons had joined the Colours. - Three months’ exemption.

A partner in a boot manufacturing firm, 29, married, working himself as foreman and mechanic, was granted exemption until March 31st.

Personal appeals were made by a foreman clicker and the foreman in a lasting department. – Exempted until March 31st, as they are in certified occupations.

A similar appeal by another foreman was dismissed, the applicant being just five months below the age for exemption.

A manufacturer appealed for his clicker, 28, married, B1, but no one appeared in support of the claim, which was dismissed.

A firm of cardboard box manufacturers asked for leave to appeal again in the case of a departmental manager, to whom final exemption had been granted.  The firm stated that since the last application one man had gone, and they had now only two men left, every machine being worked by girls.  There were 65 girls in the factory.  Leave to appeal again was granted.

Rushden Echo, 9th March 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Interesting Cases From Rushden
Exemption For B1 Men

Mr J C Wilson appealed on behalf of employers for six shoe operatives from Rushden, who had – owing, it was urged, to lack of opportunity for classification – been regarded as A men in considering the position, but were now B1 men. B1 men, under the arrangements now under revision, were allowed to March 31st. The cases were as follow:

Harry Tyman (24, married), Irchester, puller-over, employed by Messrs. Sanders and Sanders, Rushden; Thomas William Denton (26, married), Rushden, ink-setter; Arthur Tyson (28, married), Rushden, pressman, employed by Messrs. John Cave & Sons, Ltd.; Daniel E. Tomlin (26, married), clicker, Rushden, and Arthur George Berrill (25, married), clicker, employed by Messrs. Jaques & Clark; and Francis Roddis (25, married); clicker, employed by Mr. Wm. Claridge.

Mr J A Gotch (the military representative) said these men had been released when they were supposed to be A men, as their employers considered they could be spared. Now that they had been found to be less physically fit, and been placed in a lower category, the employers seemed to think they were better able to do their work.

Mr J C Wilson pointed out that under an agreement between the manufacturers and the military authorities B1 men were exempt till March 31st, and he asked that these men should be allowed to stay until then.

Mr Gotch admitted that he did not see how the men could be got into the Army until March 31st, and the Tribunal granted a final certificate to that date.

Rushden Echo, 16th March 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Boot and Shoe Trade Cases

At a sitting of the Rushden Tribunal on Monday there were present Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., C. Bates, G. Miller, J.P., C.A., and C. Cross, C.C., with Mr. George S. Mason (hon. clerk), Mr. W. L. Beetenson (assistant clerk), and Mr. John S. Mason (military representative).

A hairdresser, etc. (35, married), passed in C1, was granted three months’ exemption.

All the other cases dealt with were those of men under the age of 31 who had previously been granted exemption, but whose certificates had to be reviewed by order of the authorities.

In the case of the branch manager of a leather factor, who had been granted conditional exemption, the certificate was revised to exemption for two months. The principal of the firm has two sons (one at Rushden, and the other in the trenches), and he had no eligible men of military age in any of his branches. He did a considerable business in Army leathers, and had some big contracts still running.

A similar course was taken in the case of an engineer and fitter (26, married), the only turner in the employ of an engineering firm. It was stated that, owing to the employment of “green” labour in the factories, there were more breakdowns than ever.

In the case of a hand-laster (29, married), who had been exempted until March 31st, the certificate was allowed to remain unchanged, and the same course was taken in the following instances, in which exemption until March 31st had been given before: The manager of a grocery store, whose wife is critically ill; the only remaining partner in a retail business of considerable importance; the manager of a cycle and motor engineering works, with six retail depots; a currier and leather dresser (21, single); and an operator on a stitching and screwing machine for the trade, passed first in Class B1, afterwards, on re-examination, in B2.

The case of a fitter and plumber to the Gas Co. (25, single), B2, previously granted exemption until a substitute is found, was now adjourned until March 31st.

A horsekeeper and mineral water salesman (aged 20, single) C2, had his exemption reduced from May to March 31st.

A chemist’s assistant (23, married), has his exemption similarly reduced.

Rushden Echo, 30th March 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Shoe Trade Cases
Military Appeals Dismissed

At the Northants Appeals Tribunal on Friday last the Military Representative (Captain Cook) appealed against five Rushden shoe foremen, all married, and varying in age from 29 to 31. The local Tribunal had given open exemption on personal grounds to March 31st, holding that the arrangement with the Military had broken down, and that if all A men were to be taken from the trade the foremen must be kept. The Military asked for finality.

Mr. W. George (Messrs. Morgan and George) suggested that the men were in a certified occupation, and asked for the cases of these men to go back to the local Tribunal to be considered with other cases.

The Military Representative did not object to this, and the appeals were dismissed. The cases dealt with were as follow: Walter Mayes (31), foreman in rough-stuff department; Percy Evans (30) foreman of lasting department; Arthur G. Bradshaw (29), foreman of clicking department; Thomas A. Austin (29), foreman laster and instructor of female labour; and Arthur G. Wright (29), foreman sole cutter.

Rushden Echo, 4th May 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Local Tribunal - An Evident Error
Regarding a Boot Operatives’ Union Official
Cases of Tradesmen

Monday, present, Messrs. F. Knight, J.P., (in the chair), C. Bates, G. Miller, J.P., and C. Cross, C.C., with Mr. Geo. S. Mason (hon. clerk) and Mr. John S. Mason (military representative).

Mr. E. L. Poulton (General Secretary of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives) asked for leave to appeal in the case of Mr. William Langley, J.P., of Irthlingborough, assistant secretary of the Rushden, Higham, and District branch of the Union.  He said: I believe a mistake has been made with regard to Mr. Langley.  I understand that Mr. Langley early in the war presented himself before the authorities and was medically rejected.  Naturally, having been rejected on account of a physical disability, and having his armlet and his group card, he considered he was quite in a right position.  Later, there was another Order issued, and Mr. Langley was asked to present himself for re-examination.  Then came a lot of correspondence, and I have been in communication with the Rt. Hon. C. W. Bowerman, who is the intermediary between trade unions and the War Office.  Ultimately the War Office requested us to take the case of Mr. Langley “again” before a Tribunal.  But the case had not previously been before a Tribunal, because Mr. Langley was a rejected man.  When I saw Mr. Bowerman in London he said, “Mr. Langley should put in an appeal before a proper Tribunal to hear his case.”  Mr. Bowerman was not able to get me another letter from the War Office, and now Mr. Bowerman is away, and is not available to tell me what is the actual position.  I sent to Lord Derby to ask if he would send along either to the military representative for the district or to myself stating that the case should be heard by a Tribunal, but I have at present no reply.  This is not a case of a man trying to evade his duty, because you all know the work Mr. Langley has done in the district.  I now ask that an appeal, in accordance with the instructions of the War Office itself, shall be heard by you.  I know that technically this is out of order, but you have power, under the instructions issued to you, to hear cases if you are satisfied that there is reasonable ground to waive the point of order.  In this case, not only is it a “reasonable” application, but we are here expressly on the instructions of the War Office to ask that the case be heard.

The Chairman: Has Mr. Langley received his calling-up papers?

Mr. Poulton: Yes.  I had a letter from Captain Wright admitting that a mistake had been made.  We ought not to be penalised through that mistake.

Mr. Langley said he had received his calling-up paper, and on Friday last he received, not a second calling-up notice, but a repetition of the first.  On being medically re-examined he was placed in Category B2.

Leave to appeal to the Tribunal was granted.

Cases Reviewed

An exemption certificate was withdrawn in the case of a fitter for the Gas Company, a substitute having been found.

A conditional exemption certificate was withdrawn in the case of a married man (33), passed for general service, and employed by a motor and cycle firm, and exemption until June 30th was granted.

The conditional exemption certificates of three employees of a machinery company were re-considered.  Conditional exemption was confirmed in the case of a married man, and in the case of two unmarried men temporary exemption until June 30th was substituted.


A boot factor, working part time as a clicker (married, aged 40), passed for general service, asked for further exemption. – Granted until June 30th.

A partner in a retail business (aged 23, single), appealed for further exemption.  His brother, the other partner, is in the Forces. – The appeal was dismissed.

The branch manager of a trading firm appealed on domestic grounds, his wife being ill. – Exemption until June 30th.

A business man (31, married), doing practically all the work himself, was granted further exemption until June 30th.

Rushden Echo, 18th May 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Boot and Shoe Trade Cases
Exemption for Trade Union Official

The Local Tribunal for Rushden sat at the Council Buildings, Rushden, on Monday night, when there were present: Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), G. Miller, J.P., C.A., C. Cross, C.C., F. Knight, J.P., and C. Bates, with Mr. G. S. Mason (hon. clerk).  Mr. John S. Mason was the military representative.

Mr. W. Bazeley, J.P., secretary of the Rushden and Higham branch of the Boot and Shoe Operatives’ Union, appealed on behalf of the branch for Mr. William Langley, J.P., of Irthlingborough, assistant secretary.  Mr. Bazeley said that Mr. Langley was the second to be attested at Irthlingborough under the Lord Derby scheme, and was rejected as unfit, the card being signed by Capt. Stocken.  As Lieut. Miles, the Recruiting Officer, seemed to regard Mr. Langley as a conscript, he thought it right to mention this fact and also to produce Mr. Langley’s armlet, to show that he was a voluntarily attested man.  Mr. Langley was informed by Capt. Wright that he need not be examined, otherwise Mr. Poulton, general secretary of the Union, would have appealed for conditional exemption, under arrangements with the War Office respecting permanent trade union officials.

Mr. Langley had been called up by Lieut. Miles for military service, and the branch executive thought it would be unfair if the case did not come before a Local Tribunal.  Mr. Langley was doing a great deal of public work, being chairman of the Irthlingborough Tribunal, vice-chairman of the Irthlingborough Urban Council, a School Manager, a member of the War Pensions Committee, etc.  He was 42 years of age next August, and was passed B2.

The Tribunal granted conditional exemption.


Mr. J. C. Wilson, solicitor, of Kettering appeared on behalf of the boot manufacturers, to present the lists of men to be retained as indispensable and those to be released.  He was supported by Mr. C. W. Horrell and Mr. F. J. Sharwood (Manufacturers’ Association), and Mr. W. Bazeley, J.P. (Boot Operatives’ Union).

Mr. Wilson said that in view of the action of the higher military authorities in stating that they should appeal against the exemption of certain men whom the manufacturers in the arrangement wish to retain, the Association would retain the right to appeal for any man they agreed to release, if any men they desired to retain were taken for the Army.  The appeals were for 533 men, including 20 single, 147 married under 35 years, 233 married over 35, 29 mechanics and foremen, and 133 men in Categories B2 to C3, releasing 93.

Mr. Horrell said the joint committee to consider the matter did not try to retain as many men as possible for the factories, but to release as many as they possibly could for the Army.

Mr. Bazeley said at first it was thought that to release one-third was sufficient under present conditions, but when manufacturers decided to release two-thirds he considered it most generous.  Rushden and district had done wonderfully well in providing men for the Army, as the district provided two-fifths of the boots supplied to the British Army and the Allies.

  Mr. John Mason said he had instructions to appeal against any A or B1 man of military age being exempted.  He pointed out seven names of men whom the manufacturers agreed to release last Christmas but who were given exemption.  Would the manufacturers support the appeals of such men, should they appear in the present list?

Mr. Wilson: No.  He added that some farms who had men of low category and over age released more than two-thirds, while some firms who had few of these men could not release two thirds.  But the average came out two thirds.

The Chairman said the Tribunal would agree to the arrangement.  The Tribunal wished to thank the local joint committee for the trouble they had taken to get out the list.  It was almost impossible for come to a correct decision without expert advice.  He considered the military had treated that part of the county with scant courtesy.  This part of the county had been working on Men’s work, and now Army work was required.  He considered the military should have given them special facilities for keeping men, more than to Northampton and Leicester, where women’s boots were largely made.

Mr. Horrell said the committee had gone through 5,000 names.

Temporary exemption was granted to June 30th.

The following is a list of men claimed as indispensable and of men released by the various firms:-



Allebone & Sons



Allen Boot Co



Bull & Co



E. Claridge & Son



Wm. Claridge



Coxton Co



John Cave & Sons



Crick & Patenall



Cunnington Bros



B. Denton & Sons



W. H. Davison & Co



W. L. Duncan



Eaton & Co



Eden & Co



Green & Coe



Green & Son



Groome & Sons



C. W. Horrell



James Hyde



Jaques & Clark



Harry Jaques



Jaques & Son



Knight and Lawrence



Fred Knight



B. Ladds



Nurrish & Pallet



Premier Boot Co



Robinson Bros



Robinson & Sons



Sanders & Sanders



Walter Sargent & Co



A Sargent & Son



Selwood & Co



Skeeles & Co



Tecnic Boot Co



G Warner



H E Wilmott & Co



E Wrighton



H Wright



J. Knight






Lawrence Bros



H Nicholson



It should be noted that some factories have as employees older men and rejected men, and can therefore release more men for the Army than other firms.

Rushden Echo, 25th May 1917

Boot Manufacturers’ Appeals
The Cases of Foremen Released by the Employers
Tradesmen’s Exemptions

Tuesday, present Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., G. Miller, J.P., C.A., and C. Cross, C.C., with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the military representative (Mr. J. S. Mason).

Ernest J. Woolston (33, married), hairdresser and tobacconist, was granted two months’ exemption.

A personal appeal was made on domestic grounds by Bert Pendered (26, married), welt-sewer, etc. – Dismissed.

The appeal of Walter H. Dix (37, married), manufacturer of household food specialities, employing no male labour, was adjourned for medical examination.

Exemption until June 30th (final) was granted to Joseph E. James, master-butcher, High-street South.

The Central Machinery Co. appealed for Walter Lee (37, married), engineer to the shoe trade.  Three months’ exemption.

Six months’ exemption was granted in the case of Wm. Geo. Hobbs (22, single), doing odd jobs at the factory of Messrs. P. Collins & Co., heel manufacturers.

Exemption to June 30th was granted to Henry James Johnson (39, married), on the appeal of the Advance Boot Company.  Johnson is engaged in making munition boots.

Messrs. B. Denton & Son, boot manufacturers, appealed for Roland Frank Farey (35, class A).  Mr. Horace Brawn, for the firm, said the man was in a protected industry, and they were waiting for a certificate. – Adjourned.

On the application of A. T. Nichols, house decorator, etc., exemption until June 30th was granted in the case of Alfred Ernest Nichols (38), sanitary plumber.  It was stated that there were only five sanitary plumbers in the town.

Exemption until July 31st was granted to J. Robshaw Brooke (39, married), pawnbroker’s manager.

A personal appeal by James Underwood was dismissed.


A number of appeals were made personally by foremen in boot and shoe factories, who had been released by the employers.  The men appealed on the ground that they were in a certified occupation.

It was pointed out, however, that as the employers no longer appealed for them they were no longer regarded as being in certified occupations, and all the cases were dismissed.  The appellants were as follows:-

Thomas Arthur Austin (29, married), foreman in the making department at Skeeles & Co.’s factory.  He has lost two brothers in the war.

Walter Mayes (31), foreman of the rough stuff department at Nurrish and Pallett.

Arthur Geo. Knight (29), rough stuff foreman for Crick and Patenall.

Edward Hy. Morgan (31) foreman laster for the Tecnic Boot Company.

Arthur George Bradshaw (29), foreman clicker, organiser, assorter, and instructor for Walter Sargent and Co.


The following appeals from boot and shoe manufacturers were heard:-

Harry E. Knight (35, married), and Horace C. C. Knight (29, married), of the firm of Knight and Lawrence, Ltd.  Mr. George, solicitor, of Wellingborough, appeared in this case, and said that Mr. Harry Knight and Mr. Horace Knight were joint directors of the firm for life, and they were the only directors.  Mr. Harry Knight was the general manager of the company, and Mr. Horace Knight assisted largely in the general management, and bought the whole of the leather.  They had about 100 employees, and 75 per cent. of the work was for the Army.  There were two separate buildings in this factory, with a yard between.  Mr. Horace Knight was the foreman of the stitching department, and also acted as a mechanic for the factory.  He could work every machine in the factory, and was the only person who could be relied upon to put everything right.  Both appellants were entitled to conditional exemption, as each was in a certified occupation.  It was not in the national interest that businesses like these should be crippled. – Six months’ exemption for Mr. Harry Knight, and the appeal of the younger brother was dismissed.

Wm. Frank Sargent (35, married), boot manufacturer, manager-partner, and foreman of shoe room, etc.  Mr. J. C. Wilson, solicitor, appeared to support the appeal, and said that the firm consisted of three partners – father and two sons, the appellant being the elder, while the younger son was with the Colours.  The appellant was responsible for carrying on the business, everything passing through his hands.  The whole of the output of the factory was for the Army.  Appellant was doing good work with the Volunteers. – Conditional exemption.

Harry Jaques (26, married), whose factory is in Harborough-road.  Under the Derby scheme he was four times rejected, and then started in business for himself.  He was teaching “green” labour and assisting other manufacturers besides running his own business.  Medical certificates to show that he was unfit for military service were put in. – Three months’ exemption.

Samuel Jesse Wrighton (28, married).  Mr. Ebenezer Wrighton, his father, said that the withdrawal of his son would totally disorganise the factory and render the business practically useless for the production of Army boots.  Appellant was responsible for four-fifths of the management. – Six months’ exemption.

Sidney Robinson (30), partner and also foreman finisher. – Dismissed on the ground that the other partner could manage the business.

James Hugh Nicholson (33, married), who has four people working for him. – Six months’ exemption.

Samuel Horace Wright (31, married), said he had about 30 employees, only one being of military age. – Six months’ exemption.

Arthur Allebone (26, married), one of the directors of a limited liability company.  Appellant has the sole management, and there is no foreman.  The output is confined entirely to Army boots.  One brother is serving with the “Tanks,” and has just received commendation for his work. – Exemption for six months.

Rushden Argus, 25th May 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Tribunal

Mr. W. George, of Wellingborough, represented Harry E. Knight (35, married) and Horace C. C. Knight (29, married), both life directors of Messrs. Knight and Lawrence Ltd., Rushden. The elder had been 18 years general manager of the company, and did a great portion of the clerical work. The firm did 75 per cent. Army work. They had lost 30 men, and only had 15 men of Army age left. The younger director was the mechanic of the factory, and could work and repair all machines. He was also a foreman. If the elder director had to go the business would close, and if the younger director was the mechanic of the factory, and could work and repair all machines. He was also a foreman. If the elder director had to go the business would close, and if the younger director was ordered to go the factory would have to close if they could not get three more foremen. He would point out that it was obvious that the younger man could not stand a week’s training.—Horace Knight’s appeal was dismissed, and Harry Knight was allowed six months.

Mr. J. Wilson, Kettering, appeared to represent Frank William Sargent, who, he said, was a managing partner of Messrs Alfred Sargent and Sons, Portland-road, Rushden. He was foreman of the shoeroom of the packing department on Government contracts, sole manager of the business, did the office work, and had the financial management and bought everything. He also assisted in the clicking-room. The senior partner was unable to take up the responsibilities. The junior partner was on active service. He was a member of the V.T.C., and was recommended for a commission in it if exempted. The whole of the output was the Army, and they had not accepted a civilian order since May of last year.—Mr. F. Knight said he had heard of some people being advised to join the Army to get a little rest. (Laughter)—Conditional exemption, so that he may get a commission in the V.T.C.

Harry Jaques (26, married), a shoe manufacturer, appealed. He was teaching “green” labour the “Consol” lasting machine, and also helping other manufacturers. He was passed “A” by the Medical Board, but a knee specialist in London and Dr. Greenfield stated that he was unfit for the Army. He had volunteered four times, and had been rejected. Five brothers went together, and three were now in France. At Northampton it was said to him, “It is a pity a big man like you should have weak knees. We will give you a run.”—Mr. Knight: “You did not think running in your line?” (Laughter)—Applicant: It’s a job to walk some days.”—Three months’ exemption.

The father appealed for Samuel Jesse Wrighton (28, married), a partner in the business, which was doing all Army work. He was responsible for the organisation of the factory, and had entire supervision of it. He operated various machines and bought everything required.—Six months.

The appeal of J. T. Nicholson (33, married) was considered. He was a boot and shoe manufacturer, but was not doing Government work at present. He had run through Army stuff for other manufacturers when they were pressed.—Six months.

Samuel Horace Wright (31,married), boot manufacturer, who was not on Army work direct, but was making “powder” boots on a sub-contract, appealed. He had only one man of military age.—Six months.

Arthur Allebone (26, married), and a partner in a shoe manufacturing firm, appealed. His father had retired from active participation in the business, another partner was with the “Tanks” in France, and applicant was the only man left in sole control. The firm were engaged exclusively on Army orders. Applicant was capable of working every machine in the factory.—Six months.

Sidney Robinson (30, married) appealed as a shoe manufacturer and foreman.—Appeal dismissed.

An employer’s appeal was put in for Walter Lea (27, married) an engineer in the employ of the Central Machinery Co. He had eight men left out of 33.—Exempted for three months.

Personal Appeals

Walter Mayes (31, married) appealed on personal grounds. He worked at Messrs. Nurrish and Pallet’s, and was a foreman.—Dismissed.

Personal appeals were made by the following as foremen, and therefore in certified occupations: A. G. Bradshaw, clicker; Arthur G. Knight (Crick and Patenall); Edward Henry Morgan, laster (31) (Tecnic).—Dismissed.

Henry James Johnson (39, married), working for the Advance Boot Co., on munition boots, was given exemption until June 30th.

The town has only six plumbers, and Mr. A. T. Nichols appealed for A. C. Nichols, one of them (38, married, with two children).—June 30th.

An appeal was made from Robshaw Brookes, manager of Mr. H. Beaverstock’s pawnbroker’s establishment, High-street, Rushden. Applicant was undergoing medical treatment, and was exempted until July 31st.

Rushden Argus, 17th August 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Many Personal Appeals
Men Released by the Employers

Monday, present Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., C. Bates, G. Miller, J.P., C.A., and C. Cross, C.C., with the clerk (Mr. Geo. Mason) and the military representative (Mr. John S. Mason).

Leave to appeal was given in two cases – one in which an applicant had been given two months final exemption, but in which there were special circumstances, and the other in which unwittingly an appeal had been handed in too late by an applicant twice rejected and now passed Biii.

Released Men

This being the first sitting of the Tribunal to hear cases since going on “strike” against the wholesale appeals by the recruiting officer, there were many adjourned cases to be dealt with.  They were in the main personal appeals by men who had been released by the employers.

Fred Spencer (30, married, class A), a foreman clicker on Army work, and engaged in teaching boys and youths to do the work, made a personal appeal.  Applicant, whom the employers had agreed to release, stated that he was in the Volunteer Corps and had an allotment which he was cultivating. – The Tribunal held that there was no personal grounds for the appeal, which was dismissed.

Charles James Payne (29, married), foreman in a rough-stuff room, made a similar appeal, which was dismissed.

A personal appeal was made by Percy Evans (30), foreman in a lasting room. – Dismissed.

Arthur Cartwright (34, class A), bottom squasher in the shoe trade, made a personal appeal, and said he had six children under twelve years of age. – The Tribunal dismissed the appeal, with a suggestion to the military that he should not be called up in consequence of his large family of school age.

Thos. Sidney Perkins (40, single Bi), a clicker in the shoe trade and also manager of the Railway Hotel for his aged mother, made a personal appeal, and said he was the only son at home. – Dismissed, the chairman remarking “We cannot send a man with six children, as in the last case, and leave a single man at home.”

Frank Horsford (33, class A), stitcher in a shoe factory, made an appeal on the grounds of his wife’s ill-health and a delicate child. – Dismissed.

John Evans (33), clicker on Government boots, in making a personal claim, said that he had fattened more pigs than any other working man in Rushden. – Dismissed.

Frederick Berwick (42, Bi), laster, based his personal appeal on the grounds of his medical unfitness. – Dismissed, with a suggestion that he should be medically re-examined.

Herbert Clayton (34), edge setter, asked for exemption on the grounds of his wife’s health. – Dismissed.

Horace Penness (26), an operator on a Hercules levelling machine, appealed on the grounds that his wife is an invalid.  He had four brothers serving, and was the only one left at home. – Dismissed.

John Draper Parker (33), made a personal appeal, which was dismissed.

Employers’ Appeal

Messrs. B. Denton and Son appealed for Roland Frank Farey (35), shaving machine operator in a currying department, which is a scheduled operation. – Three months’ exemption.

A Dual Capacity

Frederick Arthur Perkins, married, previously classed Bi, and on re-examination put in class Bii, made a personal appeal.  Mr. James, solicitor, said that applicant was not only foreman at the factory of Messrs. John Cave & Son, but also, upon being previously medically rejected, had started manufacturing in a small way in Abington-avenue, Northampton.  -  He was granted exemption until December 31st, as in the case of the other men in a low medical category.


On the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, a large number of men in low categories were granted exemption.

Rushden Argus, 24th August 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Many Personal Appeals
Men Released by the Employers

Monday, present Messrs. T Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., C. Bates, G. Miller, J.P., C.A., and C. Cross, C.C., with the clerk (Mr. Geo. Mason) and the military representative (Mr. John S. Mason).

Fredk. Richardson (35, married, class A), a heel maker, in business for himself, appealed on the grounds of his business and also as a conscientious objector, stating that he had, for the last nine years, been a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. – Two months exemption.

Messrs. H. W. Chapman, box manufacturers, appealed for Walter James Bone (30), departmental manager, engaged on Government work.  A principal of the firm stated that they were employing 61 females, and had only five males all told, most ineligible for military service. – Adjourned for an application to be made to the Minister of Munitions for a certificate.

Ernest Virgo, photographer (31, married, class A), was granted two months exemption as being a “one-man business.”

Mr. Joseph Knight, boot manufacturer, appealed for Daniel Geo. Pettit (37), of Irchester, sewing and stitching operator, Bii. – Exemption until December 31st on production of the medical classification card.

Mr. Duncan, boot manufacturer, appealed for Joseph Arthur King (33, married, class Cii). – December 31st.

William Ernest Whitney (28, married), clicker, twice rejected and once discharged, now passed class A, said he was one of the first in Rushden to volunteer in 1914.  He now suffered from neuritis. – Adjourned for medical evidence.

The Advance Boot Company appealed for Henry James Johnson (39, Bi), laster, previously a milkman at Yardley Hastings. – Dismissed, in accordance with the decisions in other boot manufacturers’ cases.

George H. T. Cook (39), of Higham Ferrers, clicker on Army boots, working for Messrs. T. Robinson & Sons, Rushden, made a domestic appeal. – Three months.

George Edgar Wilby (33, Bi), pull-over machine operator, made a personal appeal.  – Dismissed, the Chairman stating there was a good family record of military service, but no personal hardship.

Albert George Dilley (32), sole operator, a widower, with two children, aged 12 and 9, made a personal appeal, and said that of four brothers two were in the Army and one was killed. – The Chairman said there would be a separation allowance for the children. – The appeal would be dismissed.  Applicant said he objected to go while there were plenty of single young men walking about the streets.  The Chairman: Not class A men.

In the case of James Horace Compton, a medical certificate was put in to the effect that he was quite unfit for military service. – Three months’ exemption.

Messrs. Selwood, boot manufacturers, appealed for Frank Selwood (36, married), manager, chief clerk, and cashier.  Rejected by the Medical Board, he had on re-examination been placed in category Bi, though (Mr. Sharwood for the firm, said) he was absolutely unfit.  On being rejected, this man had taken the place of the entire clerical staff.  The output was entirely Army boots. – Two months.

Mr. George, solicitor, appeared for Wm. Barnes, aged 41 years and five months, assorter in Messrs. John Cave & Sons’ boot factory.  Mr. George said this was a domestic appeal.  Applicant had been divorced from his wife and had the custody of two children.  For the purposes of military service, the applicant had been treated as a single man, which Mr. George contended was a mistake, as he should have been treated as a married man.  The children were 17 and 13 years of age, the latter being a girl.  The former, a boy, would shortly himself be of military age, and would be called up. – Dismissed.

Herbert E. Abrams (30, class A), branch manager of a grocery store in Grove-road, made a personal appeal, and put in a medical certificate stating that his wife is suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. – Dismissed.

Messrs. Jaques & Clark, boot manufacturers, appealed for William Pruden (29, married, class A), a seat-wheeler and padder.  Mr. C. Clark said that Pruden was a discharged soldier, and was totally unfit for severe service. – Adjourned.

Arthur Chas. Underwood (38, married, class A), pull-over machine operator, appealed on the ground that his wife was suffering severely from the effects of an accident. – Dismissed.

Messrs. Bull & Clayton appealed for Joseph Clarke (35, married), pressman, who had not been medically examined and who had been told to report to the Medical Board after two months. – Exemption until December 31st if placed in a category below Bi).

Arthur West (33, married, Bi), tacker and sorter, made a personal appeal on the ground that his wife is an invalid.  He had four brothers, of whom two were killed, one was serving, and one was rejected. – Dismissed.

Walter Walden (35, married), edge setter, said he had sole charge of two children, aged nine and five, his wife (a trained nurse) working in a hospital in France.  If he had to go, the wife would have to come back. – Dismissed.

Charles Robert Sear (26, married), engineer and electrician for the Tecnic Boot Co. – Dismissed.

Herbert Charles Denton (33), clicker, solely employed on Army boots, appealed on the grounds of his wife’s health. – Dismissed.

The Tecnic Boot Company sent in an appeal for Reginald Frank Roberts and James Arthur Owen, each 18 years of age. – No one appeared to support the appeals, which were dismissed.

Fredk. Short (35, married), edge setter at the C.W.S. boot factory, said he had five children, aged ten, eight, six, three, and one. – Adjourned.

John Alfred Pickering sent in a personal appeal, but did not appear in order to support it. – Dismissed.

Messrs. James Hyde, Ltd., boot manufacturers, sent in an appeal for William Barnes, but did not appear. – Dismissed.

Arthur Charles Johnson (32, single), heel scourer, appealed on the grounds of an invalid sister. – Dismissed.

William Parker (35), rejected under the Derby scheme, made a domestic appeal. – Dismissed.

George Childs, sole attacher on Army work (35, married), with four children, said his family had been doing their share in the war, and he thought he should be left at home. – Adjourned for re-examination, and, if classed below Bi, to be exempted until December 31st.

George Waite (36, married, class A), operator on Consol machine, with sole charge of engine, said he had 270 poles of allotment under cultivation. – September 30th (final).

Francis Clark Underwood (37, married), Army sole attacher, Bi, asked for temporary exemption in order to get in the crops on his allotment. – September 30th (final).

Rushden Echo, 26th October, 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

At the meeting of the Rushden Tribunal on Monday, Alderman G. Miller, J.P., again protested against manufacturers having retained young men as “indispensable,” while they had released older men, trusting to the Tribunal to exempt them also, and so enable the manufacturers to have above their share.

Rushden Echo, 30th November, 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis


Third Share in a Boot Manufacturing Business

At the meeting of the Northants Appeals Tribunal on Monday, Edward Newell, 33, married, class A, of Rushden, a puller-over in a boot factory, whose personal appeal had been dismissed by the Rushden Tribunal, now appealed against that decision.  When before the Rushden Tribunal he said that his mother, a widow, was unable to earn her own living, and he added that he himself was engaged on Field Service boots and B5 Army boots. – The County Tribunal dismissed the appeal.  Mr. J. C. Wilson, solicitor, represented appellant.

William E. Whitney, clicker, aged 28, married, of Rushden, appealed against the decision of the Rushden Tribunal, who had refused to give him exemption.  He had been medically re-examined and had been retained in class A.  Mr. J. C. Wilson appeared for the appellant. – The County Tribunal dismissed the application.

Fred Robinson, aged 35, married, grade I, a member of the firm of Robinson and Son, boot and shoe manufacturers, Rushden, appealed, through Mr. W. George, against the decision of the Rushden Tribunal dismissing his appeal for exemption.  Mr. George asked that the appellant should be given two months final to allow time for the conversion of the business into a company and the safeguarding of his client’s share (one-third) in the business.  At present he was a foreman and operator.  Captain Cook promised to arrange that Robinson should not be called up until the end of the year, and the appeal was dismissed on this understanding.

Rushden Echo, 21st December 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Military Tribunal
Some Interesting Cases - Boot Manufacturer’s Appeal

Tuesday, present Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., and C. Cross, C.C., with Mr. George S. Mason (clerk) and Mr. John S. Mason (National Service representative).

A personal appeal was made by Walter J. Godfrey, who stated that he has a crippled child and expects that it will shortly have to go to a London hospital.  He had heard from the hospital authorities, who were now waiting for a vacancy. – Exemption until December 31st.

Herbert Watts, whose appeal had been adjourned from November 20th in order that he might undergo a medical re-examination, now stated that he had written to the Recruiting Officer for an appointment to go before the Medical Board, but had had no reply. – Further adjourned for a month.

Harry Jaques, boot manufacturers, of Harborough-road, again appealed.  He said he had volunteered four times when all his brothers went, but had been rejected on each occasion, but was subsequently, at Northampton, put in Class A.  He now produced a certificate from Dr. Milligan stating that he was unfit for severe military service. – The case was adjourned for a month, in order that applicant may be re-examined.

Messrs. B. Denton and Sons, curriers, etc., appealed for Roland F. Fairey, 35, married.  Mr. Horace Brawn (for the firm) said that the man was in a scheduled occupation, being a shaping machine operator.  -  Three months’ exemption.

Thomas Clark appealed for his son, Bert Clark, aged 18, single, who formerly worked on the welting bench, but is now engaged on a pounding machine.  Appellant stated that his son suffered from defective eyesight and in other ways.  The youth had recently been re-examined but had not yet received his card from the Medical Board. – Adjourned for a month for the production of the card.

Exemption was granted in several other cases on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee.

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