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A Case of Penal Servitude 6 months 2 weeks ago #79702

  • Moranthorse1
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Hi David,
You may need to compress your images in order to post them on the forum,as pictures above a certain size cannot be inserted.
I post the majority of my threads using my android mobile phone and have an app called LIT Photo which will compress your pics to below 100 and will insert successfully.
It's a case of a little bit of trial and error.
Cheers Steve
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A Case of Penal Servitude 6 months 2 weeks ago #79705

  • Smethwick
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Thanks Berenice - I have also now found Joel on the 1911 Census, mining clay for brick making in Oldbury. A married man, wife Amy, with 4 extant daughters and three other children who died in infancy. Checking for a marriage shows he married Amy Hill in the last quarter of 1897 in Smethwick. Their eldest daughter was born before he went to S Africa ad the other whilst he was there and then there is a 4 year gap, caused by S Africa and jail, until the third is born. The name of the eldest daughter, Amy Eliza, helps make certain it is the same man as his Service Record tells you his mother was called Eliza. The 1939 Register tells you he is still married but Amy is elsewhere. Also present is a Kenneth Foster born 1921 suggesting the family grew after 1911. Interestingly there is a third occupant of 7 Lock Side, Tat Bank Road - Alfred Ray, 5 years Joel's junior and blind. All really nothing to do with what this Forum is about but I just love the detective work. Regards, David.

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A Case of Penal Servitude 4 months 2 weeks ago #80697

  • Smethwick
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I have now discovered Joel Foster's crime - refusing to march and thereby disobeying an order. No less then Lord Roberts was responsible for halving his sentence. See article below from the Worcester Chronicle of 2nd March 1901.


I first found the article when investigating another Smethwickian, Charles Leonard Goodwin, who as you can see was one of the eight involved in Joel's crime.

I have to report that Charles Leonard Goodwin later proved to be a "thoroughly bad lot" - not my words but those of the magistrate who sentenced him in 1912 in Northampton for bigamy. He had already served a short sentence the previous year for stealing a pair of trousers from a shop in Derby. When released he had swapped his wife, who he married in Birmingham in 1910, for another woman and then married her. In his sentencing comments the magistrate pointed out he had only done nine days work since his arrival in Northampton whilst living off the immoral earnings of his "wife". Now perhaps I should not paint his 7 companions with the same brush but it does make one wonder if the officer in charge of the 2nd Bedfords got it right.
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A Case of Penal Servitude 4 months 1 week ago #80720

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Perhaps Goodwin was a malefactor who encouraged the others to pursue their reluctance to march?
He sounds a pretty ruthless character! Maybe a barrack room lawyer?
Who knows?
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A Case of Penal Servitude 4 months 1 week ago #80726

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You may well be right - researching the other six might throw some light on the matter.

I am getting a bit worried about the habit of Smethwickians stealing trousers - this is the third case I have come across. :)

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