Our community blogs
Sir Thomas Hills was enjoying breakfast with his wife. The fire was burning well
and for a day in late November 1796, the sky was clear - just a heavy frost on
He was reading the Times newspaper for the day earlier - it having been brought
by the morning coach as it passed through Little Wells. They were both concerned
about how Britain's Royal Navy was doing in the war against France and Spain.
British troops were also in action - but, mainly in the West Indian Islands.
The Hills family had owned the Manor and it's enormous area of land for over
four hundred years and had held the hereditary title of 'Sir' through the purchase
of a Baronetcy in the days of King James the 1st. Not only was Sir Thomas the
Squire of this enormous holding - which included a total of four villages - he was
also the Seniort Magistrate extending into other areas around. Duties that he took
Little Wells- was the main village - being on the road for travel between Dover and
London. The other three villages in his ownership were - Wells on the Hill - 350
residents ; Lower Wells - 290 residents and Wells Magna. This was the largest
village and being on the River Meade, had a larger population with it's fishermen
- some 500 villagers in all. Little Wells had about 400 people.
Strangely, the Church at Little Wells housed the Vicar - Revd. Mark Dolton. The others
also were Parishes in their own right and had small churches - but the Reverend
conducted the Services for all four.
There was a reason for this - Sir Thomas' Father was no lover of the Church and had
decided one vicar was enough to deal with. However, they were individual Parishes
and therefore, each had it's own Parish Constable. For Wells on the Hill - Constable
Hilton ; for Lower Wells - Constable Smith. They were both in their late forties and
whilst willing, were not as active as they should have been.
Wells Magna was a different matter. Sir Thomas had picked a younger and more active
man - and this was needed with the larger population and the smuggling carried out by
the fishermen. Constable Henry Green was only 26 years of age and a big and powerful
man. He knew that he had the support of the Squire and kept a strong watch over his
Sir Thomas himself, was only 25 years of age and had been married seven years. He and
his wife had two healthy children - George, now 6 years and the little daughter, Emily - 4
years old. He was a great supporter of King George 3rd. - who had been on the Throne
since 1760. However, the King had an ailment that affected his brain and was not always
stable. He was fine at this time and his people thought highly of him - he was known as
Being from an aristocratic background , Sir Thomas had the right of entry to the King's
Levees and would attend as often as he could. The Prince of Wales had established his
own Court at Carlton House and a wise courtier made a point of calling on him as well.
Seeing that Thomas had finished , his wife rang the small silver bell and the Butler , Macleod
came-in immediately. Time to get the day going.
Macleod had been with the family over twenty years and had a staff of 43 house servants -
of different talents - to maintain the Manor. Many of the Estate farms were let out to tenant
farmers - but, there were another 270 labourers on the Manor Farms that were directly
'Sir' - announced Macleod - 'Constable Green has brought two prisoners for judgement'.
This was fairly unusual - the Manor had one of the outbuildings converted to serve as a
Courtroom and where longer trials could be heard. For shorter trials each village had a
room next to the Constables' houses.
'What is the offence ?' Sir Thomas asked.
'I'm not sure Sir - however, the Constable has two of his Bailiffs to hold them'. 'Alright -
have them put in the cell , and warn the Head Gamkeeper that two of his men should stand
Sir Thomas went out to speak to Constable Green and was shocked to hear that the two men
had been drunk the previous evening and had attacked a passing foot traveller. They had
killed him with a broken bottle.
Deaths were not a common happening and were outside the jurisdiction of a Magistrate.
He would have to hold a hearing and then remand the two prisoners to the Fleet Prison in
London. They would be tried in London and no doubt hanged. Attending to this took the
remainder of the morning and a decision had to be ,made for the escort of the prisoners to
London. He finally decided that a small waggon from the Manor would convey them and
return the Constable and his Bailiffs the following day. They were given sufficient money for
the night and he then signed the Commital documents made out by his clerk.
The remainder of the afternoon - after a light lunch - was spent with the High Steward going
through financial matters. Everything was well and very little was owed by the tenantry.
One of the customs that he - and his wife, Alice - liked to follow when they were at the Manor
was a late afternoon horseride. The Manor was surrounded with over 15 acres of the Home
Park and this was specially set out to include the lovely countryside and views. However,
like everything in their lives there was great formality. Lady Hills was accompanied by her Lady
companion and three grooms followed the couple.
They were gently cantering down one of the rides when Sir Thomas saw a figure in the bushes
some distance to the right - the side that the village of Little Wells stood. He gestured to his
grooms and two of them rode around the figure to block escape.
When he was nearer, the figure stood and was recognised as young Matt Tiller - the new Petty
Constable for the village.. 'Hello Matt - are you on duty?' asked the Squire. ' Well, yes Sir -
in a manner of speaking. I heard that a party of men from the village were going to see if they could
snare a deer on your estate - I thought I should come and have a look '
'Well done Matt - that's the action we need. Did you have any idea where they would go ?'
'No Sir - they were overheard talking about the forest area below the Home Park - but, I wasn't
sure which side.'
This spurred Sir Thomas into action. 'Alice - you return to the Manor with Lady Violet - Mr. Ives -
send one of the grooms as escort and alert the Chief Gamekeeper to take 20 men and come round
in front of where we are now - that should cut-off their escape route.'
'Matt - get up behind me. Are you armed ?' 'Only my truncheon Sir'. Both of the grooms carried
two pistols and the Squire had two heavy cavalry pistols in holsters either side of his saddle. Matt did
not have a uniform - no policeman did - however, Sir Thomas liked to see them well dressed in blue
coats and - from his own money - provided a single cross belt over the left shoulder.. This had a
brass badge identifying the wearer as the Parish Constable of Little Wells. He was only the Petty -
or, assistant to Mr. Stokes - however, there had been no time to have a new one made for him.
The cross belt could also carry a sword on occasions when one was required.
They waited for 30 minutes to let the Gamekeepers get into position, They then spread out into a
long line - well, as long as three men could and still see each other - and then set off slowly
towards the edge of the forest. As they came out of a particularly thick area of brush, they spotted
a number of men ahead of them - obviously 'beating ' the forest to disturb and make the animals run.
Ahead of them they could see other men holding nets to catch anything running towards them.
One of the grooms had a hunting horn over his shoulder and was told to start the ' Alert'. At once
the shrill notes broke the calm, the whole party ahead of them scattered and started running in the
direction of the village. Too late ! The large party of mounted gamekeepers - spread in a line -
started to close-in on them and they were herded together like sheep.
Matt was off the Squirte's horse like lightening and with truncheon drawn ran over to the men. He looked
at them closely - to get an identification fixed in his mind - and then told them they were under
arrest for poaching. This was a hanging offence and some of the prisoners started crying - and one
screamed. Most of the others were tougher and stayed quiet.
Sir Thomas Hills - apart from being the Landowner - took charge as a Magistrate and he ordered that
the men be closely guarded and brought before him in the Manor Court in one hour. He then returned
to the Manor with his two grooms.
Matt, being a sworn constable, was actually senior to the gamekeepers - however, he recognised his
own youth and lack of experience and assisted the keepers. Altogether there were eight grown men - three
boys of about twelve years of age and four dogs of a hunting type. All were taken to the cells attached
to the Manor Court and at the appointed time were taken-in to stand in front of Sir Thomas. Papers
had been made out formally charging them with poaching on private land.
For a small Country Court - there were, of course, no Lawyers. The Magistrate's word would be final- although theoretically - they did have a right for an appeal. But these were uneducated people - most of whom
could not even sign their names.
Matt - as the Constable - gave evidence of what he had heard and what he saw at the scene. The Head
Gamekeeper also gave his evidence. Finally, each man was allowed to speak to the Court and try to
explain his actions.
The Magistrate sat quietly when all had finished. He was not a hard man and did not want to invoke the death
penalty - particularly since no game had been killed. Also youngsters were involved.
After some ten minutes - and whilst he made notes in his register - he sat-up and warned the prisoners to listen
Firstly, he allowed the three youngsters to be released - with a warning of much harsher punishment on
any future occasion. He then dealt with the eight adults. Five were given two months detention with
hard labour on the Estate farms. Two were ordered 24 lashes - they were obviously some of the
organisers. The last was the leader - he was ordered to transportation for five years - let some other
place have him. Finally the four dogs were ordered to be destroyed.
Matt was then called before Sir Thomas Hills and praised for his quick thinking and immediate action.
After just two weeks in the new job , this was praise indeed.
who has information about german military activities in 1. world war in finland about 2. MG-Company and leutnant Otto Waischwillat?
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I have written a book which will be published later this year. In it I have written an article about The
Lord Wakefield Gold Medal. I have been able to name nineteen recipients of this medal and would like to name more if possible. I saw a Blog by HOLYBOY who I thought said that he owned one of these medals.
Please get in touch. This is my first blog.
I am trying to discover if Thomas Coutts Morison's Medjidie medal is genuine. I have details of his enlistment in the Turkish Contingent in London in 1855, and I know from letters found in Australia that he served in the Crimea with Count Zamoyski's Sultan's Cossacks. I can find no record in the various London Gazettes of his having been awarded the medal but I have seen pictures of a medal which has been auctioned at various times in recent years, and it is engraved on the back with Thomas Coutts Morison, PMO (Principal Medical Officer) Sultan's Cossacks, and has been turned into a brooch. Does anyone know if the Sultan issued medal to the Contingent separately to those gazetted for British army officers? Morison's medal was part of his possessions when he died in Rockhampton, New South Wales. I suspect he may have obtained a medal and had it engraved for himself, but be interested to know if the Turks awarded any medals to British citizens in the Turkish Contingent, not gazetted in London.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I maybe going to Erbil, Iraq with work for an extended period of tie and would like to know if there is the possibility of buying British medals at any markets or shops there, if so any assistance would be great
regards and thanks
As the UK prepares for HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, I've started musing on which milestones various nations commemorate by issuing medals.
In the UK, it is the events relating to the Sovereign's reign: Coronations and Jubilees (along with a few state visits and Durbars, back when foreign travel, even if you happen to be a King, was a very big deal).
In Sweden, another constitutional monarchy, they have a different approach. The milestones they mark with a medal are very personal - significant birthdays of their monarch, weddings and wedding anniversaries... and even funerals. There's nothing about their monarch's connection with the nation. The award of such medals is also more personal: family members and people who organise or attend celebrations for whatever milestone is being marked being the only recipients.
Norway does both: there are birthday AND reign anniversary medals! Medals were issued to mark King Haakon VII's Coronation (1906), Silver Jubilee (1933), Gold Jubilee (1955) and his 70th birthday. Thailand too marks a mixture of State and personal milestones in their Royal Family's lives with the issue of medals - adding such occasions as the investiture of a Crown Prince to the expected coronations, jubilees and birthdays; along with one to mark 'The Longest Reign' in 1988.
As well as a fine memorial of Royal history, these series of medals give a fascinating insight as to the role of the monarchy in different countries around the world... and probably scope for a whole book not just a blog entry!
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
When Nick first mentioned that he was setting up a Blog for members to post personal militaria related material - I
thought - 'whatever for - this is what GMIC does every day'.
Well, I've given it serious consideration - have read other contributions, which I enjoyed, and have now decided on a subject. I am wondering if it will be interesting enough for members to want to visit regularly - however, like all things in life - if you don't make an effort - you will never know.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Olvasd el a Caterpillar Club honlapját! A családi levelezés közt Keress olyan Tábori posta-lapot, mélyén egy K.und K.Festungsartilleriebataillon Nr.8.
30.5 cm.Mörserbatterie Nr.8. --- Bélyegzőt találod !! ./ UNCLOWN-UNBEKANNT /
Küldj fotót és automatikusan Tagja leszel a CATERPILLAR CLUBNAK! A CLUB ANNAK AZ ELSŐ M-11 typusu
VONTATÓJÁRMŰNEK A NEVÉT VISELI,AMELY A 30,5 CM-ES MOZSÁRÁGYÚT VONTATTA AZ I.VILÁGHÁRORÚBAN.
Being a paperwork collector one of the reasons I collect the citations is for the signatures on them and as such have to trawl through books, websites and personally compiled files to find examples to provide a comparison. From what I know there are currently 3 dedicated threads/sections to signatures on the web, those being the one on Axis History, one on Dokumentenforum and the third on World War Militaria. Unfortunately the last one is a quiet forum and as such has a very limited number of people adding their examples (but has still been viewed over 10,000 times) while the one on AHF does have a tendency to stagnate and as good as it is it isn't all encompassing.
With such things in mind what are the views of members here to setting up a Pinned thread in the German Third Reich Document Section for the posting of recognised German signatures to build up and provide a database of such like for current and future collectors and not just restricted to Divisional Commanders or Luftwaffe Aces, or just military for that matter? The signatures could be members of all the various paramilitary & civil organisations, members of the 'Valkyrie' plot, as well as officers down to the Kompanie level - basically an all encompassing thread. We have all types of collectors here: TN, Polizei, Feldgendarmerie, OT, HV etc so the potential for building up a great database covering all such signatures is there.
Signatures could be from award citations, soldbucher, wehrpasse, ausweis, war time letters etc although I would shy away from post-war letters and photos due to the change of signatures due to age and the difficulty in corroborating them - but that is just a personal opinion and if the majority view it differently then so be it. All I would stipulate are threefold:
1) the person posting the signature must be the owner of the item and definitely no scans from books.
2) the signature should be shown in context (i.e. an image of the whole document is shown or at least partially shown to enable a date, location &/or authorising unit to be seen, with the owner's watermark on it somewhere obviously)
3) items published are NOT up for discussion in the thread - the idea is to build up a database rather then a discussion. If members have doubts about any that are posted then a PM to the Moderator with their views can be passed and regulated that way (or maybe an entry via this blog).
Basically if you have a signature on some paperwork and know who it belongs to then post it with some amplifying information on the signer, however basic, to build up a comprehensive database.
So with that in mind, please let me have your views and opinions.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Victory in combat relies on proficient scheduling along with prompt implementation of strategies. At the same time, there is a need to alter all obtainable information in to rapid dealing and efficient planning. As the saying goes, “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”.
In these circumstances, military solutions are offered by companies like Rolta who offer an elegant and helpful tool which not only ensures smooth progress of outfitted planning but also furnishes senior officers at different levels with a wide-ranging training application, which is, war gaming. The solution provides a perfect stability by training the soldier during peace and by assisting rapid planning and implementation during war. They set caters for war gaming necessities at special ranks.
Some of the important solutions needed during this period are:-
- Maps and Geographic Information System (GIS)
- Operational Planning Tool
- Wargaming System
Hi. I'm hoping there's someone who can help me? I'm doing some research on a family member who was part of the Northern Rhodesia Police Force during the 1950's. His name is Alexander Dodding and he was a member of Swansea Police(PC 73). He left for Northern Rhodesia in April/May 1953. I would be very grateful for any information and/or records.
Can somebody please help identify exactly which model Lee Enfield rifle this is.
Some of you may remember my situation with my Mom. Due to health reasons I moved her from Austin, Texas to West Richland, Washington on May 28th. She has a house now with my daughter living with her as a primary care giver. We had not been able to finalize the sale of her house in Austin so that has been hanging over us for the last 4 months.
Well-Saturday (10/22) I fly to Austin to close on the house on the 26th and THEN, get to have my RAV 4 back! Of course, I then have a week or so to drive back to Washington (but just think of the opportunities to collect more "stuff" along the way as well.
Just wanted to share. Hope I can get a few more shots to enter before the contest closes.
Have a GREAT weekend folks
God Bless (and thanks for your continued prayers for me and my Mom [she is doing much better])
Firstly, apologies for the unsolicited email. I was researching the attached and came across a blog on this site dating back to 24 March 2006.
As you will see from the attached, I have some aerial photographs from WW1 and have previously researched them. What interested me was a discussion concerning an " Ernst Kempfer" and my photos were taken by him. A posting by “Rick Research” on 25th March 2006 @ 06.04 states Kempfers’ unit as Feld Fliger Abteilung 9, this is clearly visible on the reverse of the photos.
I enjoyed reading the postings on 7th May 2006 @ 18.25 where it detailed Kempfers’ “war life” and stated amongst other facts that he was awarded a number of medals including the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class.
As an off chance, I don’t suppose anyone would have any further details on Kempfer or would have any idea of the photos true financial worth?
Any assistance would be much appreciated
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Can anyone tell me please? Is there any particular significance to the words "CassinoStar" in metal, attached to the medal ribbon. From the issue number on the obverse of the medal it would appear that it was issued to a member of the 11th Signals (Polish). Wladyslaw Najduch
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
My great-grandfather served in the Serbian infantry during the Great War. Although I have seen his picture in uniform, I am interested in discovering sources of components of the uniform, or of uniforms for sale (original or reproduction.
Thank-you for your assistance!!
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Over on another forum, the cry usually goes up three weeks before the actual date of the medal auction: "The catalogue is online!"
The first thing one does, if one happens to live in Canada, is check the five-hour time difference between here and the UK, to make sure that most of the British collectors are safely in bed and won't be using up all the website's bandwidth.
Then the apprehension starts: What will they have up this time? Will there be anything for me on there? What if there's *too much* for me on there this time? Do I have enough money in the Fund to pick up something shiny?
I open the search function on the catalogue and enter my terms. Then I click and wait. The list of items within my interests shows up and I start scrolling down. That's nice; so is that ... then one particular listing catches my eye.
I know those medals. I've seen them before. Not just once, but twice, offered for sale from various medal dealers. Every time I've gotten the money together to snag them, they end up being sold, only to reappear a few months later in another shop window. The price, oddly enough, has stayed somewhat constant, allowing for time, inflation, and expenses.
There's nothing wrong with the set, or so I think. Those medals which are named are named properly. Those which aren't are authentic. The pictures all appear to be of the same medals, just taken in different environments, showing the whims of the individuals to photograph them in their own way. The dealers are reputable, as is the auction house.
I've got a canny bid in on this set and would like to win it. But even if I don't, I have a feeling I'll be seeing them again shortly...
But why do they keep coming back?
I've seen this happen before, with Rex Cosh's set of 10. They went through two or three auction houses and a dealer before I snagged them. I've seen it with some other sets. One dealer sells to another, who sells the set. Then they appear a year or two later on E-bay, only to wind up across the pond in the UK, for sale again from yet another dealer, now all nicely mounted together rather than loose.
What keeps some sets in the purgatory of cycling around and around?
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Hello to all
I am a new young on this site.
I am French and collector of Japanese medals.
I have just purchased a set : medal of 7è class of the order of the sacred treasure with its diploma and the translation by the embassy of Japan.
This decoration was given to a police officer asked to assure of the protection of prince Hiro Hito (not still emperor) during his visit in Paris June 2nd, 1921.
(Visit of the Eiffel Tower and meeting with Gustave Eiffel, visit of "Le Louvre", "Les Invalides" and the military airport of the Bourget.)
This police officer was decorated a few days after the visit of Hiro Hito June 7th, 1921.
I do not know how to read the characters Kanji and I shall like knowing if it is mentioned in the diploma the motive for the delivery of this decoration.
Big thanks to the one who will be kind enough to answer and help me
Tuesday I thought I was going to buy a Finnish Liberty Cross 3rd Class 1918 , a real scarce award
Ok , since I didn´t want to raise the price before the last day I stayed cool and planned to give my bid on the way to Finland where I was going on a business trip tuesday-thursday .
Yep , the cell phone died in the wrong moment and then I was on the plane , no connection and so on........
It went for 180 Euros wich was way too low .....
Lessons learned ? If you want it - Buy it , bid early , bid high and stay at home at your computer
Nice weekend all
I have a group of medals to a Trooper Churchill of the 2nd King Edwards Horse, one of the medals is a privatly awarded medal, which I assume is from the Regiment as the ribbon is their colours. The inscription on the medals reads for bravery in the Field in Irland the other 2 medals are the war and Victory medals to Sgt. Churchill. I have been able with some help from a friend to possibly put him in Dublin during the Easter Rising but can find no real mention of his name.
Can anyone help with any information please.