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Soldiers of the Regiment

Lance Corporal Joseph William O'Brien, number 3707, 2nd Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

Pork Butcher’s Window Smashed

Might Have Led to a Serious Scene at Lancaster

From the Morecambe Visitor 19 May 1915

"A sequel to the smashing of a window at the shop of Mr Frederick Kramer, pork butcher, Penny-street, Lancaster, was seen at Lancaster Borough Police Court, on Saturday, the Mayor (Mr W Briggs, JP) presiding, when a soldier in uniform, Joseph William O’Brien, who has been wounded while serving with the 2nd Battalion, The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, was charged with doing wilful damage to the amount of £3 by smashing the window in question shortly after ten o’clock on Friday night. [14th May 1915].

It was stated that the man walked up Penny Street, apparently on his way to the depot at Bowerham, and he put his boot heel through the window. He was at once taken into custody, and the prompt action of the authorities prevented any demonstration.

The Mayor said he was sorry to see the man before him. He had served his country in the present war, and had served in South Africa. He knew that his action might have led to a serious riot. “You are not doing damage to any man personally, but you are doing damage to the town at large, and I hope the people of Lancaster will have the common sense not to follow your example, but will behave in a law abiding manner, and not damage property of individuals, whether aliens or naturalised foreigners, or whatever they are. They have the remedy in their own hands. If they do not agree with those people they do not need to trade with them, and they will soon close.”

The Bench remanded O’Brien to await an escort."

It would appear that this man is recorded as Lance Corporal William Joseph O'Brien, number 3707, who joined the 2nd Battalion on the Western Front on 26th January 1915.  After his trouble in Lancaster he continued to serve and ended up as a Lance Corporal with the Military Foot Police, number P4196.

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