‘A public disgrace’ was how one newspaper described the present situation as yet more soldiers appeared in court this week on charges of being drunk and disorderly. This comes despite the recent reduction in public house opening hours and appeals to publicans not to serve anyone in uniform.
In one of the more shocking cases, Private William Jackson appeared before the magistrate charged with assaulting a 19-year-old local woman. The soldier, who is in the Island training with the South Staffordshire Regiment, dragged the women by the arm from a bus stop at Red Houses into a nearby field. It seems that prior to the incident, Jackson had become heavily intoxicated in a local public house. He received one month’s imprisonment for the crime, which left the victim uninjured but badly shaken.
As well as those who are arrested, it is common knowledge that anyone visiting town on a Friday or Saturday night will find soldiers in every state of drunkenness on just about every street. In the view of the newspapers, the blame lies with some landlords. While most are behaving responsibly, one or two are taking advantage by serving already heavily intoxicated men.