There was a sobering reminder this week of the war’s growing impact on Islanders’ lives. The cause was news that Edward Single, a baker’s deliveryman from St Helier, appeared in court on a charge of spreading false reports about the war.
While full details of the case against Single are yet to be fully known, the charge was brought under the Defence of the Realm Act, or DORA, which the States agreed to enact in September 1914. One of its regulations prohibits civilians from disseminating any information that may cause alarm among the population. Single, it seems, stands accused of doing just that. Agreeing there was a case to answer, the civilian authorities have handed him over to the military for a court martial. The ultimate penalty under DORA for breaking regulations is death.
News also broke this week that two German citizens have been arrested in St Brelade’s Bay under the Aliens Restriction Act. It is commonly known that a number of enemy aliens live in that part of the Island, and that there have been reports of suspicious activities, including alleged night time signalling to unknown vessels lying offshore.