sole-surviving Crimean war veteran, ex-sergeant Mundy, aged
78, greeted the 1st West Yorkshire Regiment soldiers when they arrived
at the entrance to the town's public rooms - their headquarters
Mr Mundy, who was once able to help the legendary Florence Nightingale
with a problem, told a Midland Counties Express reporter that in
1854 he joined the Buckinghamshire Regiment which was then called
to the Crimea.
He described how they headed for the war-zone on the Princess
Royal boat and after "many exciting incidents" managed a landing
on shore. Mr Mundy said he "saw the most terrible of sights".
He said they ate salt junk and ship's biscuits and wore tattered
clothes in the middle of winter.
He saw cannon balls crash into the trenches and bullets whizzed
about. Disease also took its toll.
But Mr Mundy said he survived it all. He returned to Balaclava
after peace was declared and had a personal meeting with the lady
with the lamp.
Mundy recounted with relish the night he was on sentry duty at the
local hospital when Florence Nightingale appeared and was startled
to come across two Frenchman while walking on a nearby verandah.
She said to Mr Mundy: "Oh sentry do send these Frenchmen away."
The veteran stepped forward, showed the Frenchmen his bayonet, and
they soon disappeared.
Mr Mundy said that for that one little act, Florence Nightingale
gave him a two shilling piece.
Birch for boot boy: At Walsall Guildhall a 14-year-old boy
was ordered in April to be given six strokes of the birch for stealing
a pair of boots.
The prosecution said the loser of the boots visited Walsall baths
and discovered his boots missing after he took a shower.
He found another pair had been substituted. The court heard that
a detective visited the defendant's home and found him wearing the
Major hits on a plan to ease horseflesh shortage:
A "momentous deficit of horseflesh"- particularly for military
service - caused an outcry in the Midlands and other parts of the
country in February.
The problem was raised at a meeting of the Brewood and District
Agricultural Society where Major Mayall, Master of the Albrighton
Hounds, mentioned the question of the horseflesh shortage.
Major Mayall said the establishment at the agricultural show of
a class for brood mares with foals at foot would attract good prizes,
and would probably remedy what looked like a horseflesh deficit.
The views of farmers were sought and an agricultural expert at
Wolverhampton Corn Market said that farmers were breeding the class
of horses which paid them.
They found a good market for carthorses, but were not encouraged
by the Government, or anyone else, to go in for the lighter class
of animal, he said.
The expert added that farmers found they did not get the lighter
animals off their hands until they were five or six years old -
and they were not happy about the prices they fetched either.
Black days as workers strike for more pay: The hardship and
suffering created by a series of strikes for better pay across the
Black Country in June prompted the Mayor of Wolverhampton to open
a relief fund to ease the plight of strikers and their families.
Councillor T W Dickinson made an appeal for funds to afford relief
to women and children lacking "the necessities of life."
In Walsall the strike committee felt the employers were "ashamed
of the low wages they had paid." The committee heard that the Walsall
strikers had remained loyal to their pledge and showed not the slightest
signs of weakening.
The strike, involving the metal trades, was over a demand by workers
for better pay.
But, it was reported, women and children were feeling the pinch
keenly and the disputes were causing a lot of distress. A special
conference in Birmingham involving the Midland Employers Federation
and representatives of the Engineers and Allied Trades Societies,
failed to break the deadlock.
Wolverhampton Trades Council put forward a suggestion that an
appeal for help for the strikers should be made to members of different
groups of workers.
To ease the hardship of families, men were sent out with collection
boxes from Wednesbury to various big towns to raise funds. In Wednesbury
market sixpenny pieces of fish were handed out to deserving cases.
The men were on strike for a "living wage" which they put at 23
shillings a week. They claimed that what they were being paid was
"insufficient to sustain life adequately."
Fears over public health: Unsatisfactory housing and sanitary
conditions at Coseley and Sedgley led the chairman of the public health
committee to comment in May that he was "horrified".
He went on to say that it was abominable to allow such a state
One of the problems highlighted was some condemned caravan dwellings
on open space in Fountain Lane, Coseley.
It was described as "another example of occupied habitations condemned
long ago by the Medical Officer of Health."
The two caravans which, together with two wooden huts, constituted
a dwelling for a family of seven - the husband being a permanent
resident who worked down a mine.
The medical officer said there was no water supply or any toilets.
"One usually associates caravan dwellers with the nomadic tribe,
but the occupants of the novel abodes shown in our picture are residents
of the district," he added.
It was felt the housing conditions in Coseley and Sedgley were
Railway blocked by derailment: Two goods train trucks were
derailed and the line ploughed up in an accident on the London and
North-Western railway line near Penkridge station in April.
It was thought that a waggon on the train - which came from Wolverhampton
- failed to negotiate some points and left the rails, dragging another
waggon with it.
Two lines were blocked and all the traffic on the Birmingham line
had to be sent via Rugeley and Walsall.
Breakdown gangs spent several hours dealing with the emergency
and the permanent way was ploughed up for a mile.
The parapet of the bridge over a river was also smashed. The driver
was unaware of the smash and carried on with his journey until he
was stopped by a signal.