Armistice 100: PM laid up, ‘conchies’ on the march and Leeds girls’ wages up

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Dateline: September 14, 1918: Yesterday we reported how Leeds munitions experts issued a corrective to Prime Minister Lloyd George, who was visiting Manchester at the time and who attributed praise to them for their efforts in making munitions.

The following day - so, 100 years ago today - there was a report that Mr George had been incapacitated by a bout of influenza and had been confined to bed in Manchester. Aides were forced to cancel all his appointments, including a planned trip to Blackpool. He was said to be suffering from a high temperature and a sore throat.

On the same page was an advert for Jointus Salts, an advert for which appeared on the same page. The tincture was described as “the most pleasant and soothing of all aperients”, adding that it would “restore the joy of living”.

And further to a story we covered last week, which related to the movement of “conchies” (otherwise known as ‘conscientious objectors’) from Wakefield Gaol, following a number of incidents in the town: no sooner had they been removed than another batch of “conchies” took their place.

Prisoners were transferred in from as far afield as Shrewsbury, Maidstone and Newcastle. These ‘conchies’ refused to take part in work parties and apparently “assumed control of the establishment but they conducted themselves in a perfectly orderly manner.”

And finally, returning to the subject of munitions, it was reported that girls working in that business would receive a pay rise of 5s a week if over 18 and 2s 6d if under 18, starting this week in the Leeds area “at a great cost to the country.”