Peace day trial: Emily Gilbert

Emily Gilbert, aged 19, hat machinist, of 11 New Street, Luton, first appeared before magistrates on Wednesday, July 23rd, 1919, and was released on her own recognisance of £5, charged with stealing an umbrella, value 10s 6d, the property of Carl Caspers [hairdresser, 4 Bute Street].

Her case was finally dealt with by magistrates on Friday, August 1st, when Town Clerk William Smith said that, having regard to the suspense and mental strain suffered by two of the women who were charged with rioting and larceny, he had decided to take the responsibility of dropping the rioting allegations, so that the prisoners might be dealt with summarily.

When questioned by the Det-Sgt Arthur Bacon, Emily Gilbert said the umbrella was given to her by a soldier. When told the police officer had reason to believe it came from Mr Caspers' shop, she replied: “Yes, that's the one.”

Prisoner: “I had it given to me. I was going to send it back. I have never used it. I had two of my own.”

At the August 1st hearing, Town Clerk William Smith said that after giving very grave consideration to the matter, especially bearing in mind that some of them were women, he was taking it upon himself to withdraw charges of rioting against those charged with larceny or receiving stolen goods.

As a result, those cases were tried by magistrates in Luton, rather than being sent to Assizes, and Emily Gilbert was fined 40 shillings with an alternative of 14 days in prison.

[Emily Gilbert's mother, Ellen, was also among the defendants.]