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Lusitania Riots


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#1 Raster Scanning

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 01:16 AM

Came across some interesting home front pictures recently.

The caption on this is " LOOTING DURING THE LUSITANIA RIOTS, A scene during the rioting which took place after the sinking of the Lusitania which created a far stronger feeling against anglicised Germans than existed before that event"

Research shows that the shop was a tobacconists located at 136 Chrisp St, Poplar and belonged to Adolph Scholenfeld.

In 1901 he was living at 552 Mile End Road with his wife Hermine and their 4 children Anna (18) Minnie (17) Adolph (16) and Lily (11).

It would be interesting to know is Adolph Jn served in the war, he is not listed on the medal rolls, unless he used a false name.

Cheers

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#2 DaveNich

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:20 AM

An interesting post.

It would be interesting to find out what happened to the family.


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#3 Roger D

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 08:26 AM

There were big problems in South London as well with gangs upto 1000 strong smashing up various buildings and businesses they believed to have German links. Many were subsequently jailed for their roles. It even hindered the establishment of the Camberwell Gun Brigade (later 156th RFA) as one of the clerks seconded to them by Camberwell Council was physically ejected from Peckham Town Hall by his colleagues in the mistaken belief he was German. (He appears to have been allowed to return to work after proving that although he had lived in Germany for a spell he was British by birth).

Sadly the riots led to at least one suicide, 54 year old baker Frederick William Zohn of Galleywell Street killed himself after repeated attacks. He was a naturalized citizen and had been resident for 29 years.

I seem to remember the newspaper article - South London Press 14/5/15 - saying such attacks started in Liverpool and swept large parts of the country but may be mistaken there.

#4 marina

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:00 AM

At Hellfire Corner, Terry Reeves has an article about the Triumph and Gloria works and its workers, and Mr. Bettmann, who was of German origin, and much affected by antiGerman feeling.

http://www.hellfire-...terryreeves.htm
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#5 NIGEL

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:46 AM

There was a bit and film footage of English attacking German business's in the series WW1 in colour.

#6 claireanne

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

Hi

The Tobacconist's shop in the photo belonged to my husband's grandfather- Adolph Shoenfeld, who was a German Jewish immigrant who arrived in London in about the 1860/70's, He had 5 children- the eldest girl Freida, may have been married at the 1901 census date.They were given shelter by their neighbours after it happened and the family changed their name to Sheffield as a direct result of this incident. It is our belief that Adolph Jr (Dolph) served during the war as my sister in law believes she has seen photos of him in uniform - I would be very pleased if somebody can confirm this for me as I am tracing the family roots at the moment..

Dolph had a daughter Gladys born c1911 and a son John Adolph, (born c1914 died 1972) who had 4 sons and 3 daughters and farmed in E Sussex . Dolph eventually moved to Horam E. Sussex and lived there with his second wife Dorothy until his death.

I would also love a copy of the photo if you can tell me where I can obtain one.

Thanks Claireanne

#7 headgardener

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:21 PM

It is our belief that Adolph Jr (Dolph) served during the war as my sister in law believes she has seen photos of him in uniform - I would be very pleased if somebody can confirm this for me as I am tracing the family roots at the moment..


I reckon that THIS is your man. Only one Adolph Sheffield in the WW1 Medal Index Cards......

#8 MichaelBully

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:34 PM

Fascinated by this thread. Interested to learn that there were anti-German rioters jailed for their part in disturbances following the Lusitania sinking. Would welcome references on sources, either contemporary or later research.
Always makes sad reading to hear about harrasment -or worse- of German people living in Britian during the Great War.
Regards
Michael Bully



#9 AndyHollinger

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:53 PM

Interesting indeed. I, too, would like some level of confirmation of jailed rioters ... in tht cracking down on anti-german disterbences was rare in the US. My maternal grandfather Helmut Winter went to the UK in 1914 for work as did many Germans ... left for America in 1915 .. was REJECTED by the US (for some reason) and spent 1915 in Cuba after which he snuck in (illegal Immigrant!!!) and lost his job in 1917 because of anti-german sentiment. (He lost his business in 1941 - he said for the same reason ... and his little restuarant got it's windows broken several times in 1941, etc.

Andy

#10 NigelS

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:42 PM

A local newspaper of 1917 reports a discussion which took place at a Woking Urban Council meeting about a proposal by one local councillor - said to be the wish of some local ratepayers - to remove the name of a German born past chairman (the first in fact) from a board in the council chambers which listed those whom had occupied that position. Pointing out that the board was a record of fact, another councillor argued:

'Mr Strudwick could take the board down into the back yard and jump on it, and when he was tired of jumping on it he could burn it, but it would not alter one jot the fact that Mr. Wermig was chairman of the council in 1895,96 and 97...'

The fact that removal of the name of a long term and respected local resident was even discussed by senior members of the community must reflect the strength of the feelings of, even if only a minority, some of the local population. Sad as it may be after three years of war the propaganda machine had successfully done its work, and, although it would be nice to think it would be, I doubt very much whether that, even in today's supposedly enlightened times, the situation for resident aliens from opposing factions during a major war would be very much different.

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#11 headgardener

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 09:49 AM

Incidentally, following on from my post about the Adolph Sheffield who served in the Middx Rgt, I'd say that his regimental number is consistent with one of the labour companies of the Middx, one or two of which were made up of men of foreign descent who also happened to be based in London (maybe that's simply due to the fact that many foreigners would have gravitated to the capital city). I've come across a lot of men with German names who served in this capacity; I seem to recall that there were a couple of Middx labour battalions named something like 1st and 2nd I.L. companies which I've always understood to mean 'Independant Labour companies'. There's a resident Labour Corps expert on this forum who might be able to advise further on this. Let's hope he'll pick up on this thread.

Edit; I used to live just off Chrisp St, no more than about 5 mins walk from where that shop would have been. The area was more or less completely flattened during the blitz, there's a big 60's 'brutalist' housing estate there now (the Pembury Estate). A couple of 'Pie and Mash' shops are probably the only remaining structural links to the old east end.

#12 claireanne

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:55 AM

I'd say that his regimental number is consistent with one of the labour companies of the Middx, one or two of which were made up of men of foreign descent who also happened to be based in London (maybe that's simply due to the fact that many foreigners would have gravitated to the capital city). I've come across a lot of men with German names who served in this capacity;

Re the above quote - What is a labour company - di they work together? Have heard of "The Kaisers Own" was he in one of those?

#13 David Faulder

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:56 AM

Fascinated by this thread. Interested to learn that there were anti-German rioters jailed for their part in disturbances following the Lusitania sinking. Would welcome references on sources, either contemporary or later research.
Always makes sad reading to hear about harrasment -or worse- of German people living in Britian during the Great War.
Regards
Michael Bully

Michael

If you can access the Times Archives (e.g. via University Library websites) and search on "Lusitania AND riot OR looting", you will get a number of returns.

The Times, Thursday, May 13, 1915; pg. 10; Issue 40853; col B
Rioting In London. Shops Plundered And Wrecked., A Day Of Violence.

reports £20,000 of damage done and 150 shops in Camden Town and Kentish Town attacked (as well in many other London districts).

In the opinion of a police official, the story from Holland of the burning in an aeroplane shed of 40 British soldiers and the reports of the crucifixion of Canadian officers have done more to cause the riots than the sinking of the Lusitania.


The Times, Thursday, May 13, 1915; pg. 10; Issue 40853; col C
The Liverpool Riots. Damage Estimated At £40,000.
reports attacks or actions in Liverpool, Manchester, Southend, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bradford, Glasgow, Cardiff

David

#14 Pighills

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:15 AM

Sadly no pension/service records remain for Dolph.

#15 MichaelBully

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 12:59 PM

Thank you very much for the information David. Appreciated.

I knew that 'The Lusitania' had strong connections with Liverpool, the ship's home port, so was aware of the riots there.
On the CD set 'BBC eyewitness 1910-1919-A History of the Twentieth Century in Sound' there is a fascinating extract from a programme broadcast on 27th September 1963 in which an eye witness of anti-German riots (following the news of the 'Lusitania' sinking and the publication of the 'Bryce Report' in May 1915) which took place in Salford.
The eye witness particularly highlighted the role of women in the disturbances at Salford, and fighting between women who were looting shops over the division of spoils. Apparently shops with 'German sounding names' were targetted.
This extract also mentioned disturbances at Birkenhead.

The CD also has an interview with Viscountess Rhondda from 15th October 1951, as she was a survivor of 'The Lusitania' sinking.

Regards

Michael Bully




Michael

If you can access the Times Archives (e.g. via University Library websites) and search on "Lusitania AND riot OR looting", you will get a number of returns.

The Times, Thursday, May 13, 1915; pg. 10; Issue 40853; col B
Rioting In London. Shops Plundered And Wrecked., A Day Of Violence.

reports £20,000 of damage done and 150 shops in Camden Town and Kentish Town attacked (as well in many other London districts).


The Times, Thursday, May 13, 1915; pg. 10; Issue 40853; col C
The Liverpool Riots. Damage Estimated At £40,000.
reports attacks or actions in Liverpool, Manchester, Southend, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bradford, Glasgow, Cardiff

David



#16 centurion

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 02:41 PM


The eye witness particularly highlighted the role of women in the disturbances at Salford, and fighting between women who were looting shops over the division of spoils.

I wonder how many of those 'leading' the riot were motivated by genuine anger and how many by the excuse to loot

#17 headgardener

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:43 PM

Re the above quote - What is a labour company - di they work together? Have heard of "The Kaisers Own" was he in one of those?


A labour company was a unit which was engaged on 'labouring' jobs, such as road building, etc. Regarding the "Kaiser's Own" reference, the simple answer is 'yes'. You can read a short thread about them HERE. Medals to these men were issued as 'Middlesex Regt", the reference to 'I.L. company' comes from the medal roll (can be viewed at TNA). You can confirm which battalion or labour co. your man served with by checking his entry on the medal roll, but you'll need to have a look at his MIC in order to find out the page and roll numbers.

One of the people who posted on the other thread says that they were part of 30th and 31st battalions of the Middx Rgt, but these battalions only ever served in the UK. When the I.L. Companies went to France they were acting as independent units, hence the number of the relevant company being recorded on the medal roll, rather than a battalion number. They may have come under the control of the Labour Corps, and hopefully one of the resident Labour Corps experts on this forum may pick up on this thread and advise us further.

#18 SwissGill

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:27 AM

When I started to trace my German relations I wondered why my great grandfather, Hermann Pfisterer, had given his occupation on the census as Master Pork Butcher, only knowing the term "Butcher's shop" myself.

My grandfather was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, was taken back with his brother, to be christened in his mother's birth town, Kocherstetten, Künzelsau after his father died an early death in 1875, returned to Yorkshire, and in 1888 or thereabouts, moved to Northwich, Cheshire. His garage / cycle shop, is mentioned in Colin Lynch's book on Cheshire in that a man threw a brick and smashed the windows, thereby a crowd started to gather but the police quickly arrived on the scene and arrested the man in question, after which the crowd dispersed.

Attached is a paper on German Pork Butchers which also covers the anti-German feelings in WWI.Attached File  Wuestner1.pdf   75.01KB   574 downloads

#19 Kath

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:51 PM

Thanks, SG.
Interesting.

Kath.

#20 MichaelBully

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:50 AM

That's really fascinating, thanks for posting. I have often thought that anti-German feeling directed against Germans living in Britian was not much in evidence before the outbreak of the Great War, which this paper on the German Pork Butchers seems to confirm.
As mentioned already, May 1915 was also the time that the Bryce Report appeared, as well as the 'Lusitania' sinking, which detailed with alleged German atrocities in occupied Belgian, and was published and circulated. Sadly individual Germans living in UK who had nothing to do with the War were vulnerable and quite an easy target for people who wanted to vent their frustrations. It's good to hear that the police acted swiftly on this occasion.
Regards
Michael Bully




When I started to trace my German relations I wondered why my great grandfather, Hermann Pfisterer, had given his occupation on the census as Master Pork Butcher, only knowing the term "Butcher's shop" myself.

My grandfather was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, was taken back with his brother, to be christened in his mother's birth town, Kocherstetten, Künzelsau after his father died an early death in 1875, returned to Yorkshire, and in 1888 or thereabouts, moved to Northwich, Cheshire. His garage / cycle shop, is mentioned in Colin Lynch's book on Cheshire in that a man threw a brick and smashed the windows, thereby a crowd started to gather but the police quickly arrived on the scene and arrested the man in question, after which the crowd dispersed.

Attached is a paper on German Pork Butchers which also covers the anti-German feelings in WWI.Attached File  Wuestner1.pdf   75.01KB   574 downloads



#21 OpsMajor

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:32 PM

Fascinating history of the German Pork Butchers (link in post #18)
Mike

#22 SwissGill

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

Hi

The Tobacconist's shop in the photo belonged to my husband's grandfather- Adolph Shoenfeld, who was a German Jewish immigrant who arrived in London in about the 1860/70's, He had 5 children- the eldest girl Freida, may have been married at the 1901 census date.They were given shelter by their neighbours after it happened and the family changed their name to Sheffield as a direct result of this incident. It is our belief that Adolph Jr (Dolph) served during the war as my sister in law believes she has seen photos of him in uniform - I would be very pleased if somebody can confirm this for me as I am tracing the family roots at the moment..

Dolph had a daughter Gladys born c1911 and a son John Adolph, (born c1914 died 1972) who had 4 sons and 3 daughters and farmed in E Sussex . Dolph eventually moved to Horam E. Sussex and lived there with his second wife Dorothy until his death.

I would also love a copy of the photo if you can tell me where I can obtain one.

Thanks Claireanne


I started research Adolph Schoenfeld this morning and when I came back to the thread, saw your post.

Frieda Augusta Josephine Schoenfeld born about 1881, married Albert Edward Bradshaw in 1903, London. On the 1911 Census they are living at 34, Kelvin Road, Highbury N, London with their three children, Albert, Leslie and Lawrence.

On the 1901 census, Frieda is stated as living at 136 Chrisp Street, Poplar as Head (occupation Tobacconist Shop Keeper) with a maid, Florence Milton.

Albert Edward Bradshaw her husband had a WWI pension.

I also saw that Adolph Schoenfeld Snr. died in 1929. He stated he was a For. sub. and on the Family Trees I found on Ancestry, they state he originated from "Ford End, Germany"

I saw also that one or two Schoenfelds had anglicised their name to Schofield.

#23 SwissGill

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:32 PM

If you take a look at The Ruhleben Story, you will find that William Schonhut, George William Hohenrein and Wilhelm Kustner, all pork butchers from Baden Württemberg were imprisoned there.

The riots seemed really to have started in Liverpool and then spread to Sheffield. On Friday 14th May, 1915, rioters attacked the premises of various pork butchers in Attercliffe, including those of George Hannemann and George Limbach.

On 8th June 1915, the bulk of the petty theft charges arising out of the Goldthorpe Riots were heard at Doncaster: 46 defendants, men women and several girls were summoned on two charges each. The goods included a diamond scarft pin, flitches of bacon and ham from Schonhuts, and Schonhut was accused of ill-using his wife and sending bundles of ham away with messages inside.

My grandfather's cousin, Friederike Heinzmann, whose husband had a pork butcher's shop in Northwich, devoted her private life to the Methodist Church there. Most of these Hohenlohe citizens from Germany tried to integrate themselves into society in the best way they knew - through the church!

On the other hand, I can understand the emotions that were set free when the news of the sinking of the Lusitania was made known.Unfortunately, mostly shops were randalised - ok - the names were German and the private houses were "neutral"

I do know that my grandfather remained a German from birth, even if born in England, to his death and I have to accept this. However, his mother took him at 8 years' old back to Germany in Kocherstten, to be baptised there with his brother.

I can find his birth in Rotherham, Yorkshire but the next evidence of him is in 1881 in Mexborough, after the death of his father and the marriage of his mother to an English man.

#24 Alan Tucker

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:26 PM

The Government propaganda machine also went into top gear over the first use of gas so the Lusitania became yet another example of German 'frightfulness'. Aided and abetted by the yellow press. Pre-war the German community in Birmingham was pretty well integrated with many 'older' immigrants having married English wives and become naturalised. The most unfortunate ones had not bothered to become naturalised and males were subject to internment measures. The 'Brummie Germans' were about a 1000 strong in 1914 and were to be found living all over the city and not ghettoised like the Irish post-Famine. Prosperous merchants were to be found in middle class suburbs. Working class Germans were to be found working at Cadburys, Dunlop, in the jewellery trade,as waiters etc etc. One German born immigrant - Pollack - became Liberal Mayor of Birmingham c1888. There were considerable trade links between Birmingham and Germany. The Lusitania sinking did not lead to the same scale of violence as elsewhere with one restaurant wrecked and a bit of public 'slagging off'.

I have often thought that anti-German feeling directed against Germans living in Britian was not much in evidence before the outbreak of the Great War, which this paper on the German Pork Butchers seems to confirm.
As mentioned already, May 1915 was also the time that the Bryce Report appeared, as well as the 'Lusitania' sinking, which detailed with alleged German atrocities in occupied Belgian, and was published and circulated. Sadly individual Germans living in UK who had nothing to do with the War were vulnerable and quite an easy target for people who wanted to vent their frustrations. It's good to hear that the police acted swiftly on this occasion.
Regards
Michael Bully



#25 MichaelBully

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:40 PM

I have been going through some local papers on microfilm as the Brighton History Centre this morning and found an interesting commentary in 'The Brighton Gazette, Hove Post, Sussex and Surrey Telegraph' of 11th March 1916, so some ten months after sinking of 'The Lusitania'

"After the sinking of 'the Lusitania' there was (and the British Government has never sought to deny it) a spontaneous outburst of popular feeling which, especially in the working class quarters of London and Liverpool, led to regretable manifestations. These manifestations were repressed with the full police force at the disposal of the authorities. No German man, woman or child was seriously injured but in suppressing the disturbances injuries were received by 107 ordinary and special constables and 865 persons were arrested and charged with offences.
The view taken of these occurences by the authorities may be illustrated by remarks made at the North London Police Court (see 'Hackney and Kingsland Gazzette 14th May 1915 p.5) by the magistrates before whom 20 of the rioteers were charged. He said you are not furthering the interests of your country by behaving in this way. It is not patriotism. It is the very opposite. In one way or another it must be put a stop to."


This particular copy on microfilm is difficult to read so just hope that I have noted the figures of police officers injured and people arrested down correctly. If anyone has any further clarrification please let me know.
Should also stress that 'The Brighton Gazette ....' was quite a conservative paper but interesting to note that their disapproval of anti-German rioting.



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