Name: Wilhelmina Armstrong
Arrested for: not given
Arrested at: North Shields Police Station
Arrested on: 11 July 1916
Tyne and Wear Archives ref: DX1388-1-266-Wilhelmina Armstrong
For an image of her accomplice Christina Austin see www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/22272492636/in/dateposted/
The Shields Daily News for 12 July 1916 reports:
“STOLEN DRESSES. DURHAM GIRLS IN TROUBLE AT NORTH SHIELDS.
Before Ald. Spencer and Mr J.B. Williamson, at North Shields today, Wilhelmina Armstrong, 18, single, 13 Summerville, Durham, City and Christina Austin, 17, single, 1 Lambton Walk, Durham City, were charged on remand with having stolen two dresses, valued at £1, from the Wardrobe shop of Lottie Cooper Rudyerd Street.
Prosecutrix stated that on the afternoon of the 6th inst. the two girls called at her shop and asked to be shown some frocks. They remained in the shop about half and hour and then left, saying they would return four days later. On looking through her stock after the girls had gone, she missed a dress and gave information to the police. The girls returned on the 10th and she sent for the police, who arrested them. Later in the same day she was also shown by the police another dress, which she also identified as her property.
Detective Mason said he arrested the accused on the 10th and questioned Armstrong about a dress she had been wearing at South Shields the previous day. She admitted having stolen it from the shop of the prosecutrix and on the way to the police station, Austin said she had also stolen a dress. Afterwards he went to the house in which they had been lodging at Whitley and there recovered the two dresses.
Both girls pleaded guilty and said they were sorry. Austin said she had never done anything of the kind before. Armstrong admitted having been convicted at Darlington in April, the fine being paid by her father, who is a butcher at Durham. Mrs Austin said her daughter left home a week ago.
Armstrong was fined 19s 6d, with the alternative of 14 days imprisonment. The bench considered that Austin had been led astray to some extent and she was bound over in the sum of £5, to be of good behaviour for 12 months”.
These images are taken from an album of photographs of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court between 1902 and 1916 (TWAM ref. DX1388/1). This set is our selection of the best mugshots taken during the First World War. They have been chosen because of the sharpness and general quality of the images. The album doesn’t record the details of each prisoner’s crimes, just their names and dates of arrest.
In order to discover the stories behind the mugshots, staff from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums visited North Shields Local Studies Library where they carefully searched through microfilm copies of the ‘Shields Daily News’ looking for newspaper reports of the court cases. The newspaper reports have been transcribed and added below each mugshot.
Combining these two separate records gives us a fascinating insight into life on the Home Front during the First World War. These images document the lives of people of different ages and backgrounds, both civilians and soldiers. Our purpose here is not to judge them but simply to reflect the realities of their time.
(Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email [email protected]
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