Jonas Godfrey Norster 

*? - †1 Jul 1917


a) 1901-Census: 34 Montague Road, West Minster, Sheerness, Kentnn1911-Census: 3 Parkston Villas, Newhaven, SussexnnOCCUPATION: 1911 (C) Naval Pensioner - Custom WatchernnOCCUPATION: 20/01/1915 - 23/05/1915 Crew on CANDIAn21/04/1915 - 08/07/1915 Crew on NIGELnnOCCUPATION: Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 07 July 1911nLEWES POLICE COURT. Monday. —Before Alderman J. H. Every (in the chair' and Dr. W. F. Crosskey. Seaman in Trouble. —Stanley Eastwood, a seaman, was charged with stealing on the 2nd July, at Newhaven, a suit of clothes, a cap. a pair of hoots, a purse containing Bs. 9d., a note book, a box of pen nibs, a metal whistle, a handkerchief, and cigarette holder, together valued £2 7s. 3d., the property of James Y. Duncan, of the “Sussex Maid," and a blue jersey, value 35., the property of Jonas Norster. —James Young Duncan stated that he was a seaman on board the brigantine Sussex Maid," now lying Newhayen Harbour. The defendant was also on the ship, -which he joined at Victoria Docks, Hull, about one month ago. They arrived at Newhaven on June 24th. They slept in the hammocks in the forcastle, and were very near each other. On Sunday morning, about 7.30 a.m., he was awake in his hammock, and he noticed defendant was then in bed. Witness went to sleep again, and w.oke up a little after eight o’clock. He then saw defendant had gone, and witness could not find his (witness’s) clothes. The clothes and other things he missed were a green suit, a cloth cap, a pair ot tan boots, purse containing three half-crowns, a shilling, and a few coppers, a note book, a metal whistle, a handkerchief, a cigarette holder, and a box of pen nibs, and he identified those produced as his property. The purse was in his trousers pocket when he hung them on the foot of the hammock with his other clothes the previous evening. As he failed to find the defendant, he informed the police. While he was looking about on board for his clothes he found an old waistcoat, an old pair of boots, also a pair old trousers, which he knew belonged to the defendant. He valued all the property at £2 7s. 3d.—Jonas Godfrey Norster stated that he was seaman on the Sussex Maid,” and slept near the defendant. He missed the jersey produced, which he valued at 35,, about 12.15 p.m. on Sundav. The police were infonned. —P.C. Sheppard, of Seaford, stated that on the 2nd July, from information received from Sergt. Smith, he went in search of the defendant, and at 11 a.m. he saw him in Church-street, Seaford, As he answered to the description of the man wanted, he followed him to Splash Point. Witness said to him You are Stanley Eastwood or Westwood, aren’t you?” He replied No.” Witness said Were you at Newhaven this morning?” Defendant replied Yes. I might as well tell the truth. lam Stanley Eastwood.” Witness took defendant to the Police Station and charged him with stealing the articles produced. On the way to the Police Station defendant said I spent some of the money this morning, and you have soon got to hear of it.” In reply to the Chairman, witness said the defendant was wearing the suit of clothes produced, the pair of boots and cap. Witness told the defendant the property was valued at £2 7s. 3d., and he replied It’s dear suit, I could have got a better one at Hull for 15s.”—Defendant, who had nothing to say, consented to be dealt with summarily.—Supt. Vine said he knew nothing of the defendant. He had told him (Supt. Vine) that fie was a native of Bradford, and had come from Hull. His parents lived in Canada. —Defendant was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour. Tuesday. —Before Mr. Harrv Scarlett 'in the chair). Sir John Bromlev, C.8., Dr. W. F. Crosskey, Alderman J. H. Every, Mr. H. H. Pownall, Mr. T. Fletcher Yearsley, Mr. J. I. Blencowe, and Mr. VV. Norman. School Cases. —Harry Taylor, of Denton Island, was summoned by the East Sussex Education Authority for not sending his child to school regularly. —School Attendance Officer Simpson stated that the school the child attended was opened times and the child only attended five times. —The Bench imposed a fine of 5s. —William Boniface, of Piddinghoe, was summoned by the East Sussex Education Authority for a similar offence. In this case, School Attendance Officer Simpson said the school was opened 62 times and the child had only attended 35 times. The parents had already had to pay Is. 6d. in fines in respect of other children. The Bench imposed a fine of 20s.—Joseph Pittam, of Denton Island, was summoned by the East Sussex Education Authority for not sending his child to school. In this case the school was opened 62 times and defendant’s child only attended eight times. The Bench imposed a fine of ss. Speedy Motorists. —The following cases in which the defendants were summoned for driving motor cars at an excessive speed on the road between Danehill and South Common, Chailey, a distance of about eight miles, on June 4th, were heard. In each case Mr. Lawson Lewis appeared for the police.—John Henry George, of Pleasants Court. East Grinstead, did not appear, but was represented by Mr. Thomas, of Uckfield, who pleaded guilty. It was stated that defendant covered the distance in 10 minutes, which worked out t.iat he travelled just under miles per hour.—Mr. Thomas said that there was a peculiarity about the Sussex police in timing motor cars, they gave the drivers no warning at the time they stopped them, and consequently it was hard tor them to remember what rate they travelled when they received the summons two or three days afterwards. They were unable to get witnesses, and be submitted that it was most unfair that all advantages should be in favour of the police.—The Bench imposed a fine of £2 and T6s. 6d. costs. —Herman Petzing, of 51, Fansh aw-avenue, Barking, Essex, did not appear, and warrant for disobeying the summons was issued, to be held over for one week. It was stated that the defendant covered the distance in 19 minutes, and his average speed worked out to about 25 miles per hour. —Henry Joseph Birch, of 122, Fort-road. Old Kent Road London, S.E., also did not appear, and a warrant for disobeying summons, to be held over for a week, was issued. —Defendant was alleged to have travelled at a rate of 32 miles per hour.—Henry Thos. Blackburn, of 45, Becklow-road, Shepherds Bush, did not appear, but was represented by Mr. Thomas, who pleaded guilty.—Defendant was said to have travelled at an average rate of 25 miles fter hour. A previous conviction at Mortlake was proved bv P.C. Collins, and one at Kingston bv P.C. Beck.—The Bench imposed fine of £5 and £1 18s. 6d. costs.—Hugo Watson Peacock, o#2, Westbourne-crescent. London, W., did not appear, but was represented by Mr. Thomas, who pleaded guilty.—Defendant was alleged to have driven at 28 miles per hour. A previous conviction at Kingston having been proved by P.C. Beck, the Bench imposed a fine of £5 and £1 6s. 8d costs.—ln the two following cases the offences were committed on the sth June at West Firle.—Herbert Richard Hales, of 114, Belsize-road, Hampstead, did not appear, but sent a letter pleading guilty.—Mr. Lawson Lewis said that the average speed in this case was just under 26 miles per hour.—The Bench imposed a fine ®f £2 and 16s. 6d. costs. —Charles Edward Hobgood was the only defendant to appear in person, and he was also represented by Mr. Thomas, and pleaded guilty.—Evidence was given to the effect that defendant travelled at a rate of about 27* miles per hour.—The Bench imposed a fine of £2 10s. and 16s. 6d. costs.—Detective-Sergeant Waghorn gave formal evidence in each of the above cases. t cr. No License. —Thomas Herbert Clayton, 65, Alb any-street, London, was summoned for driving a motor car without a license Firle on sth June. Detective-Sergeant Waghorn stated that on the sth June he stopped the defendant, who was driving motor car at Firle, and asked him for bis license. He produced one dated 29th December, 1909, which would have been out of date on 28th December, 1910, and was therefore five months out of date. Witness told defendant he should have to report the matter, and he replied that he had written for one two days previous. —The Bench imposed a fine of £3 and 6s. (>}sts. Before Mr. J. I. Blencowe (in the chair) and Dr. W. F. Crosskey. i £ No Rear Lights. —Commander Scarlett, of Lckfielo, was summoned for failing to keep the rear index plate of his motor car illuminated at Lewes on 25th June. • Defendant pleaded guilty.—P.C. Sopp stated that on the 25th of last month, about 10.20 p.m., he was on duty in the Cliffe High-street, when a motor car passed him, he noticed it had no rear light so he shouted to the driver to stop, which he did. He examined the lamp, and found it in a good condition. —The Bench imposed a fine of 10s. and 6s. costs. —Gilbert Campling, of Highstreet, Kensington, was summoned for a similar offence at Lewes on 22nd June. —After hearing the evidence of P.C. Jupp, the Bench impossed a fine ot 10s. and 6s. costs. Name Wanted. —Robert Bourne, of the Prince of Wales Mailing-hill. Lewes, was summoned for not affixing his name to his licensed premises.—P.C. Steer stated that on the 20th June he was on duty in Mallmgs.reet, and when he was outside the defendant’s premises’he noticed that there was no name attached. He informed the defendant, who said that the house had recently been done up by Mr. Bussey who had not replaced his name. —The Bench dismissed the case on payment of costs. On Coronation Day.— William Lipscombe. of Newhaven, was summonde by Montague William Lavington, of the Blue Anchor, Newhaven, tor being drunk and refusing to quit his licensed premises on tlm 22nd June. —Prosecutor stated that about 1 p.m. on the 22nd of June defendant came to his house and asked for some beer. Witness saw he was drunk and refused to serve him, and asked him to leave the premises. He refused, and took up other people’s beer and started drinking it. Witness asked him to leave and he went out the back way. In a few minutes he returned and commenced to drink other people’s beer again, and witness had to call tfie police.—Defendant, who pleaded guilty, said he only drunk the King’s health.— The Bench imposed a fine of £l. MOTOR SPIRIT PURCHASES. —Dealers in Motor Spirit arc now required to keep a record of their purchases. Books specially ruled and printed for the purpose may be had at Is. 3d. each, or post free 1». 6d., from W. E. Baxter Limited, Printers. ** Suasex Express Office, Lewes. EASY AND RAPID WRITING can be readily acquired by using Baxter’s Express Pen, together with Pelican Ink. Pens, 2s. 6d. per gross, or in sixpenny boxes of 1$ doten. Pelican Ink, in glass bottles. 6d., I*., Is. 6d., and 2s. each, the larger size being tax flic most economical. —W. E. Baxter Limited, Sussex Express Office, Lewes. nnDEATH: Notes taken from"When war broke out, the Government requisitioned hundreds of merchant ships, which became known as the "transports", and they spent the next four years conveying government supplies over to the French channel ports. In 1982, I was fortunate enough to be able to talk to a Newhaven man who served on the transports. He said he remembered sailing to such places as St Valery-sur-Somme, Dunkirk, Boulogne, Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Treport and Dieppe. After the ships were loaded, they waited off the breakwater until dusk, when a tugboat came alongside each ship and gave the captain his instructions for where he was to sail to. As with all operations at the port, the whole matter involved a high level of secrecy. Those ships which were to sail up-channel, sailed closely to the coast up to Dungeness where they turned in the direction of France. Each convoy had an escort of Royal Navy ships. The crews of the transports kept to simple working hours - 4 hours on, 4 hours off - for the duration of the outward and return journeys. During 1917, Henry (more commonly known as Harry), was serving on The Duchess, one of the seven ships owned by J.Hay and Sons of Glasgow using the port of Newhaven during the war. The others in the J.Hay fleet were The Duke, the Monarch, The Emperor, The Queen, The Sultan and The Viscount. Records show that prior to the war, the Duchess plied her trade between a multitude of different ports - over a period of two months she visited Galway, Whitehaven, Limerick, Glasgow, Dieppe, Alderney, London, Sunderland, Yarmouth, Goole, Plymouth, Cork, Ayr, Dublin, Troon, Cardiff and Honfleur.nnAt 09.08pm on 30th June 1917, the Duchess slipped out of Newhaven Harbour and assembled off the breakwater with 27 other ships. These comprised of Transports, Torpedo Boats, Mine-Sweepers and other escorts vessels. Later in the evening they set off along the coast towards Dungeness. I have not been able to find any records of her cargo; it could have been anything from munitions, oats and hay for the horses, coal, food, ordnance stores, canteen stores or uniforms.nnUntil I was able to check the appropriate records, the only information I had was the anecdotal memories from my family. Now was time to find out if this was correct. The Duchess didn't hit a mine, but it was very likely that it was "blown sky high". One of the escort ships, Torpedo Boat 3, included the following information in the ship's log: "1 July. 12.15am: Transport and HMS Cossack collide. Depth Charges from Cossack blew up the Transport which sank 12.16am. Closed Transport searched for survivors. Picked up 4 survivors of Transport SS Duchess 02.00am. Proceeded to the Assistance of Cossack - took in tow. Arrived Newhaven and discharged survivors"nnAnother escort ship HMS Leven, had a similar entry in her log - "Went to assistance of HMS Cossack in collision. Arrived on scene and found Cossack safely afloat, her stern being badly damaged"nnNotes from"50 43 57N; 00 29 42E. This former railway steamer built at Troon in 1899 used to have the grander title of the Duchess of Fife. But either way, her noble career was brought to an end by a collision with a destroyer on 1 July, 1917. At the time, the Duchess was carrying Government Stores from Newhaven to France. She sank so swiftly that nine of her crew were lost. The Duchess is 177ft long with a beam of 27ft, and now lies in 17m on a sandy sea bed from which she stands 6m proud."nnMILITARY: Awarded Mercantile Marine Medal