Concealing a Deserter, 1918

1976 Harts Land on Glasgow Rd

Next, the story of a Blantyre lady who found herself in bother with the law when trying to hide a deserting soldier.

Mary Smith Lynch lived at Hart’s Land, on Glasgow Road, Blantyre (the approximate area is now just in front of the Leisure Centre).

Back in March 1918, Mary was charged at Hamilton Sheriff Court after concealing a Royal Scots Fusilier in her house there on 17th February that year. In submitting a plea of guilty for the accused, Mr John Cassells, solicitor, Hamilton, stated that she was a soldier’s wife, and her husband was at the front. She had five small children at home with her.

The soldier whom she was charged with concealing was actually her nephew, and his house was a few doors away on the same street. His wife had died on 8th February, and he had been allowed back to bury her, but in his grief, could not face going back to the front so soon, just a week after.

Seeing his state of mind, Mary took him in, along with his deceased wife’s father. The soldier then deliberately overstayed his leave, and when the police came to inquire on his whereabout, Mrs Lynch foolishly denied that he was there. Not believing her, and following a search of the property, the police then found him beneath a bed.

In court, the judge said he could not see how he could send to prison a soldier’s wife with five little children who had been looking out for his family. The case was adjourned until 27th March when she later received a fine.

Pictured in 1976 is Hart’s Land, Glasgow Road
From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

David Mcintosh Great photo my family stayed above my grandfathers barbers shop,Jimmy Cleary was my grandfathers soap boy,we looked into Harper’s garage at the front bedroom and the park at the back .Happy days.
Rena Caullay To the right of this picture is the entrance into the public park. I lived opposite in central buildings. Thank you for sharing. X.

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