Loss of an Eye

An injured solider in WW1 found himself in Hamilton Sheriff Court at the end of July 1915 charged with the assault of a neighbour. An assault which resulted in the loss of an eye.

John Hillhouse, was a Blantyre man who lived at former Craig Row, Auchentibber. One evening on 3rd July, upon hearing bad language used about his wife, John decided to track down exactly who had said it, and sought his revenge.

That evening after a few drinks, he called upon a neighbours house, belonging to John Smith, who was also worse for ware. He opened the door to see angry Hillhouse barging his way in.

It was said in court that Smith had slandered Hillhouse’s wife and a chair was used for the assault, John Smith being injured so badly, his eye had to later be removed.

John Hillhouse had been serving in the army in WW1 and had been injured in the Armentierres in October 1914. He recovered from that but was then injured again by shrapnel at Ypres and when he came home in 1915, he heard slanderous comments about his wife and naturally resented them.

He had gone to John Smith’s home to see what he meant and after barging his way in to Smith’s home and found him drunk. Some truths were exchanged between each man which escalated into a brawl, the injured man claiming self defence in his own home.

The judge had no patience. He made a great deal of how each man was wasting their lives immersed in drink and quarrel, when such great men were sacrificing themselves on the battlefield. Sentence was deferred on condition that a 2 month probation period was observed.

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