Evening Post 1920 - 6

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2 February - 7 February 1920
Death of an adventurous Jerseyman in China
William Mesny and his son Hushen Pin

The death occurred recently at Hankow of General William Mesny, a native of Jersey, who had spent close on 60 years in China.

Born in Trinity on 9 October 1842, William Mesny at the age of 12 left home as a sailor boy and travelled to various parts of the world. He landed at Shanghai in 1860 and ran the Taiping blockade between Shanghai and Hankow until captured by the Taipings in Fushan in November 1862.

He was released some months later, and joined the customs service at Hankow, but resigned at the end of 14 months. He established the Hupeh Iron and Brass Works, and sold the concern to the Imperial Government.

From 1868 to 1874 he was campaigning with the Chinese in the western parts of China, and during that time he rose step by step in the native service until he attained the rank which entitled him to the title of General.

General Mesny was justly proud of the long list of honours which had been conferred on him by the native authorities in his earlier days. He spoke Chinese as fluently as he did English, was a great Chinese scholar and an author and publisher.

In the course of an obituary notice, the North China Herald says: “Whether good or ill fortune befell him he remained the same cheery, good-humoured soul he ever was. He leaves behind a name for kindliness, true friendship and attention to duty, and that, after all, is better than a record of the great deeds recorded of some soldiers.”

Letter to the Editor
The Restrictions

Dear Sir. From the columns of your paper I see that there was a splendid attendance at Great Union Road lecture on the 27th. On the afternoon and evening of the 29th there was another entertainment with an organ recital and a lecture packed to suffocation.

There is evidently no danger in attending such places of semi-religious entertainment. But the theatre and picture palaces, they are terrible sinks of infection, that is why they are disinfected after each performance and kept sweet and clean.

Let us be reasonable – laws made for all should be obeyed by all. If meetings are to be discontinued (though we do make ourselves a laughing stock) let us carry it out in churches, chapels, tea shops, clubs, town halls, auction rooms, Post Office, theatres, picture palaces and railway trains, and for goodness sake alter our Rip Van Winkle Act, let us wake up to sanity and common sense.

Yours etc, Fair Play

Property transfer

We learn that a big English trading firm, which is already represented in St Helier’s, is negotiating for the purchase of a number of shops in Halkett Place with a view to turning the whole into different departments of one huge establishment.

St John’s Centeniers election

The St Jeannais now know the result of the contest which has created such a stir in their little parish. At the very best of times this little community is fairly easily aroused, especially if they consider someone is attempting to interfere with their undoubted right. And so in this instance, when a third candidate entered the arena, not altogether unexpectedly perhaps, but certainly unpleasantly, it was not surprising that matters began to warm up.

Ever since the night of the famous electoral meeting the parties have been busy scouring the parish, infusing a new spirit and putting new life into the older electors, encouraging the younger ones and generally turning over every possible electoral stone.

At first the prevailing impression was that Messrs Gartrell and Le Quesne would be sure and easy winners, but as time went on this certainly was not so pronounced. It was not known quite on which lines the Le Brun party would set to work; it was realised that if they did not lay claim to being diplomatic, they could at least be artful.

It was stated that the Le Brun side, realising that their only hope of salvation lay in appealing to the sentiments of their fellow parishioners, set to work pleading the cause of Centenier Gartrell, a tried and valued servant, and then battering their argument very freely by expounding the qualities of their own man and the need there was of having a Centenier in the Herupe Vingtaine.

Returning officer: Jurat Crill

Shortly before 11 o’clock Jurat Crill was received at the Parish Hall by Centenier Gartrell and Mr Ph Le Quesne, two of the candidates.

The usual formalities having been gone through and everything been found in order, Jurat Crill proceeded to read the Act of the Royal Court ordering the election. The empty urn, having been exhibited by Mr P J Sohier, and then the seal duly affixed, voting commenced in earnest.

Centenier Gartrell’s interests at the poll were watched by Mr Ph Barette, those of Mr Le Quesne by Deputy P H Le Masurier, and Mr P J Le Brun by Mr Chas Simon.

The first to record a vote was Mrs E St John Nicolle, wife of the Rector of the parish, she being followed by Messrs J B Le Quesne, J P Vaudin, J Le Masurier and John P Le Brun.

Voting continued to be very brisk for some time, the fine weather inducing even the very oldest electors in the parish to come out. Among the lady early voters we noticed Mrs P H Le Masurier and Mrs Le Boutillier, while it is estimated that some 30 ladies exercised their recently acquired privileges.

At 1.5 o’clock Jurat Crill announced that the poll was closed. At about 1.45 the result was announced as follows:

  • Gartrell 189
  • Le Quesne 109
  • Le Brun 107


  • Gartrell 30
  • Le Quesne 1
  • Le Brun 50

Cross voting

  • Le Brun and Gartrell 54
  • Le Brun and Le Quesne 3
  • Gartrell and Le Quesne 105

Out of the 244 voters there was one spoilt paper.

We might add that Messrs Gartrell and Le Quesne’s supporters were catered for at the St John’s Hotel, Mr Salou.

Overseas Trading company registration
The familiar gates of the Sun Works at First Tower

The Attorney-General has obtained registration of the memorandum and articles of association of the company to be known as the “Overseas Trading Company, Limited”. The registered offices of the Company will be in Jersey.

The Company has been formed to take over and carry on as a going concern the business now carried on in Jersey and at Buenos Ayres, Argentine and elsewhere by Messrs Walkers Ltd, of the Sun Works, First Tower, Jersey, of tea and coffee merchants and blenders; also to purchase and carry on as a going concern the business of exporter from the British Isles of tea, coffee, cocoa and general merchandise, now carried on by Messrs W H and F J Horniman and Co Ltd, of 27-33 Wormwood Street, London.

The capital of the Company is £670,000, divided as follows:- 200 Cumulative 6 per cent. Preference shares of £100 each. 1,200 “A” Cumulative Preference shares of £100 each. 80,000 “B” Cumulative Preference shares of £1 each. 100,000 Preferred Ordinary shares of £1 each. 350,000 Ordinary shares of £1 each.

The founders of the company are Messrs Thomas Frederick Walker, Frank Walker, Joseph Walker, C H Brockhurst, John Eric Horniman, George Arthur Pollard and William Bruce Douglas.

The Pomme d'Or Hotel with the Southampton Hotel on the right
The Pomme d’Or changes hands

We understand that the Pomme d'Or Hotel, perhaps the oldest established house in the Island, has, during the last few days been disposed of to Mr L J Simon, managing director of West’s Pictures. Mr Simon arrived in the Island this morning to complete the purchase, and is staying at the Halkett Hotel.

In the course of a conversation we were able to obtain with him, he stated that the purchase was entirely a personal one, and is in no way connected with West’s.

Mr Simon also stated that it is the intention to re-open the hotel in May of the present year, but owing to the shortage of time at his disposal he is unable to make any drastic alteration, such as he contemplates, as it is his intention to bring this old-established house on a par as far as possible with the hotels to be found at the holiday resorts both in England and in France.

Despite the change in ownership, it will be the intention of Mr Simon to preserve the character of the hotel.[1]

We wish to express our satisfaction that this long-established hotel, a landmark in St Helier, is passing into the hands of a gentleman of proved business ability and energy, and this change of ownership cannot be but for the good of the Island.

Notice - Issue of War Gratuity

The payment of a War Gratuity to NCOs and men of the Royal Jersey Militia having been sanctioned by the States of Jersey at the rate of two pence per day (5s per month of 30 days) for each day, for which pay was issued for Militia duty under Arms between 30 July 1914 and 23 February 1917, this gratuity will be paid at the Town Arsenal daily from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and also on Thursdays and Saturdays from 3 to 6 pm, as follows:

  • Royal Jersey Artillery, Engineer Company, Medical Corps – between 2 February and 7 February 1920, both dates inclusive. The dates for Infantry will be notified later.
  • NCOs and Men who have served in the Regular Army and claim Militia Gratuity must produce their paymaster’s final statement and accounts before Militia Gratuity can be issued.
  • NCOs and Men who have already received War Gratuity from Imperial Funds in respect of Mobilised Militia service, are not entitled to the States’ Gratuity.

Signed: L T Bowles, Lieut-Colonel, AAG (Militia), District Officer, Jersey.

Not a Deserter

The Officer Commanding Minden Coy, 1st Batallion Lancashire Fusiliers, and Pte Channing, write stating that the statement that Pte A P Channing, who was presented at the Police Court on 19 January, and who subsequently left the Island under escort, was charged with desertion from HM’s forces, is false.

Pte Channing, the officer states, was arrested for being an absentee, he having overstayed his embarkation furlough by four days. As is generally known, a soldier does not become a deserter until he has been absent 21 days without leave. We are pleased to be able to give full publication to this denial.

Serious accident to a farmer

Shortly before 2 o’clock today (31 January) a farmer named Corlay, who resides at Hauteville (Little Sisters of the Poor), met with a serious accident, as the result of which he was taken to the Hospital.

Mr Corlay, who had just bought half a ton of coal, was, it is stated, driving home when, in turning the corner of Gloucester Street, the horse bolted. He succeeded in pulling the animal up and decided to get down in order to lead it along.

Unfortunately he missed his step and fell face downwards into the roadway. The horse started off and the van passed over his shoulders.

Several witnesses rushed to the man’s assistance, and seeing it was evident he had been rather badly hurt, removed him to the General Hospital where he was immediately attended to. On examination it was found that Corlay had sustained a fracture of three ribs and it is feared that one rib has penetrated the lung.

Spirit of piracy revived: Jersey sailor gets three months

At the Cornwall Assizes held in Bodmin, Thomas Ashton Justin Buckley, 18, seaman, a native of Jersey, pleaded not guilty to stealing articles of food from a vessel in Fowey Harbour, the goods of Captain Richard Owen. Mr R E Dummett prosecuted.

Captain Owen, who is 75 years of age, described how, at midnight the prisoner entered his cabin, held a pistol at his head and said: “Hands up”. The prisoner then asked for a loaf and three pots of jam, remarking: “Be quick about it or you will be dead men.”

Captain Owen told the mate to give the things to Buckley, who said there were men on deck with knives and revolvers who were ready to put lead into them if they gave the alarm.

Under threats, he wrote out an order for goods for the prisoner and also a voucher for £5 which was said to be for moving the ship. Buckley made them make him a cup of tea and then asked if there was any poison in it.

Captain Owen replied that there were three cups and the prisoner could make his own choice. After quoting a text of Scripture he said he belonged to some Bolshevist society known as the “Break of Day” gang.

Mr Justice Shearman: “Is this the sequel to a picture house entertainment in Fowey?”

Mr Dummett: “It seems very much like it.”

In further evidence for the prosecution the fact was elicited that the pistol was a toy one costing 10½d.

Buckley denied any felonious intent, saying he would not have done it had he been sober.

The jury found him guilty and the Judge, in passing sentence of three months imprisonment, said when he first heard of the case he thought the old Cornish spirit of piracy had been revived, but he found that the prisoner had nothing to do with the county.

Situation wanted

Sark boy wants situation on farm. Write “La Rocque” to EP Office.

Silver peahen

Lost – a silver Japanese peahen from Carteret Farm, Grouville. £2 reward. Return to Chas Le Cuirot at above address.

Notes and references

  1. It is not known how long Mr Simon owned the hotel and how much work was done after he acquired it, but by the end of the decade it was empty and derelict, remaining so until its acquisition by Mr and Mrs George Simon in 1930
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