King George V thanks Stanford mother Mrs Turner as he five sons go off to war

From the Grays and Tilbury Gazette, November 1914

Congratulations on five sons in the army

STANFORD-le-Hope has a very proud mother in the person of Mrs J. Turner of Great Garlands, Stanford, who this week has received a letter from His Majesty the King, congratulating her upon the fact that she has five sons serving with the Army. Their names are, Lance-Corporal W. Turner, 1st Essex Regiment; Gunner S.J. Turner, and Gunner S.G. Turner, both with Royal Garrison, Artillery; Private E.C. Turner, 1st Essex Regiment; and Private H.C. Turner, 1st Grenadiers.

The fact that Mrs Turner possessed the exceptional record of having five sons attached to His Majesty’s military forces was brought to the notice of Lady Gwendolen Guiness, through the Grays and Tilbury Gazette, and she brought it to the attention of the King and on Saturday Mr E. Biddell conveyed the following letter to Mrs Turner:-

“Buckingham Palace

November 24th, 1914.

"Madame – I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment five sons in the Army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations and to assure you that

"His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example in one family of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire.

"I have the honour to be Madame, your obedient servant;

J.M. PONSONBY, Keeper of the Privy Purse.”

Mrs Turner greatly treasures the letter which she has received, and is justly proud of the honour conferred upon her. The father of the five soldier sons is employed as a horse-man at Stanford by Mr S.J. Blyth.


Editor’s comment on cessation of sports reports

On Saturday morning, with portentous gravity, several London daily papers announced that until the close of the war they would not report professional football matches and only give the results. In other words they were going to try the system of boycott. It has never been a very successful way of enforcing a plan of action upon either an individual or a community, and if professional football continues to be played. I apprehend that the proposed boycott will be futile. If the public want reports of football matches, and it is a legitimate desire, means will be found to supply it, and when that has been done the boycott is ended.

I noticed a very sensible letter in the Daily Telegraph upon the question, wherein the writer pointed out that recruitment for war had affected attendances as much as 50 per cent at several of the leading football grounds. If that is not evidence of enthusiastic response, I don’t know what other testimony is wanted. The fact is that the leaders in this movement are doing their best to exploit a prejudice. It is a revival of the feeling among certain sections of the population that workmen have not the right to recreation on Saturday afternoons which others possess on every day of the week.

If I thought football matches affected recruiting I would not write a line in support, but I am convinced that the opposition movement is based on prejudice and not on well-founded fact, and should, therefore, be disregarded

Why are not other forms of sport attacked? That is the enigma and yet not an enigma. The sports untouched are the recreations of the attackers, and, therefore, sacrosanct – the height of selfishness.. If football grounds are closed, there is no excuse for keeping golf courses open, and even less, if that be possible, for the running of horse races -, the greatest professional sport of the country, and keeping from our Army hundreds of the finest cavalrymen in the world.

On the day that I saw the announcement, in the London Press, I went through the whole of the papers and found that the majority of them devoted two columns and over to horse racing, while one evening paper, which has led the way in this outburst of fanaticism, had so much as seven columns in early editions.

For myself, I would stop no sport in this country. Its various branches have largely contributed the recruits whom we possess, and whilst here and there, you get some leading examples of the stay-at-home, yet the response of the youth of this country has been so magnificent that future historians will count it a great credit to this generation. Let us secure all the men that are needed, press on with the task in and out of season; but don’t let us wear sackcloth and ashes while we are about it.


H.Dowsett, of Bulphan, has returned from the Expeditionary Force wounded in the right hand.

Mr David Allen, of the same parish, mourns the loss of a brother killed in action.

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