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6 Priory Road

History of 6 Priory Road

1918:

George Essam, butcher

In January 1916 George was assaulted near the Four Lamps on Maids Causeway. He was on his way home at around 11pm on a Saturday evening when he was viciously attacked for no reason.

Cambridge Independent Press Friday 15th February 1916

ASSAULT ON THE HIGHWAY Cambridge Man Set Upon and Beaten by Soldiers. A MOTIVELESS CRIME.

The Light Regulations may be an admirable device for stopping damage by Zeppelins, but there is no doubt that they are directly responsible for an increase in a type of crime that is almost extinct In England, and certainly has not been known in Cambridge for a long tine the assaulting of innocent pedestrians on tho road. It is certainly hard that citizens doing their best to comply with the law should lay themselves open this form of molestation, and the only possible way of stopping it is by increasing vigilance on the part of the police and the special constables, and strong action with regard to drunkenness. It will be remembered that a report appeared in these columns about month ago, stating that a lady had been set upon by soldiers, and only saved from maltreatment by her cries for help.

Another assault (also, sad to relate, by a gang of soldiers) was perpetrated in Maid’s-causeway on a Saturday evening. This crime in its savagery recalls the days of Jonathan Wild and Jack Sheppard, and has its counterpart in the unreasoning atrocities of the modern Parisian apache.

The victim was Mr. George Essam, a butcher, employed by Messrs. Eastman, Ltd. He was returning from work about II o’clock on Saturday night and approaching the Four Lamps at the end of Maid’s-causeway, he met three soldiers. They all appeared the worse for drink, and one without the slightest warning felled Mr. Rssani to the ground with blow to the head from a stick. Mr. Essam lost consciousness, and remembered nothing more until he found himself lying in the road about twelve o’clock, his face bruised and covered with blood, and his arms exceedingly painful. He had evidently been hit and kicked several times while on the ground. He staggered home as best could, and went to bed. The next day he found that his right eye was black, and the whole of the left side of his face cut and discoloured. He was unable move his right arm and thinking that the shoulder was dislocated, he sent for Dr. Johnson, who found that the shoulder was very badly bruised, but that no bones were broken. Both his arms were discoloured with bruises, and he moved them only with great pain. He has had to keep to his bed ever since. The cause of this cowardly assault is a mystery, the only explanation being that the soldiers were in drunken rage. Mr. Essam was carrying money in his pocket, but this had not been taken, so that robbery must be ruled out.

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