Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 16 April 2014

In the 1916, a man was fined for buying his wife a drink – so was his wife and the barmaid

In the First World War, the British government faced up to one of its most serious enemies. Not the Germans or the Austrians, but alcohol. My article, Fighting spirits (and beer, cider and wine) looked at the ‘No treating rule’ that banned anyone from buying a round. But sometimes the prohibitions were more zealously imposed.

The Morning Post reported on 14th March, 1916, that a man was fined for buying his wife a drink. According to the report, “At Southampton yesterday Robert Andrew Smith was fined for treating his wife to a glass of wine in a local public-house. He said his wife gave him sixpence to pay for her drink. Mrs Smith was also fined £1 for consuming and Dorothy Brown, the barmaid, £5 for selling the intoxicant, contrary to the regulations of the Liquor Control Board.”