Barwick Historic Court Cases - Cycling without lights - A Barwick Hero Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page

Barwick Historic Court Cases
Cycling without lights ― A Barwick Hero

Barwicker No. 107 September 2012

On Tuesday the 21st June 1904 at the West Riding Petty Sessions Court, Harry Atack and Frederick Mouncey, miners, of Barwick, were summoned for cycling without lights at Barwick.

Police Constable Beattie said that on the night of the 11th June he saw Harry and Frederick cycling on Town Street Barwick (now known as Main Street) without lights. He shouted to them but they ignored him. Subsequently Harry said his light had gone out and Frederick stated he had no lamp. The Magistrate fined each 2 shillings with costs.

Harry Atack was born in the village in 1876 and worked underground as a coal hewer. In 1901 he lived with his wife Eliza Ann, who was from Stanks, on Aberford Road. They had at least 6 children.

Frederick Mouncey (Fred as most sources record him) was also Barwick born, he was baptised at All Saints' Church on the 10th August 1879, son of William and Mary Mouncey of Kiddal Lane. The family moved to Chapel Lane and he was brought up in the heart of the village. About the time of the offence he was a labourer working above ground in a local colliery, probably in Garforth. By 1911 he had moved onto the land working as a farm labourer. He never married and lived with his parents. During World War I he joined the army, enlisting in Harrogate in the West Riding Regiment. He later moved into the 10th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Tragically Private 41950 F. Mouncey was killed in action on the 20th September 1917 aged 38. He is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Hooge Crater in Belgium. Fred made a Will to dispose of his assets in the event of his death. This appears to have been lost so the Probate Court accepted a letter he sent home to his mother whilst in the Army.

Dear Mother,

Just another line or two hoping it will find you well as I am very well at present but I am going to France in the morning, Friday morning, so I hope you will keep well till I come back & don't bother your head about me as I shall be alright. I have made my Will & left all to you & chance anything happens, well we are not looking for that so I have something to go with. Tom brote (brought?) me that £1 note, so I am just going to seek him now so we are going to have a drink together, I have been doging (dodging?) about till now, 7 O Clock. Just got my pay 4s. last pay here, well I have got sick of been here it is up to the boots tops now & it is raining now, looks like been a wet night. I am sorry Billy he's going back he want to doge (dodge?) a bit more then the war will be over before he gets off. Well the next address will be the Northumberland Fusiliers, The Fighting Fifth, my No 41950, I had a postcard from sister the other day wishing me good luck over the pond & Billy wants a badge but I have not time to get him one or else I would, never mind I shall have to close now.
Go have a drink remember me to all, good luck to them also, myself first they say so good night Mother with best love from your son.

F. M.
Affidavit of handwriting and that Testator made his Will while a Soldier in Actual Military Service.

On the 30th day of April 1918 Administration (with Will) was granted to Mary Mouncey of Chapel Lane, Barwick in Elmet, widow and mother of the deceased, the residuary legatee. Gross Value of Estate £253 ‒ 8s ‒ lOd

Fred won't be remembered for the minor misdemeanour of cycling without lights but as a true Barwick hero who gave his life for King and Country and is rightly remembered along with all Barwickers who perished during the World Wars on the Memorial at the heart of our village.


Back to the top
Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page