Typed Copy of a handwritten letter from Sarah Cahill, Secretary, Dulwich No-Conscription Fellowship to Catherine Mashall, Parliamentary Secretary copied By Permission of Cumbria County Council Archive' Service ref:DMAR/4/97
P.S. Yesterday when visiting Mr. Jope he (Pentonville)
informed me that it had just
been made a punishable offence to smile.
60 Limes Grove
26th. August, 1917.
Dear Miss Marshall,
As I knew I should be visiting Mr. Jope at Pentonville yesterday, & he was a personal friend of Mr. Ashton's, I thought he could give me his address, but unfortunately he did not know it, & there is no one else now that I can make enquiries of so must leave it to you.
There is one of our members who was visited recently in Wandsworth and was told about Ashton. He promised to find out what he could in regard to him. And as this man comes out at the beginning of next month we shall no doubt hear from him & whatever he tells us about him and we will send on to you at once.
There are one or two other things I want to call your attention to. I saw a Mr. Hyams in Wandsworth since speaking to you & he told me that the month of solitary confinement was still in practice there, the reason I am bringing this forward is that another of our members released after the second sentence from Exeter (E.W. Harby), whom you may know hunger struck, has now been court martialled & removed to Wandsworth Prison, & I am afraid what the effect of that month will be on him because when I saw him in the hospital that seemed the part he dreaded so much. Can you ascertain if what Mr. Hyams said is correct!
Now I would like to speak of A.E. Allen in Exeter Prison, whom I spoke to you about in the lobby of the House of Commons, that when I visited him he seemed so gloomy thinking the stand he was making was useless as no one knew anything about it. Since then I have had two letters from him which are much more cheerful in tone, but in the last he speaks very badly of his health. He says that sometimes he feels quit silly and his legs are so weak that they can hardly carry his body and that he has taken to feeling faint now and then. He adds that the M.O. says he is slightly anemic. He will not be leaving this prison for another 2 months & I hear the food is very bad there. Do you think anything can be done in the matter.