Raid on 'The Ring': Police round up 180 men

After conscription, in 1916, the Police and the Military would often make raids on pubs or clubs with the hope of catching men, who were eligible for military service but who were trying to escape their obligations. One such raid happened here - at The Ring boxing club - on September 4th 1916. This club, which was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War, stood on the corner of Blackfriars and Union Street. That night the club was packed, and a boxing match was in full swing. However, the crowd soon sensed something was up. Police started moving through the crowd and checking papers and identity documents for those in and out of uniform. Men were questioned and examined: if they could not provide their civilian papers they were detained for further questioning. Once word got about, the crowd started to grow uneasy - some tried to flee but he doors to the club had been locked. A few climbed out of an upper floor window, but they were caught on the roof of the next door building. 180 men were taken away to the police station. Within this group, they found seven men who were absent without leave from their units - they were escorted back to their HQs. Another seven were discovered who had been summoned for military service but had failed to report: they were fined £3 and handed over to the military authorities.

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