Aliens in Somerset.
At the outbreak of war German civilians living in Britain were required to register under the Aliens Registration Act; those that were in breach of the act were subject to criminal convictions and imprisonment. The registers for the County Gaol at Shepton Mallet show ‘Aliens’ who were punished for breach of the Act:
Carl Meininger originally of Berlin, but resident in Clutton, working as a waiter, was sentenced to six months hard labour on 29 Sep 1914
Karl Unmuth, a greengrocer resident in Clutton, received 6 months hard labour on 1 Oct 1914
Jacob Friedmann, Maurice Eisengweig, Leib Kretschmer and Enoch, Joachin and David Bernstein, all from Russia, diamond polishers were charged in March 1915 as Alien enemies who failed to register. However, all were discharged, presumably for being of Russian nationality rather than German.
Ellen Schult a waitress from Frome was convicted on 18 Feb 1918 to one month’s imprisonment for failing to give notice of a change of address and being an alien enemy travelling without permit.