Many people were surprised to learn, during the week, that Mrs Cornwell, the mother of the 16-year-old hero of the Jutland battle, is living in poverty in the East End. No one was more surprised, apparently, than some of Mrs Cornwell's neighbours. They had an idea that the various funds that had been collected in the dead boy's honour had gone straight to his mother. In fact, all that she has had to live on since her husband died, apart from her earnings, is ten shillings a week that she gets from a Navy League fund and six shillings and sixpence which she gets for her son. At all events, it is definitely stated that she has had to work 12 hours a day to "keep the home and family together". Nor is this the whole of the ironic story. If Cornwell's mother has been forgotten, so, it seems, has his grave. It is described as a forlorn and derelict mound, at the base of which a weather-stained brass tablet sets forth that "the West Ham Ladies' Guild and the British and Foreign Sailors' Society are maintaining this grave until a permanent monument is erected".
Women urinating on the street in the small hours: the mark of a Britain in crisis, or the ultimate bonding experience?