Simply News 1: Attack on war veteran – 16 bailed

Source: Yahoo News.

Sixteen people arrested in connection with the assault of an elderly war veteran and his wife have been bailed, police have said.

Bob Schofield, 89, was left bloodied and bruised after confronting intruders who broke into his house in Salterforth, Lancashire.

Mr Schofield was asleep with his wife Mollie, 87, when the couple were disturbed.

They were found hours later on Monday bleeding on the floor at their cottage.

Officers arrested 16 men on Friday in an operation in the Blackpool area.

Acting Detective Inspector Dave Groombridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a planned police operation made in connection with one of a number of lines of inquiry.”

“Information gleaned will be analysed and further action may result.”

“Two of the detained men are wanted in connection with other matters and will be escorted to other parts of the UK.”

“The police will continue to actively pursue all avenues of the investigation and we urge anyone with information to contact us directly or call Crimestoppers.”

He added: “Bob and Mollie continue to improve after their ordeal and have received numerous wishes of support and encouragement from across the country.”

“Family members have asked that their heartfelt thanks are made to all for the messages of support.”

Mr Schofield served in the Royal Navy on the notorious North Atlantic convoys taking aid to Britain’s allies in Russia.

He battled mountainous seas and enemy attack crewing escort ships on the missions across the North Sea from Scapa Flow to Murmansk.

Article source: Yahoo News.

Vocabulary notes

  • arrested, detained – taken by the police for questioning; locked up; not free.
  • in connection with – about; with reference to;
  • assault – attack; using violence;
  • war veteran – person who was previously in the armed forces;
  • intruder – a person who goes into a house, office or other place where they are not allowed, especially if they use force or tell lies to gain entry).
  • cottage – a small house usually in a village or in the countryside.
  • other matters – other things, questions, enquiries, events, etc.
  • ordeal – period of stress, danger and suffering.
  • wishes of support – messages of sympathy and encouragement from ‘well-wishers’ perhaps with a greeting card and/or flowers.
  • notorious – famous for bad reasons such as the dangers of those sea journeys. Also e.g. ‘notorious gangster’.
  • mission – a big task, aim, objective or purpose. In this context, it is a military mission – the orders given by the top commanders and government ministers.

Verbs and grammar notes

  • bailed is the regular past tense of bail. When the police bail someone it means that they have questioned them and decided what to do with them such as let them go home but they must come back to the police station or a court at a later date. See also the noun ‘baillif’ in connection with courts and legal procedures.
  • He was left bloodied = when the attackers left, he had signs of injury; he was cut and bleeding. Here ‘bloodied’ is an adjective describing how the victim was left. Note that ‘bloodied’ can also be used as a verb meaning the action done by the person who cased the injury. e.g. ‘The boxer bloodied his opponent’s nose.’

Proper nouns and place names

  • Salterforth – the village where the incident occurred.
  • Lancashire – a county in the north west of England.
  • Blackpool – a large town where the police headquarters are. Blackpool is famous as a seaside resort.
  • UK – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • North Atlantic – large ocean which has to be crossed by ships travelling between Europe and America.
  • Britain’s allies in Russia – During the Second World War (WWII), Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union cooperated with the Western allies to defeat Hitler’s army.
  • North Sea – a sea in northern Europe. You cross the North Sea when you sail from England to Norway or Germany, for example.
  • Scapa Flow – one of Britain’s most historic stretches of water. See:
  • Murmansk – a city in northern Russia famous for its naval base.

Other notes

  • Notice that the story uses “escort” twice. First, it says that two of the people arrested will be escorted to the police in another part of the country. Second, it refers to ‘escort ships’ during wartime. ‘Escorted’ means accompanied by someone; criminal suspects will be escorted because they are under arrest. Cargo ships may be escorted by military ships to protect them in a dangerous area. ‘Escort’ can also be used to refer to one person escorting another when they go out for entertainment, e.g. “He escorted her to the cinema” but this is a rather formal use.
  • The last sentence is particularly noteworthy:
    He battled mountainous seas and enemy attack crewing escort ships on the missions across the North Sea from Scapa Flow to Murmansk.
    Note the metaphorical expression ‘mountainous seas’ meaning that in terrible weather conditions the waves would be extremely high and dangerous. When it says ‘He battled mountainous seas’ the use of ‘battled’ emphasises that it was a struggle for survival against both the sea conditions and enemy attack.

This article is reproduced for language learning practice. Copyright acknowledged.