One hundred years ago the Mail’s front page was given over mostly to advertising.
But one of the advertisements of February 13 was particularly pertinent to the time.
5 Questions to men who have NOT enlisted.
1 If you are physically fit and between 19 and 38 years of age, are you really satisfied with what you are doing to-day?
2 Do you feel happy as you walk along the streets and see OTHER men wearing the King’s uniform?
3 What will you say in years to come when people ask you - “Where did YOU serve” in the great War?
4 What will you answer when your children grow up and say, “Father, why weren’t you a soldier too?”
5 What would happen to the Empire if every man stayed at LIKE YOU?
Your KING and COUNTRY Need YOU.
Supt Rawding is the local Recruiting Officer.
In stark contrast to this call to arms, the next column went into great detail in explaining ‘How Society Marriages are Arranged’.
Of the Mail’s eight pages, which cost 1d, four pages were given over to national news and items linked to the war, but there was plenty of local news giving the social side of life, as well as concerns for local men serving their country.
Here are just some of the items:
Letters from the Front
Private J Frow of D Company, 1st Lincolns, writing under date of 26th January, to his relatives at Tealby, says: -
“Just a few lines in answer to your kind and welcome letter, which I received yesterday, hoping you are all well, as this leaves me at present. I thank you very much for what you sent me, which was just what I wanted. The candles are most useful, and matches too, for we have to pay 21/2d each out her for candles like you sent. The pastry was grand and also the cake. I am really well, in fact they tell me I am getting fat. I have not been ill at all yet. I am pleased to say I am not either sick or sorry. I don’t regret coming out here, for I have seen things which you at home could not picture. I have the pleasure to know I have done for a few Germans what they would like to have done for me. You ought to see us in a bayonet charge. Some are shouting, some cursing, some singing, until we get together, and then - well you can guess the rest. You ought to see an artillery duel, it is murder. I shall never forget New Year’s Day, the way they shelled us and we shelled them. We were only about 100 yards apart in the trenches, and it was a hell upon earth. We saw some of them blown to atoms. You would think it dreadful to see them blown into the air 12 or 14 feet and come down in pieces, but we get used to it. We have had a bit better weather this week, no rain for three whole days. That is wonderful for here. I must tell you I have got put on a Staff job now. I don’t go to the trenches or do any fighting at all. I am on the sanitary police in a village where the troops stay when they come out of the trenches for a rest. It is better than the trenches, so long as it lasts, which I hope it will while the war is over. I don’t think it will last long when the good weather comes, for we have a lot of troops out here waiting to have a go. We have had the worst to contend with. I have been in the trenches up to the knees in water and mud. I hope it will soon be over, for I know you all want to see me home again safe and sound. I shall be able to tell more when I see you than I am allowed to write, but you must not worry yourselves about me, for I don’t worry about myself whether in the trenches or out, so I hope you will keep alright until I come to see you all. Don’t be long before you write, for I like to hear how you all are getting on. You must excuse more this time.” In a postscript the writer says: “We have heard of the British naval success in the North Sea. We get daily papers a day old.”
Likes the work
Writing to his parents and to a friend (Mr E J Richardson) under date of the 28th January, Pte Fred Hannath of Market Rasen, who is at the front serving the Royal Army Medical Corps, states that he was on night duty in a hospital that week, and had been very busy, a terrible lot of sick and wounded having been brought in. He likes the work very much. The place he was at was bombarded the previous Monday, bombs flying like twopenny crackers.
Miniature Rifle Shooting – A match has recently taken place between teams of members of the local Rifle Club captained by Mr B Cooper and Mr W Casterton respectively. Victory rested with the latter’s team by the narrow margin of one point, the score being 624 and 623.
From the Front – We were very pleased to welcome home last week Corporal George Garner, of the King’s Royal Rifles, who has seen considerable active service, and from whom we recently published a most interesting letter. Corporal Garner was invalided home on account of frost-bite, and was sent on to Cambridge Hospital. It is interesting to note that the officer in command of his company is Capt George Tryon, of Middle Rasen, and that within a few days of each other they were invalided to the same hospital, and were discharged as convalescents within a day of each other, the corporal reaching home a day in advance of his captain.
Teetotalism His Only Hope - Before B Hardy and C Conway, Esqs, at the Police Court on Monday, Thomas Fridlington, labourer, Middle Rasen, was arraigned on two charges - being found drunk on licensed premises of the White Swan Inn on 6th February, and with assaulting PC Gibbons in the execution of his duty. ............ The Chairman advised the defendant to sign the pledge, and not touch the drink again.
Special Constables – Before B Hardy and C Conway, Esqs, at the Police Court yesterday (Friday), the following were sworn in as special constables – Messrs R Spencer and F Dove, Middle Rasen; and W A Smith and Walter Richardson, Market Rasen.
The Rev S H Harvard-Watts, Rector, has received the following letter, dated 17th December, from Lieut G W Harris, officer commanding B Company of the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment: - “Dear Mr Harvard-Watts, - On behalf of the men of B Company, 1st Lincolnshire Regiment, allow me to express our sincere thanks for your splendid boxful of things. If you only knew what it means to fellows out here to receive parcels, you and your parishioners would be amply repaid for your trouble. I am pleased to say that we came out of the trenches on Christmas Eve, and were able to enjoy our Christmas in the comparative comfort of billets.”
Brigg Tradesman’s Tragic Death
Mr Joseph Frankish, a well-known Brigg townsman, passed away with tragic suddenness on Thursday night, in last week. Proceeding along the Market Place, he was noticed to stagger and fall. He was taken into the Angel Hotel, where he passed away in a few minutes. The deceased gentleman had for many years been connected with the Farmers’ Company as traveller and secretary, and was a familiar figure at the North Lincolnshire, Doncaster and Retford Markets. The late Mr Frankish was a prominent Freemason, being a P.P.G.A.D.C, and also P.M.D.C. and secretary of the Ancholme (Brigg) Lodge. For several years, Mr Frankish was secretary to the Nursing Institution. He was also a staunch Churchman and had held the office of warden. The deceased, who was 58 years of age, leaves a widow and an up-grown daughter. The funeral took place on Sunday and was largely attended. The Rev Canon Claye, D.D., officiated.
Dog’s Raid on Sheep
Tom Riggall, a farm servant, of East Firsby, was summoned before magistrates at Lincoln on Friday, for not having control over his dog at Saxby on the night of January 31st.
Mr C H Neave, son of Mr George Neave of Saxby, went to look at his father’s sheep on the night in question, and saw a shepherd dog worrying them.
In one corner thirty-six of the sheep were lying dead, and about as many others were huddled together on the top of them. He pulled the living sheep out, went home, got a gun and shot the dog.
The magistrates said the case was a very serious one. They had nothing to do with the damage, and imposed a fine of 20s and costs on the defendant for not having the dog under control.
Local Roll of Honour – Below we give a list of local residents who are serving with Hi Majesty’s Forces: -
Major A L Tennyson d’Eyncourt, Berkshire Regt
Fred Sharpe, Royal Engineers
Herbert West, Coldstream Guards
Tom Parkes, RFA
J Bagley, Lincolns
A Heaton, Kitchener’s Army
G Rands, RFA
J Mumby, Lincolns
R Lee, Lincolnshire Yeomanry
H Hughes, RAMC
Thos Heaton, RAMC
Robt Burley, RAMC
Henry West, Norfolks
John Searby, Royal Fusiliers
J Frow, 1st Lincolns
Whist Drive – On Friday week a most successful and enjoyable whist drive was held in the school room. The weather conditions were perfect, and people from the surrounding district availed themselves to the full of the chance of a “night out”. Proceedings commenced at eight o’clock and twelve tables were kept going under the MC-ship of Mr R Handley of Market Rasen.
………..The proceeds of the drive were for providing stage fittings for the schoolroom, and as nearly £4 was cleared, the organisers, of whom Miss Barlow was the head, should feel highly satisfied with the result of their efforts.