Market Rasen Mail - This week 1915

editorial image

This week, we look at the Rasen Mail from February 20, 1915.

Once again, news of the war is merged with tales of the home town - and this week’s snippets include personal views of serving soldiers.

Maybe some of the stories relate to your relatives - contact us with your memories.

Pictures were being included on the pages too - news pages giving national and international news were brought by train to the town.

The three pictures featured this week show: wounded at Blenheim Palace - the historic residence of the Duke of Marlborough was used as a hospital; Red Cross vehicles heading to Buckingham Palace for the king to inspect; and Berlin wool collections - thanks to the British Navy, German was running short of many things, including wool for clothing, so collections were made by youths with handcarts.

And throughout the papers, random pieces of information were given, one being:

‘The Duchess of Roxburghe is a collector of turquoises, and the Roxburgh family emeralds are world famous for their beauty, yet it is only on very important occasions that her Grace wears any jewellery at all.’

Market Rasen Mail, Saturday February 20 1915



Market Rasen, Tuesday -At this market the following prices were obtained - Butter, 1s 2d per lb; eggs, 10 for 1s; potatoes, 8d per stone; flour, 2s 4d to 2s 6d per st; fowls, 4s to 4s 9d per couple; ducks, 4s 6d to 5s 0d per couple; apples, 2s to 3s per st.

Births, marriages & deaths


Blow - Platts: At Caistor (by licence), on the 14th February, Alice Platts of Dronfield, to Gunner G G H Blow (Market Rasen)< Royal Artillery.


Roll of Honour - In the roll of honour published last week, we inadvertently omitted the name of Sergt A Borrill, of the Army Veterinary Corps.

Rasen’s Heroes Acknowledge Gifts

As the result of a smoking concert held at the Greyhound Hotel, each Rasen man on active service with His Majesty’s Forces was sent a Christmas gift of smoking requisites. Some got their gifts in good time and duly acknowledged them, but others were not so fortunate. Several have now acknowledged the receipt of their parcels.

It is interesting to note that one is from Stoker Jack West, who is on board HMS Princess Royal and he received his gift the day before the running battle in the North Sea. Pte W Searby of the RAMC, Gunner R S Starbuck of Royal Field Artillery and Stoker J West sent postcards to Mr Kemmery briefly acknowledging the gifts and stating they are in the best of health.

In acknowledging the receipt of the “fags” and tinder lighter, Sergt J W Parish expresses the hope that he will be home before too long. We are pleased to note his promotion.

Gunner J Flannagan, of the RFA, in a letter dated 1st February stated that he received his parcel on 1st February. He was delighted with it, as he had given it up for lost. He states that he is keeping alright, and having good health. He was also pleased to say they were having better weather just now; it seemed glorious after so much rain. He was not allowed to tell any war news, but he dared say they knew more at home than they did out there. They gave the Germans a bit to be going on with on the Kaiser’s birthday. Some time ago he had a new job - going with an officer to the observing station, which was quite near to the German trenches. He continues: We hadn’t been there very long before the bounders spotted us, and turned a machine gun on to us. It was a bit warm for a time I can tell you. They then left us alone for a day or two, excepting the snipers, and I began to think they must have forgotten us, but no such luck. It was in the morning, and I had settled myself down to read an old magazine I gad found, when suddenly there was an explosion, and down came the corner of the place we were in. They had commenced to shell us, and they put about 30 rounds at us. I didn’t finish the tale I was reading at the time. I think it was a case of “to be continued in our next.”

Pte J W Fergusson, of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, stated that he received the parcel of cigs and tinder lighter on 10th Feb. He says: You cannot realise how nice it is to have a parcel from one’s native town, and to see that one is not quite forgotten by old friends. I often think of the old town and of the many happy days I have spent there. I think Market Rasen has every reason to be proud of the number of recruits she has sent to the colours. I do not think there are many towns of the same size as Market Rasen that can boast of such a long roll of honour.

Exchange of prisoners begins

The first batch of German prisoners of war in England who are being exchanged for English prisoners of war in Germany left Victoria shortly after five o’clock on Monday evening.

The men, who numbered about sixty, were taken to the station in Red Cross covered motor-ambulances in charge of orderlies. Practically every man had lost a limb, and none were fit for service.

Bomb Scare at Kirton Lindsey

At Gainsborough Police Court on Tuesday four young men, Reginald Cobb, Edward Kettles, Harry Kirman and Harold Chapman, were charged with exploding bombs at Kirton Lindsey on the night of Feb 8th.

Sergt Falgate said bombs were exploded by the men after ten o’clock at night. They made a great flash and a noise that could be heard over a mile away.

Great alarm had been caused, several people had been made ill, and there were many complaints.

Supt Wilkinson said it was a very serious offence, particularly at the present juncture.

Defendants said they did not know they were doing wrong, but the Bench, remarking that they were not like mere boys, ordered them to pay 7s each, a remarkably light penalty.


Killed in Action - It is with deep regret that we announce the death at the front of Mr Charles Greaves, aged 31, eldest son of Mr and Mrs Greaves, Offerton House, Hathersage, Derbyshire, and formerly of the Old Rectory, Nettleton. The deceased was a member of the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, and it was at Baillebe, France, that he succumbed to wounds received on November 1st, 1914.

North Kelsey

Gospel Mission - Mr Ben Tuxford, the popular gospel missioner from Lincoln, commenced a special ten days’ mission in the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday. ..................... Mr Tuxford is a local preacher and highly esteemed official of the Wesley Church, Lincoln. Possessing rare gifts for pulpit or platform, his services in evangelistic work are much sought after. A striking feature of his missions is the “meeting for men only”............... Here the preacher gives heart searching addresses aptly and forcefully illustrated, and in this way has won many men to noble life. It is hoped that during his stay in North Kelsey the services will be productive of much good.

I O Rechabites - The children of this institution held a pleasing meeting in the Rechabite Hall .... Under the able and genial supervision of the adult officers, the juvenile officers conducted the whole of the initiation ceremony. A newly enrolled member, Reginald Woodcock, received a warm welcome. ........ The secretary then read a most interesting letter from an officer of the society now serving with the colours.

In his letter to the secretary Walter Bowness of the 112 Company, Royal Engineers, says: “Just a few lines in answer to your kind letter. Will you give to the members of the Independent Order of Rechabites my best wishes for their kind regards to me. I am proud to belong to them, and I have found the value of temperance since joining the army. I have kept in the best of health and have gone through all sorts of trying conditions without being on the sick list. I wish both tents every success.”

An excellent photograph of Mr Bowness P.C.R. in his uniform was passed round among his young friends.

Caistor Area Roll of Honour

Bryan Atkin, HMS Antrim

Arthur Balding, Swallow, 5th Lincolns

Sidney J Barkworth, Public Schools Battalion

Fred Baxter, W.R. Territorials

Herbert Baxter, 5th Lincolns

Joseph Beech, 1st Lincolns

Q.M.S David Bonner, Army Pay Corps

Percy Bonner, H.A.

William Branton (Nettleton), R.F.A.

Harry Brighton, A.S.C.

J W Kenyon Brighton, Chums Battalion

Elijah Burr (Cabourne), Royal Field Artillery

Horace Barnard, 5th Lincolns

Jack Barnard, 5th Lincolns

John W Brumpton, Cabourne, Chums Battalion

Harry Christian, Notts C.R.

Coningsby Copping (Cabourne), 5th Lincolns

Robt L Copping (Cabourne), Lincs Yeomanry

Thos Dent (Cabourne), A.M.C.

Stanley Drury, Royal Engineers

Cyril Enderby, Holton-le-Moor, Kitchener’s Army

Charles Foster, Grasby, 4th Lincolns

William Frankish (Grasby), 2nd Battalion Hull East York Regiment (corporal)

Harry Frow, Grasby, 4th Yorks (Hull)

Geo. Sperling Gibbons (Holton), Public Schools Battalion, Middlesex Regiment

Bryan Goodwin, R.H.A.

John Gorbutt, South Notts Hussars.

Tom Gorbutt, A.S.C., Rouen

Joshua Hall, Cabourne, F.A.

John Hornsy, Grasby, 4th Dragoons (prisoner of war)

George Joseph Johnson, Swallow, Sherwood Rangers

Tom Johnson (Nettleton), Kitchener’s Army

J Elliott Lamb, N.M.R.A.

Wm. Maddams, 5th Lincolns

Frank Maddison, 1st Lincolns

Fred King (Grasby, 2nd Lincolns

A B Mapplethorpe, 7th Lincolns

Reginald D Marrows, Grenadiers

Wm Meanwell, mine sweeping

Sergt Geo Wm Parker, Chums Battalion

Bertie Parker, R.F.A.

A L Pearson, Cabourne, 9th Lincolns

Wm Pearson, Grasby, Kitchener’s Army

Percy Quickfall, Navy

George Rawlinson, Navy

George Rawlinson (Jock), R.F.A.

Geo Thos Russell, HMS Venus

Oswald Ranger (Nettleton), R.F.A.

George Ringrose, London Territorials

Cpl Tommy Smith, 16th Lancers

Charles Smith (Rothwell), 5th Lincolns

Courtley Spilman (Clixby), Kitchener’s Army

Paul Spilman (Clixby), Kitchener’s Army

John Stephenson, 1st Lincolns

Wm. Streets, 1st Lincolns

William Stanewell (Swallow), South Notts Hussars

Kenneth Tebbutt (Thoresway), Australians (Egypt)

John Wm. Topliss, 1st Lincolns

Walter Topliss, 20th Hussars

Simpson Topliss, Life Guards

Glanville Topliss, R.H.A.

Richard Tungate, 5th Lincolns

James Taylor, Grasby, Kitchener’s Army

Harold C Taylor, N.M.A.

Wm Vincent, Cabourne, Naval Cadet

Bombardier Wells, Kitchener’s Army

George Wilmore, 1st Lincolns

Walter Wilkinson, Queen’s Bays

John Waite, Sherwood Rangers

John White, R.F.A.

Cecil Westbrooke, Public Schools Battalion

Maurice Westbrooke, Canadians

Harry Westcott (Grasby), Kitchener’s Army (Sergt)

Edward Westcott (Grasby), 1st Lincolns

Alfred Wood, 2nd Lincolns

Thomas Webb (Grasby), Lincolns

Wm Wright, Cabourne 5th Lincolns

Our correspondent (Mr W Fagan of Caistor) will be glad to receive other names with particulars of regiments, and any promotions or interesting news concerning the local “boys.”