Welcome to my final blog which, due to my accident is posted a little later than I anticipated. I am of course, delighted that they war is at an end but I will miss the weekly readings and selected transcriptions of the newspaper.
Many of the reports relate to the homecomings of prisoners of war and the joy that resonates from their return. The larger piece from Brigg (at the end) is most revealing with regards to the treatment of British prisoners of war in Germany. I have written a few final sentences at the end of the blog.
The Lincolnshire Star
Saturday 28th December 1918
A SOLDIER'S THANKS.- Sir, - Will you kindly allow me through the "Star" to thank the Committee and donors of the Brigg Soldiers' and Sailors' Parcels Fund for the 5s. postal order which I received. I am sure that it made me feel that although we are far away, the people in the dear old home town have not forgotten us, and I hope that we shall all meet again before long in dear old Brigg. - I remain, yours respectfully, Pte. J. W. Steeper, A Coy, West Yorks, Prisoner of War Camp, Malta. Dec. 22nd, 1918.
HOME AGAIN.- On Saturday afternoon Private Phillips had a very hearty welcome home after having been a prisoner of war in Germany over four years. On the outbreak of hostilities, Private Phillips, who was a reservist, was called to the colours and proceeded to France, where he was taken a prisoner after a few weeks fighting. On arriving at the station Pte. Phillips was met by Mr. H. Stamp J.P. and a crowd of well-wishers and was then driven in a motor car to the Market Place were speeches of welcome were made.
HOME AGAIN.- Last week Private John Andrew, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Andrew, arrived home after being a prisoner of war. He was wounded in the spring offensive and has had a rough time. He returns to Grimsby Hospital.
FOR THE WOUNDED.- Since August 1917, 2,570 eggs have been collected and sent from the village to the National Egg Collection for the Wounded. The total number of eggs sent since the first collection in February, 1915, amount to 9,000. Thanks are due to all who have so consistently contributed.
The National Egg Collection has been a regular report from somewhere in North Lincolnshire since the scheme was established in February 1915.
GIFTS TO SOLDIERS.- Through the efforts made in the village by the juveniles and friends enough money has been raised to send the local men with H.M. Forces 10s. 6d. each this Xmas time. A letter has also been sent to each one conveying the good wishes and a speedy return. The committee desire to thank all who helped to make the effort such a success.
HOME AGAIN.- Private Tom Fox, of the Lincolns, and Private Sciles of the Coldstream Guards have arrived home after being prisoners of war in Germany.
PARK HOSPITAL.- Forty-one of the patients at the Park Hospital have gone home on leave.
HOME.- After being a prisoner of war in Germany Private W. Chafer has arrived home. He joined Kitchener's Army in 1914 being twice wounded. He was taken prisoner in the spring offences. Private P. Foster, M.M. has also arrived home, after being wounded and taken prisoner this year. Everyone in the village were pleased to see both home again.
RETURNED.- Last week Lance-Cpl. T. W. Short, one of the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Short, formerly if this village, serving with H. M. Forces, arrived home in Manchester after being in Germany 9 months. Private J. Stainton, East YorkS. Regt. has also arrived home, after being in the hands of the Germans for nearly two years.
LIBERAL CLUB.- The effort made at the Liberal Club during the week-end resulted in a handsome gift being made to each of the following soldier members who are returned prisoners if war: Capt. H. Martin, Private J. Nicholson, T. S?? and C. Sporrage.
?? MEMORIAL. - This is a very long article and probably relates to the proposal of a Memorial Hospital discussed in last week's newspaper, but it is impossible to read. You could try by going to http://www.northlincslibrary.co.uk/
BRIGG LADS RELEASED FROM
Several local soldiers who had the misfortune to be captured by the Germans have found their way back to civilisation greatly to the delight of those near and dear to them. Owing to them returning at uncertain time, there has been no chance to meet them at the station and give them what they really deserve, a right royal welcome. Up to Friday ? had arrived home at Brigg, and Mr. E. J. Clark was the first to moot a happy project and in co-operation with Mr. H. Stamp, J.P., considered it would be a splendid idea to ask them to the Council Chamber the same evening that the Council met. A more appropriate time could not have been suggested and Mr. Stamp lost no time in making arrangements and each soldier received a reception. Miss Brown , of Thornholme, who has done great work for the prisoners of war was also invited and accepted the invitation, and a most inspiring welcome was arranged.
When the business of the Council had proceeded some little time, the Council Chamber door opened and the five lads filed their way to the chair, accompanied by Miss Brown. One could not help but feel for them. Some looked haggard and bore signs of the privations they had undergone as regards food, and looked as though they required something better than what they had had doled out to them at the hands of the German braggarts.
The lads briefly gave a review of their hardships. The foul treatment meted out by the Huns, was according to expression, grafted in their being and it would have been an insult to them to have put the question if England should ever hold out her hand to Germany again.
One told how he received his wages for nine months work and a modest "half dollar" was placed in his hand. Illustrations like this must reflect upon those who are never satisfied with their w?? and who have during the war ? because, perhaps, they were getting £3 per week, and thought they ought to have £6.
Another stated that he, along with others, had to live on cabbage water for two days, because they refused to load shells for the front, their daily ration of bread being withheld. We could go on describing the hardships they have endured, however, it is pleasing to note that warm hearts were awaiting them at home.
In giving them a welcome Mr. Stamp addressed them as follows:- "In the name of the Council and the town we are all delighted to see you back. We want to give you a royal welcome back to blighty and back to Brigg. We have heard and thought about you, and Miss Brown has been seeking to look after you and we extended the invitation to that lady to be present this evening. I know that you have heard from her many times but none too often. We know give you a welcome from prison life and prison rations and are pleased that you are out of German hands and in the dear homeland. I don't know whether you have congratulated yourselves or otherwise during your captivity. It is the good providence of God that you have been preserved and we hope you will spend a happy Christmas and never be prisoner again.
In conclusion Mr. Stamp said: "We have sympathised with you all the time but practical sympathy is best." Mr. Stamp explained that there was a fund, and a wealthy fund, for prisoners of war, and they in due course would receive a share. Miss Brown who is interested in this fund would see that they got a share. Muss Brown, at this juncture, expressed pleasure at their home coming and in words of sincere welcome, presented each with a £1 Treasury note.
Mr. E. J. Clark, Mr. G. V. Eccles and Mr. J. T. Kettle also expressed words of welcome back to Brigg.
The names of the returned men are:
Private Arthur Rhodes, 8th Lincoln's was captured by the Germans on 25th. September, 1915, at Loos. Was employed making felt-roofing. He was in camp Munster, Westphalia. Released in November, 1918. Received parcels from home.
Private Arthur Wray, 7th. Leicesters, was captured on 27th. May, 1918. Worked behind the German line for the whole period, except 8 weeks in hospital. Suffered many hardships and was released early in December.
Private J. Booth, 2-6th. South Staffords, captured on 21st. March. Worked in coal mines and paid 10d. for eight hours work. Released 2nd. December.
Private Ernest Short, was captured on 16th. April. Was at Marpent Camp working in salt mines and paid 10d. for eight hours work. Released Nov. 22nd, 1918. Was in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles.
Private Robt. Clark, 22nd Durham Light Infantry, was captured 27th May. Worked down a coal mine and was paid 2s. 6d. for his eight months work. Released on Dec. 2nd, 1918.
Private J. W. Turner, of Elwes St., was captured on April 10th, and released on December 1st.
A fascinating piece that, beyond the Council members' rhetoric gives an insight in to the conditions suffered by the prisoners of war.
Well, this is my last post. I have covered every week bar one. I will miss reading the newspaper and selecting and transcribing the extracts. It has been a fascinating journey for me and has taught me a lot. I intend to do some further research on particular issues and I will post my findings.
The whole four years of war have been laid before us and I hope that you have found news from the Home Front in the North Lincolnshire district as interesting, and often moving, as I have. It has been an important part of my life and will continue to be so.