Life in 1916

A Lincolnshire market town, coping with the fact that Britain had been at war for 16 months. The local papers give us a glimpse of what life was like. However, it was censured-

The town carries on- the paper reports on school concerts, farmer red cross sale, shops sales, lost tortoise, hunting dates and the weather.

There was a report on the unusual death of Pte Thomas Marshall who died in 26 December 1915….Headline Two Men Electrocuted; Remarkable Motor Accident; Rasen Man Killed. He was electrocuted while trying to help the victims of a car crash.

Adverts depicting – Great scarcity of meat; wanted 20,000 pigeons, New taxation of beer, Gates and hen houses; Harvester and binders, Sale-on aprons and housemaid caps, Air Raids and the Public – “Order to extinguish all light warning of enemy aircraft”

In between reports on UDC meetings, knitting parties, egg collection figures, Pig Club dinner and Primrose League Tea and entertainment….  there are letters from soldiers at the Front thanking folks back home for cigarettes and eggs.

Reports on Market Rasen Petty session 6th May, two 8yr old boys in court for stealing eggs. Percy and Harold Plumtree (cousins), parents and boys fined and the boys were told that they would be whipped if they did it again!….

These everyday activities were mixed in with POWs thanking Miss Camsell and her helpers for supplying food and clothing parcels.

Market Rasen Mail 26th February

Pte John Jessop Faulkner was had been reported missing until February 1916, when it was officially confirmed that he in fact had been killed around 1st November 1914. Market Rasen Mutual Help Society paid £6 funeral benefit to his widow Edith. Mrs Faulkner had travelled several times to Lincoln hospital hoping a “Lincoln” who had lost his memory was her husband John.

Life goes on in Market Rasen. But life is short for many as the war rages on

The Market Rasen Mail reports on the death of Pte Charles Drayton of 2nd Lincolnshire regiment who died on 19th March.

He was born in Market Rasen, in 1916 his father was publican of the Yarborough Arms, Oxford Street. He had been wounded in the head and died 7 hours later. He is buried in Sailly-sur-la-lys Canadian Cemetery.

But there is very little the papers about Charles Borman, Trimmer cook on HM Trawler Strymon Royal Naval Reserve, he died when the mine sweeper he was on, blew up on 22nd March.

NB this is wrong as official documents state that Charles Borman was accidentally drowned. HM Trawler Strymon was blown up in 1917.

Also, there was nothing in the press about Conscription. The year started with threat of Conscription, it came into force on 2nd March.

“men aged 18-41 were liable to be called up…into the Army unless they were married, widowed with children, in RN, Minister of Religion or in a reserved occupation”.

In May, it was extended to married men (NB later 1918 the upper age limited was extended to 51). Nothing reported but….

Market Rasen Mail 3rd June 1916  Market Rasen Tribunal Tradesmen’s applications for exemption

A meeting of the Market Rasen local tribunal was held at the court-house on Friday in last week, Mr JG Glew, JP presiding

There were also present Messrs J Cooper CC JP., B Hardy JP, J Blakey, W Elvin, Arthur Tillett, and J Russell together with military representatives Mr C Wright, Mr C Herring, Mr R Spencer members of the advisory committee and the clerk Mr AA Padley

A smallholder and pig breeder applied for absolute exemption on personal grounds and was given two months to ‘make arrangements’

A hairdresser and tobacconist made a similar application and was granted three months

Grocer’s manager……women in the shop ok but one could not be manager. Farmer and fell monger; Grocer and draper’s manager; Painters. Photographer; Chemist’s yard man; Baker and his horseman; Joiner’s workman who was millwrighting at the time; Cinematographer …..medically rejected now; Insurance superintendent.

All given time to get their businesses in order except for joiner’s workman who was given conditional exemption (to finish the job). A master butcher applied for absolute exemption was granted until 26th

August The same for Grammar School teacher. A saddler applied for his only collar hand, granted until 30thSeptember

The military representatives agreed to a nonconformist minister being classed as in a reserved occupation, they did object to other recommendations.

UDC workman …exemption until 26th August

Boot dealer applied for conditional exemption on personal grounds, and was granted exemption for four months, military representatives gave notice of appeal. Chemist and his Carter, given four and three month. Temperance hotel proprietor adjourned to next meeting, he claimed that he was doing his bit…training horses. Conditional exemption for wine merchant until 26th August. Joiner and grocer only got to 26th July to ‘make arrangements’. Licensed victualler applied for reasons of serious hardship…granted three months. Coal merchant applied for his horseman and Carter, got a month

It was pointed out to all that if not happy then they had to go to the county tribunal

Nobody was named in the report but if 100 years later I can make an educated guess who they were, I am sure the locals knew.

Report of Hannnath family- List of brothers and cousin – Pte A Hannath- 3rd Lincolns, Pte C Hannath-Chums Battalion, Pte Fred G Hannath-RAMC, Pte Harold Hannath-Canadian Contingent, Cpl William Hannath-ASC

Roll of Honour

During 1915 the Market Rasen Mail reported on who had enlisted, when, where and which regiment….every week with the Roll of Honour. As I am sure you all know the Roll of Honour in 1916 meant something different to what we know as Roll of Honour today.!!!!  It simply was a list- not always correct- of the men and women who were serving their country. However, from January 1916 the list of who enlisted that week was removed, there was just the Roll of Honour.

“Roll of Honour and photograph of Market Rasen Men who have been seriously wounded or killed in service of their country “

On 25th June, the MR Mail prints the Roll of Honour, using this list we can say that there were about 250 men serving, 2 women- nurses, 5 POWs, 2 missing, 16 killed or died in serve, it does not include the wounded, discharged unfit, and it is not completely correct. Men changed regiments, disappeared or were never listed.

From other sources, there are several men who served their country and returned to Market Rasen but their names were never on the Roll of Honour.

JULY 1916 See the Battle of the Somme


Market Rasen Mail reported on the everyday items of news along with the limited information from the Front.

Goods were bought for the POWs using money from the Knitting Fund and Concert Fund.

Tea, sugar, plum loaf, biscuits, ginger cakes, butter, cheese, potted ham and chicken were parcelled up and sent to Ptes Drury, Tindall, Collins and Trooper Dixon.

Captain Maurice Barton was reported as wounded.

Pte Bernard Page

Missing Pte Bernard Page, 12th August 1916 Market Rasen Mail

Market Rasen & District Rifle Club

Notices and orders for the week, drills and shooting times on the range. Market Rasen Volunteers Training Corps was inspected by Adjutant.

Market Rasen Local Tribunal

Painter and decorator was given an extension of exemption to finish his list of jobs, but that was it. 3 months’ exemption for Miller’s carter as he was his only help. Pig breeder applied again, one month only. Mr Glover the drill instructor of Market Rasen Volunteer Training Corp (MR VTC) was granted exemption. Mr Rainey solicitor asked the dispensary chemist, who since application had left town.The following were given temporarily exemption if they joined the MR VTC; A Baker, A Schoolmaster and a Motor engineer.

Pte George Lewis

Missing –  Pte George Lewis 2nd Bn Lincolnshire, enlisted in Market Rasen, living in Thornton le Moor. (later reported Killed in Action on 1st July)

The Limit. Strenuous endeavours were recently made by a Market Rasen employer to obtain exemption for an employee. Exemption for a certain period was given conditional upon the man joining the Volunteer Training Corps. The man, who apparently does not relish being called upon to do anything for his country, told his employer that if he attended the drills he would expect to be paid overtime. Such splendid loyalty is surely deserving of some reward, and nothing could be more fitting than a khaki uniform.


De Aston school exam results; Sheffield Manor School will open on 14th September at 9.30 am, Miss Hay for prospectus.

HE Douthwaite has a large advert thanking his customers for their support. He tells them that Mr Kidall will be the manager while he is away on military service.

Report for all 17-year-old, under the Derby Scheme “Group B” they are asked to attest, there is a promise that they will not be called up before their 18th birthday.

Report on the death of Pte Edwin Kirby, 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment killed in action on 20th August.

Lieutenant B Peatfield was wounded, also Company Srgt-Major W Heath. Pte J Rhodes of Sherwood Foresters was missing.

Pte C Rickell

Pte C Rickell, 23rd September listed as missing now confirmed killed on first day of the Great Push

Notices on future events

Harvest Festival at United Methodist Church. Concert at the Town Hall to raise funds for 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment. Egg collection.

Report on the death of Pte PC Laughton and Pte A Bancroft, and that Pte HS Crow was missing.


A report on POW fund. Adverts for A Grand Smoking Concert at White Hart Assembly room on 12th October  and Red Cross Flag Day on 17th October.

14th October. Pte WS Sowby reported wounded and now a POW, whereabouts unknown.Before he was called up he worked for the Lincoln & Lindsey Bank in Market Rasen.

Missing Pte Sowby, Page, Crow

Zeppelin Reid warnings

21st October 1916

A Market Rasen Hero Honoured Lieutenant Bernard Peatfield awarded Military Cross

Lieutenant Bernard Peatfield

Signal honour has been conferred upon another gallant Market Rasen soldier, Lieutenant Bernard Peatfield, of the County of London Regiment (Civil Service Battalion), son of Mr and Mrs J Peatfield , of Waterloo Street, Market Rasen, who has been awarded the much-coveted Military Cross. This he is to receive today (Saturday) at Buckingham Palace at the hands of His Majesty, the King.                      

Pte A White of Coldstream Guards has received the Silver War Medal by post. He had been wounded in the head at the Battle of Marne and invalid home. He lives at Willingham Road and joined up in August 1914.

Report on the death of Sapper Richard Ranyard, 130th Field Company of Royal Engineers, he died of his wounds.

Reports on the following events

Weddings, shopping, Market Rasen Petty session and Local Tribunals continued throughout the months. Also lists of Egg Collections.

11th Pte Edgar H Honneyman, 16th Battalion Canadian Infantry died of his wounds. Photograph.

December Christmas adverts; Knitting Parties and Whist Drives. Hunting dates, weather and stock market reports and POW parcels. De Aston School Roll of Honour.List of Market Rasen Roll of Honour every week on the front page.

Private Cyril Page

Notice on the death of Pte BH Topliss, 13th Royal Sussex Regiment, killed in action on 21st October.

Private Cyril Page, reported missing since the 17th November.  He is a POW.

Resources:- Market Rasen Mail, Families of the Soldiers and Sailors,, Market Rasen Library, C.W.G.C., Lincolnshire Archives