Life in 1915

A snapshot of life in  Market Rasen as the First World War enters it’s second year

Market Rasen 1915

The War was not over by Christmas 1914 as many had thought it might be and gradually it became clear that it could be a long haul. However, in 1915 much of life continued as it had for years before in Market Rasen and it was duly reported by the local newspaper, The Market Rasen Mail.

Local affairs were overseen by the Market Rasen Urban District Council and the local Board of Guardians and their business was fully reported in the paper as were the cases coming before the magistrates court in the town.

Local groups and societies such as the Market Rasen  Operatic Society, the Pig Club, the local Hunt, the Foal Fair, the Ram and Sheep Fair, continued to function and their activities are reported as, too, were the activities of the various sports clubs.

May was the traditional time for the hire of servants and farm hands and The Mail had adverts for grooms, labourers, housekeepers, kitchen maids and cooks, among others.

The Mail also carried, of course, advertisements for the clothes shops in the town, Lacy and Clark and H E Douthwaite being prominent, as well as for other goods of all sorts.

A local controversy that was reported in The Mail concerned the opening hours of the shops – much longer then than they are today. During the year the Tradesmen’s Association in the town agreed to close their shops at 9pm on Saturdays!

Dramatic events caught the attention of the reporters for The Mail as when John WA Caistor union - paperhangings 14Parrish, son of Sgt JW Parrish, fell out of a moving train. The train stopped and the child was found a mile down the track. A naval officer picked him up. The train continued to Market Rasen where Dr Pank met it. John had broken his arm and had several cuts on his head.

There was a growing concern as harvest time approached about the quality of the harvest and about who was to bring the harvest in as many of the young farm hands had joined the Forces and more were being encouraged to do so.

However much it might appear that life was continuing as normal in Market Rasen, reports in The Mail show us that the War was never far from the daily life of the people in 1915, no doubt featuring prominently in the conversations that were going on in the clubs and fairs and committees and shops day in, day out.

MR 1915 Not enlistedThe recruiting events and advertisements were a constant reminder of the war and the need there was for more men to join up. The urgency is reflected in the Lincolnshire Regiment’s lowering of its minimum height for recruitment from 5ft 3in to 5ft 1in.

Letters in the press from those who had gone to war and were now prisoners usually urged those at home to send food and clothing when they could and cigarettes were in demand, too.

Mr Kemmery, the landlord of The Greyhound pub, organized “ A Smoking Concert” to raise money to send packages of cigarettes to the troops at The Front. A novel way to help wounded soldiers who had been brought back to hospitals in this country was a scheme to collect eggs for distribution to the hospitals and Market Rasen played its part in this.

A local Depot for Collection of eggs was opened in Market Rasen in April and The Mail regularly reported how many eggs the town had contributed. In the week ending 28 May 10,976 eggs were collected and delivered to the Lincoln Depot.

602 came from Market Rasen and, in a week in August, 383 and 207 in a week in November. Nationally, thousands of eggs were collected each week by this scheme.

Another national scheme which found a response in Market Rasen was one to help Belgian refugees fleeing from the German invasion of their country. There were articles in The Mail on the Belgian refugees and appeals for funds to help them and drawing attention to the need to find them jobs and accommodation.

As well as hearing from those who were now prisoners of war there were more graphic reminders of the price being paid. In May, 376 wounded soldiers arrived in Lincoln some of whom were later sent to Willingham Hall. In September 123 wounded and 67 stretcher cases arrived in Lincoln in a Red Cross train. Other local men were in hospitals abroad.

Pte F Page (7th Lincolns) had been wounded and was in hospital in France. Herbert Whelpton (6th Lincolns) had been wounded in the arm and legs and was in Alexandria Hospital.

Philip Storr (3/4th Lincolns) was in a French hospital, with a serious wound in his back. Lieutenant A Padley 7th Service Batt of Lincolnshire Regiment, aged 20, wounded in France, was now home on leave.

Even more graphic, of course, were the reports of those who had lost their lives in the service of their country.

ROLL OF HONOUR 1915

There were reports in the paper most weeks saying who had enlisted in the local area.

Ernest Sims and Edward Collins -Kitchener’s Army, James Chambers, A Foster from Middle Rasen (who failed to pass the Doctor), Joseph Drakes-2nd Sportsmen’s Battalion of Royal Fusiliers. James Brown- Lincolnshire Territorial, Rowland Patchett- Lincolns,Henry Kitchen-Lincolnshire Regiment, R Handley-RAMC.

Marshall -10George Marshall, Robert Clarke, Fred Plumtree, Bernard Page, Percy West and Joseph Cressey all joined the Lincolnshire Chums. Fred and Robert had applied to the Lincolnshire Yeomanry but were rejected.

Arthur Toyne-ASC (failed to pass the Doctor), Percy Casterton-Lincolnshire Yeomanry, J Richardson-1st Life Guards, Herbert Cottingham of Middle Rasen-Flying Corps. Frank Crow -RAMC, JW Holt – Royal Engineers as a despatch rider. William Hannath- ASC, the fourth brother to enlist.

Mr WH Coates reported that it was hard for him as 3 of his staff had join the fight- JH Holt, R Handley and F Plumtree.Walter Proctor and John Dawson Territorials, Arthur Toyne-ASC, GC tindall ROH 1915 -2eorge H Marshall, William T Sparrow, Railton Mainprize and Jos E Searby.

Week after the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment came to town the following men enlisted;

Charles Cressy, Robert Blanchard, John Rhoades (Middle Rasen), Rodwell Shaw, William Cantwell, Robert Plumtreee, Walter Baines, Fred Plumpton, CT Page, Herbert Cook, B Cooper, H Brailsford and G Empson.

WM Angus, Vivian Watson, W Bottomly, W Brumpton, and EJ Richardson.

Vivian Watson ROH 1915 -1Scout Edward Tindall relieved Scout Cyril Islip.

Petty Officer John Whitworth was made Warrant Officer

August

Samuel Bonner, S Lill, H Sutton, G Footit, Walter Honneyman, FR Lockhart and his brother NH Lockhart. AT Padley, Ernest Proctor and his brother Harry, Joseph E Marsh, Charles Rand,Tom Sellars, Charles F Cranidge.

Edgar Marsh, John Patchett, George Toyne, Herbert Ranyard, Harry Fletcher, Fred Atkin- driver in RGA, and John Sanderson. Basil Topliss, CE Crow, Thomas Shepherd, Jesse Winn and Ernest Ranyard, John Fisher and George E Marshall was unsuccessful in joining ASC.

Hollis Clews and Francis J Harris (De Aston masters) were accepted under Lord Derby’s Scheme. Ernest Dawson, Frank Good, Percy Shaw and his brother HR Shaw was accepted by 4th Lincolns on his 5th attempt. William Prescott, Herbert Neale and Frank Hill -Lord Derby’s Scheme and Ernest Chantry

May was the traditional time for the hire of servants and farm hands and The Mail had adverts for grooms, labourers, housekeepers, kitchen maids and cooks, among others.

The Mail also carried, of course, advertisements for the clothes shops in the town, Lacy and Clark and H E Douthwaite being prominent, as well as for other goods of all sorts.

A local controversy that was reported in The Mail concerned the opening hours of the shops – much longer then than they are today. During the year the Tradesmen’s Association in the town agreed to close their shops at 9pm on Saturdays!

Dramatic events caught the attention of the reporters for The Mail as when John WA Parrish, son of Sgt JW Parrish, fell out of a moving train. The train stopped and the child was found a mile down the track. A naval officer picked him up. The train continued to Market Rasen where Dr Pank met it. John had broken his arm and had several cuts on his head.

There was a growing concern as harvest time approached about the quality of the harvest and about who was to bring the harvest in as many of the young farm hands had joined the Forces and more were being encouraged to do so.