NOSTALGIA: This week in 1917 and 1962

  • Concern in 1917 over women having the right to vote
  • Girl in 1962 helps prevent what could have been town’s biggest ever fire

This week in 1917 ...

- The Standard carried a letter from an injured Boston officer, at one time feared dead, but later found to have been taken prisoner.

It almost seems like comic opera to hand over the political power of the nation to a section of it which as a whole understands nothing of politics and probably cares less.

Sec Lieut Brooke W. Gregory, of the 8th Lincolnshire Regiment, wrote to his father Mr G. H. Gregory, of Church Close, Boston, from a prisoner of war camp near Hanover.

He said: “I was hit by a large piece of shell in the head in the big attack, and was unconscious for some time. When I awoke I tried to crawl back to our stretcher-bearers, and was captured by a party of Germans in a piece of trench that we have evidently overlooked.

“They dressed my wounds and fed me, and at night took me to their ambulance. I don’t remember much till I got to this hospital by train.

“Here I have had first-class medical treatment and shall get right again.”

- Concern had been raised through The Standard’s letters page about the drive to give women the right to vote.

Signing off as ‘Watchman’,the contributor said: “It almost seems like comic opera to hand over the political power of the nation to a section of it which as a whole understands nothing of politics and probably cares less.”

It was not until 1928 that the right to vote was gained.

This week in 1962 ...

- An alert 11-year-old girl helped prevent what could have been the biggest fire Boston had ever known, the Standard reported.

June Smith, of St John’s Road, was returning home with her sister Doreen, aged nine, and their schoolmates at St Botolph’s the Robinson sisters – June, 11, and Sandra, eight, of South Terrace, Boston, when she spotted flames in a sawmill shed at a timber yard in South End.

She said. “I ran into the house and my 14-year-old sister Nora dashed to the dock police office to tell Mr Stan Lote who rang for the fire brigade.”

The fire destroyed the sawmill, its circular saw and switchgear, and 10 lengths of timber. However, despite a strong blustery wind which fanned tongues of fire dangerously close to the huge main drying shed containing many thousands of pounds worth of timber, firemen succeeded in confining the outbreak.

Other timber yards were close by and had the fire got a firm hold before being spotted it could have spread for a considerable distance along Skirbeck Road, the paper noted.

About 12 firefighters were involved in the emergency response, watched by a crowd of several hundred.