NOSTALGIA: This week in 1918 and 1968

Boston High School sports day in May 1968.
Boston High School sports day in May 1968.

This week (May 9 edition) in 1918 ...

* The Standard announced that a Kirton-born soldier had been given the Victoria Cross.

Sgt Harold Jackson, of the East Yorks Regiment, was awarded the honour for ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’. This included single-handedly taking out an enemy machine gun.

Sgt Jackson left Kirton in 1912 to work on the railways at Nottingham, the paper wrote.

Beforehand, he was a well-known amateur boxer and for a time worked as a drayman for Messrs Tunnard Bros, farmers and potato merchants.

In a recent letter to his sister, Mrs J. Searby, of Kirton, he wrote: “Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well. Perhaps you think I am a long time writing you, but expect you have seen the papers. So you must excuse me.

“It has been pretty warm for a week or so, and I gave myself up for a dead man a time or two. The platoon I was in charge of was surrounded two or three times, and we had to fight for it. So you can guess what it was like, but I am pleased to tell you I am recommended for a big thing, and they all say I shall get the VC, and the lads that are left in my platoon hope I do as they say I am worth it for bringing them through.”

The centenary of Sgt Jackson receiving his VC was celebrated in Kirton earlier this year, as reported here.

This week in 1968 ...

* An appeal had been made for something to be sent from Boston to a museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to better commemorate the town’s links with the Pilgrim Fathers, the founders of Plymouth.

At that time, the only thing marking the connection between the two was half a brick from the Guildhall.

The appeal came from Ron Norman, a former Bostonian living in Canada who had recently visited the museum.

He said: “Boston must have something that is a little more closely connected with the Pilgrim Fathers that could be sent there.”

Mr Norman described Canada as ‘an ideal place’ for a single person who wished to emigrate, but sounded a note of caution to married couples.

“My advice to married couples who are thinking of going would be not to go unless they are certain they know what they are going to because of the housing problem. An ordinary house with kitchen, dining room and living room, etc costs in the region of £10,000.”

* Readers of mystery, love stories, and westerns in Boston Public Library were said to be ‘disconcerted’ to find that the books were no longer arranged alphabetically by author’s name. The explanation – a lack of shelf space.