NOSTALGIA: This week in 1918 and 1978 and a snapshot from 1968

Kitwood Girls School at the Holland School Drama Festival in 1968.
Kitwood Girls School at the Holland School Drama Festival in 1968.
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal for Boston soldier in 1918
  • Lorry driver rescues seaman from fire at Boston Dock in 1978

This week (April 4 edition) in 1918 ...

*A Boston man seeing action in the First World War had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, it had been announced.

Had I, or someone else, not been able to use the equipment, I am sure the man would have died.

L-Corp W. Walker, of the R. Berks. Regt (Boston), received the honour for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in charge of a squad of stretcher-bearers’.

He was credited with ‘a magnificent performance’ as he helped bring back wounded troops, having overcome not just ‘the heavy state of the ground’, but also losing a number of bearers from the squad to enemy fire.

“He immediately formed a new squad and searched the ground through the day under incessant fire,” the announcement added.

* Heavy road traffic in Boston had been blamed for the sudden collapse of a chimney in the town.

The stack fell into the roadway from a bakehouse at the corner of Skirbeck Road, fortunately without anyone being injured.

Standard columnist The Sentinel wrote: “The chimney had no doubt been reduced to a shaky state by the heavy road traffic – chiefly perhaps, the traction engines and waggons which set things dancing so merrily at times – and finally it fell without warning.”

This week in 1978 ...

* A lorry driver was the hero of a fire that broke out on a ship berthed in Boston Dock.

Raymond Crust, 28, of Billingborough, rescued a seaman who was trapped trying to escape from the blaze through a porthole.

Mr Crust, on the dock waiting to unload his lorry answered a call for anyone experiences in handling oxyacetylene equipment, and cut a hole round the porthole to release the man

He said: “I cut a hole about two foot square to let the man out. It took me about 10 minutes to a quarter of an hour. It was very hot, and the firemen held a fire blanket to protect me.

“Had I, or someone else, not been able to use the equipment, I am sure the man would have died.”

* All the people who lived in one of Boston’s newest addresses – Princess Anne Road – wanted the name changed.

Not, as was explained at a meeting of the council’s Environment Committee, because they were anti-royalist, but because it was too much of a mouthful.

A petition had been signed by all 19 residents of Princess Anne Road for the name to be changed to either Kimberley Way or Oaklea Drive, but it was felt by the committee no change should be made.