NOSTALGIA: This week in 1918 and 1998

Boston's Under 15 rugby side won the three counties sevens tournament 20 years ago, but came away empty-handed after the previous year's winners forgot to bring the trophy back. Here, instead, they receive honours from Mayor Coun Fred Gilchrist.
Boston's Under 15 rugby side won the three counties sevens tournament 20 years ago, but came away empty-handed after the previous year's winners forgot to bring the trophy back. Here, instead, they receive honours from Mayor Coun Fred Gilchrist.
  • Hope of a ‘final blow’ in the First World War in 1918
  • Bypass campaign back on track for Boston in 1998

This week (May 16 edition) ...

A soldier in the First World War from Boston wrote in a letter home of a weakening German position, sharing hopes that a ‘final blow’ was coming for the enemy.

A German officer was telling some of our lads that they had not taken enough ground to bury their dead.

Sgt Daniel Light, of the Royal Field Artillery, had relayed the message to his cousin Arthur Garfit, of the Boston Post Office.

Sgt Light had been wounded in fighting at Béthune, during which he helped turn, in his words, a ‘big push’ by German forces into a ‘big stop’.

Writing from Edinburgh War Hospital, he said the enemy was getting ‘very weak’.

“You will be reading of him going back with a big bang one of these days, and I hope I am among the crowd to help and that will be the final blow, as a German officer was telling some of our lads that they had not taken enough ground to bury their dead,” he said.

Sgt Light had been in France since August 1914.

He said: “It was the hardest thing I ever had when I was coming away, all the boys saying ‘goodbye and good luck, Sergeant’, as I always wanted to stay out till the end of the war.”

He said he hoped to rejoin his battery, saying: “I could not soldier at home and see them sending older men than me out with big families.”

This week in 1998 ...

* A campaign for a Boston bypass was back on track, the Standard reported.

It followed a lively public meeting at Rochford Tower Hall, organised by Boston Borough Citizens’ Association, where it was decided to take local demands for the multi-million pound scheme straight to the top.

A deputation led by Boston MP Sir Richard Body would, it was hoped, persuade the Government to lift its moratorium on major road schemes by persuading ministers that Boston’s was a special case.

The meeting attracted a 50-strong audience and the majority of those who spoke complained about rising traffic volumes, deteriorating environment, dangers from heavy goods vehicles – and the fact that most Lincolnshire towns and many villagers had been bypassed.

* After almost a year without a rector to call its own, the parish of Skirbeck had a new figure at its helm.

Father Paul Noble had been officially made rector of St Nicholas Church, in Skirbeck Road.

He said his only intention was to build up the staple of worship and the integrity of the parish in its special position under the care of the Bishop of Richborough.