Thirteen Ashbourne men were listed as being prisoners of war. No fewer than seven had been serving with the Sherwood Foresters when they were captured by enemy forces.
Drummer G Atkin, Corporal HJ Chell, Privates J Renshaw, Alfred Taylor, F Sowter, J Tunnicliffe and F Yeomans were in custody along with Sergeant EW Radford of the Durham Light Infantry, and Privates John Bright of the Lancashire Fusiliers, G Startin of the Grenadier Guards, AH Scriven of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and S Yendley of the North Staffordshire Regiment.
“There are few more pitiable objects in war than the prisoner in enemy hands. Forced to work in an enemy country surrounded by a populace who naturally despise him, his existence is at best unenviable.”
The Telegraph observed.
“An exile from his home he finds little enjoyment in his work or leisure and finds any little link with his homeland, and more particularly with his home folk, sends him into ecstasies of delight.”
The paper reported that the cost of sending weekly parcels to each of the men cost £190 a year and the committee was appealing for contributions towards the fund.
In the equivalent of today’s Breaking News a single paragraph appeared at the last column of page – the limited last-minute space for editorial left after the prepaid advertisements and Public Notices had filled the bulk of the page.
Sandwiched between an item stating that Uttoxeter Board of Guardians had decided to buy a 264-pound barrel of pickled herrings for 44 shillings and a licensing extension agreed by that day’s police court for the Fox and Hounds at Bradley, was news of a wounded soldier.
Captain LH Morris of the Shropshire Light Infantry had been brought to England and was said to be ‘progressing favourably’. Captain Morris was the eldest son of Ashbourne’s Canon and Mrs Morris, and therefore from one of the town’s most prominent families. He was one of several Morris sons serving in the army.
In other late news it was reported that JW Twigg, manager of the Ashbourne Water Works had been badly hurt the previous day when he fell down a well. His fall was broken by the first landing, but his injuries were said to be serious.
Such was the shortage of bread that the Director of Food Economy had issued a statement.
“It has been brought to his notice that in many public eating places the charge for a portion of potatoes and other vegetables is so relatively high as to encourage people to order bread instead. This is very much against the national interest at present and Sir Arthur Yapp desires it to be clearly understood that he expects the management of all public eating places to alter their arrangements accordingly.”
“It is stated that it is still quite common for meat, eggs etc to be served on toast or bread. This practice should be immediately discontinued, and the use of bread should be discouraged in every way possible as long as potatoes and vegetables are abundant.”
In a patriotic move The Parwich Dairy placed an advertisement, not for its products, but to encourage people to invest in the country:
“You have bought and appreciated our goods: Will you now take our advice? Buy National War bonds and go on regularly investing in your savings in them. – Parwich Diary, Dig Street, Ashbourne.”
- My fellow researcher and former De Montfort University colleague John Dilley is conducting a similar real-time project with the Market Harborough Advertiser. Check out his Newspapers and the Great Warblog