Saturday, 10 January 2015

Potton and the War

Bus in Market Square, Potton with men for Kitchener’s Army [Z1306/91/28/2]

Sunday 10th January 1915: The village of Potton has been taking stock as the war continues and has been warned to work on the assumption that it will last for at least another year. Three wounded men, John Manning[1] and William Manning of the West Kents and Bert Stonebridge of the Life Guards have been home convalescing during the last month. A number of Potton men are still serving at the Front; James Waldock, Joseph Payne and others are just going off to join them. Percy Richardson was taken prisoner at Ypres and has written from Munster in Westphalia, Prussia:

“I have been wounded and am in a German Hospital. I was hit in the thigh on October 30th and am getting better. You will see by the address that I am a prisoner of war. I should like all in Potton to see how we are treated by our own ambulance men, it will show you what they are. I hope the choir are getting on well and all at home”.

The village working party requires a good deal of financial help in order to carry on its work and intends to produce items a little less costly than flannel shirts. They have received grateful letters from men at the Front who have received shirts, socks and so on. Many say how much they appreciate that they are not forgotten by those at home. A letter of thanks has also been received from a Sister at the 1st Eastern Hospital, Cambridge:

“Allow me to thank you very much for the most useful garments which I have received for my patients. The poor wounded soldiers are delighted with the warm socks and jackets, and I have used the round pillow to prop up the leg of a dear Belgian boy, who has a severe shrapnel wound. We are most grateful for your help.”

Source: Potton Parish Magazine, January 1915  [P64/30/4]

[1] Lance-Corporal J. Manning of the 8th Battalion Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, son of  Mrs E. Winters of The Orchard, Mill Road, Potton, was killed on 27th May 1917 aged 28 and is buried at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) at Ieper in Belgium.

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