One hundred years ago this week, the Lincolnshire Free Press told of the progress of the wounded at a military hospital in South Holland.
Six men were discharged from the hospital, and it seemed that the others were progressing “favourably” in health, and all bar one or two of the men had put on weight.
The paper said: “One man has gained eight or nine pounds – it is evident that the cuisine suits the palates of the men.
“Patients are also loud in their praises of the kind and sympathetic attention which they daily receive from the medical and nursing staff.”
People from Bourne and the surrounding area also made sure that the men were sent gifts.
During one week, papers, vegetables, cheesecakes, mince pies, eggs, jam, cakes, cigarettes and tobacco, oranges, chocolates, buts, candied fruits, tarts, brandy, handkerchiefs, cards, butters, towels and slippers were all received.
There was also said to be a “small museum” at the hospital, as several of the men had brought souvenirs of the battlefield with them and decided to collect them together.
There was a watch, pierced through by a bullet, as well as a bullet received in action in Lille which was extracted from the lung of a soldier.
Also on display was a French knife received from an Algerian at the Aisne, a French mirror given by a dying French man to one of the soliders at the battle of Ypres and a collection of coins and bullets.
Visitors to the hospital also enjoyed chatting to the soldiers and donated money in order for tobacco to be purchased for those who were wounded.
A concert was also given at the hospital by well known artists such as Major C. W. Bell, Miss Bailey, Mr J. Fowler and Miss Ida Stubley.
Patients and nursing staff also enjoyed a whist (card game) competition, with many Bourne citizens providing prizes for the highest scorers.
Prizes included a huge knife, a tobacco pouch, a work bag and a book cover.
Pte. Modell ended up with the ‘booby’ prize.