South Holland begins to pull together to aid the troops

Cartoon from the Free Press of 1914 ANL-140815-174543001
Cartoon from the Free Press of 1914 ANL-140815-174543001
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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, which we are commemorating by bringing you articles from this paper at the time of the Great War.

South Holland began making preparations in order to help the country and its troops in any way possible.

It was decided that an offer would be sent to the British Red Cross for any wounded soldiers or sailors to be sent to the Johnson Hospital in Spalding.

An appeal was made to Spalding for donations of funds to help the hospital make preparations for the reception of the wounded.

The Spalding Red Cross centre were to equip the hospital with all necessary surgical appliances and bandages, as well as helping them to receive and treat up to 40 wounded men at a time, with 24 hours’ notice.

Spalding also put on plans to provide a “rest station” at the railway station in the town, which would offer refreshments to wounded men who were passing through on their way to the Johnson Hospital.

The local St John Ambulance Brigade were to be in charge of the wounded at the station, and would transport them to the hospital.

One of the waiting rooms at the station was to be reserved for this service, and was to include six beds for any patients who were too ill to continue to the base hospital.

Plans were also put in place for cooking utensils to be made available at the station, so that refreshments could also be provided for the other wounded on trains passing through the station.

The Red Cross also made arrangements for its “lady workers” to make articles of clothing needed by the wounded both at home and abroad.

The Long Sutton Institute was selected by the Red Cross as a hospital.

Mrs Sutcliffe, the wife of a doctor, gave preliminary lectures to those at the institute in preparation for receiving at least twelve wounded.

At Harenden House in Fleet, 58 men met for drill instructions which were lead by Sergeant Major Pilton, to prepare them for home defence.

The men were described as “splendid specimens of the agricultural interests” and “broad shouldered, alert, vigorous sons of the soil”.

After an hour’s drill the men were said to look much more military in their appearance.