Christmas gift plan for Spalding boys at war

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Great interest was shown in a pedigree pig being sold in Spalding to help send Christmas presents to local men at the front in 1916.

The pig, or “golden porker” as it was dubbed at the time, was one of the famous Hillegom white pigs owned and bred by Mr Alf T White, of Little London, Spalding.

Mr White’s 98 pigs were sold at auction, with a total of 1,052¼ guineas realised from the “large and influential” group of breeders present.

However, it was the sale of the pig given by Mr White in aid of the Spalding Town Fund for sending Christmas parcels to our “fighting boys” that caused the biggest stir.

One table showed particular enthusiasm for the beast, and had “conspired together at luncheon to see to it that the pig made money”.

The report said: “They gave vent to their eagerness so much that they found, on squaring up, that (they) had spent £25 4s on purchasing a pig which they did not then even possess.”

Mr E Wherry, from Bourne, was one of the group who had made the joint bid, and the animal was subsequently “knocked down” to him to take away for a further six guineas.

Hundreds of pounds were required to send the parcels to Spalding men serving with the Forces or in training.

A meeting had been held at the town’s Corn Exchange to discuss the scheme, with Urban Council chairman Coun E I R Stapleton JP presiding.

Mr Stapleton said he thought they had embarked on “a formidable task” but felt sure it could be done.

He said it was something they “ought to do for the fellows who had gone from them” and he knew the lads would appreciate it.

One person present suggested consulting with mothers, sisters and wives of the men to get an idea of what gifts would “give the boys most satisfaction”.