Spalding ‘Terriers’ at the front in 1915

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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Readers of these newspapers had a first-hand account of life in the trenches for the Spalding Territorials in 1915.

Sgt William Quinton, of Little London, Spalding – one of five brothers serving King and country – was home on special leave when he described life for ‘our Terriers’ as they were affectionately known.

The trenches were described as “quiet” for the first two days – apart from the “shells and bullets constantly flying about”.

Sgt Quinton’s and Sgt Bates’ platoons were holding an advanced line of trenches, only 25 yards away from the enemy.

As a result, little could be done in the day time, except lying low and keeping quiet.

One of the Lincoln Company, tiring of the German bullets splitting open the sand bags and splashing mud around in the lads’ food, “tried to get a smack back at the Germans”.

Sgt Quinton said: “He fired three shots at the opposing trench, and almost immediately a big portion of his head was blown away by a piece of shrapnel.”

On the third day, two Spalding boys – Privates Ashlin and Barlow – were among the casualties when there was an accident among the rifle grenade party.

They were trying to convert hand grenades into rifle grenades, but didn’t know how to do it.

They had put the first hand grenade into the rifle attachment when an officer came up and said he would fire it. Immediately he attempted to do so, it exploded.

Luckily, the Spalding boys were only slightly hurt and were due to return to duty within days.

Spalding’s Territorial Major, Major Barrell, had taken command of the Lincolnshire Territorial Battalion following the death of Colonel Jessop. He was highly regarded for his care of the men.