WEEKEND WEB: Boy dies after falling through ice on the river

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A tragic start to 1918 was reported in the Lincolshire Free Press....

A sad drowning tragedy occurred when a Pinchbeck boy drowned in the River Glen.

Norman Webster (8), son of farmer Mr John Webster, was sliding on the frozen river when the ice cracked and he plunged into the icy water.

The inquest was heard at the Red Lion Inn, Pinchbeck.

Mr Webster was the first witness called and said that on learning of his son’s accident, he went to the spot and entered the water, but failed to find any sign of the body.

Dr Burton, a medical practitioner residing at Pinchbeck, said he was called to attend to Norman Webster shortly after five o’clock and on examining the body, found life extinct.

The body had been in the water about an hour and death was due to drowning.

Phillip Russell, miller’s carter, of Pinchbeck, said he was at the mill when someone came and told him of the accident. Mr Russell assisted to drag for and and recover the body.

Cecil Webster (10), brother of the deceased, said he and his brother were on their way home about four o’clock and his brother went on the ice and walked along the middle of the river until close to the footbridge, where the ice cracked and he fell through.

They were about a hundred yards from home.

The younger boy clung to the ice while his brother ran to fetch Mr Wright, who lived close by.

The father was also called, but when he arrived, the boy was under water.

The verdict recorded was ‘death by misadventure’.

IN THE PICTURE: Baby love from nurse

The above photograph was submitted to the Lincs Free Press by Woodruff N White, of Penny Hill, Holbeach.

It shows a nurse - Mr Woodruff’s daughter, who was trained at the City of London Hospital - caring for babies of soldiers, while their fathers were at war.

Pictured are babies who were Australian, Canadian, South African, American and two orphans.


A family record for war decorations was created by a former Spalding resident.

The father, Chief Petty Officer J T Wren, and his son, Jack, also serving in the Navy, were both awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

The son’s medal was in connection with the Jutland Battle, when he was only16 years of age and the father for submarine chasing.

The father has also been recommended for the Albert Medal in gold.


A football match was held on Snowden Field, Crowland, on Christmas Day, between the Crowland and Thorney teams.

The result went in favour of the home team, who scored five goals to Thorney’s none.