Treat for pa­tients and prayer book is lost and found

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA -

HERE in this weekly fea­ture we take a look back at the Rochdale Ob­server from 100 years ago...


Ring­ing cheers re­sounded from the wards of the Rochdale In­fir­mary last night in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of all who had con­trib­uted to mak­ing such a suc­cess of the an­nual tea and en­ter­tain­ment to the pa­tients.

If they did not dis­pel the murky mist, the damp­ness, and dis­agree­able­ness of the town with­out, did give ev­i­dence of the at­mos­phere de­sired by Dr C B Slater in­side.

Dr Slater cre­ated a new beat­i­tude: “Blessed are the hope bringers, for they are the saviours of men.”

She recog­nised the value of hope in such an in­sti­tu­tion and that was why she could join in the thanks to the Mayor, the ladies, and all the oth­ers who had as­sisted.

The tea pro­vided, as she said, more than food for the body: the good spirit in which it was given cre­ated a most nec­es­sary at­mos­phere, feed­ing and build­ing up the mind and the spirit, thus en­abling the pa­tients to ben­e­fit greatly from their stay in the in­fir­mary.


The old cus­toms die hard, al­though it was very dif­fi­cult this week to wish a “happy” new year.

In most cases, the ver­bal greet­ing was qual­i­fied, but the num­ber of let­ters and cards which went through the post of­fice in Rochdale was nearly as nu­mer­ous as in the other years of war.

At the cen­tral of­fice on Mon­day night, in­deed, both the letter and the par­cel de­part­ments were busy and the in­com­ing as well as the out­go­ing mails were heavy.

As dur­ing the pre­vi­ous week­end, the traf­fic was smoothly dealt with and there was no delay in any section.

In front of the counter yes­ter­day, there were plenty of peo­ple.

Be­yond or­di­nary busi­ness, there was the re­newal of li­cences and in the sav­ings bank depart­ment it was no­ticed the as­sis­tants had lit­tle rest. ●●TWICE LOST AND RE­COV­ERED, A PRAYER BOOK FROM THE BAT­TLE­FIELD

In a letter to the Rev G R Oak­ley, vicar of Dearn­ley, pub­lished in the St An­drew’s Par­ish Magazine for this month, Cor­po­ral Ron­ald Nut­tall of that dis­trict, who is now in hospi­tal, tells and in­ter­est­ing story of the loss and re­cov­ery of a prayer book.

He said: “You re­mem­ber the prayer book you gave me when I en­listed?

“I took it France with me and when I got wounded on July 26, it got lost.

“It was found later on by a Leeds man called Bass. He ev­i­dently car­ried it and lost it.

“The next man to find it was a Pri­vate Beswick of the Manch­esters on Oc­to­ber 17.

“He car­ried it out of the line and showed it to his chum James Lay­cock of Smithy Bridge.

“James is a friend of mine and he recog­nised my own and your name.

“His friend there­fore gave him the book to send home to Lay­cock’s fa­ther, who, in turn, took it to my brother.

“He gave it to Doris and she sent it to me.

“The beauty of the thing is that each man as he got the book wrote on one of its front pages his name and num­ber and when and where it was found.”


At the be­gin­ning of the new year, one in­stinc­tively prays that this will be the last year of war.

I heard the news of my young kins­man’s “cruel end,” I saw the hope­less grief of the poor mother, cui bono, my very soul cried out, why this aw­ful waste?

Later on, I was some­what con­soled in read­ing some brave verses writ­ten last year by the young soldier who is to be reck­oned now among the ‘Happy war­riors.’

“Clear came the call: they leapt to arms and died.

“As in old days the he­roes prayed to do:

“Great tho’ our sor­row, greater yet our pride,

“O gal­lant hearts, in you.

“Surely they sleep con­tent, our valiant dead,

“Fallen un­timely in the sav­age strife:

“They have but fol­lowed whither duty led “To find a fuller life. “Who then are we to grudge the bit­ter price

“Of this, our land in­vi­o­late through the years

“Or mar the splen­dour of their sac­ri­fice

“That is too high for tears?”

May those flow­ing words bring com­fort to some af­flicted soul.


Pri­vate Robert Collinge of the Lan­cashire Fusiliers died of wounds in hospi­tal abroad on De­cem­ber 11.

His home was at 69 Ash­worth Street, Rochdale.

Pri­vate Collinge was of­fi­cially associated with the Church of the Good Shep­herd.

Pri­vate Regi­nald Lord of the Manch­esters, el­dest son of Mr Joseph Lord, 27 Mill­gate, Small­bridge, died of wounds on De­cem­ber 13.

●●Some of the ad­ver­tise­ments that ap­peared in the Rochdale Ob­server in 1918

●●Pri­vate Robert Collinge and Pri­vate Regi­nald Lord died of their wounds

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