Treat for patients and prayer book is lost and found
HERE in this weekly feature we take a look back at the Rochdale Observer from 100 years ago...
●●A NEW YEAR TREAT TO INFIRMARY PATIENTS
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.
●●GREETINGS THROUGH THE POST
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.”
●●LETTERS BY A RADICAL - THE NEW YEAR
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.
●●WAR CASUALTY PHOTOS
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