Christmas being a time of giving many charitable organisations in the village were doing their utmost to make the serving soldiers’ lives more comfortable.
Mrs Covington, landlady of The Stag’s Head on the High Street, raised 6s 8d (33p) for Ashwell soldiers.
House-to-house collection for ‘Parcels for the Front’ raised £22.18s.4d. The New Year’s gifts sent to each man each man contains a tin of turkey and tongue paste, a rich plum cake, a tin of peppermint candies, a packet of chocolate food, a tin of sardines and of course some cigarettes.
The men who had been to the front and were now convalescing were not forgotten either. At the Ashwell Soldiers Hospital in the Bury a programme of Christmas festivities was organised. This included festive gifts, a Christmas tree and bran tub.
There was one casualty reported this month although the newspaper gave out conflicting stories. The first report was about Private Harry Smith, son of Mr & Mrs G Smith of Silver Street, a former musketry sergeant and instructor who had only recently gone to France. Later in the month there was news that the soldier, Lance Corporal Smith, was still alive, but authorities maintained he was dead. Our records say that he died on the 17th January 1917 so perhaps all will be explained next month.
The Ashwell District Council Meeting was addressed by Mr H W Bowman. He drew attention to the fact that there were local farmers who do not pay water rates but were collecting water for use on farms and fields.
Two major changes were happening at the County Council School which is now the Junior School. At the break-up for Christmas, Miss Chambers, who had been Head of Girls School for 22 years and Miss Steward, for 6 years Head of Infants, were both leaving.