Center. Rev. and Mrs. David Wallace were in town on Wednesday, when Mr. Wallace [minister at Westford Union Congregational Church 1910-1916] was the officiating clergyman at the funeral of Mrs. Rose Green [died of shock and internal injuries due to being pinned under overturned automobile; see "Fatal Accident" item below]. During their stay they called on a number of their former parishioners.
Forrest Holt, who has been employed on the George F. White farm, gets through this week and is moving with his wife and son to South Lyndeboro, N.H.
The senior class of the academy are arranging a Halloween dance to be given at the town hall on next week Thursday evening.
Emory J. Whitney entertained kinspeople, Mr. and Mrs. Black and daughter Marion of Springfield, this week, from Friday until Monday.
Rev. and Mrs. Howard A. Lincoln have been in Boston during this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Perry A. Shupe will close their home in this village during the winter and plan to live at their farm in South Merrimack, N.H.
Mrs. S. B. Watson is convalescent from an attack of influenza.
Mrs. Helena M. Bartlett has been away this week to Boston and Ipswich, at the latter place attending a wedding on Wednesday in a family of long-time friends.
Westford Grange will hold a special meeting at the town hall on Tuesday evening, October 27, when the first and second degrees will be conferred on six candidates. It has been decided to postpone neighbors night indefinitely for this season.
Schools reopened on Monday, the J. V. Fletcher library is again open and the churches will resume their usual services on Sunday, and so our community does not seem like the deserted village it did during the epidemic. So far as we are able to learn there are no cases of influenza in the village at the present time.
Oscar R. Spalding, Charles O. Prescott and Leonard W. Wheeler, who were appointed appraisers of the farm, stock and tools of the late Charles D. Colburn, attended to their duties on Wednesday afternoon preparatory to the auction sale that Mrs. Colburn plans to hold in the near future. Mrs. Colburn, with her daughter Elinor and son Charles, are planning to move to the village, occupying Miss Ella F. Hildreth’s vacant house on Hildreth street.
Tadmuck Club. The first meeting of the season for the Tadmuck club had to be cancelled on account of the epidemic, and the second meeting, which was a relief work meeting, took place at library hall on Tuesday afternoon. The work on the Red Cross hospital suits produced during the meeting, and while recognized as a war-time innovation, worked out with good results. The president, Mrs. William C. Roudenbush, presided. The secretary, Mrs. Perley E. Wright, gave her report, after which the speaker of the afternoon, Miss Helen A. Whittier, was introduced and gave a most interesting talk on “Europe in 1914,” as she saw it before the war. She also read a letter written to Miss Ella T. Wright from her nephew, Lieut. Col. George W. Crile, M.D., who is chief surgeon and commander at general hospital No. 9 at Rouen, France. Dr. Crile’s letter told vividly of the Fourth of July celebration where he was.
Mrs. Harold W. Hildreth read a letter from her husband describing his stay at beautiful Aix-Les-Bains, [France,] which is a rest camp for the soldiers, and of climbing the famous mountain of the Cat’s Tooth. Mrs. Goldsmith H. Conant read a fine letter from her brother-in-law, Benjamin Conant, which embodied heartiest endorsement of the work of the Y.M.C.A. in the army.
About Town. The next meeting of Middlesex-North Pomona grange will be held on Friday, November 1, in Lowell.
William Pollock, on the Fletcher Cold Spring farm, as superintendent, has sold the large crop of apples on the trees to Timothy Sullivan & Sons.
The freight wreck on the Stony Brook road last week Wednesday was severe enough in its shaking up of the roadbed to cause trains to run at “slow down” speed until Monday over the distance of 1200 ties. Such was the pressure that some rails were twisted like the letter S and others started to spell G, which some thought meant Germany.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been experimenting in regard to the cause of rust in wheat and finds that our old-fashioned New England barberry is a prolific cause of it when growing close by a wheat field and legislation for its extermination in the west is being agitated in several states.
Mr. Pitkin has left the employ of Sargent’s machine shop and is working on the Cadman farm at Westford Center. Likewise, Clarence Pickup has picked up and left the employ of Perley E. Wright and gone to making unconditional surrender ammunition in Lowell.
The bill to continue the present clock pushed timetable as an all-year round schedule, after passing the senate without a roll call, has been refused further consideration after a conference, and after October 27 we shall go back to where the sun and the clocks agree on time.
Walter Johnson, son of Andrew Johnson, has been in town, calling upon friends. Mr. Johnson has recently returned from the Pacific coast, where he has been for two years.
The influenza is subsiding here. Some people try to make out that it came from Germany.
The jury session of court, listed for October 7, has again been postponed until October 28.
Winter wheat on the Prairie and Old Oaken Bucket farms has a vigorous thrifty green that looks like helping toward that 1,000,000,000 bushels of wheat for 1919, which just missed 1918.
John A. Taylor is Y.M.C.A. secretary at one of the large base camps. Within five minutes after reporting at Y.M.C.A. headquarters in Paris he was assigned to educational work at this large camp. The head of the educational activity is Dr. Erskine, a former instructor of Mr. Taylor’s at Amherst. Mr. Taylor writes that he has found among his colleagues at this camp a John A. Saum and another John Taylor.
Westford is considered as truly a banner town in Northern Middlesex county. In every loan it has gone way over its quota and each time the quota is larger. This time it was $220,000 and the amount subscribed was $479,700. Of this amount $200,000 was taken by the Abbot Worsted Company. The number of subscribers were 448.
We quote the following from the Zion’s Herald, October 16: Orion V. Wells, M.D., younger brother of Rev. O. B. Wells of the Vermont conference and Rev. G. F. Wells of the New York conference, died October 4, at Westford, of pneumonia, after four days’ illness. He was converted in 1898 upon entering Wesleyan, at Middletown, Conn., and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in his native town, Bakersfield, Vt. He had been first lieutenant in the Medical corps of the M. S. G., was a member of the examining board of Ayer, and as a volunteer had passed examinations and daily expected his commission in the Medical Reserve of the United States and expected soon to be serving his country in France.
The many friends of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Craven will be interested to hear of the birth of a son to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Calvert of Erie, Pa. Mrs. Calvert was Eva Craven, the youngest daughter of the late Edward Craven. The baby has been named Edward Craven Calvert in honor of the grandfather. He was born September 7. Mrs. Calvert is a sister of Mrs. Robert Elliott and Mr. Calvert is related to the Calvert family.
Westford people who used to hear Rev. C. E. Spaulding preach in the M. E. church at West Chelmsford will be interested in the honor which has come to him. Rev. Dr. Charles E. Spaulding, superintendent of the Worcester district of the New England conference, has been selected as one of a deputation to visit the annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal church in South America and the leading mission stations, to make a study of the work of the denomination in that continent.
The State Board of Health of New York has gone after the present epidemic with a money punch, making it a fine of $500 for a person to sneeze or cough in company without placing the hand over the sneeze or cough provided it could not be avoided. Well all cough sneezing will plead unavoidable, hence no fines. If government desires to make a cleaning up of unsanitary conditions, let it go back to first principles that lay the foundation for coughing and sneezing epidemics. Let it insist on more and better, yet inexpensive, ventilation and a larger inlet of sunshine in the rooms.
The Unitarian church will open again on this coming Sunday. Mr. Buckshorn will preach on “The casting out of fear.” The services begin at eleven.
By cable comes the word from Paris that Corp Arthur E. Blodgett, Co. E, 101st Infantry, of Medford, was commissioned a second lieutenant. He was in the famous drive of the 26th division which completed a five-months’ period of trench duty and drive activities. He spent ten weeks at the army candidate school and received his commission on October 14. Lieut. Blodgett saw service on the Mexican border with the Lawrence Light Guards of Medford. He was made a corporal just before the guard went to Framingham camp last year. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Blodgett and formerly lived here.
Fatal Accident. A very sad and fatal accident occurred Sunday evening when Mr. and Mrs. William E. Green and their oldest son, Kenneth, who live on the Providence road, were returning from a trip to Medford. On the Bedford road, near Sleepy Hollow cemetery in Concord, about eight o’clock in the evening, the car skidded from the right hand side of the road to the left. Mr. Green had no time to stop the car before it had crashed through a fence and down a twenty-foot embankment, turning turtle and landing in a ditch. The slippery road from the falling rain and a flat tire caused the sudden accident, probably.
The occupants of the car were pinned under it and powerless to help themselves. Mr. Green shouted for help, but car after car passed by without hearing his frantic cries. Finally, a Mr. Conant, of Littleton, who was passing more slowly, heard the cries and he, with others, came to the rescue.
Mrs. Green had been killed almost instantly. Evidently she realized her doom for as the car went over she cried out, “Oh my baby, my baby!” as she thought of her precious two-year-old at home. The auto partly rested on Kenneth’s neck, but it was raised so carefully that he was saved. He sustained injuries, however, and was taken to the Deaconess hospital in Concord, but was able to be taken home for his mother’s funeral. Mr. Green suffered from the shock and was badly shaken up, but was able to be taken to his home by Mr. Conant.
It was extremely sad accident, for Mr. and Mrs. Green were very industrious people and owned a good farm on Providence road. For some time Mr. Green has been in the employ of the H. E. Fletcher Co.
Mrs. Green came from a large family of children and was the youngest. As Rose Murray she came to Westford with the Dr. Draper’s family. She identified herself with the Congregational church. She was married to William E. Green. She leaves eight children, two boys and six girls, the oldest being fourteen and the youngest two years old. Mrs. Green was possessed of a most winning way. She was quiet and unassuming, but there was a charm about her. She excelled as a mother, possessing a really wonderful way with her children, which was always spoken of by those who knew her. She was patient, cheery and tactful—a real mother—and it seems sad to think of those children bereft of such a mother. Only the mother of children can realize what a busy woman Mrs. Green must have been. Mrs. Green was thirty-eight years of age. Besides her husband and children she leaves several brothers and sisters.
The funeral was held at the home on Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock, Rev. David Wallace, of Sterling, her former pastor, conducting the service. He spoke most beautifully of her as a splendid mother and wife and then read the poem, “He giveth his beloved sleep." Mrs. Greig and Mrs. Janet Wright sang two selections, “No sorrow there” and “The christians’s good-night.” The bearers were Mr. Judd, Arthur Day, Ralph Bridgeford and James O’Brien. There were many beautiful flowers. The interment was in Fairview cemetery.
That same night, about one o’clock, another auto accident happened in Westfield [sic], the slippery road again being the cause. A seven-passenger jitney owned by Lewis Rayball, skidded on the state road and turned over onto its side, going over a wall into a field. Three soldiers from Camp Devens were in the car, one of whom was badly injured.
Obituary. How widely across the space of time the tie of Westford holds its children. More than half a century ago a little boy left the house now owned by Alec Fisher, made an honorable and distinguished place for himself in the middle and far west, and last week came back and buried his beloved wife in the old family lot at Fairview. We refer to Albert N. Longley, the distinguished hat maker of Chicago and Bishop, Cal.
Mrs. Longley died in Chicago, Ill., on the 16th of October, after an extended illness of two years. Despite her invalid condition, she was an interested worker in the Red Cross, and gave of herself and means generously to help in our war work. Her maiden name was Ellen Therese Bancroft, and she was born in Canada, May 4, 1865. Most of her childhood was spent in Boston. When she was married to Mr. Longley, the couple moved west where their residence has been in Bishop, Cal., for many years. She was a woman of fine principles and beloved by many for her strong character and lovable ways.
Mrs. Greig and Mrs. Charles Wright sang at the funeral and Mr. Buckshorn conducted the services.
After the services Mr. Longley and his party went up to Alec Fisher’s residence. They found it much changed. Mr. Longley was unable to find the window pane on which in the bygone years some member of his family had scratched the name Longley. Your correspondent spoke to Mr. Fisher later. He remembers the window and the name very well. It was in the dining room as used by his father and mother before their death. The window was removed some years ago when Mr. Fisher made extensive alterations.
Mrs. Longley is survived by her husband, her sister, Mrs. J. M. Jones, of West Lynn, and three brothers, Ned, Frank and Irving Bancroft.
Letter from Overseas. The following letter, dated London, September 1, has been received by Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Taylor, from their son, John, and may prove of interest to his friends in this vicinity:
Dear Father and Mother—I am very tired tonight after a busy day sightseeing about London, but as I leave tomorrow for France, I know you will want to hear a few of my impressions of England. What I have to write will be rather meagre and rambling, for time and energy will not permit a literary effort.
Of course, the first thing that impresses one as he comes to London is the lack of man power. This metropolis alone has given over a million men to the army and navy. Take that number out of New York and imagine what would happen. As I landed at the station the first thing I noticed was young girls smashing the baggage, and then on the street I saw them driving motor trucks, collecting fares on the buses, operating the immense lifts (elevators) to the tube (subway), and doing other types of heavy labor and you must remember that the English girls are not the deep-bosomed strappers we are accustomed to see in the States. I don’t think our American women will ever know the sorrow and sacrifice which these English women have experienced. I wish you could have seen the wistful looks in the face of those widows in the streets of Liverpool. How they did cheer the American troops as we marched up from the decks. They feel that our sending over 300,000 men a month is going to end this appalling tragedy. I saw hardly a face free from the anxiety and suffering caused by the war.
If you had seen what I have seen you would understand why I refrain from the proverbial phrase “Merrie England” And perhaps there will no longer be a frivolous America, when we get down to taking the war seriously. London, as you might suppose, is one seething mass of soldiers from all parts of the world. You see it is the assembling point for the whole British empire. As you walk down the Strand or Piccadilly you will see soldiers in every conceivable type of military uniform. There are the Scotch Highlanders with their immortal kilties, the Australians with big campaign hats, South Africans with their peculiar turbans, New Zealanders, Canadians, Welchmen [sic, Welshmen], Yankees and the native Tommies with their canes and swaggering, lilting walk. No matter where you go—church, theatre, park, tube, hotel—you see scarcely any men out of uniform. In comparison, New York city has no soldiers at all.
Every day I see hundreds of men in blue convalescent suits, often crawling about on crutches and all bandaged up. The other day four trucks full of crippled soldiers drew up at the hospital near here. London is also the place where most of the soldiers come for their early furloughs of fourteen days. What available time I have I spend down at the Y.M.C.A. (American) Hut, where I can chat with soldiers from all over the world. I often meet fellows wearing three and four stripes, one for each year in France, and often as many as three or four brass bars, indicating the number of wounds. Many of them are premature old men due to the extreme hardship. I fear some of them will be incapacitated for civil life when the war ends.
With these thousands of troops here in London, about to embark for France or back on a furlough, you can see what a problem the Y.M.C.A. and other organizations have to care for these soldiers in transit, and the thousands of undesirable women who have floated into London make the social problem a serious menace. If the police could shoot dead or otherwise dispose of these diseased harlots it would be a blessing to the soldiers. I think that will help with the war.
Another war-time characteristic, for of course this is no longer the London of Charles Dickens, is the food scarcity. I don’t want to seem unpatriotic, but we Americans are gluttons, cramming our stomachs full all the time. Here, the people have had to come to stringent food rations. It is practically impossible to get sugar, butter, cream and meat. Being a guest of the hotel here I can get a little butter at breakfast and sometimes a pinch of sugar, but at the restaurants you can’t get them for “fun, money or marbles.” Nor can you get any meat unless you have a ration coupon book, furnished by the government. But the point I want to make is that no one complains; we understand those conditions are unavoidable. I heard grumbling in New York on every corner, but I haven’t heard a cross word spoken in England. The courtesy and geniality of the Britisher has been a big surprise to me. In answering questions, giving directions and in conducting conversations they are extremely polite and affable. For instance, this morning when I came out of St. Paul’s cathedral, a prince-Albert, silk-hat Londoner came up and asked me how I liked the service, and if he could give any information to the lads from the States. Of course the English people are overjoyed in having us come over to help finish the war. They can’t do enough for us, so they say.
It is not easy to get about London at night, for it is practically a dark city; the window shades have to be all pulled, and only a few dingy street lamps are kept going, and these are blackened over on the top. You understand this is a necessary precaution against the air raids. There have not been any for four months, but they are apt to break out at any time. In going about the city I have seen several buildings damaged by the shells.
I am also annoyed a bit by the fact that here the traffic all turns to the left. I fear Reuben would have some difficulty in making his Ford always turn to the left. There are comparatively few automobiles to be seen here. Joy riding, even sight-seeing buses, are absolutely prohibited. Only motors in the army service or on necessary business can pass. Imagine the New York joy-riders being requested to refrain for just one day in order to save petrol (gasoline). What a howl there would be! The English people are intensely serious about the war and take those requests graciously.
I have always heard much about the beautiful scenery of England. But even so I never dreamed that the country was such a veritable garden. I shall never forget the ride up to London from Liverpool. Such lovely, verdant fields, and such substantial country estates. There was not a touch of autumn in the landscape except for the barley fields all shocked and ready for the harvest. I wonder if it is the English fogs or the damp climate which keeps the fields so fertile and luxurious. God may have created fairer country fields, but I have not come upon them yet. This glimpse has made me want to travel out through the lake country, where Martha and the Camerons went and then over to Bonnie Scotland. Perhaps I shall before I return. Yesterday another “Y” man and I strolled through the famous Kew gardens and then took a boat up the Thames river as far as Hampton Court. This portion of the Thames is exquisitely beautiful, with all the summer homes on either bank, the well-kept gardens, the quaint tea-rooms, the restful houseboats and the happy lovers out in their cosy [sic] canoes. Such a scene of rare and placid beauty makes one forget for a moment about the awful presence of war. Hampton Court is an immense historical estate. You remember that Cardinal Woolsey built this and gave it to King Henry VIII. For many generations it was the court residence of the royal family. Now it houses interesting relics of the past.
I have had opportunity to go about London quite a lot. Today I attended morning service at the famous St. Paul’s cathedral. I don’t wonder that it took the architect, Sir Christopher Wren, practically a life-time to build this. It is an inspiration to worship in an edifice of such grandeur and solidarity. This afternoon I went to church again, this time to Westminster Abbey, the most famous ecclesiastical edifice in the world. You don’t remember when it was built, do you? Well, it was centuries old when Columbus discovered our America. Every foot of it seems hallowed. As we were a bit late I sat back in the poets’ corner. Right beside me was the spot where Browning and Tennyson were buried, and the bust of our beloved Longfellow kept beaming down on me. As the massive organ pealed out its rich tones I found myself dreaming back into the memories of the traditions that have made England great. Then at the close of the service I walked by the Houses of Parliament and onto the Westminster bridge, which spans the Thames river. This is the traditional spot where Julius Cœsar crossed in 55 B.C. I can now exclaim, “I stand where Cœsar stood.”
The other day a rare privilege came to a few of us Y.M.C.A. men. Sir John Burns, a distinguished ex-cabinet member, escorted us all through the houses of parliament. I learned from him more English history than I ever grubbed out of books. He was a second Benjamin Bailey when it came to eloquence in reminiscing over great events. I had the privilege of occupying Lloyd George’s seat in the House of Commons, and learning just where the other dignitaries sit. And a thrill of emotion came over me as I stood where Burke made his able plea in behalf of the American colonies, and again when I stood where Oliver Cromwell was proclaimed protector of the empire. I wish I had time to give you a few of the many anecdotes which Sir John Burns told us.
This afternoon I have also been out to Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens. How I loved the sunken gardens and the Kensington palace where Queen Victoria was born and lived until her coronation. Yes, and I have actually been to Buckingham palace, but King George and Queen Mary are down at Windsor just now so that I was unable to chat with them. But I enjoyed going through the royal stables. All the horses were not in, we saw only about 150 of them. And we saw all the costly saddles and royal trappings. The royal carriage, weighing four tons, and drawn by eight white horses, was quite a curiosity. This was made for George III and has been used at every coronation since. There is a fascination about royal grandeur, but still I couldn’t help but feel the utter extravagance and futility of such expenditure.
Day before yesterday a guide took us all through the Tower of London. This is quite a modern building for England. It was erected as recently as the eleventh century. The German atrocities seem tame when compared with the happenings in and about the bloody tower. I saw the very block and axe where many a distinguished religious or royal personage “lost his head.” I prefer the insipid present.
Last evening I enjoyed another unusual privilege. At the Y.M.C.A. hut I heard E. H. Sothern and Mary Anderson (long since retired from the stage) in scenes from Macbeth. How good it seemed to hear a bit of Shakespeare on his own soil. And then Admiral Sims was present and spoke to “the boys” in a most charming manner. His humorous stories just captivated the soldiers. Many of them were mild hits on the British Tommie and that brought out whoops of laughter. Had I the space and you the patience I would retell some of them.
Tomorrow I expect to sail across the channel and journey down to Paris. I should like a few more days in London, but still I am anxious to get at my work. I do hope I shall find a letter or two awaiting me. The Y.M.C.A. publishes a small news sheet every day giving scraps of American news. Aside from this we must only conjecture what is happening back home. The London papers give practically nothing except the war-front news.
I am stopping here at the Imperial hotel at Russell square. Of course you remember just where that is, a couple of blocks from Wright & Fletcher’s store. Whom should I meet in the lobby last night but an Emerson college classmate of mine. She was in a Y.M.C.A. uniform and is to do canteen work in France. How good it is to meet old friends in a land beyond the seas.
The next letter I will endeavor to write in French. That will prevent such undue prolixity.
–John Adams Taylor
Graniteville. All the churches were open for regular services here on last Sunday, but the services were somewhat shortened and the buildings were well ventilated. At St. Catherine’s church there was no Sunday school session, but the lessons will be resumed when conditions get back to normal.
Fred M. Defoe, who has been station agent at the East Littleton depot for the past few years, has recently been transferred to the West Graniteville station on the Nashua & Acton branch of the Boston and Maine railroad. Thomas E. Denio, the former station agent at West Graniteville, has recently taken charge of a station in Henniker, N.H, where there is a fine opening for him.
Fred Healy, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Healy, has recently entered the Lowell Textile school, where he has enrolled in the students’ training course.
Mrs. Hannah E. Harrington, who has been in Camden, N.J., for the past few weeks, has recently returned to this village.
Edward T. Healy, who recently entered the navy, is station at Rockland, Me.
Private Henry J. Healy, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Healy, who has been stationed at the base hospital at Camp Jackson, Columbia, S.C., for the past few weeks, has recently been transferred to Camp Merritt, N.J., and expects to sail to overseas duty soon. Private Healy is a graduate of the Westford academy and was a student at Clark university, Worcester, where he was specializing in chemistry when he was called to the colors. He is a fine ball player and put up some great games for Graniteville behind the bat last summer.
George V. Hanson, who recently joined the colors, has been sent to Fort Warren.
The grippe epidemic is on the wane here. The ban has been lifted on the churches and school, and in a few days it is expected that conditions will be back to normal again.
Dr. W. H. Sherman has volunteered in the medical reserve corps and expects to report for duty in the near future.
Forge Village. Eva Milot, the four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Milot, died at her home on Storey [sic, Story] street last week Friday after a short illness. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, with burial in St. Catherine’s cemetery. Besides her parents she is survived by several brothers and sisters.
Edna Edwards, the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Edwards, was struck on the head with one of the swings at Cameron school on Monday. Dr. J. D. Christie closed the wound with four stitches.
There was a meeting of the teachers of the Sunday school of St. Andrew’s mission last Sunday afternoon at 3:30. Rev. Angus Dun has outlined a very interesting program for the Sunday school and the coming therm.
Miss Gertrude Comey has accepted a position in the station of the Boston and Maine railroad and has already commenced her new duties.
A very interesting letter has been received from Private Henry Read in active service with Battery E, 342nd F.A. He has been under shell fire, but says it did not take him long to get used to it. He says that many prisoners were taken by his company and the Germans did not put up much of a fight. He met Thomas Rafferty and Peter Clement and quite a number of Westford boys, and was with them for a week. His address is Private Henry Read, Battery E, 342nd F.A., A.E.F. He would like to hear from any of the boys here.
Miss Emma Murray, who for the past twenty-two years has been employed by the Abbot Worsted Co. has accepted a position in Ayer at the store of George B. Turner & Son. Her associates here for so many years were sorry to learn of her departure.
At a business meeting of the Red Cross held at St. Andrew’s mission on Tuesday evening it was voted to hold their weekly meetings on Thursday evenings. The Ladies’ Sewing circle meets on that day and it will conserve fuel to meet on the same day.
Mrs. James H. Brown, of Clinton, spent the weekend at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Merrick.
Miss Margaret O’Hara, a nurse at Camp Devens for the past year, has been ordered across and left for New York last Saturday. Miss O’Hara, whose home is in this village, has a brother in France with the Canadians.
Christmas Parcels for Men Abroad. The families of men in service abroad have been longing for some means of making Christmas overseas as merry a one as conditions permit. Sensing this desire the war department has decided that each man may receive from his family a Christmas package of standard size and approximately standard contents. The amount of shipping space which has been set aside for the transportation of Christmas parcels will permit the sending of but one parcel to each man and to make sure that each parcel will be correctly addressed, a Christmas parcel label is now being issued to the men abroad.
Men will be instructed to mail this label home to some relative or friend who, upon receiving it, will apply to the nearest Red Cross branch, where upon presentation of the Christmas parcel label they will receive one carton, 8x4x9 inches in size. The carton may be filled with any combination of articles which will fit in it and which are not barred by the postoffice department. The contents must not bulge in the container; weigh the filled carton unwrapped, which must not weigh more than two pounds and fifteen ounces. When completely packed and ready to be mailed the weight of the carton must not exceed three pounds. Remember, the parcel may receive rough usage; wrap it up in heavy wrapping paper and tie securely.
When the parcel is wrapped the inspector obtains from the person sending the parcel the Christmas parcel label received from overseas, bearing the name of the man to whom it is addressed—and remember, the postoffice will not accept a parcel without this label—each man is to receive just one package. The person sending the parcel shall then, in the presence of a Red Cross representative, among whose members shall be the local postmaster or his representative, affix stamps sufficient to carry the parcel to Hoboken, N.J. Remember, a rule of the postoffice forbids the forwarding of written matter under the postal rates. No Christmas parcels can be mailed later than November 15.
News Items. The ban placed upon Camp Devens by the military authorities was lifted Thursday night, much to the pleasure of the soldiers and the business men, who have been greatly affected by the soldiers’ confinement to the camp. The town has resumed its former activity with large number of soldiers on the streets during the evening. The camp has been closed to the town for several weeks.
Private Thomas Slager of the 44th Company, 151st Depot Brigade, had his right arm so badly crushed in a railroad accident on Wednesday night, a short distance north of the Worcester, Nashua and Portland division crossing, that amputation was necessary, the operation being performed at the base hospital, Camp Devens. He showed remarkable courage in walking unassisted from the scene of the accident to the Ayer Hardware Company’s store on Park street. Dr. Sullivan was called and cared for him till the injured soldier was moved to the hospital. He was attempting to cross between the cars of a freight train when they suddenly started and threw him off between the cars, the wheel passing over the arm.
Reopened. The Soldiers’ club on West street, which has been closed to social functions for several weeks, during which time it was excellently conducted as an emergency hospital for the treatment of cases of influenza, was reopened Wednesday evening with appropriate exercises. There was a good sized attendance of invited guests present. An orchestra from Camp Devens opened the program with two selections, after which Judge Sanderson of the committee on training camp activities delivered an address.
Judge Sanderson spoke highly of the good work done by the club in providing wholesome recreation for the soldiers. During the past several weeks the building has been used in a most practicable way in caring for patients who otherwise might not receive proper care. The speaker also stated that while the club was to be used primarily for the benefit of the soldiers, it was also to be used by the people at large in the communities around the cantonment, all of whom were welcome to its benefits and whose suggestions for bettering its service would be welcomed at all times. The judge then presented Rev. Endicott Peabody, D.D., whose efforts have contributed largely to the erection of the building and to the success of the enterprise to the present time.
Dr. Peabody made a short address, in which he emphasized the importance of providing a clean, moral atmosphere about the camp which was so necessary to the making of the good soldier. To this end the soldiers’ club was established. The erroneous opinion prevails among some people, said Dr. Peabody, that the soldiers in general were a type of men who were not favorably looked upon by the people at large. However, this is not true for the type of the citizen soldier of today is of a high standard. Both speakers were applauded.
The remainder of the program consisted of piano solos by a soldier from the camp and vocal solos by Miss Veller. Dancing and a general good time followed.