Tag Archives: Deepings Heritage


There was a surprising find in the garden of the East Wing of Market Deeping

Rectory last week.


As soon as this badge was unearthed, Greg Ford recognized it as an Army Chaplain’s lapel badge from the First World War.

Just over 5,000 served as Chaplains in the First World War and two Rectors of St Guthlac’s Church are among that number.

Both men were awarded the Military Cross.

Reverend Paul O Ashby was the Rector during the war and when he left the parish, he was replaced by Reverend Leonard F Pigott as Rector from 1923 until his death on December 26th 1961.

Poignantly, Reverend Pigott was awarded his Military Cross 98 years ago this very week, November 6th 1918 – under a week before the Armistice was signed. So the find could not have come at a more appropriate time.

We are almost certain that the badge belonged to Reverend Pigott and was possibly discarded when the Rectory was emptied after his death.


When we looked at this photograph we could see the lapel badge prominently displayed as well as his cap badge.

Fair to say we were elated but we then began to wonder what has happened to the other lapel badge or indeed who owns his medals now…

Reverend Pigott served in the Royal Army Chaplain’s Division from 5th May 1916 until 6th December 1920 alongside the North Staffordshire Regiment. Although there are few records of  his service we do know he was on the Western Front. He was mentioned in dispatches on several occasions and he was wounded under the chin by shrapnel.

The Edinburgh Gazette reported the award of his Military Cross on November 6th 1918:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went forward with a party about 1,500 yards (almost a mile) in front of the line to bring back a badly wounded man and carried the man back through a heavy artillery barrage to the lines. He was indefatigable in the performance of his duties and showed the greatest disregard of danger.”

Early on in the war Chaplains had been given the order to stay away from the front line, but by 1916, the role of Chaplains had been redefined and they were instructed to go where they were most needed. They performed a critical  role in conducting services and performing burials but also in helping wounded soldiers (and sometimes rescuing them from “No Man’s Land”), giving spiritual guidance on the battlefield, writing letters to the families of wounded/fallen soldiers and boosting morale.

Towards the end of his military service Reverend Pigott was possibly serving in the Edinburgh War Hospital and wrote to the editor of the Scotsman on 3rd July 1920.  He regretted that officials had not scheduled the hospital into the visit of the King to Edinburgh. There were 900 men in that hospital “their bodies shattered in the service of their King and Country.”

pigott-1This commitment to the men who served in the war continued throughout his long service in Market Deeping, indeed he became Honorary Chaplain to RAF Langtoft in 1954 until its closure a short time before his death.

He died on Boxing Day 1961, one day before his 80th birthday.

(Photographs courtesy of St Guthlac’s Church and Greg Ford)

This comment attributed to General Haig provides a fitting tribute to all those Chaplains who served:

“A good Chaplain is as valuable as a good General.”

Without doubt our two Rectors were good Chaplains!


On this day, 100 years ago, 1st July 1916, the whistles blew at around 7.30 am and successive waves of troops went “over the top” from their trenches near the River Somme. Many of the  British troops had been civilians only 18 months ago.  They were “Kitchener’s men” and this was to be their first real experience of battle.

On that day alone there were 57,470 British casualties: 19,240 of those men lost their lives.

Two Deeping men fell in the first hours of 1st July:

poppy   poppy     Joseph Anstee of West Deeping

                                     Samuel Spratt of Deeping St James

              Both men were from the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

On 3rd and 4th July three Market Deeping men, who had been close neighbours in Towngate and Halfleet, also lost their lives:

poppy    poppy      Walter Hare of Market Deeping

                                        Charles E Rudkin of Market Deeping

Both men fell on 3rd July and were serving in the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment .

poppy   Herbert Fisher of the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment fell on 4th July


poppy  Harry York on 1st August. 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment. Deeping St James

poppy Frederick Mayes on 11th August. 6th Northamptonshire Regiment. Deeping St James

poppy  Charles A Harrison on 12th August. 10th Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Market                            Deeping

poppy   Tom R Bee on 29th September. 9th South Staffordshire Regiment . Market Deeping

poppy  poppy   poppy   Alfred A Swift. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James

                                                     Samuel Wilson. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Market Deeping

                                                     Walter Henfrey. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James

These 3 men fell on 23rd October

poppy     Arthur Moore on 3rd November. 7th Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James

poppy     Nathaniel Smith on 14th November. 17th Northumberland Fusiliers. Deeping St                           James

poppy    William Pratt on 18th November – the last day of the battle.

                   8th Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James



(This material is based on research undertaken by the Deepings First World War Commemoration Group. Deepings Heritage was a member of that group)

The Deepings Roll of Honour can be viewed on our website:



Harry York 1883-1916 from Robin Gentle , Peggys son.

This photograph of Harry York of Deeping St James has only recently come into our collection. We were delighted to be given permission by the family to use it.

Death Penny for C E Rudkin

This bronze memorial plaque was the one sent to Charles Rudkin‘s family after the war – it became popularly known as the “Death Penny”. Charles was only 15 when he enlisted – an incorrect date of birth was given, so this made him one of the “boy soldiers” who slipped through the net. He was only 17 when he fell. The discovery of this plaque was made as a result of the weekend exhibition and we appreciate the help given by Charles’ family.


Walter Hare fell on July 3rd and had enlisted on his 18th birthday. His brother served in the war and his twin sister, Florence, joined the WAACs and both survived. Our grateful thanks go their family who helped us in our quest to commemorate our Deeping men.


1899 : New Fire Engine for Market Deeping.


This photograph was taken by Arthur Mills  in the 1960s  when the 1899 fire engine was finally removed from the Town Hall where it had been stored for over 60 years.

Notice the two double doorways in the Town Hall.


The final exit!

Quite an historic occasion for those who saw the departure.

(Our special thanks go to  John Mills for allowing us to use these photographs)

The first time that the new Market Deeping fire engine was called out to an actual fire had been on Friday 11th May 1900 when it responded to a fire in a barley stack in Maxey. The fire was put out in six hours.

Fortunately the drill the night before came in very handy.

The fire engine had been called out to a number of fires before this, including one in Langtoft Fen in September 1899….. but the fire was out before it got there and a messenger was sent to turn the engine back!

It seems that for many years in the late 1800s there was no efficient, working fire engine to respond to fires. In 1874 the previous engine was “old and rusted” and “enveloped in cobwebs and dust” (Stamford Mercury 2nd October 1874) and by 1884 it was still in neglect.

Fortunately the Deeping St James engine was efficient when it was called upon.

It finally broke down completely in 1898 and in the following January Market Deeping Parish Council ordered a new manual engine for £95 – the old engine was put up for sale.

By 28th July 1899 the Market Deeping Fire Brigade had its first drill under its Captain, Mr E. Neal and its Lieutenant, Mr R Harrison. The crew included T. Andrew, T. Emery, J. Gilbert, W.D. Hare, W.French, J. Hempsill, W. Greenfield, J. Redhead, J. Sammonds, C. Saddington, M. Tales and W. Milbourn.

Mr Neal provided the horse to pull it and the “callers up” were sent round on their bicycles to every fireman’s house. Later on, one young  “caller up” was Eric Bowman from the Market Place and one young fireman was Tom Plowright who went on to serve in the First World War and to be awarded the Military Medal.

 This photograph seems to show the same fire engine. 

Does it still exist? Did it go to a museum?

Fire Engine

A Musical Star is Born in Market Deeping

Wade baby Wade House

 On July 1st 1907 a third son, Hugh Armigel, was born to the local solicitor Richard Wade and his wife Alice.

The Wade family lived at The Park, Market Deeping, the graceful building shortly to reopen in 2016 as the Deepings Library known now as Wade House.

Hugh’s name may be largely forgotten today but he was destined to become  one of the youngest musical talents in Britain in the 1920s.

His songs and music would captivate musicians and listeners across the country.

 Hugh’s talent shone out at an early age and by the age of 15 he won the Marlborough College Prize for Instrumental Composition, judged by the organist of Westminster Abbey. Shortly afterwards the members of Market Deeping Mothers’ Union were in for a treat when he performed in a jazz band with two local friends.

Wade 2Little did they know that within four years Hugh would be promoted by the established Shaftesbury Avenue musical publishers, Feldman.  His fox-trot ballad “When the Love Bird Leaves the Nest” was a “sensational success” and was being played by dance bands from coast to coast. Hugh had made an immediate impact and sheet music was the key to success – there were no music charts then!

So began a period of prolific composing by this young melodist. Hugh penned “sensational” and “tuneful”  fox-trots and “haunting” waltzes, while Bert Feldman published and promoted them – a winning combination. In February 1928 the whole musical world was urged by the magazine “The Era” to join in “Sally Week” by playing Hugh’s latest fox-trot “When I Met Sally”.

Music came thick and fast……

“When the Swallows Fly Home”, “Rosalie”, “Like a Virginia Creeper”, “Why Am I Blue”, “SomewhereWade Rosalie song sheet in Samarsk” …    sometimes he worked solo, sometimes with fellow musicians.

By 1929 it seemed that Hugh’s success would lead him across the Atlantic to the new field of talkie movies when Feldman linked up with Warner Brothers. He was offered a contract and appears to have written a couple of new songs as a result. Hugh seems to have focused more on playing the piano and performance. He lived and worked in the heart of the theatre and clubs in London, moving within the bright young set in the social scene.

By 1936 he had turned his hand to writing music for London revues including “To and Fro”, described as “an unusually intelligent revue”; all involved were under the age of 28.

Hugh’s song “Souvenir De Paris” reflects his time spent at Cap Ferrat in France during the pre-war years. He was a popular figure in Paris and even 10 years ago he was still remembered by one French lady when she met his great nephew, William.Wade record 1 Souvenir de Paris

image1 (5)

The leading record companies of the day and the famous bands, including Henry Hall with the BBC Dance Orchestra and Reginald Wade Hall 2Dixon in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, played his numbers.

                                Hugh’s music would be         heard and playedWade 5 across the country.


He continued to write in the 1940s, despite his health beginning to decline, working with Leigh Stafford on “Let it be Soon”. This was his biggest post-war success, “sentimental, wistful and nostalgic”. “Time May Change” came a close second, written in 1948 for the musical “Maid To Measure”.

In declining health he returned to his family home and while he was being nursed in Peterborough Hospital he still received visits from celebrity friends, including Elsie and Doris Waters.  He died  on April 10th 1949 of throat cancer at the young age of 41.

Hugh had captivated the music-loving public with his compositions for which he had a remarkable gift and we are delighted to remind our followers of this young man.Wade hugh

Our very special thanks go William Wade, Hugh’s great nephew, for his generosity in providing information and photographs for us to use.

William has suggested that the following link with Charlie Kunz the famous band leader playing “I’m Tired of Waiting for You” might be of interest.


Deepings Heritage Member Tells Pierrot’s Tale

On Radio 4 last month Hugh Dennis (actor and comedian) presented his journey to Gallipoli following in the footsteps of his great uncle, Private Frank Hinnels. One hundred years ago on 17th October 1915 Frank lost his life at Gallipoli fighting with the 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment. He was the younger brother of Godfrey Parkes Hinnels, Hugh’s grandfather.

Pat Abel of Deeping St James, who has long been a member of Deepings Heritage, was listening to the programme. The name Hinnels rang a bell. She remembered that her in-laws, Mr and Mrs Walter Abel, lived at 13 Crown Street, Bury St Edmunds next door to two Miss Hinnels.

Our research in the 1881 and 1911 censuses confirms that they were Esther Ellen and Alice Maria Hinnels, the aunts of Godfrey and Frank. Kelly’s Directory for 1929 lists Miss AM Hinnels at 14 Crown Street and she was still there in 1937.

What is most extraordinary is that Pat still has in her possession a pierrot match box holder given to her by the Hinnels  sisters!

Pierrot Match Box Holder

The figure was modelled around a matchbox and it is a well-preserved example of those made by the sisters during  the First World War. They were sold in the Athenaum, the Assembly Rooms in Bury St Edmunds, to raise funds for the troops.

The matchbox is covered in black grosgrain ribbon, the ruffle is white satin and he has three pearl buttons. His head, hands and feet are celluloid.

….By the way, the matches are still in the box.


Jonathan Foyle returns to his home town!

Yesterday evening Jonathan Foyle returned to Deepings Heritage to present “Lincoln Cathedral – the Biography of a Great Building” to an audience of over 160.

Starting his talk

Jonathan was born in Market Deeping and attended local schools, so the audience included a number of his contemporaries, at least two of his teachers and his family.

As a “local lad”, Jonathan was always fascinated by Lincoln Cathedral rising magnificently in front of him as he approached the city. He declared to a friend that one day he would write a book on it – and he has kept his word! His great enthusiasm for and love of “our” Cathedral shone throughout this presentation.

His deep knowledge and understanding of this magnificent building, his “faithful friend”, provided a wonderful insight into its evolution over  centuries.

Everyone came away seeing this familiar Cathedral through new eyes.


Deepings Heritage website was then introduced to the public for the first time before its official launch – without breaking a bottle of champagne!  A bit of an oversight.

Looking through our books

Looking at our display

Signing some books

Signing some books