FROM THE ARCHIVES - 1944: Boys’ grenade drama


Three boys were taken to hospital with various injuries after handling some grenades they uncovered while out gathering greenstuff for their rabbits.

The youngsters, from Hagworthingham, were taken to County Hospital after three of the grenades exploded. A nine-year-old was cut by fragments from the grenade, his 12-year-old brother sustained an eye injury and a 13-year-old friend, suffered shock.

One of the boys said they had seen the objects and were on their way to tell the police when they accidentally kicked one, which exploded.

l A Lincolnshire sailor, wounded in the Mediterranean theatre of war, was a patient in an American Red Cross Hospital on the Anzio beachhead when it was bombed by the Germans.

Able Seaman Reginald ‘Tanny’ Blackham, sustained a shrapnel wound in his leg. In a letter to his wife, the commander of the ship wrote of Tanny’s courage and fortitude while waiting to be moved, adding that he had ‘joked with the boys’. A day later he was ashore in the hospital when it was bombed. Mrs Blackham again received a telegram - this time to say her husband had been more seriously injured in the attack by enemy aircraft. As a result, he was left lying in plaster in a Naples hospital.