Letters from the Trenches
9 December 2014
For 6 days in November 2014, Loughborough Baptist Church in Baxter Gate held an exhibition and series of lunchtime talks to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War. The exhibition was held in the Assembly Hall which from 1915 onwards was used by Baxter Gate Hospital to accommodate wounded servicemen.
The exhibition centred on a collection of more than 200 papers discovered at the church at the back of a cupboard. Written by servicemen who’d attended the church’s Sunday School in their youth, the papers were letters of thanks for Christmas parcels donated by members of the congregation and sent out to the men between 1916 and 1918. Sixty-five Baxter Gate men received these parcels, with 105 men listed on the Roll of Honour as having served in the war and 23 fatalities named on the memorial in the church forecourt.
A booklet containing extracts of the letters, the names of the men who received them and information on how the scheme was organised has been compiled by the Local Baptist History Group. This is available from the Church Office, as is a CD of the scanned documents themselves.
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