Ickwell maypole and war memorial
Monday 1st May 1916: Readers will remember that on 19th April the 8th Battalion lost part of their position on the canal bank near Ypres to a determined German attack, following a two hour bombardment, as it was reported at the time. The parts of the position which had been lost were retaken by another battalion two days later. The Battalion lost heavily in the attack and we have heard from one of the Battalion’s number, Private Archie Boness, from Biggleswade, who received a minor wound but is now back at the Front.
“We have been inspected by Sir Douglas Haig on 28th and also by the Army Corps Commander, who congratulated us on the Battalion’s steadiness and for holding on to the ground during recent operations. War, not half, and I wasn’t sorry to get a rest. They bombarded us all day and then came over at us, but they are no more forward for it. We are out of the trenches for a few days. It’s very hot here. They won’t want to waltz round the May-pole much at Ickwell if it’s like it is here”(1).
Source: Bedfordshire Times 12th May 1916
(1) Maypole dancing still takes place at Ickwell each May 1st. Archie Boness was killed in action on 15th September in a failed attack on the Quadrilateral near Morval on the Somme. He has no known grave.