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The Great Blizzard - 1916 - Kibworth to the Rescue

One of the many stories that I’ve heard since moving to the village was how, in the great blizzard of 1916, a train full of soldiers became snowbound in Kibworth Beauchamp without coal, food or water. The villagers rallied round and made sure the troops were well taken care of until they could continue on their journey.


While searching through the Market Harborough Advertiser in the Record Ofice at Wigston I came upon the report of this event from the issue of 4 April, 1916. The paper recorded that the blizzard was such that

Market Harborough was isolated from the rest of the world ‘as completely as General Townshend is isolated in Kut’. Farmers couldn’t get to the Tuesday market and children were told not to come to school. Coming as the snow did in the lambing season, many lambs were lost and even some horses and beasts. Snowdrifts on the Glen, Langton, Fleckney, Saddington and Gumley roads were six feet high in several places, and all telegraph poles and wires were down between North Box and Glen on the down line. In the Wigstons, damage to the Leicestershire and Warwickshire Electric Supply Company’s system resulted in several factories being idle.


A train carrying 200 soldiers from various Scottish regiments

and 40 Belgian soldiers going home on leave from the trenches became snowbound at Kibworth Beauchamp for five hours. Mr H T Grant (of the Laurels) invited them to the Village Hall where they were given refreshments. Among the Good Samaritans were Mrs Tye, Mrs J Peberdy, and Mrs H Badcock; the men who helped included Mr H T Grant, Mr Goodie, Mr Tomley and Mr Watson, many names still familiar in the village. Each soldier was supplied with cigarettes and ‘a wee drap of the creature’. They vowed they’d never forget Kibworth.


Issue 395

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