Wednesday, 9 March 2016

"Limbie" Micah Hayes

"Bridge Street, Nelson, N.Z." photographic postcard by F.N. Jones.

The handwritten message on the back of this postcard dated 21 March 1917 with address 154 Vanguard St Nelson reads:

"Dear Friend, did you receive mine telling you Micah was wounded? I sent you his photo. He is at Roehampton now waiting for his leg. They will only give him 12 hours leave till he can walk with his artificial limb. He has been hopping about London on crutches. They will give him about 1 month furlough. He is going to the Isle of Wight. If you would like him to come and see you, I will send you his address. You can invite him I know he would be pleased to hear from you. Let him know how he could get to you as 4 miles is too much for a 1 legged man to walk. 
Yours in friendship, M. Hayes"

Private Samuel Micah Hayes of N.Z. Field Ambulance was not long in France before he was on the receiving end of enemy shellfire. Micah was struck in the right leg and hand in October 1916. He was hospitalized in England where the decision was made to amputate his severely wounded leg. In early 1917 Micah was admitted to Queen Mary's Hospital at Roehampton to have an artificial limb fitted. 

The coloquial term "limbies" was given to WW1 amputees. The loss of a limb was usually caused by severe wounds from being hit by gunfire, shrapnel or from the effects of gas.

Private Samual Micah Hayes.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Daffodil Day, Nelson, 16 September 1916

"Daffodil Day, Nelson, N.Z. The procession in Bridge St." 
A real photographic postcard by Nelson photographer F.N. Jones, 16 September 1916.

The Lady Liverpool Committee gratefully accepted an offer from the Nelson Horticultural Society to use its acclaimed Bulb Show as a means for setting up Daffodil Day. The proceeds of this event were used for Christmas presents for Nelson soldiers at the front. 

The Nelson Evening Mail reported on this momentous local event;

"Daffodil Day.
Our Soldiers' Christmas Gifts.
Glorious Weather.
Great Crowds in the Streets.
The Daffodil Week proceedings as far as the city and Waimeas are concerned, are being concluded to-day, with Daffodil Day. Last year's Daffodil Day, held for the first time, was a great success. The proceeds were for Christmas gifts for Nelson soldiers, and this year the funds go to the same purpose. Last year's function was on a modest scale compared with the present effort, and the proceeds will amount to a very considerable sum. A Flower Queen election, in which town and country candidates competed, added greatly to the interest. The result of the election was not to be disclosed till late in the afternoon, but it is safe to say that the contest has raised several hundred pounds.
The proceedings today are being held in the most glorious weather. Certainly it was the finest day of the spring - warm sun, tempered with a gentle sea breeze. It is a coincidence that Mr D.C. Bate, the Dominion Meteorologist, was spending today in Nelson, and as he would have come in for some blame had the weather proved unfavourable, it is only fair that he should receive some credit for such a beautiful day eventuating!
From an early hour the streets were busy with stallholders getting their stalls decorated  and furnished and people bringing in flowers, etc. Very effective decorations have been made at some of the stalls, and these, with strings of flags across the roadway, have given Trafalgar street a picturesque appearance. There are stalls for the sale of various cut flowers, ferns, plants and seedlings, buttonholes, sweets and produce. Great quantities of flowers have been sent in from the city, Waimeas, and Motueka side, and these were attractively arranged. Business was "good" during the morning, but the afternoon was being looked to for the busiest time..."