If ever a Lincolnshire village merited the description ‘sleepy’, it might be Dorrington. A few miles north of Sleaford, it sits between today’s B1188 and the railway line between Peterborough and Lincoln.
In the late summer of 1922, like thousands of other towns and villages across Britain, Dorrington was making its way in the uncertain world that followed the Great War. Tiny though the village was, it had still lost eleven of its sons in that conflict. There is a Percy Robinson on the memorial, but there is no evidence to suggest he was related to the families in this story. Life, like elsewhere, had resumed its natural rhythm of the seasons.
Frances Pacey lived with her mother and father, but she had retained her mother’s surname rather than taking that of her stepfather – Robinson. It is one of the ironies of this story that her father – and her younger brother – were called George Robinson, but it was another George Robinson who would intervene in her life with tragic consequences. This George Robinson was of an age to have served in the Great War but, as fellow researchers will testify, it is no easy business to track men who survived the war. He had been courting Florence Pacey for some time, but in April 1922, she had decided that she and George were, to use the modern phrase, no longer ‘an item’.
Robinson was devastated. Four months went by, and every day was a torment for Robinson, as his pleas for the relationship to be restored fell on deaf ears. On the morning of Tuesday 5th September 1922, his despair at being rejected spilled over into a brutal madness. The Boston Guardian, later that week reported what had happened:
IN PART TWO