Down with Capitalism, Militarism, and War!

Advertisements for local left wing parties reveal a lesser known aspect to local life including attitudes to the war.

The Independent Labour Party
is an International Socialist Party. Down with Capitalism, Militarism, and War! Up with Socialism and the Brotherhood of all nations!

National Socialist Party, Reading branch.

All unattached SOCIALISTS are invited to join the above branch, the members of which recognise the necessity of the success of the Allied Forces in the present struggle to ensure the early realisation of Democracy and Socialism.

British Socialist Party
is opposed to Imperialism, Capitalism, and war, and is working for an immediate peoples’ peace.

The Voice of Labour Is like one crying in the wilderness. It is crying out against High Prices: it is crying out for more wages by which to pay the high prices: it is crying out against the people who are making the prices high. These people do not heed the cry, they meet the demand for more wages then just put a little more on the goods than they have paid in extra wages.

Give up crying out and do something!

The people must –

Control raw material.
Control production.
Control prices,

For the benefit of the whole community.

The only way – join the Co-Op.
The Stores that are owned and controlled by the Members, and do your duty.

The National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers
125 Friar Street

The Reading Branch, in conjunction with many others, is demanding that the Government shall increase the separation allowance to soldiers’ and sailors’ wives and their dependants owing to the increased cost of living; also that discharged men should be more fully represented on Pension Committees and other bodies dealing with such matters. Lord Rhondda on his death-bed sent this message to the Natioanl Baby Week. “The care of the children is a sacred duty.” How can the wives left at home to keep the home fires burning feed and clothe the babies on the present miserable allowance? We want all discharged men to join us to help us in this good work. Also to wake up the Pensions Ministry. A member speaking in the House of Commons said, “There are 2000 clerks at Chelsea dealing with 12000 pension cases weekly. That means one case per day for each clerk, yet it often takes twelve to fourteen months to get a man’s case settled.” Come along to help us to get a move on.

The Reading Worker: The Official Journal of Organised Labour in Reading and District, no. 21, September 1918 (D/EX1485/10/1/2)

Advertisements

The noise of aeroplanes overhead

Pilots training disturbed the sleep of civilians at home.

20th September 1918

A great aeroplane went over this morning about 4 o’clock making such a noise it woke me up and I thought it was the 20 past 5 hooter. It then returned about 5.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

From the Front to a football match

Some teachers were less enthusiastic than others about letting youngsters spend time picking berries and helping farmers, while soldiers on leave returned to their old school to play current pupils at football.

Windsor
20th September 1918

Eight old boys who are serving in His Majesty’s Forces visited the school this morning and assisted by three of the present scholars played a football match with the school team, the old boys winning by 4 goals to 2.

Braywick
20th September 1918

The classes went for berries on two fine afternoons, on Wednesday and Friday. The results of the pickings are very satisfactory.

Thatcham
Sep: 20th

Registers not marked this afternoon – blackberrying. 198 lbs sent in, making a total for the week of 519 lbs.

Sandhurst
September 20th 1918

Half holiday for blackberry picking. 297 lbs. sent.

Buscot
Sept. 20

Older children went blackberrying in the afternoon; 85 ½ lbs gathered.


Log books:

Hampstead Norreys
1918
20th Sep

The children this week have again been busy picking blackberries. The weather has been very changeable, and we have had to catch an hour or two whenever we could, so that in several cases we have been unable to send the children straightaway, having had to keep them until the blackberries dried. In these cases we marked registers.

We weighed out & paid for 479 lbs of blackberries during the week.

In the limited school time at our disposal we have mostly kept up the Reading Writing and Arithmetic.

Speenhamland
1918
Sept 20th

Attendance poor; four of St VI gone to pick up potatoes for Mr Whitington [sic] – they seem to have got permission from the Authority – Cecil Bishop has also got permission. I do not think this should be.

The school was closed on Tuesday afternoon for the children to gather blackberries but they got very few – only 190 lbs; we shall not go again.

Some of the girls took wood away from Mrs Farquhar’s property, and she wrote an indignant letter to the Vicar and another to myself. I wrote to her, and expressed regret.

Buscot
Sept. 20

Older children went blackberrying in the afternoon; 85 ½ lbs gathered.

Thatcham
Sep: 20th
Registers not marked this afternoon – blackberrying. 198 lbs sent in, making a total for the week of 519 lbs.


Log books of Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book (C/EL72/3, p. 193); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 204); Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 448); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2);St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2)
; Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4)

Sugar allowed for jam

The new sugar ration encouraged people to make jam.

19th September 1918
We got 12lb of sugar allowed us for jam to-day so wife went up to Burderop this afternoon and got about 5lb of blackberries.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

Blackberrying

Sep: 19th
Registers not marked this afternoon – blackberrying. Total sent in 321 lbs.

Thatcham CE School log book (C/EL53/4)

Not a single letter or parcel

News of Sulhamstead men.

THE WAR

We regret to report several casualties to soldiers connected with our parish:

Gunner W C Giles, RFA, has been reported missing since May 27th.

Private Rowland Pitheral, 2nd Royal Berks, has been reported missing since May 27th.

Captain Stanley Strange, 14th Welsh, DSO, MC, reported missing on May 10th, has since been reported as a prisoner. At the time when this went to the press, he had not received a single letter or parcel.

Captain Strange’s two brothers are now each of them Majors, viz Major Percy Strange and Major Gerald Strange.

Captain Jock Norton, MC (and bar), Royal Air Force, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, September 1918 (D/EX725/4)

We will cheerfully accommodate themselves to the situation

Shortages ontinued to intensify.

The new Coal and Lighting order may possibly interfere to some extent with our heat and light at the Church during the winter. If such be the case, we trust that the congregation will cheerfully accommodate themselves to the situation.

Newbury parish magazine, September 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

Fruit and nuts for gas masks

Wallingford boys were collecting various kinds of fruit.

Wallingford
1918, 18 September

Visited (pm) by Mr J Brown in connection with arrangements for collection of blackberries. We are already collecting nut-shells and plum-stones, for carbon used in gasmasks.

Hurst
18th September 1918

School closed the whole day owing to the Hurst fete at Staines Hill for the providing of funds for the Hurst prisoners of war.

Aldermaston
18th September 1918

Half holiday, 68lbs of blackberries.

Buscot
Sept. 18th

Older children gathered 88 ½ lbs blackberries – sent to Faringdon.

Log books: Wallingford Boys Council School (SCH22/8/3); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, p. 94); Hurst C of E Boys School (D/P73/28/23, p. 37)Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2);

Anxious to see the consul

A Brazilian internee wanted to see his country’s representative.

New Scotland Yard
SW
17.9.18
Confidential

Sir

The Brazilian Consul has read information that Patrocinus is anxious to see him. He is unable to pay the visit himself, but will be very glad if you could give facilities to his representative, Mr Synchronio Magdalenas (I am not quite sure of the spelling) to visit Patrocinus on Thursday next.

Sgd B H Thomson

HM Prison
Reading

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

Blackberrying

More blackberrying by Berkshire children.

Aldermaston
17th September 1918

Half holiday to pick blackberries, 89lbs picked and sent off by evening train.

Lower Sandhurst
September 17th 1918

Half holiday this afternoon for blackberrying.

Datchet
17 September 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Buscot
Sept 17th

Older children with 2 teachers went blackberrying; 93 ¼ lbs gathered, weighed and sent to Central Agent.

Log books: Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 447); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, pp. 93-94); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2)

Sent off by the evening train

Children collected wild blackberries for jam to help oombat food shortages.

Thatcham
1918
Sep: 16th

Money earned by children picking blackberries received, £5.11.3. This was divided amongst the children according to the number of pounds each had picked.

Goosey
September 16th 1918

The children of classes I and II will be taken out for the purpose of gathering black berries for M.O.F during the school sessions in not more than three half days per week.

Aldermaston
16th September 1918

The children on three half days each week when fine will go under teachers supervision to pick blackberries for Ministry of Food. Half holiday to pick blackberries, 56lbs picked and sent off by evening train.

Lower Sandhurst
September 16th 1918

The children gathered 215 lbs. of blackberries after school this afternoon.

Datchet
16 September 1918

Blackberrying.

Log books: Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4); Goosey CE School (C/EL89/1, p. 169); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 447); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, pp. 93-94)

So thankful news still good

Could the end be in sight?

16 September 1918
So thankful news still good. We advancing.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

The Aliens, having been interned in some cases for four years, have practically worn out all their original clothing

The provision of clothing for internees was a thorny matter. Jackson’s, the store mentioned, was something of a Reading institution, remining in business until 2013.

16th Sepr: 1918

Re letter 18902/35HF d/d 14.9.18

1. The Interned civilians have not been allowed ordinary liberty clothing. When theirs was worn out they had to wear blue dress by the Commissioners’ orders – but protested strongly against it.
2. Those who have ordinary clothing have purchased it out of their earnings. The Irish refuse to work.
3. It is now noted that they will receive ordinary liberty clothing.
4. How should this clothing be obtained please?
5. There is a local firm Messrs Jackson & Sons who supply ready-made outfits of all kinds, & also make cheap quality clothing &c to order. I am informed that at the present time the cost of clothing would be about £3.10.0 for the cheapest quality, boots about 35/- a pair, under-clothing is of course much above the normal rate.
6. The anticipated cost will be about £6.10.0 per man for the 14 Irish internees, Alien side 38 men at the same rate. It is quite likely that some of the Irish may not require a complete outfit at the present time, as they have only been interned a few months. The Aliens, having been interned in some cases for four years, have practically worn out all their original clothing.
7. As soon as it becomes known that the liberty clothing is allowed free, these men will buy no more.
8. The clothing of some who earn no money, and who refuse to wear the blue dress, is in a bad way.

[C M Morgan]
Governor
[to] The Commissioners

16th Sepr: 1918
H. Schraplowsky
22.6.15 S of S Order, Aliens Act, Deportation

The above named Alien prisoner was visited on Saturday the 14th inst: by his wife and Miss Chronig (friend) of 66 Station Rd, Church End, Finchley, N.

The conversation was on business affairs, chiefly about Mrs Schraplowsky leaving this country, and the disposal of her belongings.

[C M Morgan]
Governor
[to] The Commissioners

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

“The whole situation on the Western front was changed to our advantage”

The Rector of Remenham encouraged parishioners to give what they could.

Rector’s Letter

My Dear People,

With regard to the War, what cause for thankfulness was ours during the month of August: the whole situation on the Western front was changed to our advantage. Very humbly we have ground to hope that the Almighty has made bare his arm. In dark hours we knew that His care was over us; in the day of sunshine and success we acknowledge that “our sufficiency is of God”. We lift our hearts up unto the Lord.

I would call your attention to two appeals that are made to us in this issue of the Magazine. Please save all your fruit stones (plum, cherry, peach, nectarine, apricot, date) and hard nut shells; they are urgently needed for making charcoal for anti-gas masks to protect our fighting men. I shall be glad to receive at the Rectory between September 15 and 30 all stones and shells collected.

Then, secondly, urge the children to gather blackberries as soon as they are ripe; the Berkshire Education Committee are asking the head teachers to organise the effort throughout the county, and our headmistress is doing so for Remenham…

George H Williams

ANTI-GAS MASKS

Who will help our soldiers?

Mrs Barber, Culham Court, has received an urgent request from the Director-General of National Salvage asking us to collect fruit stones and nut-shells. They are needed for the production of charcoal for anti-gas masks, for the charcoal thus produced affords far greater protection to our soldiers against poison gas than any other known substance. The need will continue for the next two months. It is important that stones and nut shells should be forwarded in a dry condition; stones should be dried by being placed for a short time in the sun or in an oven. Will any one who is disposed to help, collect their fruit stones and nut shells, and send them, however small the quantity may be, to the Rectory any time between September 15 and 30?

BLACKBERRIES WANTED!

The Berkshire Education Committee has been asked by the Ministry of Food to arrange for the systematic picking and collecting of blackberries for jam making. Miss Mannion, the head mistress, is organising the collection by the school children of Remenham. A payment of 3d per lb will be made to the children for the amount collected, and they will be granted holidays for the picking expeditions. The picking should take place when the berries are ripe and dry. The children will work in organised parties under the supervision of their teachers, and they are warned to do no damage and to close all gates after them. All berries picked under this scheme must be reserved for Government use and none may be sold.

Remenham parish magazine, September 1918 (D/P99/28A/4)

Thanksgiving for successes in the war

Sulhamstead churchgoers gave thanks.

HARVEST FESTIVAL

The Harvest Festival held on September 15th was associated this year with thanksgiving for successes in the war during the previous six weeks. The attendances were good, and that in the evening at St Michael’s Church was exceptionally large. The congregation seemed to spiritually understand that the thanksgiving for food embraced not only that produced by our own country, but throughout the world of our Allies.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1918 (D/EX725/4)