Sulhamstead helps unhappy refugees and wounded soldiers

The parishioners of Sulhamstead supported refugees from Belgium in several ways, ranging from providing homes for some families, to making clothing for them – almost essential in an era when few bought readymade garments. Sulhamstead women and children also knitted and sewed garments and bags for wounded British soldiers. The parish magazine reports:

Most villages are affording hospitality to the unhappy refugees from Belgium who have lost their all in the ruthless destruction of their country. Announcements of many of these have been made in the Reading papers. In our own village 9 are being housed and cared for by Sir George Watson, Bart. Mrs Merton is entertaining 7 in the Rectory cottage and Mr Tyser has some although they are not housed in Sulhampstead [sic]. Mr Norton has also put up two more in his own house.

Many women joined the Working Party either at the Rectory or in their own homes. A good number of garments were made for women and children. Besides these 6 kit bags were made and fully provided with all requisites for wounded soldiers in hospitals. Mrs Merton kindly provided a shirt pyjama suit and other things to complete their equipment.

Subscriptions were received from several people towards the expenses; the balance was paid by the part proceeds of a Jumble Sale.

In addition to the above public effort, there has been continuous work privately sent to headquarters by members of the parish.

A Jumble Sale was held on November 2nd. The proceeds were allocated as follows: Balance to Red Cross and Belgian Working Party £1.7s.9d. Wool for school children to make scarves for the soldiers 12/-. Towards the Font Cover £1.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, December 1914 (D/EX725/3)

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