“Butcher’s meat has to go”

Two more Cranbourne men had fallen in the war, while others had followed them to the front. Meanwhile those left behind were sending eggs for the wounded, and taking the advice of an almost certainly fictional letter in the church magazine to save food and money.

We have to record, with much regret, the deaths of Sergeant Tom Hillyer, and Private James Andrews.

Sergeant Hillyer was killed in action in April. He was well known in the Parish as a Postman and as the winner of several prizes for walking at the Sports of the Windsor Forest Athletic Club. When the war began he at once enlisted in the Canadian contingent and was very soon promoted to be sergeant. He had seen service in the Egyptian campaigns and in the South African War, and held four medals.

James Andrews was gardener at Springhill and being reservist had to join his regiment at once. After eight months fighting he was seriously wounded and died of his wounds early in May. He was a much respected member of our branch of the C.E.M.S. and a regular communicant. Memorial services were held in our Church for both of these soldiers who died for their King and Country.

The following names are to be added to the list (published last month) of those who are serving in His Majesty’s forces.

Charles Goodchild, Suffolk Regiment.
Charles Peters, Lance-Corporal, Mechanical Transport.
Ernest Hawthorne, Royal Engineers.
Arthur Robert Hatcher, Royal Engineers.
Frank Edmonds, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.
Albert John Edmonds, Berkshire Yeomanry.

Several in this Parish are contributing to the egg collection which is being made all over the country for our wounded soldiers. Miss K. Meyer is the local Secretary and takes the gifts each week to Windsor, where they are packed and sent to headquarters in London, from which place they are sent to our hospitals in England and France. Since April 30th, 1485 eggs have been given by residents in Cranbourne and Winkfield, but during the last month the number sent each week has been getting less. The Secretary wishes it to be known that even one egg a week, or one a fortnight will be gratefully received, for “every mickle makes a muckle.” She would be glad to receive the eggs on Thursdays, as she takes them to Windsor every Friday.

We have seen an interesting letter and as it seemed to contain some most valuable information, we have persuaded the writer to let us publish it in our Magazine. It is too long to print the whole of it in this month’s issue and so it will be “continued in our next.”-

MRS. SMITH TO MRS. ROBINSON.

“DEAR MRS. ROBINSON,”

This comes hoping you are well, as it leaves me at present, but terribly worried over this cruel war. It’s hard enough to get on now that work is plenty. What will it be when the war is over and hundreds of thousands of soldiers come back to work and take the situations which are being kept open for them. And the bill there will be to pay. The Parliament is spending 3 millions of pounds every day on the war, and you don’t suppose they are finding the money in their cellars where Guy Faux was hid. No, my husband says they are running up a big debt, and who do you suppose will pay it, he says. Why, he says, it is us the working people will have to pay it, at least it will come hardest on us. So those who are making a little more just now (which is not you or me) should be saving every penny beyond their bare living, and not fancying themselves rich.

It is a mercy I learned to make the most of things, and I may mention some of the things I am doing now. First of all, butcher’s meat has to go. No bits of steak and one-and-five per lb. Even the gentry are not buying such a lot of butcher’s meat just now, so that there may be more to go round for the poorer classes. Any meat I can buy must not be choice parts. If it is nicely stewed any part can be made good, especially just now, with vegetables not so hard to get. Onions one must have. They are most wholesome and they make anything go down. Brown a bit of onion in a saucepan with a bit of dripping and a good dust of flour. When it is all brown, add a little water and stir till it boils, and makes a thin sauce. Drop in the meat and a tea spoon of vinegar, also a little pepper. Cook it slowly till the meat is soft. You can keep putting in any bits of vegetables, also potato. When you dish it up, you get back everything you have put in- no waste. Of course the pot must be filled up with more water if the meat is getting too dry.

As for potatoes, I should feel ashamed of myself if I was to peel them. The Irish, who know what potatoes are, think the skin of a baked potato the best part. Any way, if boiled in their skins you get much more flavour, and can strip off the skins as you eat them. Peeling them in the old way wastes one pound in every four pounds. It is wise to buy what potatoes you can, as they are good food, except for babies, and make other things go further. If I ever run to a rasher, I fry some cold potato with it, as a saving, and as for ‘sausages and mashed,’ the potato is half the battle.

Sausages are a help just now. Put them in a pie dish and over them a batter made with flour, milk, and water, and one egg, and they go a long way as ‘toad in the hole’; or put them in the dish, covered with potatoes and bake like a pie. If only plainly fried they are too dear. Fish, when you can get it, will save the meat. Plaice, haddock, cod or hake can be made quite tasty. Put on a tin, and sprinkle with vinegar, pepper and salt; cover it with a bit of clean paper and put a bit of dripping round. Bake it till it is ready to leave the bone. Baste it through the paper whenever you have time. Serve it with the liquor which runs out, which is quite tasty.”

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, July 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/5)

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