Doing their bit: protecting Berkshire soldiers from gas

Pupils at three church schools were affected by the war. Girls in Aldermaston were spending their spare time making gas respirators for local soldiers, while Earley children got an afternoon off because of a military sports day. The head master at Yattendon joined the army, leaving his wife, who also taught at the school, as temporary head.

Aldermaston CE School, 1st October 1915

The 1st and 2nd class girls, under the supervision of Miss Adams, have been engaged in sewing on gas respirator pockets for the 3/4 Berks Regiment which is stationed here. Some of the girls volunteered to give up part of their dinner-time, and others in the village gave up an hour or so in the evening in order to “do their bit”.

Earley CE School, 1st October 1915

School was closed on Wednesday afternoon as some Athletic Sports by the soldiers were then being held in the field adjoining the school premises.

Yattendon CE School, Oct. 1st 1915

Today I received the official sanction of the Education [Committee] to enlist & the letter setting out the conditions is filed in the portfolio [which no longer survives].

Arrangements have been made for my enlisting in the ASC at Aldershot and tomorrow I go there to take up service.

My wife takes charge of the school, and Miss Toms comes on Monday as Supply Elementary Teacher until Miss Aldridge can take up the appointment for the period of the war.

E. Crook.

Aldermaston CE School, October 1915 (88/SCH/3/3); St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/1)/em>

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