Belgians have lunch at Bisham

A Belgian refugee family came to lunch at Bisham Abbey

10 May 1917
The Van de Verves came to luncheon – went round garden.

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

Calling on the Belgians

Florence Vansittart Neale invited local refugees to lunch at Bisham Abbey.

9 May 1917
H & I to Maidenhead – he to massage. Left screens at Red X Hospital. Called on Belgians – asked them to come tomorrow to lunch, 4!

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

Serbians now living in our midst

Reading people offered prayers for the Russian Revolution and for Serbian refugees who had come to Reading.

The Vicar’s Notes
Intercessions

For Russia in her time of crisis.
For Serbia and the Serbians now living in our midst in Reading.
For all the operations of the allies this spring.
For all those lately confirmed.
For the Dedication Festival at S. Saviour’s that the War-shrine may be a real spiritual help to the Parish.

Thanksgiving

For Successes granted to our arms in Mesopotamia and France.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

Belgian refugees can now fend for themselves

The Belgian refugees supported by the Congregational Church in Maidenhead were now more or less self supporting.

THE BELGIAN REFUGEES.
At a meeting of the Subscribers held in the Lecture Room on March 8th, it was resolved that as Mr. Van Hoof is now in regular employment, and as the Treasurer has about £30 in hand, subscriptions might safely be allowed to cease. The rent of the house in Fairford Road is still to be paid for the present. As the Subscribers do not wish to cast off any responsibilities they have assumed, it was agreed that should any emergency arise, such as serious illness or prolonged unemployment, they should again be called together to determine what course should be adopted.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, April 1917 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Offerings for the Armenian Refugees Fund

Winkfield churchgoers wanted to help the Armenians, victims of genocide in Turkey.

We are glad to be able to state that the offertory on Sunday, February 4th, for the Armenian Refugees Fund, amounted to £7 16s. 7d.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, March 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/3)

War charities registered

The County Council’s War Charities Sub-committee had been busy registering local war charities, ranging from bandage making to Christmas gifts for the armed forces.

REGISTRATIONS

Since the last report to the Council the following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have been approved, and the Clerk has been instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners:

No of Cert. Name of Charity Applicant

21 Bracknell War Work Depot (Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild) Mrs Littlewood, Hillside, Bracknell

22 Hanney Xmas Tree Fund for men serving HM Forces H. Leslie Edwards, schoolmaster, Hanney

23 Bracknell Xmas Parcels Fund Canon H. Barnett, Bracknell Vicarage

24 Bradfield District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society C J Haviland, Mead House, Bradfield

25 Bracknell Oaklea Auxiliary Hospital Mrs L A Berwick, Sunny Rise, Bracknell

26 Crowthorne Waste Paper Collection of War Charities Miss H M M Moody, Ferndene, Crowthorne

27 Wargrave Woodclyffe Auxiliary Hospital W. Ryder, The Little House, Wargrave

28 Wokingham Work Guild Mrs H M Lomax, Frog Hall, Wokingham

29 South Easthampstead District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

30 Heatherside Auxiliary Military Hospital Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

31 Finchampstead Belgian Refugees S F Smithson, The Old Rectory, Finchampstead

32 Maidenhead Rural North Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs Carpendale, Pinkneys Green

33 Hungerford Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund E C Townshend, Willows Close, Hungerford

34 Finchampstead Hospital Supply Depot Miss L M Hopkinson, Wyse Hill, Finchampstead

35 Bourton War Hospital Supply Depot Mrs W H Ames, Church Farm House, Bourton

36 Hungerford District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

37 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Hungerford A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

38 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Barton Court, Kintbury A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

39 Twyford and Ruscombe War Committee Rev. R W H Acworth, Twyford Vicarage

40 Sonning and Woodley Surgical Requisites Association Mrs C Christie Miller, The Deanery, Sonning

41 Mortimer VAD Hospital Miss F M Wyld, Highbury, Mortimer

42 Waltham St Lawrence Prisoners of War Fund Claude M Warren, Old School House, Shurlock Row

43 Wokingham South Rural District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs A M Western, The Coppice, Finchamapstead

44 Registered in error – subsequently cancelled

45 Ascot Military Hospital Miss Nora Collie, Ascot Military Hospital

46 Wantage District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss Gertrude Elliott, Ginge Manor, Wantage

47 Binfield Popeswood Auxiliary Hospital Henry E A Wiggett, White Lodge, Binfield

48 Spencers Wood Local Red Cross Fund Rev. F T Lewarne, Spencers Wood, Reading

49 Faringdon District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Henry Procter, Gravel Walk, Faringdon

EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES (to 7 January, 1917, only)

2 Burghfield Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund H G Willink, JP, Hillfields, Burghfield

3 East Challow Xmas Presents Concert Fund Miss E B Vince, Manor Farm, East Challow

4 Kintbury Xmas Presents Fund Mrs Alice G Mahon, Barton Holt, Kintbury

Report of War Charities Sub-committee of BCC, 20 January 1917 C/CL/C1/1/20)

“We will always admire the English people and think of them as true friends”

The Belgian family being supported by members of a Maidenhead church were deeply grateful for their Christmas gifts.

OUR BELGIAN GUESTS.

The Committee sent to 14, Fairford Road, a parcel of goodies for Christmas, with kind wishes, and received the following acknowledgement:

“Dear Members of the Committee, we wish you all a Merry Christmas. We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us. We all wish that 1917 will bring both victory and peace. We will always admire the English people and think of them as true friends. We will always remain your friends. The family Van Hoof.”

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, January 1917 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Cakes and money for Belgian refugees

Belgian refugees in Cranbourne were treated to a New Year party.

The Cranbourne Committee responsible for the care of the Belgian Refugees in the neighbourhood, entertained the Refugees in the Sunday School on January 2nd. Many kind presents of cakes and money were received from the ladies of the parish, most of whom were present at the tea. A very enjoyable evening was spent.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/2)

Belgian refugees leave Ascot

A Belgian refugee couple who had found a home in Ascot had moved on.

THE BELGIAN REFUGEES, to whom the Parish has given hospitality for two years, have left Ascot. The furniture kindly lent by friends for their house has been returned. Some of it which is not wanted back by the owners is to be sold, by their permission, at the Rummage Sale on December 1st.

The thanks of the parish are due to those who managed the Belgians’ affairs during their stay among us. We trust Monsieur and Madame Dardin will be happy in their new home in Richmond.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1916 (D/P151/28A/12)

Some cease to contribute to Belgian relief

Members of Maidenhead Congregational Church continued to support their Belgian families, but in slightly fewer numbers.

BELGIAN RELIEF FUND.

The Secretary of the above fund desires to report that sufficient money will be forthcoming in the present system, if subscriptions are maintained, to allow our guests rent, gas, and a limited supply of coal, thereby leaving them the wages received from employment at Wycombe (a nett amount of 27/- per week) for food and clothing.

In spite of rumours to the contrary, it will be necessary to continue subscriptions at any rate during the winter months, and, on the present much reduced basis, the emergency fund will have to be used to some extent to make up the amounts of subscribers who, for one cause and another, have ceased to contribute.

The Treasurer will be glad to have the arrears, which, in a few cases, have been allowed to accumulate, and will be pleased to forward a statement of amounts owing on application.

OUR MILITARY.

We offer hearty congratulations to Mr. Cyril Hews upon his promotion to 2nd Lieut. He has been in the Army from the outbreak of the war, and has done a lot of hard work in this country and in France.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, November 1916 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Blinded soldiers turn to chicken rearing

Berkshire County Council and its committees dealt with several war related matters. One was the registration of the multitude of independent war charities which had sprung up.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 14 October 1916

HEAD TEACHERS AND MILITARY SERVICE

The following Head Teachers have rejoined the Army since the last meeting: Mr Mills (Childrey), Mr Hunt (Cold Ash), Mr Bird (Priestwood), Mr Andrews (Mortimer St Mary’s) and Mr Verrall (Brimpton). Their places have been filled temporarily by the appointment of the Certificated Assistant (Woman) of their respective schools, or by the transfer of a teacher from another school.

Report of Smallholdings and Allotments Committee, 14 October 1916

COTTAGES AND LAND FOR BLINDED SOLDIERS, &C, FOR POULTRY FARMING

Enquiries were made on behalf of the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Hostel, St Dunstan’s, as to whether any assistance could be given in finding locations near Reading for Blinded Soldiers who have been taught chicken rearing. They require a cottage and about an acre of ground at a rent not exceeding £30 per annum.

The agents in the Reading district were asked if they had any suitable properties available, but from the replies received it appeared that no suitable places were available for renting, and only three or four were put forward for sale.

It was stated by St Dunstan’s that at present only leasing could be considered.

Report of the War Charities Committee, 14 October 1916

The following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have not been approved, and the Clerk instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners: (more…)

Goodbye to our first guests from Belgium

There was sad news of Warfield soldiers as some of the village’s refugees moved on.

We are very sorry to have to record the deaths on the field of battle of Herbert Gregory and Alfred Reeves, and convey our deepest sympathy to their relatives and friends.

We bid good-bye to M. Madame and Henri Taes, who were amongst our first guests from Belgium. They have gone to a Belgian settlement called Elizabethville, near Newcastle upon Tyne. On account of Henri van der Voordt being at the Maidenhead Sanatorium, his parents departure for the same place has been postponed for the present.


Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/9)

Special friends, together again for eternity

Several Ascot men were reported to have given their lives for their country.

THE WAR.

Again we have to record the death, in service of his country of another of our choicest Ascot young men. William Taylor. What we said last month of Charles Edwards is an exact counterpart to the character of William Taylor. He was a very real soldier of Christ as well as of his country. He was the special friend of Arthur Jones, in the same regiment, and generally sharing the same quarters. They are together again now. May they both be together in peace throughout eternity. R.I.P. Our deep sympathy goes out to the bereaved family.

Edward Charles Cannon has been killed at the front. He is the son or Mr. and Mrs. Cannon of Swinley. His brother was drowned off the Dardanelles rather more than a year ago. To the family we also offer our heartfelt sympathy. R.I.P.

Alfred Thompson is dangerously wounded. His parents have been summoned to the Hospital in France where he is lying.

THE BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ SALE.

We give further details of this most successful Sale (from a Correspondent).

“The Boys’ School undertook the fruit, vegetables, and flower section: and in addition 2 stalls filled with a beautiful and varied collection, small articles (made by the boys) which displayed much ingenuity in the making, were offered for sale. The Belgian ladies and gentlemen from Ascot Wood House brought many interesting articles for sale. Two bran tubs arranged by Mrs. Tustin gave great delight to the children.

The Girls’ School had made itself responsible for the sale of useful and fancy articles. Many things were made by the girls themselves, who gave much time after school hours to complete their work. Many pleasant surprises came in the form of garments and fancy articles made and given by former pupils of the School. Many mothers, not to be outdone by their daughters, helped us much. On the Girls’ stall was a fascinating collection of baskets and other items made by our Infants.

The Infants’ School stall displayed all sorts of delicacies in the shape of cakes, sweets, jam, &c.: but although the store was large, it was quickly sold out, and not even a sweet remained.

Other attractions were the weighing machine which did a flourishing trade: the “village pump,” which brought much “solid water” in the form of prize packets at a surprising rate, and a beautifully dressed baby doll (given by an “old girl”). To win the doll one only had to guess the name that had been given to it at the beginning of the sale.

Our Teachers and Scholars would like to thank all those kind people who so generously helped by giving and by buying.

The sale realised £42 6s. 0d. (for Belgian children).

Winkfield District Magazine, September 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/9)

A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work

The financial burden of supporting Belgian refugees lessened when they were able to find work.

OUR BELGIAN REFUGEES.
As Mr. Van Hoof is now earning regular wages, the Committee has decided to be responsible in future for rent and gas only.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, August 1916 (D/N33/12/1/5)

A sale for Belgian children

Ascot Heath children supported the Belgians.

21st July 1916
A sale in aid of Belgian children is to take place on Saturday.

Ascot Heath Girls School log book (C/EL109/2, p. 260)