Efficiency and gallantry

A Burghfield doctor was commended for his contributions.

Honours and promotions

2nd Lieut. F Wheeler (King’s Liverpool Regiment), before being taken prisoner (see last month’s magazine) won 1st Prize Bayonet Fighting (Officers) in the First Army Corps; Sergeant E Cooke (Royal West Surrey Regiment) to be Sergeant Instructor, April 1918.

Casualties

2nd Lieut. T Warner (RAF), flying accident, Salisbury Plain; Private Stretcher-bearer Albert Painter (Royal Berks Regiment), missing since 21st March, now reported died. Company Sergeant Major Albert Manners (17th Lancers) died 10th July in hospital (gastric complaint). Sergeant Manners served through the South African War, and through the present war. Private T Searies (Royal Berks Regiment), wounded (doing well).

Discharge

Private Frank J Cooke (Worcester Regiment), 24th July (heart).

Lt-Col. Anderson

Lt-Col. H S Anderson, RAMC, who is the brother of Mr W C F Anderson of Hermit’s Hill, and who is himself on the Burghfield Electoral Register, was in the New Year’s list of honours, and received the CMG. His name also appeared in the Gazette of February 8th among those who had been “brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by the Army Council, for very valuable services rendered in connection with the war, up to 31st December 1917”.

HRH the Duke of Connaught, on his visit to the Citadel, Cairo, invested him with the Order at the Hospital which is under his charge. Among such services may particularly be mentioned those in connection with the “Britannic”. Col. Anderson was in command of all the medical staff and hospital arrangement of the huge vessel during several voyages out and home, with marked efficiency, and was on board when she was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Greece. For his gallantry and conduct on this occasion he received especial thanks and mention.

Burghfield parish magazine, August 1918 (D/EX725/4)

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Work of a very important nature

The Chief Constable returned to his police duties.

5 October 1918

A letter, dated 24 August 1918, from the Army Council was read, stating that the Council offered no objection to the release of Lieut-Col. Poulton to enable him to take up his duties as Chief Constable, and expressing the appreciation of the Council for the valuable services rendered by Col. Poulton since the commencement of the war – his work had been of a very important nature and had been carried out to the entire satisfaction of the Council.

Berkshire County Council and Quarter Sessions: Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

“2 Divisions ran away & so caused Cambrai defeat”

Florence Vansittart Neale was puzzled as how to manage Bisham Abbey with less food available, while the news – and rumours – continued to fascinate her.

1 January 1918
Worried morning over rations. Very difficult but must do it. Edith arranging next Sunday’s “chain of prayer”.

January 1918 [inserted at front, no date]

Hear Haig in London, very sick about things. He had refused to send Divisions to Italy, but had to. Wanted to resign. He said a great deal too much fuss made about Sir J Byng’s push & also a great deal about the subsequent retreat!

Hear we send up stuff against [balloons?] which make the men so deadly seasick they have to come down. On return Irish leave this Xmas, 1000s stuck at Holyhead 5 days. Too many submarines there. At last escorted over by American destroyer & gun boats.

Hear 2 Divisions ran away & so caused Cambrai defeat. Hear General [illegible] sent back after it., then returned by Army Council & again sent back after St Quentin retreat! Hunter-Weston “honouring heroic deed” (drunken Tommie). Foch becoming Generalissimo (March 1918).

Meat & butter rations begin.

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

Not only a duty, but a privilege

Knitters were applauded by the dignitary in charge of co-ordinating support for the troops.

Winter Comforts for the Troops: Sir E. Ward’s Appeal

Colonel Sir Edward Ward, Director-General of Voluntary Organizations, has sent the following letter to all voluntary associations affiliated under the Army Council’s scheme for the co-ordination of voluntary work. It is published for general information and as an appeal to all outside workers to assist in providing comforts for the troops.

Office of the Director-General of Voluntary Organizations, Scotland House, New Scotland Yard, S.W.1, July 7, 1917.

Dear Sir

When I appealed to the women of Great Britain just a year ago to make winter comforts for our Armies at the various battle fronts, we all hoped it might be our last winter campaign, but whatever may happen before next winter it is clear that vast forces will in any event occupy the field, and it is therefore incumbent upon us to make full and adequate provision to ensure a sufficient supply of warm comforts for our men, no matter where they may be serving.

All the workers affiliated under my department have worked so loyally and so well that I have no hesitation in making a personal appeal to every one of them to look upon it not only as a duty, but as a privilege to provide as many knitted mufflers, mittens, helmets, sweaters or cardigans and hand knitted socks as they possibly can, between now and Christmas, and to send them, as and when they are made, to the local voluntary organization’s depot, in order that they may be sorted, packed, and dispatched overseas for general distribution to the troops.

I feel sure all workers who have the welfare of the soldiers at heart – which I know your workers have – will appreciate the great importance of ‘pooling’ all gifts. The machinery for distribution, through the medium of the comforts pool at the various battle fronts has been gradually perfected, with the result that Officers have only to make their wants known to the special officer-in-charge of the comforts pool, in any theatre of war, where they are quartered, to ensure the immediate delivery of the comforts required for their men.

As the war has progressed numerous new units have been formed and we now have hundreds of thousands of men in labour companies, machine gun units, trench mortar batteries, and many other arms of Service who have no particular association looking after them; again there are countless service battalions of men who rely entirely upon the comforts pools for those comforts they so greatly need.

I ask you individually and collectively to spare no effort to keep the pool well filled in order that no soldier shall be without his comforts, and you can rest assured that any little sacrifice which you make will be repaid a hundred times by the satisfaction of knowing that you have at elast done your share in helping the fighting men to endure hardships.

Individual workers who cannot conveniently send their gifts to a local centre may forward them by post to the Comforts Depot, 45, Horseferry Road, Westminster S.W.

Yours truly E.W.D. Ward.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

“The Germans may try to send poison to German Prisoners of war in order to contaminate water supplies”

Broadmoor, acting as a war hospital for metally ill PoWs, received the following warning. Was this ridiculous hysteria, or was there a genuine threat?

War Office
London SW1

20th June 1917

Sir,

I am commanded by the Army Council to inform you that information has been received from General Headquarters, British Armies in France, that the Germans may try to send poison to German Prisoners of war in order that the latter may contaminate water supplies etc.

I am to request that, in the event of any suspicious enclosures being found in parcels of Prisoners of War, the Commandant of the Prisoners of War Camp shall pass them to the Medical Officer for examination and analysis.

I am,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
B B Cubitt

[to]
General Officers
Commanding-in-Chief at Home.
Copies to Commandants, Prisoners of War Camp.
Commandant, Crowthorne War Hospital, Wellington College.

Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

Seven headmasters saved from conscription (for the present)

With the implementation of conscription, additional pressure was placed on the educational system with teachers, ancillary staff and older students potentially at risk.

Higher Education Sub-committee

SCHOLARSHIPS AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, READING

The Sub-committee have approved the postponement until after the war of the scholarship of Ernest H Austin, who has been called up for Military Service.

School Management Sub-committee

Staffing

The Board of Education, by arrangement with the Army Council, have agreed to postpone the embodiment of seven Head Masters for the present. In the case of three Head Masters and one Assistant, who are not certified for general service, the Committee also understand that they will not be called up without further reference to the Board of Education.

By-Laws and Attendance Committee

ATTENDANCE OFFICERS

The following have been called up for Military Service:
Mr E J Hale from 22 May
Mr E Hunt from 10 June
Mr M O Scown from 15 June…

The Sub-committee have made temporary arrangements for Mrs Scown to act as Attendance Officer for part of the Windsor District, and the remainder of her husband’s district has been assigned to the Easthampstead District.

Two other Officers of military age (Mr Edwards and Mr Barton), both of whom had attested under the Group System, have not yet been called up.

Berkshire County Council: Education sub-committee reports, 15 July 1916 (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Emergency arrangements for schools

Berkshire Education Committee received the reports of several of its sub-committees on 15 January, and heard how the war was affecting schools.

Higher Education Sub-committee

SECONDARY SCHOOLS: ENLISTMENT OF ASSISTANT MASTERS
The one remaining Assistant Master at the Wallingford County Grammar School has been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. At the Windsor County Boys’ School, Mr F Morrow has left to join HM Army, and Mr Hawtin has been attested under the Group System.

MAIDENHEAD TECHNCIAL INSTITUTE
A letter was received from the Board of Education on 4th January inclosing a letter from the Army Council stating that “the premises in question are required in connexion with a Voluntary Hospital, the administrators of which will be responsible for the payment of the necessary expenses”.

The Board expressed the hope that the premises would be made available accordingly.

This requisition was considered on 8 January and the following resolution was passed:

The Higher Education Sub-committee hereby authorises and directs the Governors of the Maidenhead Technical Institute to carry on the work of the Institute elsewhere and to hand the building over to the Maidenhead Branch of the Red Cross Society without delay.

TRAINING OF WOMEN: CLERICAL AND COMMERCIAL EMPLOYMENT
The Sub-committee have considered the letter from the Home Office (referred to the Committee by the County Council) with reference to the suggestions of the Clerical and Commercial Employment Committee.
The Sub-committee recommend that the demand for such classes in the larger centres of population in the county be ascertained by advertisement; and that if sufficient names be obtained classes be formed provided that it is possible to secure qualified teachers and that the classes can be self-supporting.

School Management Sub-committee

TEACHING STAFF
In addition to the 44 teachers who have already enlisted, 27 teachers have been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. Only three teachers are affected by the calling up of Groups 2 to 9.

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR
The Managers of the Thatcham CE Schools will not consent to the Committee’s suggestion that the Infants’ School should be closed, and that both Mixed and Infants should be taken in the Mixed School.
The Managers of Cookham Dean Schools have accepted a proposal for the temporary amalgamation of their two departments under the Headmistress of the Junior Mixed School and the consent of the Board of Education has been obtained on the understanding that the matter will be subject to reconsideration should the arrangement be found to be unsatisfactory in practice.

EMERGENCY ARRANGEMENTS FOR STAFFING
The Board of Education have announced that, in view of the enlistment in response to His Majesty’s appeal of a further number of teachers, the Board rely on Local Education Authorities, after consulting HM Inspector, to make the best arrangements possible for maintaining the schools at a satisfactory level of efficiency. If this is done, they will exercise a wide discretion in the payment of grants. The Board hope that authorities will do all they can to provide temporary substitutes for assistants who have joined the forces. They will, however, expect every effort to be made to provide a properly qualified Head Teacher in each school; but may, in exceptional cases, e.g. small or remote schools, agree to recognise a teacher not fully qualified.

These departures must be regarded as for the period of the war only.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES
A letter has been received from the Educational Supply Association stating that, owing to the very considerably increased cost of articles, they must take advantage of the force majeure clause of their contract. A letter has also been received from Messrs Charles & Son (Kindergarten Materials) asking for an increase of 12 ½ per cent on their contract prices.

By-laws and Attendance Sub-committee

MORTIMER ST JOHN’S SCHOOL
The Sub-committee have considered a suggestion from the School management Sub-committee that this school might be closed for the period of the war. The Managers have agreed to offer no opposition to the proposal… The children would attend St Mary’s Infants’ School.

Agricultural Instruction Committee report [also to the Education Committee]

TRAINING OF WOMEN
The Committee have received a recommendation from the Berkshire War Agricultural Committee that a grant not exceeding £50 be made to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour for the training of women in farm work.

A communication has also been received from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries calling attention to the importance of training women for work on the land, and inviting the co-operation of the Committee in providing such instruction as is required.

It is according recommended that a sum not exceeding £50 be granted to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour during the current financial year for the purposes of training women on the lines set out for the organisation by the circular letter of the Board of Agriculture of 29 November, 1915, and for the organisation by that Committee of meetings, where desirable, with the object of forming a register of women capable of undertaking some agricultural work and of farmers willing to employ them.

Reports to Berkshire Education Committee (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Health and domestic arrangements permitting, married women teachers to keep their jobs

The reports of various sub-committees to Berkshire Education Committee on 16 October 1915 show various effects of the war on everyday life. One was the opportunity for women teachers to stay in employment after they got married; normally they would have been forced to resign as it was expected that they would be starting a family.

Higher Education Sub-committee

MAIDENHEAD TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

In reply to a letter from the Board of Education, enclosing a letter from the Army Council, the Sub-committee have adopted the following resolution:

In view of the statement of the Army Council that more hospital accommodation is required, no obstacle will be interposed by this Sub-committee to the use of the Maidenhead Technical Institute provided that:

No other available premises, such as the Maidenhead Modern School, are deemed top be suitable.

A formal requisition is received from the War Department.

Formal guarantees are given with respect to care of the fabric and repayment of expense incidental to the removal of the Classes.

School Management Sub-committee

TEACHING STAFF

The number of teachers on Military Service up to 25th September was 41, and it is recorded, with regret, that of these three have been killed: Mr W H S Berry, Mr H W Thornton, Mr R P Cowles. A letter of condolence has been sent in each case to their parents.

The Sub-committee have approved the continuance on the staff after their marriage of several female teachers, provided that their health and domestic arrangements do not interfere with their school work.

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR

The Managers of the North Moreton School will not consent to a temporary transfer of their school to the South Moreton Council School under their own Head Teacher.

No definite replies have been received from the Managers of the Sonning, Thatcham and Hurst Schools as to the proposals of the Sub-committee.

Berkshire Education Committee minutes (C/CL/C1/1/18)

River maintenance suspended

River maintenance seems to have come to a halt as a result of the war. Hugh Russell, representative of Berkshire County Council on the Thames Conservancy Board, reported as follows:

In common with other Authorities, the Conservators were affected by the War, and as about 100 of their employees were called up for service with the Forces, some of the works in hand, such as dredging and weed cutting, &c, had to be temporarily suspended. The Conservators were requested by the War Office, and other Authorities, to take measures for the protection of certain railway bridges, and other important points, and the measures taken met with the approval of the Army Council, who wrote to Lord Desborough, the chairman of the Board, expressing their appreciation and thanks for the steps which had been taken.

Hugh W Russell
18th January 1915

Report to Berkshire County Council (C/CL/C1/1/18)