A permanent memorial of the war

A soldier serving in Palestine sent a gift to the school his children attended.

7th May 1918

One of the nicest and certainly the most valued and unique present received in the name of the school was sent to us from Palestine a week or so ago. It is a wooden bound book containing dried and pressed flowers from the Holy Land. The sender is First Class Warrant Officer Ernest Baker and the book bears the title of blumen aus dem heiligen land [flowers from the Holy Land, in German] being posted on 4. 4. 18. The sender is now on active service in the Holy Land, his children attend our school but he is a perfect stranger never having seen Warfield. The book will be carefully placed in the museum cupboard to be a permanent memorial of the war.

Today I read and explained the royal letter of congratulation from the King and Queen. It is now framed and hung to be read by scholars of future years. On April 30 we had 124 members on our war savings association and we have purchased 386 certificates.

Warfield CE School log book (C/EL26/3, p. 395)

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The best results are obtained only by getting into touch with the men personally

Thousands of wounded or sick troops had now returned home. the nation owed them support for their service. Some needed medical help, others re-training for new occupations, or help finding jobs.

The Disablements Sub-committee beg to report that they have been notified of approximately 2,524 disabled soldiers and sailors discharged into the county. Of the cases now entered upon the Register, which exclude those being investigated, the numbers specifying disabilities are as follows:

Amputation of leg or foot 51
Amputation of arm or hand 34
Other wounds or injuries to leg or foot 353
Other wounds or injuries to arm or hand 147
Other wounds or injuries to head 69
Other wounds or injuries 192
Blindness and other eye affections 77
Heart diseases 217
Chest complaints 93
Tuberculosis 101
Deafness and affections of the ear 72
Rheumatism 151
Epilepsy 37
Neurasthenia 47
Other mental affections 31
Other disabilities 532

Of this number all have been provided with a Medical Attendant [i.e. a doctor] under the National Health Insurance Act, and special treatment, including the supply or repair of artificial limbs and surgical appliances, has been provided in accordance with the recommendations of Military Authorities, Medical Boards or ordinary medical Attendants.

From the 1 April 1917, 280 cases have received Institutional treatment – both in and out-patient – at Military Hospitals, Civil Hospitals, Sanatoria, Cottage Hospitals or Convalescent Homes.
The total number of tuberculous soldiers and sailors to date is 101, and of these 72 have received Institutional treatment within the County under the County Scheme and three have received Institutional treatment outside the County Scheme. This treatment is provided through the County Insurance Committee.

The Committee has assisted with Buckinghamshire War Pensions Committee in the provision of a new wing for Orthopaedic Treatment at the King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor. This, which was urgently needed, and will be of the greatest benefit to men in that part of the county, will be opened in the course of two or three weeks. The Committee has also been instrumental with the Buckinghamshire Committee in obtaining the approval of the Minister of Pensions to a proposed Scheme for the provision, equipment, and establishment of a special hospital for totally disabled soldiers and sailors at Slough and an assurance from the Ministry of adequate fees for maintenance thereof. Her Royal Highness Princess Alice is forming a provisional Committee, and we have every hope that the proposed arrangements will e speedily carried into effect.
(more…)

A marvellous escape from an airship crash

Broad Street Church kept in contact with all its men who had joined up.

News has now been received from Air-Mechanic Fred W. Warman to the effect that he is interned at Croningen in Holland. He was acting as wireless-operator in the air-ship which came down there, and had a marvellous escape. We are glad to know that he writes in a bright and cheerful strain, and that he is trying to make the best of things.

Flight Sub-Lieut W. R. Taper of the RNAS has been appointed for duty in Malta. It has been a pleasure to see him frequently in our midst in recent weeks. The good wishes of many friends at Broad Street will go with him as he takes up his new duties.

BROTHERHOOD NOTES

Brother Woolley has consented to continue his good services by acting as correspondent with our members on service. This [is] a quiet piece of work which is bound to have its good results when things are normal again.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR

The list of our men who have responded to the call of God and King and Country. (more…)

Clothing prisoners

Dr John Baker, Superintendent of Broadmoor Hospital, which doubled as Crowthorne War Hospital for mentally ill PoWs, wanted to make sure that men leaving his care were warmly dressed for their winter journey home. Following this letter, they were issued with coats, underwear, braces and neck comforters.

Crowthorne War Hospital
Berks
5th November 1917

From Officer i/c Crowthorne War Hospital
To DDMS Aldershot

Seven insane German Prisoners of War have been recommended for repatriation. I understand that they will be removed shortly. The clothing in which some of these Prisoners arrived at the Hospital was in some cases either bad or defective. I shall be glad to be favoured with any instructions that may exist with regard to the clothing of Prisoners on repatriation or some guidance in the matter especially as to whether deficiencies may be made good from Hospital stock or otherwise.

[File copy not signed]

Letter from Dr Baker, Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

We joyfully welcome men home on leave

There was news of men from Trinity Church in Reading.

Trinity Roll of Honour

We regret that last month we inadvertently omitted the following.

Samuel Henry Baker, 6th L.R.O. Co., att. Royal Fusiliers.
Fred B. Gleave, now 2nd Lieut. Labour Battalion.

We joyfully welcome home on leave Douglas Elsbury, Walter Harding, and Charles Bostwick. All look very fit and well.

Charles Wagner, too, is with us again, being an inmate of Wilson Hospital with his left arm and hand badly broken. We are glad that now he is steadily improving.

Bert Prior is still in hospital with a wounded shoulder, but is doing well.

Trinity Congregational Magazine, October 1917 (D/EX1237/1)

An organist is called up

A Wokingham church had to face the prospect of singing hymns unaccompanied when their organist was conscripted.

Organist.
We want an Organist. Mr. Collins, who most kindly came to fill the gap when Mr. Baker was called up, and who has performed his duties most efficiently, is unfortunately unable to remain permanently.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Gallantry in the field

Men from the Bracknell area had mixed fortunes.

Ascot

We are sorry to hear of the loss of Wm. J. Hawthorn in the “Vanguard.”

Bracknell

It has been reported that 2nd Lieut. R. F. Needham is missing. He was in the fight on the dunes on the coast when the Northamptonshire and K.R. Regiments suffered so heavily. The deep sympathy of many friends is felt with Colonel and Mrs. Needham.

Winkfield

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

We are proud to be able to record this month the decoration of three more Winkfield men for gallantry in the field. Lieut. Cecil Hayes-Sadler, R.E, who has been serving lately with the French forces has been given the Croix de Guerre. Lieut. Wilfred Lloyd, R.E., has won the Military Cross, after having been recommended for it once before, and Corporal R. Nickless, 6th Royal Warwicks, has been awarded the Military Medal.

We regret to learn that Pte. Joseph Baker is ill in hospital with gas poisoning. He was able to write home himself, so we hope he will soon be completely recovered.

Signaller Fred Holmes has been invalided out of the Army. He was a member of our choir and one of the first Winkfield men to volunteer in August 1914, and he has seen a great deal of service at the front. We sincerely hope that he will soon obtain suitable work and in time completely recover his health.

Sergt. Leonard Tipper (Middlesex Regt), has lately gone out to France and we trust will be remembered in our prayers.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/8)

A record of which we may well be proud

Ascot churchgoers sent care parcels to their friends in the forces, and entertained strangers in the Royal Flying Corps.

ASCOT SAILORS AND SOLDIERS COMMITTEE.

In January a parcel was sent to Ascot men in the Navy or Army serving abroad “with every good wish for a happy New Year from your friends in Ascot.” The parcel contained a fitting writing case, a pair of thick socks, and some candles for the men in the trenches, and was sent to 12 men in the Navy, 75 men in France, and 13 in Egypt, Salonica and Mesopotamia.

Many letters have since been received from the men thanking Ascot for their kind thoughts of them, and giving good accounts of themselves. The cost of the parcels with the postages has more than exhausted the funds at the disposal of the Committee, and we must hope of means of replenishing the fund before long.

We are very pleased to hear that Sergeant Grimmett has been recommended for a commission, and we cordially congratulate him. This will make the sixth commission specially earned by Ascot, and is surely a record of which we may well be proud. The names of the gallant six are- 2nd Lieuts. Baker, Grimmett, Robinson, Stuart, Taylor and Watson, and we wish them “Good Luck.”

We regret to have to add the name of William J. Tidy (Gun Section H. A. C.) to our Prisoners of War.

CLUB ROOM for the men of the Royal Flying Corps.

Through the earnestness and energy of several ladies of All Saints congregation a Club Room has been opened at the Fire Brigade Station in High Street, the Committee of the Brigade having most kindly lent their premises for the purpose.

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

Missing Red Cross parcels

Dr Baker, Medical Superintendent at Broadmoor, now also operating as the Crowthorne War Hospital for mentally ill German PoWs, wrote to Lieutenant Colonel Whitestone to report on the overcrowding he was experiencing:

Crowthorne War Hospital
Berks

15th Janry 1917
Sir,

… I have now to report that there are 26 patients in the Hospital. In addition I have accepted another from Jersey. The ward will be inconveniently crowded and in the interests both of discipline and treatment I would strongly recommend the opening of the second ward. I trust that this recommendation will meet with approval and that sanction will be obtained for the provision of extra Orderlies.

Owing to the conditions above described I have today felt compelled to decline for the present another insane prisoner of War from Jersey.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,

Your obedient servant
[File copy not signed]

Dr Baker also received a letter relating to parcels sent to the prisoners which had gone astray somewhere:

Prisoners of War Relief Agency
20, Queen’s Gate Terrace
London, SW

January 15th, 1917

[to] The Commanding Officer
Crowthorne War Hospital
Berks

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much indeed for your kind letter of the 14th inst. in the meantime P/W Bergmann had also informed me of the safe arrival of parcel No. 6724, and I trust that the missing 10 parcels from the German Red Cross have also reached you by now.

I shall be only too pleased to support any request you sanction and help wherever help is required.

With renewed thanks for your kind assistance.

K E Markel


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

17 insane German Prisoners of war admitted to Broadmoor

The first group of mentally ill German PoWs arrived at Broadmoor for specialist care.

11th December 1916

Sir,

I have the honour to report that seventeen insane German Prisoners of War were admitted today from Netley Hospital.

They are located in No. 1 Block of the Asylum. This Block has been set apart for their accommodation and a separate entrance form the main road has been made.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,

Your obedient servant
[File copy not signed]
Superintendent

[to]
The Under Secretary of State
Home Office

Letter from Dr Baker, Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

Netley is pressing for the removal of the insane German soldiers

The use of Broadmoor for insane PoWs (currently all at Netley Hospital in Southampton) was inching ever closer. Broadmoor’s Superintendent, Dr James Baker, wrote:

5th November 1916
Dear Simpson

Youn may wish to know that Colonel Aldren Turner called here last week at the instance of the War Office who are apparently waking up. I am under the impression Netley is pressing for the removal of the insane German soldiers. He was very satisfied with the accommodation. I told him it was too good for the purpose. I informed him all I required was a week’s notice to make a new entrance from the main road. I do not care to pull the wall about until things are definitely settled. I received a letter from him yesterday saying he had presented his report, that the question of orderlies was being put in hand, that Foulerton and I would probably get an outfit allowance of £20 (the usual allowance is £30) but as they have apparently conceded the principle, we shall not quarrel about the amount, which should suffice.

He added in his letter that he had meant to discuss the question of the reception of insane German Officers, but he had forgotten to mention it to me. This will be rather a difficult matter as one does not know whether it will entail extra expense and further financial negotiations. However if the matter comes up and you agree, I think I had better see the War Office people about it. Of course I told Colonel Turner we could not move here until Treasury sanction was obtained.

Yours very truly
[signature missing from file copy]

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

We do not intend to disparage the uniform

Dr Baker, Medical Superintendent of Broadmoor, and his assistant Dr Foulerton were willing to work with German PoWs for no extra pay – but they did want to have any extra expenses, like RAMC uniforms, provided for them.

27th October 1916
Dear Simpson

I am returning you the War Hospital papers in case you require them for reference. I have copies.

It would hardly be correct to say that Foulerton and I do not wish to wear uniform. That might imply disparagement of the uniform, a feeling which certainly neither of us entertain. The point is simply that if the War Office require us to wear uniform, and it is probably necessary in their view for disciplinary purposes, they ought in common fairness, to make us some sort of allowance as they do in other cases. As I said before we are willing to do the work without extra emoluments and I am glad to think that the attitude on the part of the Staff is appreciated….

Yours very truly
[File copy not signed]

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

“The War Office still cling to the view that a Criminal Lunatic Asylum is not good enough for a Bosch prisoner of war”

There was concern at the top that there might be some stigma attached to sending insane prisoners of war to Broadmoor, which normally only housed the criminally insane.

Home Office
Whitehall
SW

24th October 1916

Dear Baker

We have not yet got Treasury sanction for the use of the vacant block as a military hospital. It is really for [the] War Office to hurry up if they want it, not for us. I understood from Mr Sayer that neither you nor Dr Foulerton wish to wear uniform. I propose therefore when we get Treasury sanction and tell War Office they can get the block, to tell them also,

1. That the Secretary of State cannot ask you to supply yourselves with a uniform and assumes that they do not desire you to wear one. I have telephoned something to this effect already, but of course there seems to be more than one Department of War Office concerned and the question has to go the round!

2. That before they take possession they should send down someone to settle what clothing, crockery and cutlery will be required. Personally I should be inclined to deprecate the idea that anything marked “BCLA” is tabu. That may have been all very well at the beginning of the war, but we are long past that stage by now. If the War Office still cling to the view that a Criminal Lunatic Asylum is not good enough for a Bosch prisoner of war, I am inclined to think they should pay for it. What we offer is merely what we provide for present inmates…

I was very glad to hear from Mr Sayer that he believed all the staff at Broadmoor on whom new work will fall are most ready to do it without extra pay. He will probably have a good deal of trouble as well as you and Dr Foulerton, and it is very gratifying to find this is accepted so cheerfully.

Yours very truly,
H B Simpson

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

“I don’t see why there should be any class distinction between officers and men”

There had been concerns that Broadmoor could not provide separate accommodation for officers and other ranks, as was the custom in prisoner of war camps. The doctors didn’t see the problem, seeing the men all as patients in need of their care.

I don’t see why there should be any class distinction between officers and men any more than in other asylums – but it is for WO to decide this….

HBS 19.9.16

Letter from H B Simpson, to Dr Baker, Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

Safety knives for insane PoWs

Dr John Baker, Medical Superintendent of Broadmoor, had some concerns about aspects of the use of the hospital for insane PoWs.

Broadmoor C L Asylum
13th Septr 1916
Dear Simpson

I am enclosing a memo with reference to various points in connection with the proposed new Military Hospital, which I would be glad to get cleared up before the next meeting of the Council of Supervision, which takes place on Thursday the 21st inst….
Yours very truly
John Baker

Crowthorne Military Hospital

NAME. The most appropriate name would be “The Crowthorne Military Hospital”. There is a local voluntary hospital in the vicinity called the Heatherside Military Hospital, Wellington College.

BEDS, BEDDING, CLOTHING, FURNITURE, FUEL & LIGHT. We can supply all that is required, but the crockery is stamped “Broadmoor Asylum” and the cutlery is stamped “Broadmoor” or “BCLA”. If objection is taken to the use of these, perhaps they could be supplied from Army Stores. I would prefer to use the Asylum cutlery marked BCLA because, for the use of dangerous or suicidal patients, we have a special safety knife and fork…

If both officers and men are included amongst the patients, I would point out that it will be difficult to separate them without opening another ward, which means a larger staff, and there is only one airing court available.

JB

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