Victory in the Great European War

Lower Basildon CE School
30th July 1919

School closed this afternoon for the Summer Holiday. The Education Committee have granted an extra week’s holiday, in accordance with the wish expressed by King George, to commemorate the Victory in the Great European War.

Aldermaston School
30th July 1919.

School closed at noon today for summer holidays, His Majesty King George has expressed a wish that in commemoration of the signing of Peace the children should be granted an extra week’s holiday.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
31st July 1919

Peace Celebration sports were held in playground yesterday afternoon.

Log books of Lower Basildon CE School (C/EL7/2, p. 205); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 108); and Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School (90/SCH/5/5, p. 251)

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Soldiers throwing stones

Some people got a bit over-excited by the official end of the war.

Lower Sandhurst
July 4th 1919

Six or seven windows were broken by persons throwing stones on either Saturday or Sunday night. I am informed that soldiers belonging to the camp are the delinquents. Have written to the C.O. of the guard, and to the police.

Lower Basildon
4th July 1919

School closed on Friday afternoon, for a half holiday, on the occasion of the Signing of the Peace Treaty.

Boyne Hill
July 4th

On account of the Proclamation of Peace this morning, this afternoon is to be observed as a general holiday.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1); Lower Basildon CE School log book (C/EL7/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

Died during the closure

There was sobering news when a school reopened after being hit by flu.

White Waltham
November 18th 1918

School reopened this morning. During the closure Arthur Butcher died of influenza.

East Ilsley
18th November 1918

Reopened after closure for influenza. Eight absent from epidemic sickness.

Peasemore
Nov. 18th

School closed for a fortnight as recommended by the County Medical Officer of Health, on account of influenza among the children.

Newbury
18/11/18

School re-opened today after 3 weeks closure for influenza.

Clewer
1918 Nov 18

School opened. Numbers low. Still many absences through influenza.

Basildon
18th November 1918

The armistice between Germany and the allies was signed and hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11am.

Log books of White Waltham CE School (D/P 142/28/3/2, p. 282); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1, p. 488);Peasemore School (C/EL49/2); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1); St Stephen’s Girls’ School, Clewer (88/SCH/23/5); Basildon CE School Log Book (SCH39/8/1)

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.
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The provision of light employment for discharged partially disabled men incapable of doing a full day’s work

The Disablements Sub-committee of the Berkshire War Pensions Committee reported on training programmes for disabled ex-soldiers, who faced an uncertain future.

The Disablements Sub-committee beg to report that the two schemes for training at Basildon and Windsor have now been approved by the Pensions Minister, with the exception of boot-making at Basildon, which is only provisionally sanctioned. The gardening course at Windsor has been extended from six to twelve months for suitable cases. Both schemes are now in full operation. Since the last meeting the Royal Warrant of April 1917 for treatment and training has come into force, payments being made under it as from 23 July 1917.

A list of hospitals throughout the county where treatment can be obtained for discharged men has been sent forward for approval to the Pensions Minister, also a special application for further necessary accommodation for out-patient treatment at King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor, to enable the authorities of that hospital to provide orthopaedic treatment for discharged disabled men within a radius of ten miles of that hospital. A special request was also put forward as regards the lack of hospital facilities in parts of North Berkshire, especially in the Wallingford District. It is proposed to formulate a scheme to include all facilities and arrangements for medical treatment and submit it as a whole for the approval of the Pensions Minister.

The National Health Insurance Commissioners have made new arrangements in respect of medical benefit for all discharged soldiers and sailors invalided from the Service, and have included those whose incomes do not exceed £160 per annum. Medical Practitioners are required to report to the Insurance Committee as to any special treatment to be provided by the Disablements Committee under the arrangements above alluded to. The scheme will also provide for any treatment recommended by a medical board for a man after his discharge, or for any man for whom treatment is recommended at the time of his discharge from the service by his invaliding board.

Instructions having been received from the Pensions Minister that discharged men who are not in receipt of a pension owing to the disability for which they were discharged not being considered attributable or aggravated by war service have now been afforded facilities for appealing against this decision. Instructions have been issued to all Sub-committees that such cases should be referred to this Committee. Three cases for appeal are coming up shortly for consideration.

The provision of light employment for discharged partially disabled men who are incapable of doing a full day’s work has been considered. A joint public appeal with the County Borough of Reading Committee has been issued through the Press to employers throughout the county for help in this important matter…

During the last three months 643 cases have been entered on the Register, making a total of 1,513 cases. In addition 325 cases (approximately) are being investigated. 512 new cases have been sent out to the various Sub-committees as follows:

Abingdon 34
Easthampstead 20
Faringdon 20
Hungerford 13
Lambourn 5
Maidenhead 72
Newbury 84
Reading Rural 43
Wallingford 27
Wantage 27
Windsor 95
Wokingham 52

220 cases have been considered by the Disablements Committee, treatment in hospital has been arranged for 62 cases, Sanatorium treatment for 7 cases, special training for 23 cases, and a number of men have been placed in employment.

12 November 1917

Berkshire County Council minutes, 1917 (C/CL1/1/21)

Some disabled ex-soldiers are refusing to work

Berkshire County Council found the war coming close to home when its Deputy Clerk, who had joined the army soon after the start of the war, was reported killed. Meanwhile they had begun to tackle the problem of those men who had returned home from the front with a permanent disability as a result of wounds. How might they be retrained?

DEATH OF THE DEPUTY CLERK

Resolved on the motion of the Chairman [James Herbert Benyon]: That a vote of condolence be forwarded to the widow of Lieut-Col H U H Thorne in her bereavement, and that it be accompanied by an expression of the great loss sustained by the Council in the untimely, though gallant, death in action of their Deputy Clerk.

Report of the Berkshire War Pensions Committee

The War Pensions Committee commenced their work on the 1 October, 1916.

The County, in accordance with the Scheme arranged by the County Council, has been divided into twelve Sub-committees, being, for the main part, one Sub-committee for each petty sessional division; but there have been certain adjustments, for the convenience of working, between the divisions of Wokingham and Easthampstead, while the Lambourn division has been divided between Wantage and Newbury division, with the exception of the parish of Lambourn itself, which is being worked by a Secretary and Treasurer.

Almoners have been appointed for each parish throughout the County, and the Almoners and Sub-committees respectively have had powers given them to deal with all urgent cases of wives and dependants of soldiers and sailors requesting financial assistance, each case being reported to this Committee for approval or revision as the circumstances may require.

During the six months alterations have been made in the amount of the State Separation Allowances and valuable additional powers have been given to the Pensions Committee in the way of making additional grants to meet to some extent the increase in prices, and the work has been now thoroughly organised.

Since the 1 October, 1916, up to the 30 April, 1917, the Finance and General Purposes Sub-committee have dealt with 1326 cases of Advances, Supplementary and Temporary Allowances, Temporary and Emergency Grants, etc. The payments made up to the 30 April, in respect of these Allowances and Grants, amount to a sum of £2299 2s 11d.

In addition to this the Sub-committee have dealt with 33 cases of Supplementary Pensions, which have been recommended to the War Pensions etc Statutory Committee.

The other section of the work of the committee is the very important and constantly increasing work of dealing with discharged and disabled soldiers and sailors. The principle adopted has been that so soon as the notification of the discharge of a man into the county has been received, the particulars are sent down to the Secretary of the Sub-committee in whose district the man proposes to live; enquiries are made in the district as to the man’s physical condition with a view of ascertaining whether he needs further medical treatment or training for some form of employment other than that to which he was accustomed prior to his disablement, and further inquiries to ascertain whether he needs financial assistance of either a temporary or permanent character, other than that provided by his pension, if any.

Considerable difficulty has been found in many cases where men have refused to work for fear of endangering the continuance of their pension, or because they are satisfied to remain as they are for the time being at any rate with the pension that they hold. The new Royal Warrant, however, will considerably strengthen the hands of the committee, as the Ministry of Pensions are entitled to withhold a portion of a pension if a man refuses to undertake treatment which the Pensions Committee, acting on medical advice, consider necessary for him, and the Pensions Committee will be enabled to grant a Separation Allowance for the wife and children where the man is undertaking training, and, further, to pay the man a bonus for each week of a course of training which he has competed to their satisfaction.

The provision of training is a difficult matter, as the necessary organisations are few and far between. In Berkshire the committee have three Schemes in course of formation. (more…)

Closed for the period of the war

It was probably staffing shortages which led to a Basildon school closing for the duration of the war.

8th January 1917
Admitted fifteen scholars from Lower Basildon school which has been closed to the older children for the period of the war.

Basildon CE School log book (90/SCH/16/1, p. 419)

Christmas and its lessons in war-time

A Berkshire school saw its head teacher drafted to take over at another school whose head must have joined up, and half the children sent to yet another school.

Lower Basildon National School
20th December 1916

I have received a communication from Mr Anderson to the effect that, for the period of the war, I shall be transferred as Head Master to Cold Ash school.

The children from Std II upwards, will be transferred to Upper Basildon school, so that when school re-opens on Jan. 8., only the Infants and Std I will remain.

Lower Sandhurst School
December 20th 1916

Mr. W. J. Joye, Chairman of the Managers, visited the School and gave an address to the children on Christmas and its lessons in war-time. He at the same time commended them for their generosity in supporting the War Funds, over £16.10 and 1000 eggs having been contributed since August 1914.

Lower Basildon National School log book (C/EL7/2, p. 174); Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 383)

A medical exam at Reading Barracks

The head teacher of a Basildon School was called up, pending medical fitness.

6th September 1916

Head teacher absent from duty during the afternoon, in order to be medically examined at Reading barracks.

Lower Basildon National School log book (C/EL7/2, p. 171)

Woollen comforts

Basildon schoolgirls were patriotically supporting the troops.

27th May 1916

Girls commenced this week to knit woollen comforts for soldiers.

Basildon CE School Log Book (90/SCH/16/1, p. 417)

Permission to attest for the army

A Basildon head teacher decides to join up.

19th May 1916

Head-teacher absent this morning, having had permission from the managers to go to Reading to attest for the army.

Lower Basildon National School log book (C/EL7/2, p. 169)

Basildon Congregational Church’s Roll of Honour

Three members of the little Congregational Chapel in Basildon had joined up. One was killed.

Our Village Churches
Basildon

ROLL OF HONOUR

Pte B Harding, 035009, ASC, Mechanical Transport
Corporal W J Harding, 2391, 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade (killed)
William Adnams, 19502, 9th Battalion Royal Berks

Basildon Church section of Trinity Congregational Church magazine, February 1916 (D/EX1237/1/11)

A concert for wounded soldiers

Local children entertained wounded soldiers recuperating at stately home Basildon Park.

28th January 1916
Tomorrow several of the school children repeat their concert to the wounded soldiers at Basildon Park Hospital.

Basildon CE School Log Book (90/SCH/16/1)

Presents for Basildon soldiers from the schoolchildren

Children from two Basildon schools got the day off to raise money for Christmas treats for local soldiers.

Basildon CE School
8th December 1915

Holiday today for school entertainment – the proceeds of which are to be use used to buy presents to send to Basildon men and boys who are serving the colours.

Lower Basildon CE School
8th December 1915

School closed for one day, being the date of school concert in aid of Soldiers’ Fund.

Basildon CE School Log Book (90/SCH/16/1, p. 410); Lower Basildon CE School Log Book (C/EL7/2, p. 166)

Old boys serving the colours

Schoolchildren were well aware of the war. At Basildon, the neames of old boys who had joined up were displayed on a roll of honour, while the oldest children at Lower Sandhurst were collecting for the Red Cross.

Basildon CE School
18th June 1915
The Roll of Honour contains the names of old boys of this school who are serving the colours now shows fifty names.

Lower Sandhurst CE School
June 18th 1915
The children of the Student Class have commenced a collection on behalf of the Red Cross Fund.

Basildon CE School log book (90/SCH/16/1, p. 406); Lower Sandhurst School Log Book (C/EL66/1, p. 325)