Grateful for help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire committee of the National Relief Fund met on 12 January 1915 and discussed the cases of various needy persons who had applied for assistance.

Hillyer, Windsor. Mr Gardner reported that he had seen Mrs Hillyer and the house agent in this matter, that the agent had accepted the sum of £1.4.6 being 1/3 of the arrears of rent in final settlement of arrears to December 14, 1914, and that the Committee’s last grant had completely cleared the rent to date. Mr Gardner thought that with a little assistance Mrs Hillyer ought to be able to keep the rent paid & that if any assistance were given it should be definitely towards the rent. He pointed out however that Mrs Hillyer had not asked for further help & seemed grateful for what the Committee had done for her. In these circumstances the Committee decided to take no further steps in the matter, at all events for the present.

Ottley. The local Committee reported that this man had obtained work & there was nothing further to be done in the case.

Gunn. The local Committee reported that Mrs Gunn has soldiers billeted in her house and will not require any further assistance at present.

White. In this case a local chemist asked for a loan of £15 as owing to the war his business had greatly fallen off. He stated that a sum of £12 was due to him from the National Health Insurance. After careful consideration of this case the Committee did not feel justified in making a loan. They resolved that Mr White should be asked to make application to the Insurance Committee for payment of his account.

Bouvarlet. The circumstances in this case had not changed & the Committee resolved to continue the grant unless a change in the circumstances of the case was reported to them.

Allen. This case was obviously a Poor Law one & was referred to the Guardians to deal with.

Lempriere. This case was sent to the Committee by Mr Petrocockino but had not been before the Local Committee. The Committee resolved that this case was not one which came within the scope of the National Relief Fund.

Simpson. The papers in this case were submitted to the Committee, but there was nothing to indicate that it was a case of distress owing to the war. The Committee therefore took no action in the matter.

Raynolds. The Committee considered the papers in this case which was unquestionably a hard one, but which had no connection with the war. It would be dealt with by the Mayor of Wokingham who had written to the Committee on the subject.

Jennings. This case was enquired into & it was found that the facts upon the card were in at least one important particular inaccurate. The wages of Kate Jennings, stated to be 7/- a week, were found on enquiry by the Treasurer to be £35 a year. The Committee felt this was a case of normal unemployment & that the applicant should be referred to the Employment Bureau.

Cole. A letter from Mr Fox on this case was read, but the Committee did not in fact feel justified at present in making any further grant.

Miss North, The Nest, Knowle Hill, Twyford was referred to the Local Committee for report.…

A letter from Mr Shepherd with reference to orders for his factory was read. No action was taken thereon.

A letter from the Secretary of the Maidenhead Local Committee was read calling attention to the unemployment among painters. The Committee felt that the unemployment in this case was not wholly abnormal & that nothing could be done in the matter at present.

A letter was submitted from Messrs Gibbens, Abingdon, with reference to unemployment. This letter had been answered by Miss Pott & no further action seemed necessary at this stage.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

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Rail fares and pawn redemption for war-hit jobseekers

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met on 24 November 1914 at Shire Hall, Reading. The Fund had been established to help anyone who was in extraordinary financial distress specifically due to the war, so they would not have to endure the stigma of the workhouse through no fault of their own.

Reports on unemployment were read from Windsor RDC & Bradfield RDC. Both districts reported no abnormal conditions of labour. Miss Pott reported that Mr Ferard had directed her to say the same as regarded the Easthampstead district.

Applications for relief were considered re:
Daisy Brown, Shinfield. A letter regarding this case addressed to Sir R Mowbray [chairman of the committee] was read. The secretary was instructed to reply to the same to the effect that the committee did not see their way to altering their procedure.
Gladys Grover, Shinfield. Resolved that the applicant be not entertained.
Victor Ross, Windsor RDC. Reported that the case had been taken up by the S&SFAss.
Mrs ? (wife of French soldier), Wantage. The secretary reported that the applicant had been directed to write to the French Consulate. [Mrs Bouvarlet added in later.]
Tindall, Windsor. Resolved a grant of 10/- be made.
Cole, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 7/6 a week for 3 weeks be made.
Hillyer, Windsor. Resolved that the arrears of rent, plus one month’s rent in advance, be paid. The Hon Treasurer was empowered to pay a sum not exceeding 2.2.0 on this account.

Railway fares for 27 men for whom work had been found at a distance was applied for by the Windsor Secretary. Resolved that one half, i.e. £2.15.1 of such fares be paid, as it did not appear certain whether all the applicants were out of work owing to the war.

Resolved that 4/6 be paid to the Windsor Committee on account of expense of getting a workman’s tools out of pawn.

Local Government Board Circulars re American Xmas gifts to children was read & considered. Resolved that the S&SFA be approached & enquiry made whether that Association would be prepared to carry out the scheme in Berkshire…

Local Gov Board Circular letter re Professional Classes Unemployment was reported, with certain replies to the same from District Committees shewing that so far as could be ascertained no abnormal distress amongst such classes obtained in the County Area.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)