Arrest of escaped German Prisoners of War

The Standing Joint Committee heard how Berkshire policemen had helped to recapture escaped PoWs.

5 October 1918

CHIEF CONSTABLE’S REPORT

Arrest of Escaped German Prisoners of War

Two German Prisoners of War, who escaped from Bramley Camp on 4 September, were arrested at Woolhampton by PC 117, Brooks, assisted by Special Constable Charles Taplin and two civilians.

Another, who escaped from the same Camp on 5 September, was captured by PC 64, Holloway, at Maidenhead Thicket.

The War Office Authorities, to mark their appreciation of the services rendered, sent a reward of £5, viz £1 for each of the Constables and civilians who assisted, and I have, under the circumstances, allowed them to receive the same.
Approved.

PC 158 Giles Rejoining Force

PC 158, Giles, who joined the Army on 6 December 1915, under the terms of the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1915, has been discharged from the Army as medically unfit for further military service in consequence of his left wrist being injured by a gunshot wound.

He rejoined the Force on 1 September, 1918, and has been given indoor work for the present, on the understanding that he will be medically re-examined in three months’ time by the Police Surgeon to see of there is any probability of his being fit for further Police duty.
Approved.

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

Advertisements

German PoW on the run “is alleged to have drawn a formidable looking dagger (which was afterwards discovered in a rick where the fugitives had been hiding”

Three Germans PoWs on the run were foiled by the brave actions of a Berkshire policeman and three Special Constables.

6 July 1918

CHIEF CONSTABLE

Lt-Col Poulton attended the Committee and stated that he had been absent from his Police work for three years, and he thought it was time he returned to such work; that his Army work was now so organized that it could be easily carried on by some other officer; and that he had now reached the age of 60; and suggested that the Secretary of State be asked to apply to the War Office for his relase from Army Service to enable him to resume his duties as Chief Constable of the County, as from 31 August, 1918.

Resolved:
That the Secretary of State be asked to make the application to the war Office as suggested.

Resolved also on the motion of the Chairman [J. Herbert Benyon] and seconded by Sir R. B. D. Acland, knight: That the very best thanks of the Committee be accorded to Col. Ricardo for services rendered as Acting Chief Constable.

Capture of three escaped German prisoners

The Acting Chief Constable has brought to the notice of the Sub-committee the action of PC 105 Reginald Jordan, stationed at Burghfield, and of Special Constables Webb, Holland and Hill, in effecting the capture of three Prisoners of War who had escaped from Bramley Camp on 24 April 1918.

PC Jordan challenged these men whom he met at Burghfield at midnight, and, finding they were foreigners, attempted to arrest them. After a struggle in which one of them is alleged to have drawn a formidable looking dagger (which was afterwards discovered in a rick where the fugitives had been hiding), the Germans succeeded in escaping, but were discovered and recaptured the following evening by PC Jordan – with the assistance of the Special Constables above-named, who had been working indefatigably all day in search of them.

The Military authorities sent £4.10s.0d as a reward, which was apportioned as follows: PC 105 Jordan, £2; Sergeant Taylor (who had also assisted) and the three Special Constables, 12s.6d each.

MOTOR CARS

The two motor cars which were so kindly placed at the disposal of the Superintendent at Maidenhead and Wokingham at the commencement of the war by the late Mr Erskine have now been returned to the present owner, Mrs Luard of Binfield Grove, and I beg to recommend that a letter expressing the gratitude of this Committee for the use of the cars, which have been of very great value to the Police, be sent to that lady.

I should also like to take this opportunity of referring to the loss sustained to the Force by the death of the late Marquis of Downshire, who, as a Special Constable from the commencement of the war, had kindly placed his valuable time and the use of his two cars (free of any charge) at the disposal of the Superintendent of the Wokingham Division, and by this means saved the County a great deal of expense.

I recommend that a letter be written to the present Marquis from this Committee, expressing regret at the death of his father, and its appreciation of his generous services.

The present Marquis of Downshire has very kindly placed his car at the disposal of the Superintendent at Wokingham on condition that the County keeps the car insured, [and] pays the licence duty and cost of running.

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

A Belgian Day of sports and fun in Stratfield Mortimer

The parishioners of Stratfield Mortimer continued to warmly support their allocation of Belgian refugees. In the October issue of the parish magazine, they announced a special fundraising day on their guests’ behalf:

Belgian Refugees
The needs of the homeless refugees from Belgium, much or all of whose belongings has been deliberately and wantonly destroyed by savage malice, have touched all hearts. With a view to assisting in the task of providing them with necessary clothing, it is proposed to set on foot immediately a Sewing Party. This will meet in St John’s Hall on Wednesdays, October 7th, 21st, and 28th, from 2.30-5 p.m. Some invitations have been sent out individually, but Mrs. Palmer, who will be leader, hopes that all who have leisure and goodwill, and who are efficient workers, will come whether a separate invitation has reached them or not.

A “Belgian Day”
Now both of these excellent enterprises will devour a considerable quantity of material, and that material will need to be of good quality, for no one wants to make cheap or trumpery things when it is the winter that has to be faced. Whence then the wherewithal for the purchase of half-a-mile of flannel? and, shall we say, a hundred-weight of wool for knitting? A partial answer may come by the holding of a “Belgian Day”. What is a Belgian Day? It is a day when everybody, man, woman, and child, car and horse and dog, is to be cajoled into wearing a favour showing the Belgian colours, which favour is to be purchased at the price of – well, at some price that we can all afford to give; which price goes to the purchase of material for the sewing parties. Maidenhead made £300 this way a few days ago. Reading is determined to out-do this on September 26th. Let us take Saturday, October 3rd, and try to raise £10. Will you be willing to buy and wear a favour or two on that day?

The November issue of the magazine reported on the success of that Belgian Day:

Belgian Day – On Saturday, October 3rd, we held our Belgian Day in Mortimer, and all the people were very busy making “favours”, which nearly all the parishioners wore. Captain Davis decided to give the school children a treat, and the Headmaster (Mr. Andrews) of St. Mary’s School decided we should go in a procession round the village, those who had bicycles of perambulators decorated them, and the best decorated vehicle won a prize. We met at school at two o’clock and marched up to St. John’s School to meet the infants. Mr. Spratley kindly lent us his light van, which we decorated, and sat up the smallest of the children. When we arrived down in the meadow (kindly lent by Mr. Wise) two soldiers were waiting to greet us with a bag of sweets.

There were all kinds of sports, bowling for the pig, which was won by Mr. John Love, and the best decorated bicycle was won by Florence Tubb. Then the soldiers had a tug of war, Mortimer v. Bramley, Stratfield Saye v. “Irish King’s Own”. Mortimer won, and each of the men received a beautiful leather purse. Then between the men’s tug-of-war, 12 girls v. 8 boys, and the girls won. Later on, about seven o’clock, the prizes were distributed (Mrs. Mynors kindly distributed them), and those girls who took part in the tug-of-war received a beautiful handkerchief, it resembled the Union Jack. Then the soldiers danced, and one played a concertina, and while they were dancing another party got ready the camp fire, and the soldiers sang such songs as “It’s a long way to Tipperary,” and “The girl in the clogs and shawl.” When it got darker the soldiers made ready the imitations of the Crown Prince and the Kaiser, stuffed them with all kinds of fireworks, and set light to them. The people watched them burn with excitement. I am sure the school children enjoyed themselves as well as the soldiers. We all thank Captain Davis for the trouble he has taken.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, October and November 1914 (D/P120/28A/14)