Internees “are as tricky as monkeys and use any means to try to gain their ends”

Reading Prison officials got into hot water when they accidentally stopped an MP from communicating with an internee. Fred Jowett (1864-1944) was a Labour MP who was opposed to the war.

Letter & enclosure withdrawn & issued.

It was not known that Mr Jowett was an MP but the letter appeared peculiar & attention was drawn. It was only when this letter was received that it was considered that Mr Jowett might be an MP & reference to Whitaker’s Almanac confirmed it & the Commissioners were told.

No man is allowed to communicate with an MP if it is known – these men are as tricky as monkeys and use any means to try to gain their ends.

C M Morgan
Gov

14-4-18

Enclosing:
April 11th 1918

G Stichl
S of S Order 20.8.16 Internment

Special attention is drawn to this letter.

On 8.10.17 a letter addressed to Mr Jowett was submitted to the Commissioners, special attention being drawn. It was passed and posted by them 11.10.17.

On 17.10.17 an answer to this letter arrived from Mr Jowett. It was submitted to the Commissioners same day and retained by them.
On 3.4.18 a letter addressed to Mr Jowett by Stichl was submitted to the Commissioners and posted by them 4.4.18. The letter now submitted appears to be the answer to this last letter.

C M Morgan
Gov

I am informed that Mr Jowett is a Member of Parliament.

[in new hand:]
The letter may be given to Jowett, but any attempt to write Mr Jowett again should be specially brought to the notice of the Commissioners or to any MP. The letter of 3-4-18 was passed on the fact that he was MP was not recognised. The one passed of 8-10-17 was allowed as a special case, through a misunderstanding.
JW 13-4-18

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

Prayers for Reading men

More Reading men had been reported killed.

Notes from the Vicar

Intercession List

Lieut. C. W. May, Devonshire Regt.

Wounded: Sapper Woodbridge, L’ce-Corpl. Herbert Standing.

Sick and Wounded: Private Harry Barnes; Corpl. L. Leach.

Departed: Private W. Allaway, Wilts Regt.; 2nd Lieut. B.R.H. Carter, R.F.C.; Sapper George Money, R.E.; L’ce-Corpl. Frank Griffin, R.M.L.I.; 2nd lieut. B Cripps, R. Berks Regt.; Private Bagnell; Private James Edward Cook, R. Berks Regt.

Reading St Giles parish magazines, December 1917 (D/P96/28A/34)

Please keep a lamp on

Queen Victoria Institute for District Nursing, Reading, was grappling with higher salaries in order to retain nursing staff, while they also had to cope with the dark.

6 January 1916

Special rates of salary are now paid to all the Nurses engaged on the staff, and your Committee will, no doubt, bear in mind whenever the war comes to an end the question of the salaries will have to be reconsidered all round.

We also recommend that the Lady Superintendent be authorised to spend a sum not exceeding £10 in keeping up the stock of house linen; and that having regard to the reduction of lighting order in the Borough, which will take effect on the 10th instant, rear lamps for all bicycles used by the nurses be obtained and fixed at the expense of the institute.

Reduction in Lighting Order
Having regard to the reduction in lighting order about to take effect in the Borough, the Lady Superintendent was authorised to do what was necessary to give effect to the Order by providing additional blinds on curtains for the windows of the Institute. It was also resolved that the Lighting Committee of the Town Council be asked to arrange if possible that the lamp opposite the corner of the Institute should not be extinguished.

Minutes of Queen Victoria Institute for District Nursing, Reading (D/QX23/1/2)

The right spirit: call to join the reserves in south Berkshire

Former soldiers too old to join up at the start of the war were encouraged to join the National Reserve, making themselves available for service if required. The Sulhamstead parish magazine explains:


The National Reserve, which in Berkshire was closely associated at the outset with the Caversham and Reading Veterans’ Association, is a register of officers and men who have served satisfactorily in any naval or military capacity, and who are no longer liable for service as reservists. Membership is voluntary. There is no uniform; but a badge is issued to all duly enrolled members. The members are organised under the County Associations, with a view to increasing the military resources of the country in the event of imminent national danger. They are divided into three classes, viz:

Class I – Age under 42, and medically fit (now temporarily closed for asmission).
Class II – Aged, Officers and Sergeants under 55, all others under 50, and medically fit.
Class III – (Men unable to undertake any obligation):
(a) Those qualified for Class I, but preferring to Join Class III.
(b) Those qualified for Class II, but preferring to Join Class III.
(c ) All those, without limit of age, not qualified for Classes I or II.

Members joining Classes I and II have to sign an honourable obligation to come up for service when required in time of imminent national danger. They will then be liable to be used to reinforce the Army, for garrison or guard work, as specialists or tradesmen in technical branches, or in hospital, veterinary, remount, clerical, recruiting, or other military duties.
Class I may be required to serve either at home or abroad. Class II can only be used in this country.

There is no pay except on actual service; but National Reservists of all ranks and classes who are duly accepted for service on moblilisation, whether with the Regular Army or the Territorial Force, will receive the current Army rates of pay and allowances, according t the nature of their employment; and they or their families are eligible for pensions and allowances in case of disability or death occurring in actual service.

Four “Berks National Reserve” Battalions have been filled mainly from the towns, but it is desired now to bring the movement within reach of the country districts, and in this particular neighbourhood a new Company (No 8) of the 1st Battalion is in course of formation. Its normal area for membership will, as at present arranged, include the following parishes, viz.: Burghfield, Sulhamstead, Mortimer, Wokefield, Beech Hill, Shinfield, Grazeley, Ufton, Padworth, Aldermaston, Beenham, Bucklebury, Frilsham, Yattendon, Stanford Dingley, Bradfield, Tidmarsh, and Theale. Applications however will be entertained from residents in any adjoining parish which is in the Reading Postal District, and is not within the area of another Company.

All persons, of whatever rank, who are qualified for any of the three “Classes” are cordially invited to communicate with Mr E T Norton (Colour-Sergeant), The Oaks, Sulhamstead, Reading, or with Mr H G Willink (Captain, commanding the Company), Hillfields, Burghfield, Mortimer, Berks.

The Company already numbers nearly 30, and there is no reason why it should not reach full strength, with a proper complement of Officers and NCOs.

After the war is over it is particularly hoped that all the men discharged from “Kitchener’s Army”, who come back to this area, will join. The terms of their enlistment do not include any period of retention on the Regular Reserve; and the National Reserve will afford the best chance for their keeping on touch with each other, and not passing away out of sight.

This is not an appeal to any man on the ground that he personally will get any pecuniary or material benefit out of membership. It rests upon better grounds. To men who are fortunate enough not to be too old it offers the renewed prospect of rendering to their country useful service in time of need. To all men, who have shown already that they have the right spirit in them, it offers opportunities of keeping alive that spirit, in fellowship with others, and with the consciousness that they are still recognised as part of the national forces. And upon all, unless and until occasion arises, it makes no present demand beyond a few parades and musters, and perhaps the taking honourable part in public gatherings.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1914 (D/EX725/3)