Suffragettes support wounded soldiers

Many suffragettes had suspended the battle for quality in the interests of national unity.

THE ASCOT BED at ROYAUMONT HOSPITAL in FRANCE (N.U.W.S.S. Scottish Women’s Hospitals)

The Ascot Women’s Suffrage Society is organising a Christmas Sale on December 8th to collect funds so as to continue the upkeep of the bed during 1915 [sic]. Contributions of money or kind will be gratefully received by Miss Forrester, Greenaway, Ascot.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/11)

Should price rises mean OAPs got extra help?

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met again at Shire Hall, Reading, to discuss applications for financial support due to the circumstances of the war. The committee would go quiet after this with a minor meeting on 3 June 1916 with no substantive matters discussed, and no other meetings until 1917.

4 December 1915

Miss Pott reported that no further application had been received from Mrs Pounds of Peasemore; that Mrs Forrester had found employment in one of Boots’ supply stores in the London district & was also in receipt of an allowance from the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women; & that the grant of £100 asked for had been received from the Government Committee of the NRF.

Applications for relief were reported from
Brandon, Maidenhead. The applicant being resident in Buckinghamshire, his application had been refused.
Chapman, Theale. Reported that the local Committee recommended that no further relief be give,
Patterson, Maidenhead. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a further grant of 10/- per week for 2 weeks so that the allowance would continue until January 2, 1916, after which the applicant would be in receipt of other monies. The Committee confirmed the Chairman’s action.
Turner, Wantage. Resolved that the case be referred back for further information, and be decided by the Chairman upon the facts supplied by the Local Secretary.

Miss Pott reported that the Abingdon Secretary had written to ask whether the Committee would give relief to Old Age Pensioners in consideration of the rise in cost of living. That she had laid the letter before Mr Nisbet, the Local Government Board Inspector, who had replied that the Government Commission of the NRF had decided against relief being given on such grounds; & that a copy of Mr Nisbet’s letter had been sent to Abingdon.

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

Our Russian Allies have been nobly bearing the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack

Women and children were at the forefront in Burghfield, Sulhamstead and Theale fundraising efforts on behalf of wounded Russians, while efforts were also made in Reading.

Sulhamstead

RUSSIAN FLAG DAY

An energetic canvass of the parish on behalf of the Russian Red Cross Society was mad eon Saturday, September 18th, by an enthusiastic band of workers, organised by Miss B Leake. It is said they met with a bright welcome at almost every house at which they called, or every person whom they asked. All the flags had been sold by 2 o’clock, and givers after that time were content to have no recognition. The collecting boxes were taken unopened to Canon Trotter on Saturday night by Miss Leake, but the counting was deferred, and was not known at the time of going to press.

The St Michael’s Scouts gathered blackberries, which they sold for the Russian Red Cross, and added £1 to the fund from their sale.

Theale

RUSSIAN FLAG DAY

It is interesting to record the efforts made, and the sums contributed, in our parish towards meeting the manifold needs of our Allies and ourselves in this time of War. During the last two months appeals have been made to the Country to assist the Russian wounded and sick, and our own Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Association. On both occasions Mr. D. M. Davies took up the work with zeal, invited the collectors and assigned them their districts.

“Russian Flag Day” was September 18th, and £8 18s. 9d. was contributed. The following collected: Mrs Charles Blatch, Miss Bunce, Miss Cowing, Miss Dance, Miss Ivy Forrester, Miss Pickford, Miss Elsie Janes, Mrs Sly and the Misses Windle.

Burghfield
RUSSIAN FLAG DAY
Our parishioners gladly and willingly responded to the appeal made by the Mayor of Reading to help the Russian Red Cross by buying flags on Saturday, September 18th, and the very satisfactory sum of £11. 13s 7d was realized as our contribution to the good cause. The Rector and Mrs George are most grateful to all the collectors who responded to their appeal, and who spared no effort to make the day a success.

Reading

A Reading church had a special fundraising day in aid of wounded Russian soldiers.

The Vicar’s notes

Our Russian Allies have been bearing so nobly the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack during the last few months that it was only fitting that we should do our best to help their wounded, who I fear, must be numbered by hundreds of thousands. So Saturday, Sept 18th was kept as Russian Flag Day, and the results were splendid; the total amount reaching, I believe, some £2,000.

Sulhamstead and Burghfield parish magazines, October 1915 (D/EX725/3); Theale parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P132B/28A/4); Reading St Mary parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P98/28A/13)

Distress due to the war

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Committee met again at Shire Hall to consider applications for help from individuals who had fallen on hard times due to the war.

21 August 1915

The Sec: reported that Mrs Forrester’s case had been taken over by the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women upon the advice of the Professional Classes Sub-committee of the NRF Committee in London.

That the grant to Mrs Pounds had now been paid in full.

That Ross of Clewer was being relieved by the SSFA.

The Sec: was empowered to renew the weekly grant to Pounds if the application were received & no change had occurred in the applicants’ circumstances.

Applications for relief were reported as follows.

Patterson, Maidenhead. The Chairman reported a grant authorized by himself of 10/- weekly for 3 months. Such grant was confirmed by the Committee.
Haines, Earley. Resolved that the case was outside the scope of the Committee.
Tame, Denchworth. Reported by the Sec: as having been referred to the SSFA.
Stallwood, Maidenhead. Resolved that no grant be given.
Pocock, Chieveley. Resolved that there being no evidence of distress owing to the war no grant be given.
Sadler, Beedon. Resolved that as the payment of debts does not come within the scope of the operations of this Committee, no grant be given.
Chapman, Theale. Adjourned for further information to be obtained from the local sec: & the SSFA.

Berkshire branch of the National Relief Committee: minutes (C/CL6/4/1)

Payment of back rent by the National Relief Fund not a precedent

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund considered various requests for assistance from individuals who had been disadvantaged by the war:

31 May 1915Applications for relief were considered from:
Gray, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 50/- be made in accordance with the recommendation of the Windsor Committee, but the Executive Committee does not regard the payment of back rent as a desirable expenditure of the National Relief Fund, & instructs the assistant secretary to inform the Windsor Committee that the grant given must not be regarded as a precedent for such payment.
Pike, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 12/- be made.
Winney, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of £2.12.6 be made as representing one half of the sum expended by the Windsor Committee.
Beasley, Windsor. Resolved that the applicant was not suitable for relief from the NRF.
Crow, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 25/- be made.
Waller, Windsor. Resolved that the applicant be not suitable for relief from the NRF.
Ottley, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 10/- be made: though the Committee does not admit that the mere fact of the rise of price in raw material gives a claim on the NR Fund, the special circumstances & advanced age of the applicant affords reasons for relief being given.
Thatcher, Abingdon. The Chairman reported grant of £2.0.0 on behalf of this case.
Winterbourne, Abingdon. Grant of £1.0.0 reported.
Willis, Maidenhead. Grant of 10/6 per week, beginning May 1st, reported.
Forrester, Maidenhead. Grant of 10/6 per week for two months beginning May 17th reported. The Sec: was instructed to communicate with the Sub-committee on Professional Classes at the offices of the Central Committee upon the circumstances of this case.
Pounds, Peasemore, Wantage. Grant of 5/- per week for three months beginning May 17th reported.
Fish, Warfield, Easthampstead. Reported as refused by chairman.
Ross, Clewer. Reported as having been received & refrred to the SSFA for further information.
Rosser, Wokingham. Reported as not recommended by the local Committee.
George, Maidenhead. Reported that the grant authorized on behalf of applicant on March 23rd had not been paid as the local Sec: had not found it necessary to pay the same.

The grants as reported were confirmed by the Committee.

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

Wait, work and pray at ‘the base’ while loved ones fight

Many of the women who belonged to Theale Mothers’ Union, a church-based group, were enduring the anxiety of having a husband or son at the Front. The May issue of the parish magazine announced a special meeting to address their special concerns:

THE MOTHERS’ UNION
Arrangements will be made, it is hoped, for a meeting of the members of our Branch on Thursday, May 20th. A short Service will be held in Church, with an address by the Rectory, at 3.30 p.m., to be followed by Tea in the Parish Room. Due notice will be given in Church, and by the District Visitors to the members individually. A Meeting for Prayer is particularly called for now that the husbands and sons of so many members are serving their King and Country, and in peril in the War.

FOR KING AND COUNTRY
Ezra East, of Calcot … Army Service Corps.
The Rector will be glad to receive further names.

The following month reported on the success of this meeting:

SPECIAL SERVICE OF INTERCESSION
The members of the Mothers’ Union, and the wives and mothers of all in the parish serving their King and Country, were invited to a Service in the Parish Church on Thursday, May 20th, at 3.30 p.m. The congregation numbered about 50. After the Whitsuntide Collect, the Mothers’ Union Prayer, etc. Psalm 91 was said, and was followed by the special Lesson, Romans VIII, 19 to 28. In his address the Rector said that the sacredness of Marriage was the root-principle of the Mothers’ Union, and the bond that united families, when our sailors and soldiers had gone forth to do their duty to their King and Country. Their wives and mothers were at ‘the base,’ where they had to wait and work and pray.

The Rector besought them in times of anxiety and depression not to regret that they had let their husbands and sons go forth, but to let the consciousness that they had done right comfort them, and hearten them to bear any sacrifice. They had also done their best for them. It was true of many a one who had responded to the high call, that it had made a man of him, it had made a Christian of him, it had made a hero of him. In this time of trial and anxiety may all seek the help of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

The names on the Roll of Honour, to the number of 67, were read out. Hymns 207 and 595 were sung, and a collection was made for the County Red Cross Society, amounting to £1 1s 6d. A receipt for this sum has been received from Mr. Haviland, Hon. Treasurer. After the service, those present were entertained at tea in the Parish Room, for which arrangements had kindly been made by Mrs. Snelling, Mrs. Forrester, Mrs. Rudd and Mrs. Charles Blatch, assisted at the tea itself by Mrs. Walford, Miss Bunce, Mrs. Angel-Smith and other ladies.

Theale parish magazines, May and June 1915 (D/P132B/28A/4)