No evidence that distress caused by the war

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met again on 23 March to consider cases of distress due to the war. They tended to be suspicious of claimants, and perhaps it is no surprise that they didn’t bother to meet for another two months.

23 March 1915

Applications for relief were considered from:
W Russell, Woodley. Resolved that no grant be given as no evidence was given that the applicant was in distress owing to the war.

Mills, Kintbury. A letter from Colonel Willes was read with regard to this case. resolved that upon the information before the Committee, the applicant’s distress was not caused by the war, & therefore no grant be made.

Gunn, Binfield. Resolved that a grant of 10/- a week for the period of one month beginning March 22nd be made. The secretary was instructed to intimate to the local secretary that the Committee trusted a further grant would not be necessary.

Cole. The assistant secretary reported that the Maidenhead Sec. had written saying Cole had disappeared from the town.

George. Also that the Vice Chairman had authorized a grant of 12/6 per week for four weeks beginning March 13th on behalf of D J George of Maidenhead. The Committee confirmed such grant.

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

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Disabled soldiers will get pensions, so shouldn’t need extra help

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met to consider various needy cases resulting – or allegedly resulting – from the war:

9 March 1915
The Ass. Sec. reported that John Nobes of E Hanney had obtained an Army Pension, & therefore no longer required assistance from the NRF, nor had the grant made for him at last meeting been given on his behalf.

It was further reported that a letter from Mr Mount, MP, had been received, in which the following passage occurred. “Every soldier who is discharged for disability due to military service & whose disability interferes with his capacity for earning a living is eligible for Pension under the regulations”, & Mr Mount stated that this was the official reply of the War Office to his question on the subject of men invalided from the New Army.

Applications for relief were considered from
Russell of Woodley, Wokingham RDC, Taylor & Capell, Windsor RDC, each of which was adjourned for further enquiry.
Mills of Kintbury. Resolved that upon the information supplied the Committee did not consider the applicant suitable for relief from the N R Fund but that the secretary should make further enquiry into the conditions by communicating with Colonel Willes.
Tyrrell, Abingdon Borough. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a grant of 5/- a week for four weeks beginning Feb 24th to the applicant. The Committee confirmed this grant.
Gunn, Binfield, Easthampstead RDC. A grant of 10/- a week for two weeks was made to applicant, the secretary being instructed to ask the local Hon. Sec. for a report upon the case from the Local Sub-committee of the NRF.
Cole, Maidenhead Borough. Resolved upon the information given the applicant, being an invalided soldier, was not a suitable case for this Fund. The Secretary was instructed to draw the attention of the local Hon. Sec. to the statement in Mr Mount’s letter (as above quoted) regarding the claim of disabled soldiers for a pension, & also to inform him that it is possible for a recommendation to be given by the Army authorities to local National Insurance authorities by which a disabled tuberculous soldier may obtain tuberculosis treatment.
George, Maidenhead Borough. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a grant of a sum not exceeding £2 on behalf of the applicant, should the local Committee consider the case one of urgent necessity. The Committee confirmed such grant.
Allen, Cookham RDC. Resolved that the applicant was a case for Poor Law relief & not for the Nat. Relief Fund.
Bailey, Cookham RDC. Resolved that as the information produced shewed no evidence that the applicant was in distress owing to the war, no grant be made on her behalf.
Ashford, Cookham RDC. Resolved that a grant of 6/- per week for one month beginning March 8th be made.
White, Shinfield. Resolved that as the information upon this case shewed a difference of opinion between the officer & local Committee of the Old Age Pensions as to the suitability of the applicant for relief, no grant be made from the Nat. Relief Fund until such divergence of views cease.

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

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)

No need for Workrooms for Women – but yes please to 2000 Christmas gifts for soldiers’ children

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met at Shire Hall on 15 December 1914.

Reports from Abingdon, Wokingham & Wallingford RDC were read to the effect that no special unemployment existed in their respective areas.

A report from various Districts upon Workrooms for Women was read, shewing that no such workrooms had been opened, nor was there need for them.

Applications for relief were considered.
Hellyer, Windsor. Case considered on Nov 24th ult. Mr Gardner undertook to see the landlord’s agent & make an arrangement regarding payment of arrears of rent; also to pay a sum of 28/- representing rent of 7/- per week for the four weeks ending Dec 12/14.
Cox, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 2.0.0. be made as representing 10/- per week for four weeks, & that the Windsor Committee be asked to furnish particulars of applicant’s former wages in case of renewal of application.
Cole, Wargrave. A grant of £1 was made.
Ottley, Easthampstead. Resolved that a grant of 10/- be made. The secretary was instructed to ask the local Committee to furnish further proof that the applicant’s unemployment was due to the war if another demand for relief were made.
Gunn, Binfield. The case was referred back to the local Committee for further enquiroes.
Nobes, East Hanney. Resolved that a grant of 10/- per week for the four weeks ending January 9th be made.
Bourvalet, East Challow. Resolved that a grant of 5/6 per week for four weeks ending December 26th be made. The secretary was instructed to convey to the local Committee the information that the Committee would be prepared to consider a renewal of the grant should the local Committee make a satisfactory report at the expiration of the four weeks.

The “American Xmas Gifts of Children” were considered. Mr Wright read a letter he had sent to the Local Gov Board asking for a consignment of 2,000 gifts & a letter he proposed to send to District Committees. Both letters were approved by the Committee.

The Chairman reported that Shepherd of Abingdon had written saying his carpet factory was likely to close down, & that he had interviewed Mr Shepherd & endeavoured to put him into touch with wholesale buyers.

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