A new price for butter

Newbury implemented price controls to stop retailers cashing in on shortages.

January 1st 1918

Home Defence Corps

A letter was read from Second Lieutenant F A Greet asking for the support of the Council to an effort to increase the number of the Newbury Corps so that it might be continued as a separate unit instead of being merged in the Reading Corps.

Food Control Committee

The report of the meetings of the Food Control Committee was referred to from the chair. The Mayor also mentioned that the steps taken by the Committee with respect to the distribution of margarine.

Report of the Local Food Control Committee (appended)

Meetings of this committee have been held on the 29th October, the 5tyh, 12th, 19th and 26th November, and the 3rd, 10th and 19th December.

In October last the Committee fixed the price of English Farmhouse Butter at 2s 4d per lb. subsequently at the meeting on the 19th December, the Committee having fixed a rate for Blended and Imported Irish Butter at 2s 6d per lb, the Committee decided to raise the price of English Farmhouse Butter to 2s 5d per lb….

Potato Licenses.

The Committee have granted licenses to various applicants as wholesalers and retailers. By agreement with the Butchers, the maximum retail prices have been fixed for the sale of Meat within the Area.

It having become necessary to appoint an Officer whose special duty it would be to see that the Orders of the Food Controller were carried into effect, the Committee appointed Mr G W Stillman as Enforcement Officer at a salary of 30s per week….

Complaints having been received as to the sale of Matches and Bread in contravention of the Orders dealing with these articles, prosecutions were ordered by the Committee, and the cases were subsequently dealt with before the Justices.

Newbury Borough minutes (N/AC1/2/9)

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A soliderly and workmanlike experience of camp life

Many men from west and north Berkshire had volunteered to serve in a Home Defence unit.

The Newbury Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Berkshire Volunteer Regiment went into Camp at Churn from Friday, July 13th, to Sunday the 15th, and had a very good time. This Battalion comprises men from Wallingford, Newbury, Abingdon and Wantage, and formerly went under the title of “The Home Defence Corps”. In order that we may not convey valuable information to the enemy, it would be as well not to mention the particular duties upon which the men of Newbury were on this occasion engaged. Suffice it to say that they set about them in a soldierly and workmanlike manner, and gained the approval of the Major, and Adjutant, and Captain, and other Officers.

The experience of camp life was new to a large number of those present, but there were also some seasoned veterans, who could speak of a similar experience of 20 or 30 years ago. The air of Churn is most invigorating, so much so indeed that some of the company appeared to spend a large portion of the first night in animated conversation, but were quieter the second night, though even then there were those who found sleep difficult, owing partly to the unaccustomed hardness of their bed. A religious Service was held on Sunday morning, at 9.30, by the Chaplain. The catering was done by Mr Tombs, and earned well merited praise. There are many more men in Newbury who ought to join the Battalion.

Newbury St Nicholas parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P89/28A/13)

“It is extraordinarily difficult to teach the officers anything but the men are good”

Ralph Glyn’s friend Hereward Wake was now training soldiers in Wiltshire. He was not impressed – but at least he approved of Sir William Robertson (1860-1922), the new Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

General Staff
61st (SM) Division

9/4/16
Salisbury

My dear Ralph

Three letters from you to answer, more shame to me, but I am putting in more work than usual here, preparing for the fray. This Division has existed 15 months. Warned for war 6 weeks ago, they thought it ought to be trained, so it was armed& equipped, the whole of the Staff & commanders were changed, & for the first time the men fired a rifle & carried a pack. Result, as far as the targets are concerned, was complete immunity. And the people figured bravely in the scheme for Home Defence for over a year. It is extraordinarily difficult to teach the officers anything but the men are good. We shall begin to come over early next month.

I left WO on 1st March, so what can I do for you? Charles French can help you, however.

I sympathize very much with you being in Egypt and hope you may escape. If it absolutely depends on Salonika it looks bad. You say there are only 2 courses there, offensive or clear out, so I suppose we shall take the third, namely stay there & do nothing. I wonder if the Greeks might fare badly at the hands of the Bulgars if we cleared out? Would they not at once take Salonika? And how are we at the end the war (if there ever is an end) to get them out of it again, or for that matter to re-establish Servia [sic]?

The big storm here 2 weeks ago has flattened everything in the Midlands & the roads are still blocked with trees & telegraph wires – the poles all snapped off short at Courteenhall & there was 3’ [feet] of snow. We had less of it here, but a lot of trees down.

Remember me to Linden Bell – a good Staff Officer, isn’t he? as well as a good fellow.

I feel great confidence now that Robertson is CIGS. He loves the truth better than himself, and fears nobody.

Yours
Hereward

Letter to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C32/26)

A sham fight in Maidenhead

Men in Littlewick and Knowl Hill were enjoying themselves playing at soldiers, but the Church Lads’ Brigade for boys had had etbacks, and perhaps a diminution of enthusiasm.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Regiment: Maidenhead Battalion: Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The Section has made good progress and the attendance has been very praiseworthy.

On October 7th the Members marched to Maidenhead to the Town Hall, for a concert got up by friends for the Battalion.

On October 9th the Section, together with some of the Members of the C.L.B., took up a position to defend The Green against an attack made by the Maidenhead Cadets. It proved to be a very interesting and instructive afternoon and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The Members expect to receive their uniforms within the course of a few days.

The Section is still open to receive recruits – Age 17 and upwards.

Drills.
Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday, 8.15 Section.

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The work of the Company has once more been interrupted. The sickness has caused a temporary set back, but now matters are on the mend again. Once more we hope to be in full working order. The School has re-opened and out Sunday Class has commenced once more

On Saturday, October 9, some of the boys joined with the Volunteer Defence Corps against the Maidenhead Cadets in a sham fight.

The Buglers and Drummer are now receiving proper training for their work at Maidenhead.

We have lost six Members and therefore is room for six recruits.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

A voluntary gathering

The Church Lads and volunteers for local service were still around in Knowl Hill.

Knowl Hill: Record of the Past
Oct. 31.
We were glad to see some of the Home Defence Soldiers and Church Lads’ Brigade at the Morning Service. It was a voluntary gathering. The weather was deplorably discouraging. We hope we shall have a larger muster another Sunday.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

The Berkshire Volunteer Corps

Fears of invasion led men in the Wargrave area to start up a local body of volunteers to defend the area if necessary.

On August 11 a Meeting was held in the School in connection with the Berkshire Volunteer Corps, which is being raised in the District. All men of 17 and upwards are invited to join and be trained for Home Defence. The Headquarters will be Gilchrist Institute, Littlewick. The Committee have kindly offered the Institute for the use of the Corps. Any information with regard to the Corps, may be obtained from Mr. Butterworth.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)