Another nurse went down with Influenza

Influenza was having a big impact on life at home.

At a meeting of the Committee held in the Board Room on Tuesday the 1st July 1919, the following letter from the Hon Sec: of the Caversham District Nursing Association was read:-

Dear Sir,

Dr C W Powell has asked me to ask you to bring the enclosed appeal before the Reading Dispensary Trust at their meeting tomorrow, as they are, it is believed, in a position to help us substantially.

The appeal was written Dr Powell. He has backed it up himself by increasing his already very generous contributions to the funds.

It needs no words of mine to add to it except to say that after it was written another nurse went down with Influenza and she is also still suffering from the after effects. It increased our expenses and diminished our receipts.

I enclose a copy of our Balance Sheet showing our financial position on March 31st last.

Many thanks in anticipation,

Yours very truly,

A.E Evans

The appeal referred to in the foregoing letter was also read and proved to be an appeal which was issued as a New Years appeal, since when the Dispensary Trust had made (in February last) a grant of £25 to the Association.

Reading Dispensary Trust minutes (D/QRD1/12)

Advertisements

Wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said

St Augustine’s was the only children’s home for boys run by the Community of St John Baptist. Many of its inmates went on to serve in the Armed Forces, and they shared their experiences with the Sisters.

June, 1919
Dear Friends of St Augustine’s Home

The health of the boys has been excellent this winter, for which we are most thankful. We had a bad epidemic of influenza a year ago, and when the disease made its re-appearance in Windsor in the beginning of winter, we trembled, but schools were closed, and we resorted to gargling and house-spraying, and had not more than half a dozen cases at most.

Our always kind doctor and dentist have returned home from war work, and again look after our boys…

We ended our financial year with bills amounting to more than £200 unpaid. We are printing not merely our last balance sheet, but a pre-war one, by way of an interesting and instructive comparison. One thing that may strike you is that not merely are our expenses heavier, but our subscriptions are considerably less. There have been so many claims on everyone, but we hope that as these lessen, the claims of a Home like ours, which has sent many sons to the front and is helping to train others to take the place of those who have fallen, may appeal not merely to former subscribers but to those who will become new friends…

Our household linen cupboard, and our clothes cupboard, were almost empty this spring… Then … came a large package of garments, cutlery and other things from a war hospital… during the last two weeks of March.

A number of kind friends at Eton and other places made a special Lent effort and sent us a nice contribution of stockings… If other friends would follow this example (perhaps some of those who have knitted so assiduously for soldiers) and ask their friends to do the same, the stocking basket would wear a more cheerful aspect…

August will soon be here, and we hope to see some of our old boys down for the holidays, though Peace celebrations may very naturally take them elsewhere. They have come and gone from time to time as leave allowed, and many thrilling things some of them have to tell – though told always in the simplest, most matter-of-fact way. Some have been in ships torpedoed, one received and transmitted wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said. And some of our boys will of course never return, but have won the “great promotion” of which the Home is so proud.

Yours very gratefully
The Sister-in-Charge

Letter to Friends of St Augustine’s Home, Clewer (D/EX1675/23/4/6)

“The influenza epidemic put a great strain on the hospital”

A Newbury hospital reflected on the challenges of the last year of the war.

Annual General Meeting held at The Newbury District Hospital on Wednesday May 24th 1919

The Committee’s Report

The Managing Committee reported that the year had been an interesting and difficult one, there having been many changes in the staff. The influenza epidemic put a great strain on the hospital, as a large number of pneumonia cases were received, and the staff were laid up. Notwithstanding these difficulties, an unusually large number of patients were treated during the year. As compared with 1917 civilian patients increased by 104 and soldier patients by 38. It would have been impossible for the small staff to have coped with this work without the help of the Newbury Voluntary Aid Detachment and some other ladies, all of whom rendered most valuable assistance. The committee acknowledged the general interest in the hospital evidenced by the gifts of vegetables, supplies and other useful articles throughout the years.

Newbury District Hospital minute book (D/H4/3/2)

“He had survived all the dangers of War, only to fall a victim to influenza”

Some survived the war, only to die from the dreadful influenza epidemic.

In Memoriam.

E. Bradfield.

When Bradfield left the N.G.S. in 1909, he had been Senior Prefect for three terms. He was the mainstay of the Debating Society, and for a long time, acted as Sporting Editor of the “Newburian.” A prominent member of the Cricket XI, he was second in the batting averages for 1909. He was also one of the foremost actors in the School in his time here he took up a journalistic career and became the Editor of “Milling,” a Liverpool organ of the Corn trade. The influenza epidemic claimed him among its victims.

E. M. Plenty

Plenty left the N.G.S. while still fairly young and proceeded to St. Paul’s School, where he greatly distinguished himself. He joined the Air Force and had a brilliant career, attaining the rank of Major. The news of his death was the-more sad for the fact that it comes with that of Armistice: he had survived all the dangers of War, only to fall a victim to the plague which carried off Warren and Bradfield.

The Newburian (magazine of St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury), April 1919 (N/D161/1/9)

The cloud which was hanging over us for the last four years has passed away

St Bartholomew’s School planned to remember the war.

Editorial.

We look back upon a time in many respects unique in the annals of the School. The cloud which was hanging over us for the last four years has passed away, and no longer are we in constant dread lest news should come of the death of one of those who went forth from among us. We have welcomed the return of many from the posts to which they were called by War, and wish that good luck may attend them in their journeyings on the paths of Peace. Those who will never return live in the memory of the School, and it is the duty of those who remain to enshrine that glorious memory in a worthy memorial which shall keep it fresh for the future generations of Newburians. Details of that Memorial Find are published elsewhere in this issue, and we would direct the special attention of our readers to this matter, which is of the highest importance to the future of the School. It would be indeed deplorable if the example of self-sacrifice set by those O.N.’s who laid down their lives were, for lack of a fitting monument, lost to those who come after them.

We are ever at the mercy of the weather in the Spring Term, and this year the football season, spoiled last term by influenza, has been rendered a complete fiasco by the inclemency of the elements, which permitted but two practice games and a single match. On the other hand, the skaters have had their fill of that weather which comes all too rarely for their wishes, and the devotees of Terpichore have been able to give themselves up more completely than ever the cult of their Muse, which is sweeping over the land as irresistibly as did the worship of Dionysus over the world of antiquity. As we write, the Fives Tournaments are in full swing, and training for the Sports is being carried on with enthusiasm; but enough of these things: shall not the results there of be chronicled in our next number?

The Newburian (magazine of St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury), April 1919 (N/D161/1/9)

Fine views of the War in the Holy Land

Sulhamstead people heard about the First World War in Palestine – and got to see pictures.

April

WAR SAVINGS LECTURES

A Lecture on the war will be given on Thursday, April 3rd, at 7 pm. The subject will be illustrated by lantern pictures on “The War in the Holy Land”.

The Lecture in March was not given, owing to the widespread epidemic of influenza.

May

WAR SAVINGS LECTURE

The last lecture was delivered on April 3rd. There was a good attendance, the subject was “War in the Holy Land”, and some of the views were very fine.

Sulhamstead parish magazines, April and May 1919 (D/EX725/4)

Terribly sad

One Tilehurst man survived the war only to fall victim to the terrible influenza epidemic.

CONDOLENCE

We also deeply deplore the loss of Private Norman Cane, son of our friends Mrs and Mrs Cane of 27 Brisbane Road. Norman Cane was a member of the Tilehurst Section of our church before the separation, and continued his Broad Street connection afterwards. Early in the war he volunteered for active service, and went out with the Royal Berks Regiment. He came safely through many dangers and finally reached home in February. Unfortunately he was almost immediately seized with influenza, and pneumonia supervening, he passed away. It is terribly sad, and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his parents and the members of his family in their very sore bereavement.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, March 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Still several ill with Influenza

A teacher took some time off to be with her soldier husband. She returned on 21 March, but resigned on 2 May to follow her husband to Aldershot.

Earley
14th March 1919

Mrs Plumer has been away the past two days, as her husband is returning to his military duties next week.

Speenhamland
Mar 14th

This week the attendance has much improved, reaching 92.8%. There are still several ill with Influenza.

Log books of St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

The continued prevalence of Influenza

The terrible epidemic continued.

March 11th

Correspondent Rev T H Trott received a wire from Reading that the School Medical Officer advised the closing of the school owing to the continued prevalence of Influenza. School to remain closed until March 24th.

Bouverie Pusey School, Charney Bassett (C/EL41/2)

War service of children who had been emigrated by the Guardians

Some men who served in the war had roots in Berkshire despite having joined up in the colonies. They included boys who had been assisted to emigrate by charities.

4th March 1919

Emigration

Reporting the receipt of a letter from the Local Government Board transmitting the following reports made by Canadian Immigration Officers upon children who had been emigrated by the Guardians.

From Reading parish by Dr Barnardo.
Walter —- age 25. This young man who came to Canada in 1906 at the age of 13 years has enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and is now at the Front.
24th September 1918.

From Reading Parish by Dr Barnardo.
Ernest —- age 26. With the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Reported missing, and discovered to be a prisoner of war.
27th August, 1918.

Mr Fenner, Relieving Officer

Reporting the receipt of a letter from Dr Hartnett to the effect that Mr Fenner, Relieving Officer No 1 District, was suffering from influenza and was unable to carry out his work. The clerk stated that Mr Kenner had now resumed his duties.

Report of Infant Poor Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/58)

The return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards

Aston Tirrold
28th February 1919

There is much sickness (colds and influenza) in the school and for the week our percentage of attendance is only 60.

Windsor
1919
Feb: 28th

The Mayor visited on Thursday morning and gave the girls a holiday in the afternoon, because of the return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards.

East Hagbourne
Feby 28th

Mrs Marshall (S), whose husband is home on leave from France, is still absent.

Newbury
28/2/19

Student teacher Whitehorn has been absent from school this week owing to influenza

Earley
28 February 1919

Mrs Plumer, whose husband has just returned from India, & who is now in a Military Hospital in London, has been absent from her duties all this week.

Log books of Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1); Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2); East Hagbourne School (C/EL35/2); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1);
St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3)

Curtailing consumption to an extent which might seriously prejudice the health of the poor

Poor law officials were concerned about the potential impact of flu in the workhouse.

25th February, 1919

Your Committee received and considered a circular from the Local Government Board urging the utmost economy in the use of coal in Institutions in view of the fact that consumption should not exceed 1 ¾ tons per head per annum or a total of 170 tons on an average number of inmates of 95. The actual consumption is about 2 tons ¾ cwt per head, and the allotment from the Fuel Overseer was placed at 245 tons. Your Committee are averse to curtailing the consumption to an extent which might seriously prejudice the health of the inmates, and will forward to the Local Government Board the report asked for in the circular with their remarks thereon. They have also asked the Master to weigh out the coal used for a period of a week to check the consumption.
Report of Special Committee re Relieving Officer’s Duties, Salaries, &c.

Your Committee … have enquired into the salaries and emoluments received by the two Relieving Officers both before the War and during the period of the War until Mr Widdows was called up for service. The latter has been acquainted with the decision of the Board of Guardians with regard to his reinstatement and his duties. The Committee recommend an annual inclusive salary for such duties, viz:

As Relieving Officer, Collector, Infant Life Inspector, Vaccination Officer £148 er annum.
War Bonus at 23/- per week as prescribed by the Local Government Board’s Schedule £59.16.0
Total £207.16s.

This is the total salary from all sources, except Registration, received for 1914, plus the War Bonus.

Mr Widdows is prepared to accept the sum…

With regard to Mr Bunce, your Committee recommend that he be paid the same salary as he was receiving in 1914 and when Mr Widdows was called up for service, with the addition of the War Bonus…

Your Committee have also enquired into the engagement of Miss Cooke as Assistant Relieving Officer. Under the altered circumstances, they suggest that her retention in this office will not be necessary, and recommend that the engagement be terminated by the payment of a month’s salary in lieu of notice…

It was Resolved that Miss Cooke, the Assistant Relieving Officer, be granted a testimonial in respect of her services.

Influenza Pneumonia

The Board considered what steps to take in the event of an outbreak of Influenza in the House.

It was Resolved That the question of the arrangements to be made be left in the hands of Mr Bate, The Medical Officer and The Master, and that they be authorised to incur expenditure in the provision of a gargling solution.

The Master was directed to arrange for the segregation of any cases occurring in the House.


House Committee Report, Bradfield Board of Guardians (G/B1/38)

Several cases of influenza

Influenza continued its toll.

Newbury
21/2/19

Student teacher Whitehorn has been absent from school this week owing to influenza.

Hampstead Norreys
1919
21 Feb.

The attendance has been only 72.5% for the week, owing to a great amount of sickness, including several cases of influenza.

Log books of Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Anarchy at the peace conference

Emile (not Joseph!) Cottin attacked the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, who was chairing the Versailles Peace Conference.

20 February 1919

Brown got “flu”…

Clemenceau shot at by anarchist Joseph Cottin. He nearly lynched.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

11 weeks illness

Phyllis Vansittart Neale, who had had a severe attack of influenza, was well enough to come home.

15 February 1919

Phyllis came home from Hospital. 11 weeks illness!

Foggy morning, so felt anxious for Phyllis but Shaw brought her back all right with Newton & Sister Simpson about 4 o’clock. Bore journey very well. Looks pale & thin. Had tea & bed early.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)