“Let us help, how, when, and where we can, but let us do our bit”

Wargrave women worked hard providing medical supplies for wounded soldiers, and their work inspired ladies across the country.

Wargrave: Surgical Dressing Emergency Society

An American Fete was held at Riverside Lawn, on July 1st, by kind permission of Mr. Cain, in aid of the Society’s funds. The splendid sum of £165 was realised. There is no space to mention all who helped to make the Fete a success, buyers and sellers all did their very best and those present represented a large gathering of interested friends, with a keen appreciation of the work being done at “Millwards” for the Casualty Clearing Stations in France, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia.

There are now nine branches:-

Long Parish (Hants). Pangbourne.
Chigwall Row. Wimbledon.
Heswell (Cheshire). Peppard.
Shiplake. Ledbury (Gloucestershire)

Knowl Hill is part of the Wargrave branch.

Wargrave being the Head Branch is in direct communication with the Director General of Voluntary Organizations, New Scotland Yard, and is responsible for all the sterilization of Dressings and the packing of Bales.

The Bales are sent direct from Wargrave Station, (as Government Requisitions) to the points in the Firing Line, most in need of help.

Between the Dates of Oct. 19th, 1915 and June 19th, 1916:

1316 Kits of Sterilized Dressings
4989 Spare Bandages
2915 Comforts including Shirts, Pyjamas, Slippers, Tooth Brushes, Soap, etc., etc., have gone out to help out Wounded, straight from the Trenches or Field.

Several Emergency Calls, including one last week for 200 made swaps, and another for 200 Wargrave Surgical Oakum Pads (a special request from the Front) were filled, in each case the Bales left Wargrave Station 24 hours after the call was received.

Medals were awarded through Miss Choate, as head of the Society, to Members of Wargrave and also Members of the Branches, who had worked 100 hours in three months. The list of names will be printed in the next month’s Magazine.

The work of the Society is growing, so alas is the number of Wounded. We are glad of Comforts, especially socks and warm winter garments. One pair of socks, one shirt will comfort one Wounded Man. Let us help, how, when, and where we can, but let us do our bit.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

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Making surgical dressings

A small band of Wargrave women spent almost the full working week making bandages for wounded soldiers. Their pioneering example was followed by a number of other villages.

Surgical Dressing Emergency Society

The excellent work inaugurated and organised by Miss Choate, has greatly increased and is still developing. The ladies of the neighbourhood meet regularly five days a week at Millwards, where they manufacture surgical dressings from all sorts of materials that can be washed and sterilised.

A Branch has now been opened at Maidenhead under the direction of Misses Bulkeley, which is also supplied with sterilising apparatus. There is another Branch at Waltham St. Lawrence and another at Longparish in Hampshire. Surgical pillows etc. are made up at Crazies Hill and a great deal of work is done by the ladies at Knowl Hill.

Thanks are due to Mr. Burgess who has lent furniture to the tea room, to Mr Easterling for the tables, to the International Stores for empty cases, and to the Stationmaster of Wargrave (Mr Malpress) and all his staff who are helping the Society in every possible way in forwarding, collecting, and delivering parcels.

The Society are sending Dressings to France, Servia [sic], and the Dardanelles, and very grateful letters of thanks are daily received from those who sadly want them.

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