By reason of the war there are great difficulties in the railway transport of coal

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was common for parishes to set up voluntary societies where people on low wages paid in over the year and then could draw on the fund to purchase seasonal goods like winter fuel, thus spreading the cost through the year.

WINKFIELD FUEL FUND.

The Trustees have accepted the tender of Messrs. Drake & Mount, Ltd. The same quantity of coal will be distributed as last year, and, if possible by two deliveries. As by reason of the war there are great difficulties in the railway transport of coal, depositors must bear with patience any necessary delay in delivery. Messrs Drake & Mount may be relied upon to do their best in the difficult circumstances with which they have to contend.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/12)

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It is a constant source of anxiety to know if our funds will hold out til the end of the War

The people of Wargrave contributed to help for Berkshire PoWs, including sending them bread to supplement what the Germans provided.

Prisoners of War of the Royal Berkshire Regiment

It is one of the first duties laid upon us to provide for the prisoners of War of our county regiment.

A Committee, of which Rear-Admiral Cherry is Hon. Treasurer and Mrs. Mount of Wasing Place, is Hon. Secretary, has undertaken this work. In February last it was realised by the Committee that to look after the prisoners of all the seven battalions now at the front would be more than they could undertake. It was therefore decided that this committee should only deal with the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th battalions – the prisoners of the 1/4, 2/4 and 7th battalions were handed over to Mrs. Hedges, 19, Castle Street, Wallingford, and the prisoners of the 6th battalion to Mrs. Dowell, 155 Malden Road, Colchester.

An appeal was sent to the Parish of Wargrave for support and Mrs. Henry Bond undertook to collect subscriptions for the fund. Mrs. Bond’s appeal has met with a ready and generous support- the amount collected by her in the parish was £101. 2s., in sums of £5 and under.

In acknowledging the cheque Mrs. Mount writes:

Wasing Place,
Reading,
August 21st.
Dear Mrs. Bond,

I really do not know how to express to you my thanks for the splendid collection you have made in Wargrave for the Royal Berks Regt. Prisoners. It is a constant source of anxiety to know if our funds will hold out til the end of the War. Our bread bill alone amounts to between £60 and £70 a month, besides which we have to find adopters for our 280 prisoners willing to pay each £21 per year for these prisoners.

Your splendid collection will go far towards removing any immediate anxiety.

Yours sincerely,
Hilda Mount.


Wargrave parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Four Earley men killed in action

More news of Earley men:

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following names have been added to our prayer list:

Frederick Parsons, Victor Phelps, Gordon Turner, Ernest Phillips, Fred Elliott, George Polden, Cecil Ludlow, Oscar Mount.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:

KILLED IN ACTION: Leonard Leaver, Walter Reeve, Charles Bolton, William Mears.

SICK: Walter Hayward, William Durman, William Hewett, George Polden.

WOUNDED: Tom Durman, Horace Stamp, William Childs, George Slaughter, Albert Hiscock, Alfred Still, Charles Seely.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

Blinded soldiers turn to chicken rearing

Berkshire County Council and its committees dealt with several war related matters. One was the registration of the multitude of independent war charities which had sprung up.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 14 October 1916

HEAD TEACHERS AND MILITARY SERVICE

The following Head Teachers have rejoined the Army since the last meeting: Mr Mills (Childrey), Mr Hunt (Cold Ash), Mr Bird (Priestwood), Mr Andrews (Mortimer St Mary’s) and Mr Verrall (Brimpton). Their places have been filled temporarily by the appointment of the Certificated Assistant (Woman) of their respective schools, or by the transfer of a teacher from another school.

Report of Smallholdings and Allotments Committee, 14 October 1916

COTTAGES AND LAND FOR BLINDED SOLDIERS, &C, FOR POULTRY FARMING

Enquiries were made on behalf of the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Hostel, St Dunstan’s, as to whether any assistance could be given in finding locations near Reading for Blinded Soldiers who have been taught chicken rearing. They require a cottage and about an acre of ground at a rent not exceeding £30 per annum.

The agents in the Reading district were asked if they had any suitable properties available, but from the replies received it appeared that no suitable places were available for renting, and only three or four were put forward for sale.

It was stated by St Dunstan’s that at present only leasing could be considered.

Report of the War Charities Committee, 14 October 1916

The following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have not been approved, and the Clerk instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners: (more…)

A great success

The Soldiers’ Club in Newbury was a great success, and about to outgrow its premises. William Mount, the local MP, was the great grandfather of outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Soldiers’ Club in the Pelican Yard has proved a great success under the care of the promoters and managers, not to forget Mr and Mrs Johnson and their family who have been most kind in helping. Mr Johnson has most generously let us have the room free of charge, but it will be let at the beginning of this month, when we hope to move to premises not far off.

We are very glad to hear that our Member of Parliament, Mr W A Mount, has made such a good recovery from his very serious illness on France.

Since our last issue several more Newbury lads have given up their lives for their country. May they receive an Eternal Reward for their self-sacrifice. We think with affectionate gratitude of:

Alfred John Aldridge
William James Piddington
Walter Clarke
Cecil Taylor
and
Guy Leslie Harold Gilbert.

Let us remember our Lord’s words: “He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”

Newbury parish magazine, September 1916 (D/P89/28A/13)

Each one of us who is safe at home should do his bit to uphold those in the danger zone

Bracknell people were contributing in various ways. Hilda Mount, who co-ordinated funds to support British PoWs, was the wife of William (later Sir William) Mount, MP for Newbury, and is the great grandmother of current Prime Minister David Cameron.

C.E.M.S BRANCH INTERCESSION SERVICES.

Attention is called to this service of our own, and continued at our request, on Friday in the Parish Church, at 9.15p.m. When we think of the self-sacrifice of our men at the Front, for our sakes, for our families and for our Country, it goes without saying that each one of us who is safe at home should do his bit to uphold those in the danger zone. Not one of our members should be avoidably absent from these services.

BERKSHIRE REGIMENT PRISONERS’ FUND.

Contributions in small sums are collected by Miss J.E. Barnett, Oaklea, and sent at the beginning of each month to Mrs. Mount, the wife of one of our Berkshire M.P.’s, for the benefit of those Prisoners who are dependent on gifts sent to them from England. The smallest contribution is very welcome.

EGG COLLECTION FOR HOSPITALS.

Miss Avice Barnett has been receiving a few eggs all through the winter and sends them to Reading every Friday for the benefit of the wounded soldiers. Now that eggs are getting more plentiful she is receiving more, and in the future they will be sent to Mrs. de Bathe at Reading, who after sending 500 a week to the Reading War Hospitals, despatches the rest to the National Egg Collection, whence they are distributed to Hospitals abroad and at home as they are needed. The number required is so great that the need can never fully be supplied.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Monthly Magazine, March 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/3)

Insuring the Assize Courts against air raids

The Standing Joint Committee of the County Council and Quarter Sessions met on 6 November 1915. They had to face the loss of more policemen to the Forces, and fears for courts and police buildings in the face o air raids.

A circular from the Home Office, dated 29 October, 1915, was read in which it was stated that every constable who wished to enlist should be allowed to do so if possible, and that every effort should be made by Police Authorities to facilitate enlistments by cutting down any police work which might not be essential, and by replacing regular police by the employment as Special Constables of men disqualified, by age or otherwise, from joining H M Forces….

Mr Preston moved, and Mr Walker seconded: That permission be given for a reduction of the Police Force, by enlistment, of ten unmarried constables; and that such vacancies be not filled up….

Carried. It was further resolved, on the motion of Mr Mount, MP, seconded by Mr Watson: That in addition to the ten unmarried constables mentioned in the above resolution, permission be given to a further ten unmarried constables to enlist; and that the vacancies thus caused be filled by first class reservists.

The Committee had brought to their notice the question of insuring the Assize Courts against damage by air-raids, and it was stated that the Assize Courts, County Police Station and adjoining buildings in which the Committee were concerned were insured against fire in the Atlas Insurance Co for £25,600…

Resolved: that the above mentioned properties be insured against damage by aircraft with the Atlas Insurance Co.

Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

A masque for Serbian relief

An enterprising drama teacher put on a performance in aid of our suffering Serbian allies. To get an idea of the evening, here is the script of The Masque of the Two Strangers.

THE TOWN HALL, READING

MISS MARY HAY, A.L.A.M. ELOCUTION, ASSISTED BY HER PUPILS, Has much pleasure in announcing Two Dramatic Recitals of the “Masque of the Two Strangers” (by kind permission of Lady Alix Egerton), And Scenes found on incidents in Dante’s “Vita Nuova”, On Wednesday, October 20th, 1915 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., IN AID OF THE SERBIAN RELIEF FUND,
And under the distinguished patronage of

The Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire and Mrs Benyon,
His Worship the Mayor of Reading
His Excellency Monsieur Creddo Miyatovich (Serbian Minister)
Mr. Henry Ainley
Lady Armstrong
The Rev. and Mrs Beloe
Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Benson
Mr. Acton Bond
The Principal of University College, Reading and Mrs. Childs
Mr. John L. Child
The Ven. Archdeacon of Berkshire and Mrs. Ducat
Mr. and Mrs. C. I. Evans
Mrs. Downing Fullerton
Countess Gurowska
Viscountess Hambleden
Miss Holmes
Miss Knighton
The Misses Lacy
Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Mackenzie
Lady Makins
Mrs. W. A. Mount
Mrs. Murdoch
Miss Musson
Mrs. G. W. Palmer
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Palmer
Miss Prebble
Mr. and Mrs. Rannie
Lord and Lady Reading
Mr. F. G. T. Rowecroft
The Rev. Gore Skipwith and Mrs. Skipwith
Mr. W. Stewart
Mrs. Tyser
Lady Wantage
Mrs. Waring
Miss White
Mrs. Leslie Wilson.

Doors open at 2.30 and 7.30 P.M.

Tickets: Afternoon Sofa Stalls, 4- Reserved Seats, 3/- Admission 2/-
Evening Sofa Stalls, 3/- Reserved Seats, 2/- Admission 1/-
Special Terms to Schools.

Box Office : – Attwells, Binfield & Co., 162 & 163 Friar Street, Reading. Telephone No. 11 .

Programme for recitals at Town Hall in Aid of Serbian Relief Fund, 1915 (D/EX1734/1)

Setting up a War Agricultural Committee for the county

Food shortages were a real concern during the war, as German attacks on neutral ships impeded imports. At its meeting on 16 October 1915, Berkshire County Council decided to set up a War Agricultural Committee.

FOOD PRODUCTION
WAR AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE
A letter, dated 18 September, 1915, addressed to the Chairman of the Council by the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, forwarding a Scheme for the appointment of a War Agricultural Committee and district sub-committees, was considered.
The principal functions of the Committees will be to organise the supply of agricultural labour; to consider the maintenance of, and if possible, the increase in, the production of food; to obtain information as to the requirements and supply available of agricultural implements and fertilisers and feeding stuffs; and generally to assist and advise landowners, farmers, and labourers.

Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Lord G M Pratt, and resolved: That the following, being representative of landowners, farmers, agricultural societies and institutions, labour and other persons, be appointed a War Agricultural Committee for the County of Berks in accordance with, and for the purposes enumerated in, the circular dated 18 September, 1915, from the Board of Agriculture; with power to add to their number:

F Anstey
F Bate
J H Benyon
W Brewer
William Cordell
F J K Cross
R Crow
P E Crutchley
Miss G Elliot
C A Ferard
J A Fereman
Aaron Frogley
E Gardner, MP
H Goddard
B C Heath
W J Henman
T Latham
A W Lawrence
Local Manager, Labour Exchange
Capt. F C Loder Symonds
Job Lousley
W A Mount, MP
W Pennington
Miss G Pott
A Robinson
T Rose
Frank Saunders
W Anker Simmons
T Skurray
G F Slade
F A Smith
Harry Wilson Sowdon
E M Sturges
T S Tayler
Rev F W Thoyts
W Weall
H W Weaving
H G Willink

Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Mr Bate, and resolved:

That the Clerk of the Council be nominated, and authorised to act, as Clerk to the War Agricultural Committee for the County of Berks; and that such other members of the administrative staff of the Council, as may be available and required, be allowed to assist such Committee.

That the War Agricultural Committee be allowed the use of County Buildings and equipment free of cost.

Provided that the above authorisations are given on condition that the arrangements do not interfere with the ordinary work of the Council or their Committees.

BCC minutes (C/CL/C1/1/18)

Three teeth lost to a hostile aircraft

The Standing Joint Committee which oversaw the Berkshire Constabulary met on 9 October 1915 to consider various war-related matters, including an unfortunate accident resulting from the shock of an air raid, whetehr the Chief Constable should abandon his job to take up a role with the army.

A circular having been received from the Board of Trade (Railway Department) dated 6th September, 1915, addressed to Council Authorities, recommending that every effort should be made to accumulate stocks of coal in consequence of the probability that, owing to the number of miners who have joined the colours, the supply for home consumption next winter will be less than usual, instructions were issued to Superintendents to purchase sufficient coal to last the winter (or partly so) if it could be properly stored.

Accident to Special Constable G. E. Loader
The Divisional Officer, Berks Special Reserve, Wokingham Division, has reported that Special Constable G. E. Loader met with a serious accident on 13th September, 1915, while proceeding to his post on an alarm being given as to the approach of hostile aircraft. He ran into a post in the dark and injured his jaw, three teeth being knocked out, which he is having replaced by new ones. I beg to recommend that as the accident happened when on duty, the cost of the new teeth should be paid for out of the Police Fund. The amount would be £1. 19s. 4d.
Recommended for approval. (more…)

Questions about the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met in October to discuss various policy matters, such as whether the fund could help refugees as well as locals, and what would happen to the money afte rthe war.

2 October 1915
Shire Hall
General Committee:

The Chairman reported that after an interview with Sir Ernest Hatch of the Belgian Relief Committee the Berkshire NR Committee had decided that the local conditions did not permit the formation of a County Committee for providing occupation for Belgian Refugees.…

The Chairman …. drew attention to the value of the information supplied by the Clerks to the Boards of Guardians who would be asked to continue that information so that lists of persons in receipt of Poor Law Relief might be kept up to date.…

Mr Mount MP … desired to lay stress upon the paragraph [in the committee’s first annual report] expressing the hope of the Committee that the National Fund would be husbanded for use after the immediate termination of the war…. for future emergencies.

The General Committee authorizes an application being made for a further grant of £100 from the National Relief Fund.

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

Insured against air raids

A Maidenhead hospital invested its funds in war loans, and insured its property against air raids.

10th September 1915

Insurance against damage by Air Raids.
Mr Mount proposed & Mr Beachcroft seconded that an insurance policy against damages done by air raids should be taken out – carried…

Mr Walker proposed & Mr Wyatt seconded that Lloyds Bank, Maidenhead, be authorised to make payment in full under discount on the instalment date prior to the final one due on Oct – 26th -1915 in respect of the £1500 4½ 0/0 War Loan Stock 1915-1945 which the Trustees have applied for, for the purpose of converting the sum of £1100 Consols, vested in the said Trustees – carried.

Maidenhead Cottage Hospital minutes (D/H1/1/2)

The men of Earley serving their country

An extremely long list of men with connections with Earley St Peter were receiving the support of parishioners’ prayers.

List of Names on the Roll of Honour and Prayer List
Duncan Adams, John Adams, Henry Adams, Frederick Allen, John Allen, Frank Allum, George Allum, George Ansell, Robert Ascroft, Frank Aust, William Ayres, Henry Ayres, Cyril Ayres, Reggie Ayres, John Ayres, James Auger, Samuel Auld, Charles Barton, William Barton, Clarence Burnett, Harry Bosley, Benjamin Bosley, Robert Beeson, Walter Bluring, Gordon Brown, Leonard Brown, Walter Brooker, Charles Baker, Ernest Balding, Albert Ballard, George Breach, Phillip Breach, Ernest Breach, Alfred Breach, Percy Bunday, George Bungay, William Bungay, Charles Bolton, Herbert Blyde, Lewis Blyde, Wilfrid Blyde, Arthur Buskin, Herbert Broadbear, Louis Bunce, Frank Berry, James Bowden, Henry Blathwayt, Harold Bennett, Harry Borroughs, Henry Barney, William Brett, Alfred Broad, Harry Ching, Charles Chesterman, George Chesterman, Ernest Chapman, Edwin Coldman, Edward Cottrell, Percy Cotterell, Hubert Collier, Alfred Cooper, George Comport, Guy Comport, Frank Cook, Ernest Cook, Eric Cook, Fernand Camus, John Cane, Charles Carpenter, Charles Clarke, William Clements, Charles Carpenter, Charles Clarke, William Clements, Charles Capel, Leonard Dann, Frederick Douglas, Reuben Dowsett, Renton Dunlop, Tom Durman, Jack Durman, Hugh Deeds, Ralph Deeds, Sidney Davis, Ralph Durand, Albert Denham, Frederick Dawson, Alfred Dee, Hugh Denton, Sidney Dormer, William Elliott, Charles Elliott, Reginald Elliott, Eric Evans, Alec Evans, Ernest Embery, Cyril Eaton, Eustace Finnes, George Forge, John Forge, Henry Fisher, George Fisher, William Fisher, John Fisher, George Fulford, Bernard Fixsen, Theodore Fixsen, William Farmer, Bert Farmer, Arthur Fulker, Cecil Fowler, William Fowles, Charles Goddard, Guy Goodliffe, Ernest Gowers, George Grey, Cecil Grey, Victor Gaines, Reginald Gatehouse, Herbert Garlick, Charles Phillips Groome, Samual Gould, Wilfrid George, Frank George, Gilbert Green, Frederick Goodger, Richard Goodall, Leslie Grinstead, Albert Howlett, Frederick Hearn, Arthur Hearn, Bert Hearn, Harry Harding, George Harding, Albert Harwood, William Harwood, George Harwood, Charles Haines, George Hitchcock, Albert Hitchcock, Henry Hayward, Percy Hamilton, Frank Hawkins, Albert Hosler, William Hall, Albert Hall, Henry Hall, George Hall, William Hall, Francis Harris, Arthur Harris, Richard Hayden, Fred Hull, Charles Hague, James Hague, Stanley Higgs, Leslie Heelas, Leonard Hedges, Harry Hambleton, Reginald Hawes, William Hope, Jack Howlett, Percy Howlett, Bertie Iles, Edward Iles, Percy Ilott, Thomas Ilott, Albert Ilott, Melville Innes, Walter Jeskins, Albert Jerome, Alfred Jerome, Walter Jerome, Frederick Jerome, George Jerome, Charles Jefferies, Henry Jones, Leopold Jenner, William Jeram, George Jeram, Henry Jeram, Woolf Joel, Alfred Jacobs, (more…)

Silver bullets will win the war

The War Loans continued to excite interest in Berkshire with schools and hospitals alike.

Maidenhead Cottage Hospital, 9th July 1915 Application for £1500 War Loan. Mr Beachcroft proposed & Mr Mount seconded that the Trustees be requested to take the necessary steps to apply for £1500 or such amount as may be required of the New War Loan for the purpose of conversion of the existing £1100 Consols in names of the Trustees on behalf of the hospital. The Hon. Treasurer reported that he had made arrangements with the Bankers of the hospital to advance the amount required at 4¾ 0/0, & the best thanks of the Board were tendered for their services- carried.

Warfield CE School, 9th July 1915
This morning I explained the war loan to the whole school and also told the scholars about the urgent need for thrift. I explained to them a pamphlet called ‘Silver bullets will win the war’, sent to us by the Education Secretary.

Maidenhead Cottage Hospital minutes (D/H1/1/2, p. 291); Warfield CE School log book (C/EL26/3)

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)