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)

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Not in distress owing to the war, so no help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met again on 16 February 1915 to see what help they could give individuals in distress caused by the war. They had only three applications, only one of which they regarded as worthy of help:

Applications for relief were considered from
Nobes, East Hanney. A grant of 10/- per week for the four weeks beginning Feb 1st was made, on condition that if the applicant should be given an Army pension & such pension should cover the month or any part of the month of February the National Relief Grant should be regarded as a loan & be returned to the N R Committee.
Weston, Easthampstead. The applicant was not considered to be in distress owing to the war, so far as could be judged from the letters bearing upon the case laid before the Committee. Relief therefore was not granted.
Percy, Woodley. The Ass. Sec. reported that the case had no reference to the war & had therefore been handed over to the wife of the vicar of the parish.

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

Finding work for Belgian refugees

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met at Shire Hall on 9 February 1914.

The Chairman read a letter addressed to himself as Chairman of the County Council from the Government Commission for Providing Occupation for Belgian Refugees; also a memorandum sent by the same Commission & the draft of a proposed reply from himself. Mr Walton reported that the Newbury Refugee Committee had been successful in finding work for Belgian men in that neighbourhood.

Mr Norkett stated that the Maidenhead Belgian Refugee Committee had found employment of a satisfactory kind for all Belgian men in his neighbourhood, & had collected a fund of £604 of which £350 had already been spent.

After full discussion it was resolved that a reply be sent to the Government Commission stating that the Berkshire National Relief Committee were unable to form a sub-committee to undertake the duties regarding Belgian refugees in the county suggested by the Government Commission…

Application for further relief was read from the Wantage Hon. Sec. on behalf of John Nobes of East Hanney. Resolved that the matter be deferred until a report from Nobes’ medical attendant be received.
Miss Elliot undertook to urge the said doctor to forward such report forthwith. Miss Pott was instructed to write to Mr Mount, MP, and Mr Gardner, MP, upon the question of Nobes’ position as a discharged recruit from the New Army without means of subsistence.

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)