Distress due to the war

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Committee met again at Shire Hall to consider applications for help from individuals who had fallen on hard times due to the war.

21 August 1915

The Sec: reported that Mrs Forrester’s case had been taken over by the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women upon the advice of the Professional Classes Sub-committee of the NRF Committee in London.

That the grant to Mrs Pounds had now been paid in full.

That Ross of Clewer was being relieved by the SSFA.

The Sec: was empowered to renew the weekly grant to Pounds if the application were received & no change had occurred in the applicants’ circumstances.

Applications for relief were reported as follows.

Patterson, Maidenhead. The Chairman reported a grant authorized by himself of 10/- weekly for 3 months. Such grant was confirmed by the Committee.
Haines, Earley. Resolved that the case was outside the scope of the Committee.
Tame, Denchworth. Reported by the Sec: as having been referred to the SSFA.
Stallwood, Maidenhead. Resolved that no grant be given.
Pocock, Chieveley. Resolved that there being no evidence of distress owing to the war no grant be given.
Sadler, Beedon. Resolved that as the payment of debts does not come within the scope of the operations of this Committee, no grant be given.
Chapman, Theale. Adjourned for further information to be obtained from the local sec: & the SSFA.

Berkshire branch of the National Relief Committee: minutes (C/CL6/4/1)

Payment of back rent by the National Relief Fund not a precedent

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund considered various requests for assistance from individuals who had been disadvantaged by the war:

31 May 1915Applications for relief were considered from:
Gray, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 50/- be made in accordance with the recommendation of the Windsor Committee, but the Executive Committee does not regard the payment of back rent as a desirable expenditure of the National Relief Fund, & instructs the assistant secretary to inform the Windsor Committee that the grant given must not be regarded as a precedent for such payment.
Pike, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 12/- be made.
Winney, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of £2.12.6 be made as representing one half of the sum expended by the Windsor Committee.
Beasley, Windsor. Resolved that the applicant was not suitable for relief from the NRF.
Crow, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 25/- be made.
Waller, Windsor. Resolved that the applicant be not suitable for relief from the NRF.
Ottley, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 10/- be made: though the Committee does not admit that the mere fact of the rise of price in raw material gives a claim on the NR Fund, the special circumstances & advanced age of the applicant affords reasons for relief being given.
Thatcher, Abingdon. The Chairman reported grant of £2.0.0 on behalf of this case.
Winterbourne, Abingdon. Grant of £1.0.0 reported.
Willis, Maidenhead. Grant of 10/6 per week, beginning May 1st, reported.
Forrester, Maidenhead. Grant of 10/6 per week for two months beginning May 17th reported. The Sec: was instructed to communicate with the Sub-committee on Professional Classes at the offices of the Central Committee upon the circumstances of this case.
Pounds, Peasemore, Wantage. Grant of 5/- per week for three months beginning May 17th reported.
Fish, Warfield, Easthampstead. Reported as refused by chairman.
Ross, Clewer. Reported as having been received & refrred to the SSFA for further information.
Rosser, Wokingham. Reported as not recommended by the local Committee.
George, Maidenhead. Reported that the grant authorized on behalf of applicant on March 23rd had not been paid as the local Sec: had not found it necessary to pay the same.

The grants as reported were confirmed by the Committee.

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

Rail fares and pawn redemption for war-hit jobseekers

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met on 24 November 1914 at Shire Hall, Reading. The Fund had been established to help anyone who was in extraordinary financial distress specifically due to the war, so they would not have to endure the stigma of the workhouse through no fault of their own.

Reports on unemployment were read from Windsor RDC & Bradfield RDC. Both districts reported no abnormal conditions of labour. Miss Pott reported that Mr Ferard had directed her to say the same as regarded the Easthampstead district.

Applications for relief were considered re:
Daisy Brown, Shinfield. A letter regarding this case addressed to Sir R Mowbray [chairman of the committee] was read. The secretary was instructed to reply to the same to the effect that the committee did not see their way to altering their procedure.
Gladys Grover, Shinfield. Resolved that the applicant be not entertained.
Victor Ross, Windsor RDC. Reported that the case had been taken up by the S&SFAss.
Mrs ? (wife of French soldier), Wantage. The secretary reported that the applicant had been directed to write to the French Consulate. [Mrs Bouvarlet added in later.]
Tindall, Windsor. Resolved a grant of 10/- be made.
Cole, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 7/6 a week for 3 weeks be made.
Hillyer, Windsor. Resolved that the arrears of rent, plus one month’s rent in advance, be paid. The Hon Treasurer was empowered to pay a sum not exceeding 2.2.0 on this account.

Railway fares for 27 men for whom work had been found at a distance was applied for by the Windsor Secretary. Resolved that one half, i.e. £2.15.1 of such fares be paid, as it did not appear certain whether all the applicants were out of work owing to the war.

Resolved that 4/6 be paid to the Windsor Committee on account of expense of getting a workman’s tools out of pawn.

Local Government Board Circulars re American Xmas gifts to children was read & considered. Resolved that the S&SFA be approached & enquiry made whether that Association would be prepared to carry out the scheme in Berkshire…

Local Gov Board Circular letter re Professional Classes Unemployment was reported, with certain replies to the same from District Committees shewing that so far as could be ascertained no abnormal distress amongst such classes obtained in the County Area.

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

Amply provided for

The Executive Committee of the National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee met on 27 October 1914 at
Shire Hall, Reading. Once again they dealt with cases of families of servicemen who were in financial difficulties.


At present there is no distress in Abingdon directly caused by the war…

The following applications for relief were considered:
Fanny White, Shinfield. Resolved that 4/6 per week for three weeks, beginning October 17th, be granted.
P C Dennys, Wargrave. Letters concerning this applicant from the Rev. B Batty and Mr Henry Bond were read, and the secretary was instructed to write to Mr Dennys and advise him to apply for an interpretership to the War Office and to the Belgian Refugee Committee.
Oakley, Bracknell. The Committee resolved that the case be dropped for the present.
Ethel Bourgeois, Bray. The secretary reported that the applicant was receiving a weekly payment from the French Consulate and that her late employer had written saying that for the present she was amply provided for.
A Ross, Clewer. Resolved that the applicant’s arrears of rent to the amount of 35/- be paid to the landlord through the local Windsor Committee.

The Government Committee’s circular letter DMTI re Medical Relief was considered. Mr Melvill Davidson and Mr Tottie reported that the Soldiers and Sailors’ Families Association in Berkshire was prepared to deal with the administration of the medical relief….

National relief Fund berks ctee C/CL/C6/4/1