A resignation at the Berkshire National Relief Fund

Changes were afoot at the Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund, which made small grants to individuals who were in reduced circumstances due to the war.

9 February 1918

The following letter from Mr F H Wright resigning his position as Hon. Secretary was read:

Jan. 12th 1918

Dear Sir Reginald

I think the time has arrived when I should resign the Secretaryship of the Berkshire National Relief Fund. You may remember that I undertook this Secretaryship at the pressing request of Sir Robert Mowbray when the war broke out in August 1914, and that I devoted the latter part of my summer vacation to the organization of that work. when I undertook the work, it was on the understanding that I might not be able to help after the College Term began, but the invaluable assistance rendered me by the Assistant Secretary, Miss Gladys Pott, enabled me to retain the nominal Secretaryship so long as Miss Pott was Assistant Secretary.

As you know, Miss Pott had to resign last year and inasmuch as there is no room available at the Shire Hall, where all the books and papers referring to the Fund are kept, it would appear to be better for the Secretaryship to be taken over by one of the County Officials and I am given to understand that Mr Chambers would be willing to undertake the work.

Believe me to remain
Yours faithfully
(Signed) Francis H Wright


Resolved: That the resignation be accepted with regret and that the Hon. Secretary be instructed to write to Mr Wright expressing the great appreciation felt by the Committee for all that he had done in organising and carrying on the work of the Committee.

Correspondence from the Foreign Office, the Government Committee and Mr Aldridge of Spencers Wood, relative to the case of Mrs Louise Swain, was read.

The Secretary reported that the Chairman and Mr Benyon had authorised a temporary allowance of 10/- a week for one month until Mrs Swain could obtain work.

A further letter was read from Mrs Swain stating she had been unable to obtain work, and after Mrs Swain had attended before the Committee, it was resolved that the allowance of 10/- should be continued to her for a further five weeks.

Application for a grant for the purpose of ploughing and fencing land at Lambourn was received from Mr E C Jennings of the Sheep Drove, Lambourn, and after his letter had been read and considered the application was refused.

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

Who should get war bonuses?

The County Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee met on 9 December 1916 to consider various war related matters, including the awarding of war bonuses to teachers and other council staff.

Under the arrangement with the Road Board of May, 1912, the Council were, during each of the five years commencing 1913-14, to expend a sum of £8,100 on main road improvements. The Highways and Bridges Committee, however, in view of existing war conditions, consider it better not to carry out any of the works which in the ordinary course would have been proceeded with this year…

The Committee have had under consideration a report and a supplementary estimate from the Education Committee on the subject of war bonuses, and having fully considered the whole question in relation to the bonuses granted in other Departments, have adopted the proposals of the Education Committee and recommend that a temporary war bonus not exceeding 3/- per week be granted to certain of the lower paid teachers as follows, namely:

Supplementary Teachers. Single, about 246 in number, all female, whose salary (including the proposed bonus) does not exceed £65 per annum.
Uncertificated Teachers. Single, about 161 1in number, all but one female, whose salary (including the proposed bonus) does not exceed £75 per annum.
Certificated Teachers and Head Mistresses. Single, about 104 in number, mainly female, whose salary (including the proposed bonus) does not exceed £104 per annum.

Note: There are a few married teachers in each of the above three classes in addition to the numbers given, but it is thought that the husband’s earnings will in such cases render a bonus unnecessary.
Married Head and Certificated Assistant Masters. About 37 in number, whose total income (including the proposed bonus) does not exceed £156 per annum.
Any special cases of hardship to be considered on their merits.
The bonus to commence from 1 January 1917, and all existing teachers of the above classes to be eligible for it.

School Attendance Officers
That a similar bonus be allowed to male School Attendance Officers whose total income (including the proposed war bonus) does not exceed the scale set out above.

A temporary war bonus not exceeding 3/- per week to be allowed to all unmarried teachers whose salary does not exceed £104 per annum, and to married teachers whose joint income does not exceed £156 per annum; the bonus to be paid only to teachers appointed and working in the schools prior to 1 January 1916, and to recommence from 1 January 1917.

Any special cases of hardship to be considered on their merits.

Pupil Teachers
It is not suggested that the war bonus should be given to pupil teachers, student teachers, or monitresses.

School Cleaners, &c
The question of war bonuses to school cleaners, &c, the committee have referred to the Education Works Sub-committee to consider such cases on merits having regard to all the circumstances…

Shire Hall: Caretakers and Cleaners
Applications have also been received from the caretakers and cleaners at the Shire Hall. The Committee have reviewed the existing conditions in each of these cases, but are unable to recommend that the applications be acceded to.

Report of Finance and General Purposes Committee, 9 December 1916, in Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/19)