Persons who fail to apply for a ration card when required to do so, will find themselves unable to obtain regular supplies of food

Food was still in short supply, and there was a stern warning to anyone who mislaid their ration books.

We are warned by the Ministry of Food that we must carefully preserve the grey reference leaf (leaf 8A) of the present ration book. We shall be required to return the grey reference book to our Food Office when called upon to do so. The Food Office in each district will announce when the reference leaf should be sent in. then ration cards will be issued to us through the local Food Office to replace the present ration book. The card will contain spaces for the name and address of the holder, and the names and addresses of his retailers, and will have three detachable counterfoils for meat, butter and sugar which the older will be required to give to the retailers with whom he wishes to deal during the autumn and winter.

Any person who has lost his ration book should immediately inform his local Food Office. He must not wait until the Food Office ask him to produce his reference leaf; but he must inform them at once that he has lost the book, otherwise he will be unable to apply for one of the ration cards when required to do so. Re-registration will take place at the date in September to be announced later. Persons who fail to apply for a ration card when required to do so, and who are therefore unable to register at the required time, will find themselves unable to obtain regular supplies when distribution of rationed food on the new basis begins.

Remenham parish magazine, September 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

Advertisements

“Our village is still like a battlefield”

The August issue of a Reading church magazine had news from a family of Belgian refugees who had now returned home.

Our Belgian Guests

Though we have now bidden good-bye to our Belgian family, they are not forgotten, and we gladly avail ourselves of Miss Hammond’s kind permission to print the following letter, (long held over through lack of space) telling of the return home.

Kelfs-Herent,
29TH March, 1919.
Dear Miss Hammond,

We reached home a fortnight ago, on the 15th of March, at half-past four in the afternoon. We found our house quite empty, for the Germans had stolen most of our things, and what they left others took. The doors and windows are broken, the walls both inside and out are damaged, and there is a large hole in the roof. The Germans did their cooking everywhere, leaving the house so dirty that it has taken me ten days to get it even a little clean! We must wait till next year for fresh wall-paper, it is still too dear.

Food is very scarce; there is hardly anything in the shops and everything is much dearer than in England. Meat costs 9-10 francs the Kilo, butter 15 franks, margarine 8.5 franks. A sack of flour costs 110 franks, and one cannot even then always get it. Every day we say that war for existence is now beginning, and happy are the people who live in the promised land of England or France. Our village is still like a battlefield; some of the houses have been re-built but not all. The people living next to us have so aged during these four years that we did not recognise them. We have no cow or horse, and they are so dear that we must wait a while before buying.

I hope that you will give our compliments to all the kind friends at your church, and thank them again for all they did for us during the four years of war.

Please accept the sincere respects of your grateful family.”

M. Van De Venne.
Elise De Kruster.

We are very grieved to hear that, since reaching home, our friends have sustained a very heavy loss in the death of their dear little girl, Elisa, on June 3rd, after an illness of three weeks. We shall all join in sympathetic remembrance of the sorrowing father and mother.

Trinity Congregational Magazine, August 1919 (D/EX1237/1/12 )

Very cold and uncomfortable

May 2nd 1919

The School has been very cold and uncomfortable to work in through lack of fuel.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4)

Still without coal

Fuel was still in short supply.

30th April 1919

The school is still without coal so there was no meeting. Only 30 boys put in an appearance. Temperature of the room 44 degrees.

Hurst C of E Boys School log book (D/P73/28/23, p. 43)

“They drinked and drinked till they had drinked it all up”

Now the war was over, William Hallam was hoping to retire back to his birthplace in the Vale of White Horse. On a reconnaissance trip he saw German PoWs hard at work.

22nd April 1919

Up at 7 this morning and went to Uffington by the 20 past 9 train. I walked up to Fernham. Looked over the churchyard and the church (modern) was locked. Just under churchyard a piece of ground occupied by the ruins of 2 old wattle & daub cottages which would do to build a new house on, I thought, if it could be bought cheap. Here an old man who was chopping the hedge tidy told me it was a sharp frost this morning, and if we had many more like it, it would do a lot of harm to the fruit.

I went on to Longcot and when I got there went into Pub to have a drink but the hostess said they hadn’t a drop of anything, she said you know Sir we had a wedding yesterday and they kept it up, yes, and they drinked and drinked till they had drinked it all up.”

I enquired of her where the houses were which were for sale and then went and looked at them. One was too big and another too small (one room down 2 up), another property was a block of 3 cottages – but I don’t want neighbours when I get into the country. I’ve had enough of their borrowing and gossiping ways here in Swindon. This property had high sounding names for instance the little cottage was Priory Glen, the 3 cottages Priory Place and the largest house the Priory, but all this is misnamed for I don’t believe a religious house or property ever existed there. However none of it will suit me.

I then went and looked round the Churchyard. I quizzed some of the stones – must go and copy them down. At the SW corner of the C.yard is a little house or room where they hold the Church… over the door is date 1821 & initial. Then I walked on to Shrivenham.

In a garden at Longcot I was 2 German prisoners at work planting potatoes- working very leisurely and smoking cigarettes. As I had plenty of time before getting to the station I went into Church & churchyard. Sat down in a pew and rested……..”

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

Strike menace stopped

Unrest eased at home, while the situation in defeated Hungary continued to worry the allies.

28 March 1919

Strike menace stopped. Railway & miners accept terms, also transport. Coal scarce in London.

Allied troops to go to Hungary.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Too cold to expect children to sit in School and work

March 25th/26th 1919

No School – Fuel supply has given out and it is too cold to expect children to sit in School and work.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 102)

No coal – no fires

Fuel shortages continued to make life hard. 40 degree Fahrenheit is between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius, so it was rather cold to manage without any heating.

March 13th 1919

No coal – no fires. Temperature 40.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 102)

Curtailing consumption to an extent which might seriously prejudice the health of the poor

Poor law officials were concerned about the potential impact of flu in the workhouse.

25th February, 1919

Your Committee received and considered a circular from the Local Government Board urging the utmost economy in the use of coal in Institutions in view of the fact that consumption should not exceed 1 ¾ tons per head per annum or a total of 170 tons on an average number of inmates of 95. The actual consumption is about 2 tons ¾ cwt per head, and the allotment from the Fuel Overseer was placed at 245 tons. Your Committee are averse to curtailing the consumption to an extent which might seriously prejudice the health of the inmates, and will forward to the Local Government Board the report asked for in the circular with their remarks thereon. They have also asked the Master to weigh out the coal used for a period of a week to check the consumption.
Report of Special Committee re Relieving Officer’s Duties, Salaries, &c.

Your Committee … have enquired into the salaries and emoluments received by the two Relieving Officers both before the War and during the period of the War until Mr Widdows was called up for service. The latter has been acquainted with the decision of the Board of Guardians with regard to his reinstatement and his duties. The Committee recommend an annual inclusive salary for such duties, viz:

As Relieving Officer, Collector, Infant Life Inspector, Vaccination Officer £148 er annum.
War Bonus at 23/- per week as prescribed by the Local Government Board’s Schedule £59.16.0
Total £207.16s.

This is the total salary from all sources, except Registration, received for 1914, plus the War Bonus.

Mr Widdows is prepared to accept the sum…

With regard to Mr Bunce, your Committee recommend that he be paid the same salary as he was receiving in 1914 and when Mr Widdows was called up for service, with the addition of the War Bonus…

Your Committee have also enquired into the engagement of Miss Cooke as Assistant Relieving Officer. Under the altered circumstances, they suggest that her retention in this office will not be necessary, and recommend that the engagement be terminated by the payment of a month’s salary in lieu of notice…

It was Resolved that Miss Cooke, the Assistant Relieving Officer, be granted a testimonial in respect of her services.

Influenza Pneumonia

The Board considered what steps to take in the event of an outbreak of Influenza in the House.

It was Resolved That the question of the arrangements to be made be left in the hands of Mr Bate, The Medical Officer and The Master, and that they be authorised to incur expenditure in the provision of a gargling solution.

The Master was directed to arrange for the segregation of any cases occurring in the House.


House Committee Report, Bradfield Board of Guardians (G/B1/38)

A Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy

em>You may remember that Mrs Thornton had been absent since the 12th, due to the return home of her soldier husband. This was causing difficulties for her colleagues.

Sunninghill
18th February 1919

Mrs Thornton is still absent, & as a consequence 4 teachers are managing 5 rooms, & each teacher has charge of 2 classes – an instance of overwork of which we have had much undesirable experience of this school.

Speenhamland
Feb 18th

About 120 children of the Upper Standard attend a Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy; they will be required to write an Essay on what they see and hear and prizes will be given for the best.

Receipt for £1.1.0 received from the Organiser of the King’s Fund for the Disabled.

Ascot
February 18th 1919

Through lack of coal great difficulty is being experienced in keeping the rooms warm enough for the boys to work in any degree of comfort.


Log books of St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School (C/EL110/4

Pigs scattered over Wargrave, Knowl Hill and Crazies Hill

When food was in increasingly short supply, some turned to keeping pigs.

The Wargrave Pig Club

The Annual Meeting was held on the 13th February. The Report and Balance Sheet were presented showing a balance on hand on 31st December last of £31 2s. 4d. The following is a copy of the Report:-

“The Wargrave Pig Club was formed at a meeting held in the Parish Room on 4th April, 1918, when the Officers and Committee for the year were elected. The membership has reached a total of 79, and at one time there were 290 pigs registered on the Club books.

The Parish Council gave permission for two rooms in the old District School buildings to be used as a store, and arrangements were made for members to attend there on Friday evenings to purchase pig food. The food has been procured by certificates issued by the Livestock Commissioner, and although there has sometimes been difficulty in getting the necessary quantity from the millers owing to the general shortage, there was only one week when millers’ offals were unobtainable. That however did not mean that the pigs were without food altogether, for, thanks to Mr. Bond generously advancing money with which to buy other kinds of pig food in large quantities, the Club had a good supply of unrationed pig meal in store, and the Committee were enabled to “carry on”. Altogether over 36 tons of feeding stuffs have been dealt with.

Mr. Bond has had erected at his own expense six capital sites on the Station Road Allotment ground which he has agreed to let to members of the Club at the low rent of 5s. a year. Five of these sites have been occupied. He also advanced money with which to purchase young pigs. 33 pigs have been so bought and resold to members at the actual cost price.

Sir William Cain provided the sum of £6 for prizes for the best bacon hog. Mr. A.B. Booth £3 3s., for porkers, and Mr. Bond £3 as extra prizes. Mr. Rose and Mr. A’Bear acted as judges, all the pigs being viewed in their own sites. The prizes were distributed at a meeting of the Club members on 3rd December.

The competing pigs being scattered over Wargrave, Knowl Hill and Crazies Hill, it occupied the judges the whole of one day for inspection. The Committee offer them their sincerest thanks for undertaking this work.

One of the objects of the Club is the insurance of pigs and although 27 members paid premiums, the Club only had one claim to settle.

Wargrave parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

Discontinuing oatmeal

The food supply was now getting back to normal.

11th February 1919
re Dietary

Letter from the Local Government Board that the Guardians might now revert to the use of the dietary tables in use before the introduction of rationing.

Letter from the Matron re dietary suggesting the reverting to the old scale of bread for Breakfast and supper only, discontinuing oatmeal, the present allowance of bread for dinner to remain, and the Guardian approved the suggestion.

Faringdon Board of Guardians minutes (G/F1/44)

Increased Home Production of Food is as necessary and as urgent as ever

Food would still be an issue in the first year of peace.

The Food Controller assures us that Increased Home Production of Food is as necessary and as urgent as ever. More Allotments must be cultivated, larger Crops must be grown, if a shortage in the coming Summer and Autumn is to be avoided. The remedy for such shortage is to

SOW WEBSTER’S NOTED SEEDS.

Their quality this year is unusually high, but stocks of many kinds are limited.

Therefore Order Early.

124 High Street, & Station Front, Maidenhead

Advertisement in Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, February and March 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Low temperatures through the exhaustion of the ‘coke’ supply

Fuel was still in short supply.

Maidenhead Gordon Road Boys School
February 3rd 1919

Mr Cluff who has been absent on Military Service since September 25th 1916, resumed his duties.

Reading: George Palmer Boys’ School

Owing to the low temperature of the rooms through the exhaustion of the ‘coke’ supply, the school at ten o’clock was dismissed.

Maidenhead Gordon Road Boys School log book (C/EL/107/1, p. 115); George Palmer Boys’ School log book (89/SCH/8/1, p. 155)

“We can’t get coal enough to keep the flame of life within our veins”

Fuel was still in short supply, as the universities got a sudden influx of new students, many of them men who had served in the armed forces.

29 Barton Road
25 January ‘19

My dearest old CMY

We can’t get coal enough to keep the flame of life within our veins – though we are eking our fuel out with blocks of wood – 30/- for 300! – and even with the fire in my little study (you remember it?) I go about with Florrie’s Shetland shawl – I gave it her when she was Miss Spencer – wrapped round my senile shoulders. And we cannot afford fire in the study more than twice a week. Half of our whole coal ration has already been used.

The streets are filled with Caps and Gowns – all new. The wearers of course are all freshmen. When last, say, 3 years back, Cambridge saw u.g.s, not a soul wore academical dress, except to lecture. Now they are vain of it. How they will manage at Trinity I wonder. The Cadets have left the New Court Rooms in a dirty confusion, and the upholsterers cannot supply furniture of beds, chairs, tables, etc. Many mammas seem to be importing furniture from home to their hopefuls. Lawrence, Junior Bursar, is driven out of his senses. Then in Master’s Courts are 400 Naval Lieutenants and Sub-lieutenants. The gold lace of their uniforms quite cuts out the military khaki. So I hear ladies say. It glitters over the streets all day. Naval men refuse Oxford, which doubtless knows neither Math nor Science.

But did you notice the slight cast here by the Army? I boil!

Our dear love, Florence’s and mine, to you both.

Ever affec
Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image, Cambridge don, to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)