During demobilization the need of education in the Army would be greatly increased

Schools were still not back to normal.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 18 January 1919


The Board of Education have asked to be supplied with particulars as to the teachers in the County on Military Service, and state they will endeavour to secure their early release.

A subsequent letter, however, states that during demobilization the need of education in the Army would be greatly increased, and that it was now proposed that teachers now serving in the Army, if they so desire, might be re-enlisted for a period of one year after the cessation of hostilities. The Board of Education invite Authorities to consider how they can co-operate by holding open for teachers who re-engage the posts which now await them on their return.

The Sub-committee have pointed out to the Board of Education the difficulty experienced at the present time in carrying on owing to the number of Head Teachers on military service, and have urged on them the desirability of securing the release of these teachers as soon as possible. With this reservation, the Sub-committee recommend the [Education] Committee to accede to the request…

Report of Works Sub-committee of Education Committee, 18 January 1919


The Board of Education have forwarded particulars of various types of temporary war buildings which might be suitable for use as temporary school buildings, and suggested that the Committee should communicate with the Secretary of the Lands and Buildings Reconstruction Committee, and ask to be informed when any of the buildings were coming up for disposal.

The Sub-committee have asked to be informed where any of these buildings can be seen.

Report of Bylaws and Attendance Sub-committee, 18 January 1919


Dr A Richmond has taken over the work of Acting School Medical Officer as from 1 January in place of Dr W Sisam.

The Sub-committee recommend that the Education Committee do place on record their appreciation of the work of Dr Sisam, show has during the last four years given his services as Acting School medical Officer without payment, in the absence of Dr G C Taylor on Military Service….


In November and December, the epidemic of influenza spread through the county and, with few exceptions, the schools were closed for periods of from a fortnight to six weeks on the advice of the Acting School Medical Officer. The percentage of attendance during the time the various schools were open was low, being in November 79 per cent….

Report of School Management Sub-committee, Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)


Cutting down on cookery and handicraft lessons

Berkshire schools continued to be affected by the war, as the reports of the Education Committee’s sub-committees reveal.

Higher Education Sub-committee
The Sub-committee have approved the admission of certain Belgian children into the County Secondary Schools without payment of fees. The Board of Education have informed the Government that these children need not be calculated in determining the number of free places to be awarded under S.20 of the Regulations.

School Management Sub-committee
There are now 38 teachers from the Elementary Schools of the county on military service. The Sub-committee have learned with regret that Mr Berry, Assistant Master at Sunningdale School, has been killed in action…

Owing to the use of three of the Cookery and Handicraft Centres for hospital purposes, the Sub-committee have found it necessary to effect some re-arrangement of the work. As a result, they propose to terminate the engagement of one of the Cookery Teachers and do not propose to fill temporarily the post of one of the Handicraft Instructors who has joined HM Forces.

By-Laws and Attendance Sub-committee
Both of the Assistant School Medical Inspectors (G H Culverwell and L E Napier) have applied for and been granted leave of absence to join the RAMC for the period of the war.

The Sub-committee have authorised the Acting School Medical Officer [Dr Sisam] to engage temporary assistance for the examination of special cases and G R Lake, MRCS (Eng), LSA, of Burghfield, is being employed about two half-days per week.

Nurse Dwyer has applied for and been granted leave of absence, without salary, to take up military hospital work.

Since August 1914, 394 boys of 13 years of age have been granted Exemption Certificate under the By-laws for employment on farms; and in addition the Sub-committee have excused temporarily from attendance at school 154 boys over 12 years of age for agricultural employment owing to shortage of labour.

Reports of sub-committees to Berkshire Education Committee, 10 July 1915 (C/CL/C1/1/18)

Doctors take leave of absence to help the wounded

Berkshire County Council was prepared to lose its TB and Medical Officers to allow them to provide medical care to wounded soldiers. One of the resulting vacancies was filled by a local woman doctor.


Referring to the urgent appeal by Sir Alfred Keogh on behalf of the War Office for medical men for Army Service during the period of the war, Dr Richmond, the Tuberculosis Officer and Acting County Medical Officer of Health, is anxious to offer his services if the Council can see their way to grant him the necessary leave of absence. In view of the urgency of the demand and the importance of providing the Military Authorities with all possible help, the Public Health and Housing Committee do not wish to place any obstacle in the way of Dr Richmond’s acceptance of an Army appointment.

They are of opinion that temporary arrangements for the continuance of the work of the Public Health Department during the absence of both Dr Taylor and Dr Richmond can be made, and suggest that Dr Sisam (Acting Medical Officer of the West Berks Combined Sanitary District) be asked to undertake the principal administrative duties of County Medical Officer of Health, and Dr Carling (Medical Officer of the Berks and Bucks Joint Sanatorium) the duties of Tuberculosis Officer, both doctors being well qualified to carry on the work. The Office staff would be able to deal with routine work.

Dr Richmond’s Army pay will be 24/- a day and under the Council’s resolution, if permission be given to him to join H M Forces, the deduction from his salary would be at the rate of £438 per annum.
Both Dr Carling and Dr Sisam have been approached and have expressed their willingness to undertake the duties provided the consent of their respective Joint Committees can be obtained as they are both whole-time officers. Dr Sisam has declined to accept any remuneration, but as the work would, in many cases, be done in conjunction with his own work as District Medical Officer of Health, and complications might arise in the allocation of his travelling expenses, he has asked that a fixed sum be allowed him for travelling; and is willing to accept £1 10s a week. The Public Health and Housing Committee recommend that his offer be accepted.
With reference to Dr Carling, it is recommended that a bonus at the rate of £100 a year be made to her and travelling expenses in accordance with the Council Scale….

The Committee are of the opinion that Miss Nicholls, the Lady Inspector, could be utilised, with advantage, for some of the home visiting, and recommend that she be paid an additional remuneration for the extra work at the rate of £25 a year.

Report of Staff Purposes Sub-committee to Berkshire County Council, 1 May 1915 (C/CL/C1/1/18)