Extra relief for poor in peace celebrations

15th July, 1919
Peace Celebrations

Letters from the undermentioned Unions read in reference to granting extra Relief to persons in this Union, chargeable to those Unions, during the week ending the 19th instant in respect of Peace Celebrations, and it was resolved to instruct the Relieving Officers to grant extra relief as follows:

Billericay Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Parish of St Giles, Camberwell – Adults 3/- and Children 1/6
Westhampnett Union – Adults 2/6 and Children 2/-
Eton Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Parish of Lambeth – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Brentford Union – no extra relief
Guildford Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-

Letter from St Elizabeth’s Home, Midhurst, read asking if the Guardians will allow a sum of money towards the cost of Peace Celebrations at that Home in respect of Elizabeth M Shaw.
Resolved that the Superintendent be asked to treat E M Shaw in the same manner as the other Children of the Home.

Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

“It was 60 to 100 at Lloyd’s yesterday there would be peace before Xmas”

Everyone could see the war coming to an end – even the German PoWs.

St Marys, Oct 31 [1918] Hallows Eve

My own darling own

Yesterday… a man called Savage with his wife quite intend on taking this place and if possible buying it. Evidently a very rich man in war profits having to do with all insurance societies, Lloyd’s included, & he told me it was 60 to 100 at Lloyd’s yesterday there would be peace before Xmas….

Meantime the papers are an hourly unrolling of great scrolls of prophecy fulfilled, and to be having a part in it must be a wonderful feeling, and how I long to talk to you, and how I long for the evening papers with news, if any, from Paris. I dread Bolshevik risings, and spread of that disease with Prussianism a fallen God? It is a tremendous thing to think what is in the hands of those few brains at Paris, and I cling to the knowledge that two at least there are with belief in the Eternal Righteousness revealed as Divine Love to those who follow Christ and company with him in sacrifice for the sake of that Righteousness? It must be hard to go on fighting with the world all crumbling that has opposed that righteousness, and it seems as if it – the victory – was already decided.

The news from Italy is glorious, and then Hungary & Austria & Turkey, and with the little bits of news coming in from the Danube – these waterways and tributaries in silence or in spate determining the way of victory. Well – here I watch our little road and the village passers by, and the trees getting bare, but still some golden glow slimes in at the window, and the only thing in touch with the war are the German prisoners no longer bursting with spirits & laughter and talk, but they look grim….

There is a great deal of mild flu about, and some measles, but I have heard of no bad cases so far. I have no sign of flu, only a very little cold of which I take quite abnormal care, & eat formamint lozenges without end….

Archdeacon Moore has resigned – and I am sorry – one of the few gentlemen left in that changing diocese where everything is going on socialistic lines, and I am so unhappy about poor dear Norman Lang, & cannot imagine what his future is to be when the 6 months at the front are over – & will he be needed there 6 months.

Do take care of yourself – send for formamint lozenges & have eucalyptus & a good tonic?

I suppose John will be all right. Maysie is moving to 6 Hill Street, Knightsbridge…

All my love, darling
Own Mur

Lady Mary Glyn to her son Ralph (D/EGL/C2/5)

“A good few expected peace when the first notes were exchanged & are accordingly depressed”

Ralph Glyn’s sister and mother wrote to him. Meg’s circle of acquaintances in London included many army officers, and she reported some disappointment that talks of peace had not yet come to anything. Lady Mary was engaging in a private battle with the vicar of Bamber, where she and the Bishop were living, who thought the National Anthem inappropriately jingoistic for church.

Hardwicke House
Ham Common


My darling Ralph

Thank you so much for you letter & I am so sorry to hear you have got this beastly flu, it is sickening for you but by the time this letter reaches you I hope you will be quite fit again. No – flying doesn’t sound the best cure certainly, but I suppose you had to do it.

I was much interested to see the photographs you enclosed. They are copies of negatives taken by Addie of Royalist up with the Grand Fleet. If you have got the negatives it would be good of you to send them here to me, tho I cannot imagine how they got among your negatives, as I keep those ship photographs most carefully. But do send me all 3 negatives if you have them.

Jim & I stayed last night at Belgrave Square & dined with the Connaughts, a small dinner which was great fun. The Arthur Connaughts were there, she is a stick; Mr Spring Rice who was in Washington with Eustace & Ivar, & Mrs Ward who was Muriel Wilson. An A1 dinner too! The old Duke was in great form & full of funny stories of soldiers’ remarks in Palestine:

One soldier asked another, “Which is the way to the Mount of Olives?” & the other replied, “If that’s a public house I’ve never heard of it.” An Arab writing to the Governor concluded his letter with, “I write in the name of J. Christ, esq, who is well known to you & who your Excellency so much resembles”. An Australian wantonly killed a Jew & was remonstrated with, “Why did you do it?” “Well”, he said, “they are the people who killed Christ”. “Yes, but a long time ago”. “Well”, said the Australian, “I only heard of it yesterday”….

John went off to GHQ on Wednesday, & on Friday Maysie & I went over 2 houses she had the offer of in London. The larger one (both being tiny) was in Regents Park, & had lovely Chinese furniture, & nicely done up, the second in Hill Street, Knightsbridge, & very nicely done, but tiny. I strongly advised her to plump on the 2nd & she’s got it for 6 months, & I think it will do for her very wel indeed. Billy is home on leave & I saw him yesterday too. He looks v. fit, a Majr, & 2nd in command of his battalion!

A good few expected peace when the first notes were exchanged & are accordingly depressed, but everyone feels thankful & the end must be in sight. But there’s some sickness with the Americans not getting on, it would have been splendid to cut the Huns off in that retreat, but you always said they have no staff to handle the men, and it does seem 10,000 pities that thro sheer silly pride they won’t brigade their men with ours & the French, doesn’t it….



The Americans have saved the situation

Some resented the Americans’ domination of peace negotiations.

St Mary’s Bramber
Oct 16 1918

My own darling

The news in the evening paper is all good and I wonder what you think of Wilson? It satisfies me as quite adequate, but Dad is full of resentments! I do not think there is anything to be wondered at that he puts his own country first? They have saved the situation & in order to save it he had to become the spokesman for his very mixed country, & make clear to them why & for what they had come in. Having done this, he was then responsible for his 14 points which were not those of the Allies, and it was up to him to interpret them in the light of this present, a present he had more than any man alive brought to pass. But it does not bind us or even control any action in the field – how could it?

It cannot be altogether a matter of congratulation that the Hun thought he could make of Wilson another Lenin or Trotsky, and Wilson’s utter repudiation is a glorious vindication of the sovereign people’s right to speak. If the Hun wishes to ignore the crowned sovereign representatives in the Alliance he has found the thing itself there in that utterance & he is up against a Majesty he has failed to recognise, and which may teach the Hun People a new lesson, – illuminated him within that word now. It must be so wonderful to be with those armies as you are, to have to do with the men who are to represent this revolution when the Armistice can be signed – with the insignia the President cannot have – the crown of personal sacrifice, the anointing of the oil of a gladness only they can know who have learned what it is “to be joyful as those that march to music, sober as those who must company with Christ”. And if this is so the Coronation service is no dead letter even if it is a people being so crowned – King, Priest and Prophet, and I believe that office left out in our Kingmaking service is to be restored when a true democracy recognises the Theocracy.

Wilson’s answer comes very near to it – it is a great solemn warning – “the power not ourselves that makes for righteousness” is surely in it? Do tell me all you think. It has set me thinking, and I have to write it out to you…

I am not happy about Willie Percy. Mar: says he is so poorly the Doctor says he must come away from Jerusalem to another climate….

Lady Mary Glyn to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/5)

“When Palestine is handed over to them the liberal Jew will have as little place there as they had under the Wall of wailing”

Claude Montefiore (1858-1938) was an Anglo-Jewish preacher, writer and thinker who founded Liberal Judaism and was an open opponent of Zionism.

St Mary’s
Oct 6 1918
My own darling

I have had a good long read of the Observer & the Sunday Times, & hope you will read Marsh Sykes on Damascus. Spenser Wilkinson makes one understand all that must be between us & peace unless the Hun gets broken inside, which after Austria collapses may well come about.

Also I have been reading Claude Montefiore’s Liberal Judaism & Hellenism with ever more intense interest. A wonderful book, and makes one understand how in some ways they are further removed from us than the orthodox Jew, and when Palestine is handed over to them the liberal Jew will have as little place there as they had under the Wall of wailing….

Very own Mur

Letter from Lady Mary Glyn to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/5)

The air is full of rumour

Ralph Glyn’s mother looked forward to visiting her daughter in London to get the latest news.

St Mary’s

17th [October 1918]

Tomorrow 30 Half Moon Street. Today fine sunny October day & the air is full of rumour and London will be interesting. We only get papers here – no other news and one can hardly realise what the commotion of soul is now – all over the world…

Own Mur

Lady Mary Glyn to Ralph (D/EGL/C2/5)

Remembered as a little boy

A soldier who had lived in Earley as a small child was awarded a major medal.

Our congratulations are offered to Leslie Shepherdson – who will be remembered here as a little boy in S Bartholomew’s Road, son of Mr and Mrs Shepherdson of Angmering, Sussex – on having won the Military Cross. Mr Leslie Shepherdson is now a 2nd Lieut. in the Durham Light Infantry.

Earley St Nicolas parish magazine October 1917 (D/P192/28A/14)

“Not knowing of a better ‘ole I haven’t gone to it”

Percy Spencer wrote to his sister Florence. He was clearly fed up, but resigned.

Dear WF

Not knowing of a better ‘ole I haven’t gone to it.

Same old address.

It never occurred to me that to a civilian mind a stationary transfer would seem an impossibility. Still, there it is.

After all this time, we clerks to Staffs stand on the same basis, all belonging to the Clerks Section of the ASC, but not moving on from our appointments.

Capt. Holliday went away 6 weeks ago – sick. He’s at the White Hart Hotel, Lewes, for the present, where I have written him. Exactly what will happen to him & to me in the future I don’t know, but I don’t expect him back here.

Yours ever

Letter from Percy Spencer (D/EZ177/7/5/31)

More distinguished not to be decorated

Naval wife Meg Meade wrote to her army officer brother Ralph Glyn. She was not impressed by the Royal Naval Air Service. See here for more about the Athens naval/diplomatic mission referred to.

April 9th [1916]
2 S Wilton Place
My darling R….

I’m sure you won’t worry your head about whether a decoration comes your way. When you are on the Staff I think it’s a good deal more distinguished not to be decorated, & will save you a good deal of backchat when the war is over!…

I lunched with Aunt L [Princess Louise] today & met the Hamiltons (2nd Sea Lord) & their son, who goes by the name of “Turtle”, & who is quite a distinguished sailor now after various exploits up a West African river against the Huns which was very successful. He’s now 2nd in command of one of the M destroyers at Harwich. No, Medusa wasn’t Barry Domvile’s ship, aren’t you thinking of Miranda which he had for a bit. And I don’t think that air stunt was such a tremendous success, the Naval Air Stiffs can’t do nothink [sic] right.

I’m glad to hear the real sailors are going to be given a chance of handling them for a time, & showing them how they really deserve their nickname of “Really Not A Sailor”.

Maysie & John are coming to stay a night with me tomorrow, John has a Medical Board tomorrow or Tuesday, but I don’t think they can possibly pass him, as his jaw is still oozing I believe, & they can’t begin to make a plate for his mouth until the jaw heals up…
There are so many good points about Bramber [a house there which their parents were planning to lease on retirement] that it would be a pity to lose it. I think it’s as near perfection for them as one can hope to find for the price, & now that the income tax is 5/ in the £, I think they have struck a bargain without the financial embarrassment of owning it. I wish Jimmy was a millionaire & could buy it for them, but as a matter of fact this beastly tax will hit us, as it hits anyone with an income of about 2 thou. More than ¼ of Jim’s income will be gone, & the parents will be in the same boat, but all the same as they haven’t children to keep I hope they’ll find it possible to keep the motor.

I saw Bertie Stephenson & Isie 3 says running as they came to eother lunch or tea each day… Bertie doesn’t look at all well. I wish to goodness he hadn’t been obliged to come home from Egypt. He’s got an open sore on his leg still…

The flies must be too awful with you…

Did you write the skit on the Athanasian Creed about the Egypt commands? It’s a priceless document…

Jimmy rejoins the LCS next week. I wish he might come to a more southern base, but there’s no chance of it at present.

I wonder when you will get any leave, darling, it does seem such ages since you were here last, & I am hoping very much you’ll get some before the Peter move [i.e. the Bishop and Lady Mary leaving Peterborough for retirement in Sussex], or during it in July. How heavenly that would be, & what a difference it would make to the parents, & I feel you must be given some soon.

The Gerry Weles came to dinner here with Sybbie & Dog Saunders the other evening. Gerry Weles is very interesting about that Naval Mission of ours in Athens, & he himself is a hot Venezelosist. Mark Kerr is not to go back there, & Jerry may return any time as head of the mission. They say he’s done splendidly….

Letter from Meg Meade to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/4)

90 noncombatant lives lost

Florence Vansittart Neale noted the loss of a British civilian vessel carrying passengers from several neutral countries. The dead included a member of the Persian royal family.

26 March 1916
“Sussex” torpedoed in Channel. Nearly 90 lives lost.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Asking after the Bisham boys

As the wife of an old-fashioned benevolent landlord and employer, Florence Vansittart Neale visited tenants to ask about their sons at the Front. She was also aware of the case of George Watson Smyth, heir to Wadhurst Castle in Sussex, being nursed at Highclere. He was to have his leg amputated.

1 October 1915

Called on Horner, Howard, Paine, Steptoe, Brooks & Simmonds – enquire after boys. Rumour Bob Paine killed. William Randall died – overworked.

Girls & I took Moll home – round by Wargrave to leave French flags….

George Watson Smyth at Highclere Hospital. Foot shattered.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Gallant work with Lewis guns

Sulhamstead mourned the loss of a teenage officer with local connections. He had spent a period recovering from earlier wounds at Highclere Castle, known to TV audiences as Downton Abbey. Lewis guns were a new kind of machine gun.


The late Lieut. B. G. D. Jones

Lieutenant Basil Gordon Dawes Jones, Welsh Regiment, killed in action on September 22, was the elder son of Colonel Jones of Worthing, grandson of General Sir Henry Gordon, great-nephew of General Charles Gordon of Khartoum, and nephew of Mr and Mrs F. C. Jones of Firlands, Sulhamstead. He passed into Sandhurst from Haileybury just before war broke out, was severely wounded in the second battle of Ypres in 1915, and was taken to Lady Carnarvon’s Hospital for wounded officers at Highclere Castle, where he remained nearly four months. He only recovered sufficiently to return to the front at the beginning of this year, and had not since been home on leave. He was only 19 years of age when he was killed.

His brigadier-general writes:

“I am commanding the brigade in which the – Welsh are serving… I know Colonel Pritchard had a very high opinion of him (Lieut. Jones), and for this reason had given him command of a company, and this opinion I fully share. I was so glad to hear yesterday that your son has been given a Military Cross for his very gallant work with the Lewis guns.”

(From the Reading Mercury).

It is also with sorrow that we record the death of Henry Parsons. No particulars had been received when this paper was written.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, November 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Aimless trenches in the sand

After his stay in Yorkshire, John Maxwell Image spent his summer holiday on the south coast. He found the resort unaffected by the war in some respects – but very much so in others, with hysteria over lights at night and suspicion of foreigners.

Tuesday [3 August 1915]

The town looks as usual by day – swarms of naked legs on the sands, Pierrots, and a sea as well filled as ever I saw it with steamers and sailing brigs and schooners and ketches nonchalantly in the offing. War? Not a trace of it – by day, unless perhaps khaki gentlemen digging aimless trenches in the shingle (and it is to be hoped, useful ones elsewhere).

But at night – not a street lamp glimmers! Just now there is a full moon: else one must grope with a flashlight, I suppose, out of doors. Indoors every window veiled with opaque curtains so that nothing is visible seaward. Seven people were hauled on one day last week, and fined a guinea apiece for shewing momentarily a light. The Zeppelins are like the Proctors. Patriotic magistrates are making quite a purse. On my first night a Policemen knocked and sent up a message that the “fluttering of my blind (the window was open) bore the appearance of signalling”!!!

On Sunday morning the town was placarded with a long printed notice re German submarines: how to detect their presence, and where: reward of £100 if your information leads to capture, etc, etc.

A destroyer – poor dear, I know her by sight now well – on her daily monotonous patrol along the coast. Last evening it was blowing a quarter gale – not a ship visible except only one – the faithful Destroyer.

Sometimes a Parsifal airship hangs over the sea, glistering like a huge silver fish.

We are taken care of!

Also on arrival at Hotel or Lodging you are presented with a paper to be signed. Name, sur and Christian, and nationality are all that are required of a Briton: but aliens of whatever nation have to answer all manner of rude questions. Penalty for lying or refusing, £100….

Ever affect.

Letter from John Maxwell Image, Cambridge don, to W F Smith (D/EX801/1)

No school Medical Officer should be pressurised to join the army

The local Education Authority was affected by the war in multiple ways, including the use of schools by the army, the decision of teachers to join up, and the thorny question of whether some of the boys should be allowed to take time of school to help on farms.

Higher Education Sub-committee
Evening and Technical Schools

Letters have been received from the Eastern and Southern Commands asking whether the Committee were prepared to offer instruction in certain specified subjects for troops in these Commands. Similar instruction has been provided by the County Education Authorities of East and West Sussex.

The Sub-committee recommend that, as far as possible, assistance should be given to the Military Authorities, and the secretary has been instructed to report on the matter to the Committee at this meeting.

This Institution is still in the hands of the Military Authorities for use as a Hospital.

School Management Sub-committee
Up to 1st March, thirty-three Teachers from the Elementary Schools of the County had joined H M Forces…

In reply to a letter, the Board of Education have replied that they do not consider that teachers who are absent on Military service can be regarded as forming part of the staff of the school for the purposes of the Code. The Board expect Authorities to make every effort to comply with the requirements of the Code by providing a suitable and efficient staff for their schools and by maintaining them in a state of efficiency. Should it not be possible to obtain the services of a qualified teacher, the Board are however prepared to exercise the discretion reserved to them under the Code and to take into consideration the employment of unqualified teachers appointed on supply.

During the quarter the following schools have been used by the Military Authorities for billeting troops for short periods: Shinfield CE, Shinfield Three-Mile-Cross, and Finchampstead.
The Hungerford Technical Institute (Special Subjects Centre) has also been requisitioned as a Red Cross Hospital since 2nd Fenruary. The Sub-committee have arranged for the Manual Instruction to be taken at the Council School but the Cookery and Laundrywork Classes have necessarily been abandoned for the present.

By-Laws and Attendance Sub-committee

A circular letter has been received from the Board of Education stating that they have been informed by the War Office that there is at the present time an urgent need for more medical men to staff the additional hospital accommodation needed to meet the requirements of the large forces now being placed in the field. The Board of Education has been asked to facilitate the volunteering of officers of the School Medical Service for hospital work. so far as the Board are concerned, they feel that they can give but one answer to an application of this kind. They do not suggest that any pressure should be brought to bear on any particular officer to volunteer for service, but, should any officer desire to volunteer the Board would raise no objection to his doing so, even though his temporary absence may cause dislocation of the School Medical Service. They have no doubt that Local Education Authorities will regard the matter in the same light and will grant leave of absence on terms as will not involve any loss in his salary, status or tenure….

The Sub-committee recommend that leave of absence be granted to either or both of the Assistant School Medical inspectors if they wish to volunteer. They will consider, at their next meeting, the steps to be taken for carrying on the essential parts of the work if either of the Medical Officers volunteer…

School Attendance
The Sub-committee have considered the question of sanctioning absence from school of boys over 12 years of age to take up farm work in places where there is a shortage of labour due to the war.

They have passed the following resolution:

That no general rule for dealing with cases of employment of boys between 12 and 13 be adopted; but that where application is made, particulars be submitted by the Attendance Officer on a special form prepared by the Secretary; and that the Secretary be given power to grant permission (temporary) subject to the approval of two members of the Sub-committee….

The Board of Education have issued a circular letter in which attention is called to the statements made in the House of Commons by the President of the Board of Education indicating the conditions which, in the view of the Government, should be satisfied before the Local Authority excused children from attendance at school for the purposes of agricultural employment. The conditions are as follows:
1. The employment of children of school age should be regarded as an exceptional measure permitted to meet a special emergency, and should only be allowed where the Authority are satisfied that no other labour is available, and in no case should children be excused attendance at school if older children who are under no legal obligation to attend school are available.
2. In considering the available supply of labour, the Authority should satisfy themselves that all reasonable efforts have been made to secure adult labour, e.g. by application at the Labour Exchanges and especially by the offer of adequate remuneration.
3. Every case should be considered on its merits, and there should be no general relaxation of By-laws.
4. The employment should be of a light character and suitable to the capacity of the child.
5. Permission, if given at all, should be given for a definitely limited period only.
Up to the 31st march the number of boys between 12 and 13 who have been excused from attendance at school to take up agricultural employment was 41.

Reports of sub-committeees to Berkshire Education Committee, 24 April 1915 (C/CL1/1/18)