Demonstrations of War Time Cookery

The Education Committee was facing challenged with fewer teachers and more children (the latter due to the arrival of voluntary evacuees). They also encouraged cookery teachers to learn how to cope with food restrictions.

Report of the Higher Education Committee, 12 January 1918

Secondary Schools

MAIDENHEAD COUNTY BOYS’ SCHOOL
In consequence of the increased number of pupils and the difficulties caused by a further member of the staff leaving for military service, the Sub-committee have approved of the vacant place being filled by a whole-time Mistress and a part-time Master.

WALLINGFORD COUNTRY GRAMMAR SCHOOL

Mr Preece, one of the Assistants, has returned from military service, and in view of the increased numbers in attendance, the Sub-committee have authorised the retention of the substitute Mistress on the staff for the present.

Report of the School Management Sub-committee, 12 January 1918

WAR TIME COOKERY

The Domestic Subject Instructresses of the County attended on December 13 and 14 a series of demonstrations on War Time Cookery arranged by the Ministry of Food, who paid their expenses.

Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/21)

Advertisements

The provision of light employment for discharged partially disabled men incapable of doing a full day’s work

The Disablements Sub-committee of the Berkshire War Pensions Committee reported on training programmes for disabled ex-soldiers, who faced an uncertain future.

The Disablements Sub-committee beg to report that the two schemes for training at Basildon and Windsor have now been approved by the Pensions Minister, with the exception of boot-making at Basildon, which is only provisionally sanctioned. The gardening course at Windsor has been extended from six to twelve months for suitable cases. Both schemes are now in full operation. Since the last meeting the Royal Warrant of April 1917 for treatment and training has come into force, payments being made under it as from 23 July 1917.

A list of hospitals throughout the county where treatment can be obtained for discharged men has been sent forward for approval to the Pensions Minister, also a special application for further necessary accommodation for out-patient treatment at King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor, to enable the authorities of that hospital to provide orthopaedic treatment for discharged disabled men within a radius of ten miles of that hospital. A special request was also put forward as regards the lack of hospital facilities in parts of North Berkshire, especially in the Wallingford District. It is proposed to formulate a scheme to include all facilities and arrangements for medical treatment and submit it as a whole for the approval of the Pensions Minister.

The National Health Insurance Commissioners have made new arrangements in respect of medical benefit for all discharged soldiers and sailors invalided from the Service, and have included those whose incomes do not exceed £160 per annum. Medical Practitioners are required to report to the Insurance Committee as to any special treatment to be provided by the Disablements Committee under the arrangements above alluded to. The scheme will also provide for any treatment recommended by a medical board for a man after his discharge, or for any man for whom treatment is recommended at the time of his discharge from the service by his invaliding board.

Instructions having been received from the Pensions Minister that discharged men who are not in receipt of a pension owing to the disability for which they were discharged not being considered attributable or aggravated by war service have now been afforded facilities for appealing against this decision. Instructions have been issued to all Sub-committees that such cases should be referred to this Committee. Three cases for appeal are coming up shortly for consideration.

The provision of light employment for discharged partially disabled men who are incapable of doing a full day’s work has been considered. A joint public appeal with the County Borough of Reading Committee has been issued through the Press to employers throughout the county for help in this important matter…

During the last three months 643 cases have been entered on the Register, making a total of 1,513 cases. In addition 325 cases (approximately) are being investigated. 512 new cases have been sent out to the various Sub-committees as follows:

Abingdon 34
Easthampstead 20
Faringdon 20
Hungerford 13
Lambourn 5
Maidenhead 72
Newbury 84
Reading Rural 43
Wallingford 27
Wantage 27
Windsor 95
Wokingham 52

220 cases have been considered by the Disablements Committee, treatment in hospital has been arranged for 62 cases, Sanatorium treatment for 7 cases, special training for 23 cases, and a number of men have been placed in employment.

12 November 1917

Berkshire County Council minutes, 1917 (C/CL1/1/21)

War Savings have fallen to the lowest level yet reached

Was enthusiasm for the war subsiding?

1917, 2 October

Receipts of War Savings Association have fallen to the lowest level yet reached.

Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 63)

In a nervous state due to air raids

Air raids were traumatic for children, prompting some families to move out of targetted areas.

King Street School, Maidenhead
10th September 1917

Twelve children have been admitted from raid areas in London & elsewhere & in most cases parents stated children were in a nervous state or asked for special care & treatment while at school.

Abingdon Girls CE School
1917, 10th to 14th September

Ten girls came too late to be marked on Monday afternoon. They had been to see an aeroplane which had come down in a field near Culham.

Wallingford Boys Council School
1917, 10 September

Re-assembled after 5 weeks’ holiday. Commenced collection of Horse-Chestnuts for Ministry of Munitions of War.

Log books of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1, pp. 399-400); Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2, p. 147); Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 63)

It is a constant source of anxiety to know if our funds will hold out til the end of the War

The people of Wargrave contributed to help for Berkshire PoWs, including sending them bread to supplement what the Germans provided.

Prisoners of War of the Royal Berkshire Regiment

It is one of the first duties laid upon us to provide for the prisoners of War of our county regiment.

A Committee, of which Rear-Admiral Cherry is Hon. Treasurer and Mrs. Mount of Wasing Place, is Hon. Secretary, has undertaken this work. In February last it was realised by the Committee that to look after the prisoners of all the seven battalions now at the front would be more than they could undertake. It was therefore decided that this committee should only deal with the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th battalions – the prisoners of the 1/4, 2/4 and 7th battalions were handed over to Mrs. Hedges, 19, Castle Street, Wallingford, and the prisoners of the 6th battalion to Mrs. Dowell, 155 Malden Road, Colchester.

An appeal was sent to the Parish of Wargrave for support and Mrs. Henry Bond undertook to collect subscriptions for the fund. Mrs. Bond’s appeal has met with a ready and generous support- the amount collected by her in the parish was £101. 2s., in sums of £5 and under.

In acknowledging the cheque Mrs. Mount writes:

Wasing Place,
Reading,
August 21st.
Dear Mrs. Bond,

I really do not know how to express to you my thanks for the splendid collection you have made in Wargrave for the Royal Berks Regt. Prisoners. It is a constant source of anxiety to know if our funds will hold out til the end of the War. Our bread bill alone amounts to between £60 and £70 a month, besides which we have to find adopters for our 280 prisoners willing to pay each £21 per year for these prisoners.

Your splendid collection will go far towards removing any immediate anxiety.

Yours sincerely,
Hilda Mount.


Wargrave parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

A soliderly and workmanlike experience of camp life

Many men from west and north Berkshire had volunteered to serve in a Home Defence unit.

The Newbury Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Berkshire Volunteer Regiment went into Camp at Churn from Friday, July 13th, to Sunday the 15th, and had a very good time. This Battalion comprises men from Wallingford, Newbury, Abingdon and Wantage, and formerly went under the title of “The Home Defence Corps”. In order that we may not convey valuable information to the enemy, it would be as well not to mention the particular duties upon which the men of Newbury were on this occasion engaged. Suffice it to say that they set about them in a soldierly and workmanlike manner, and gained the approval of the Major, and Adjutant, and Captain, and other Officers.

The experience of camp life was new to a large number of those present, but there were also some seasoned veterans, who could speak of a similar experience of 20 or 30 years ago. The air of Churn is most invigorating, so much so indeed that some of the company appeared to spend a large portion of the first night in animated conversation, but were quieter the second night, though even then there were those who found sleep difficult, owing partly to the unaccustomed hardness of their bed. A religious Service was held on Sunday morning, at 9.30, by the Chaplain. The catering was done by Mr Tombs, and earned well merited praise. There are many more men in Newbury who ought to join the Battalion.

Newbury St Nicholas parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P89/28A/13)

Promoting the economical use of foods

The Education Committee was at the forefront of war savings schemes locally. School were also to be used to promote changes in people’s habits with regards to food and cookery given the food shortages resulting from the war.

Report of Berks War Savings Committee

The War Savings Committee submit the following report of their work since the report to the July meeting of the Education Committee:

In accordance with the powers given to them on appointment, the following additional members have been co-opted:

Mr G F Slade
Mr T Skurray

During July and August last… Local Committees for War Savings came into being at Abingdon, Windsor and Maidenhead. Since that date, as a result of public meetings addressed by Miss Fraser of the National War Savings Committee and the Education Secretary, Local Committees have been started at Pangbourne, Thatcham, Newbury, Wallingford, Bracknell, Hungerford and Wokingham. Up to the 31 March, War Savings Associations have been established under the control of these Local Committees as follows:

Abingdon, with 6 Associations

Wallingford, 15 Associations

Pangbourne, 4 Associations

Hungerford, 7 Associations

Newbury, 15 Associations

Thatcham, 5 Associations

Wokingham, 13 Associations

Windsor

Maidenhead, 32 Associations

Bracknell, 13 Associations

As a general rule, these local committees deal only with their immediate areas, but efforts are being made by the National War Savings Committee to secure the extension of their activities to the surrounding parishes; e.g. the Associations of Marcham and Moulsford are affiliated to the Abingdon and Wallingford Local Committees respectively, and the War Savings Associations at the Cookham, Alwyn Road Council School, and Clewer S. Stephen’s School are affiliated to the Maidenhead and Windsor Local Committees respectively, whilst the Earley CE School War Savings Association is affiliated to the Reading Central Committee.

The Associations in connexion with Windsor Castle and the Broadmoor Asylum are affiliated directly with the National Committee.

The number of War Savings Associations (in addition to the above) in the Rural Parishes formed up to the 31 March, is 56; at least one half of these are in connexion with the schools….

The average amount saved by each Association during the quarter January to March, 1917, is £217. These figures do not include the grouped Associations, and relate only to the smaller Rural Associations, where the opportunities to save are less than in the larger centres of population.

The Berks Teachers’ Association officials in January consented to help in the work, and have been successful in arousing and maintaining interest in the movement. Messrs Camburn, James and Fryer, in particular, have done most valuable service.

The National War Savings Committee have been invited by the Ministry of Food to assist in the Food Economy Campaign, and the Berks War Savings Committee have had before them the Central Committee’s suggestions for Local Authorities and War Savings Committees, and in conjunction with the School Management Sub-committee, they have approved the arrangements embodied in the following memorandum:

FOOD CAMPAIGN

The Food Controller, in conjunction with the National War Savings Committee, has suggested that “Under the auspices of the Education Authorities a Conference might be called in every area with a view to enlisting the enthusiastic support and active help of teachers. In the case of ordinary schools, the children will form a means of securing the interest of the parents, and invitations to meetings and special classes can be issued through them. The Domestic Science teachers will be wanted to take charge of such classes.

After consultation with HM Inspector, the following preliminary Scheme has been drafted:

That the Instructresses be instructed to modify their syllabus with a view:

To promote the economical use of foods of which there is an available supply in the locality.

To prepare specimen menus for family use based on the above, with notes on the quantities required to give a proper diet.

To arrange to have the cooked meals on view after the lessons, so that the mothers can see them and ask questions.

To confer with the Head Teachers of the neighbouring schools as to the best way of spreading useful information among the parents of children not in attendance at the Centres, either by inviting visits which could be regarded as object lessons or by co-operating in drawing up a scheme for simple instruction in the schools.

It is to be noted that:

While it is important to keep the full record of all meals and their cost, it is not to be expected that the employment of substitutes will effect any substantial saving in cost, as the price of substitutes must rise as the standard foods become scarce.

It is most important to give guidance as to the feeding of children, as in some families there may be a tendency to reduce the food value of their meals.

Where milk is obtainable, it will be very useful to emphasise its uses in cookery.

It is hoped to hold a conference as soon as the Instructresses have drawn up their Scheme, and it is most important that the scheme should be prepared as soon as possible.

This Conference was held on the 20th April and the preliminary steps have been already taken to start work.

Report of Education Finance Sub-committee

The Sub-committee have arranged with certain employees on Military Service, who were receiving allowances from the Committee, to invest on their behalf part of their allowances in War Savings Certificates.

Reports to Berkshire Education Committee, 28 April 1917 (C/CL/C1/1/20)

What can we substitute for bread?

The Superintendent of the county Lunatic Asylum at Cholsey was unable to restrict bread consumption by patients as much as the Food Controller demanded.

(Letter)

The Berkshire Asylum, Wallingford [sic].
February 19th 1917.

Sir,

Your circular letter of the 13th instant was read to the Committee of Visitors at their meeting on Friday last. I was instructed to reply that in the matter of the patient’s dietary only the bread allowance exceeded that set down by the Food Controller, and considering the great demand for additional supply of bread made by the patients in certain wards during the past few weeks, the Committee did not think it would be desirable to further restrict the supply of bread in the meantime.

As to the staff the matter will be further considered at the next meeting when I hope a reduction will be arranged. The difficulty, however, presents itself as to what substitutes can be given without further hampering the sea transport.

It was suggested that a lead might be given by your board to Asylums generally which would support any action taken by Committees in respect of a reduction, as they understand will be done by the L.G.B. regarding institutions under their control.

I am, Your obedient Servant.

D/H10/A6/6/1/3

15 women placed on farms in Berkshire

The numbers of men who had joined the armed forces created vacancies it was hard to fill in schools and on farms. Vocational training for schoolchildren was almost wiped out. Meanwhile Reading University was at the forefront of training women to take the pace of absent men on local farms.

Report of Education Committee, 29 April 1916

CADET TRAINING

The Chairman has attended a meeting called by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House on 19 April for the purpose of considering a Scheme for systematic naval and military training of boys on voluntary lines.

On the suggestion of the Chairman, a small Sub-committee has been appointed to go into the matter and report to the Committee thereon and on any suggestions made by the Lord Mayor.

The Sub-committee appointed are as follows:
The Chairman of the Committee
The Vice-Chairman
The Principal of the Reading University College
with power to add to their number.

Higher Education Sub-committee report, 29 April 1916

PUPIL TEACHERS

H Humphries, a Pupil Teacher at the Roysse’s School, Abingdon, has enlisted although not yet 18 years of age, and the Sub-committee are in communication with the parent as to the payment of the fine under the terms of his agreement.

School Management Sub-committee report, 29 April 1916

TEACHING STAFF

The Sub-committee have decided that all members of the teaching staff on Military Service, including those enlisting after 6 November, shall be retained on the nominal teaching staff of their respective schools during the period of the war…

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR

The Managers of Earley Schools have agreed to amalgamate their Infants’ Department with the Mixed School for he period of the war; and this was carried into effect on 1 April.

SPECIAL SUBJECTS

The Sub-committee have decided not to take steps to fill vacancies caused by the enlistment of manual instructors. The following Centres are now closed: Bourton, Faringdon, Hungerford, Crowthorne, and Wokingham. Those at Abingdon, Wallingford and Didcot will be closed when the Instructor is called up.

The Sub-committee have approved a class in gardening at Wokingham St Sebastian’s School. The proposed class at Holyport has been postponed owing to the depletion of the staff through enlistment.

Report of Agricultural Instruction Committee, 29 April 1916

TRAINING OF WOMEN

The Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour, to whom a grant has been made in aid of the training of women for farm work, has submitted a report for the quarter ended 31 March, 1916. The financial statement which accompanies the report shows that there is a balance in hand of £9.13s.0d out of the grant of £50 already made by the Council.

The Committee have, up to the present, placed 15 women on farms in Berkshire. Of this number, 8 were trained at the Reading College farm, and 3 received their instruction from the farmers by whom they are now employed. Four other women, whose services are already bespoken, are receiving instruction from farmers and will shortly be ready to commence work.

Reports of and to Berkshire Education Committee (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Emergency arrangements for schools

Berkshire Education Committee received the reports of several of its sub-committees on 15 January, and heard how the war was affecting schools.

Higher Education Sub-committee

SECONDARY SCHOOLS: ENLISTMENT OF ASSISTANT MASTERS
The one remaining Assistant Master at the Wallingford County Grammar School has been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. At the Windsor County Boys’ School, Mr F Morrow has left to join HM Army, and Mr Hawtin has been attested under the Group System.

MAIDENHEAD TECHNCIAL INSTITUTE
A letter was received from the Board of Education on 4th January inclosing a letter from the Army Council stating that “the premises in question are required in connexion with a Voluntary Hospital, the administrators of which will be responsible for the payment of the necessary expenses”.

The Board expressed the hope that the premises would be made available accordingly.

This requisition was considered on 8 January and the following resolution was passed:

The Higher Education Sub-committee hereby authorises and directs the Governors of the Maidenhead Technical Institute to carry on the work of the Institute elsewhere and to hand the building over to the Maidenhead Branch of the Red Cross Society without delay.

TRAINING OF WOMEN: CLERICAL AND COMMERCIAL EMPLOYMENT
The Sub-committee have considered the letter from the Home Office (referred to the Committee by the County Council) with reference to the suggestions of the Clerical and Commercial Employment Committee.
The Sub-committee recommend that the demand for such classes in the larger centres of population in the county be ascertained by advertisement; and that if sufficient names be obtained classes be formed provided that it is possible to secure qualified teachers and that the classes can be self-supporting.

School Management Sub-committee

TEACHING STAFF
In addition to the 44 teachers who have already enlisted, 27 teachers have been attested and placed in Army Reserve B. Only three teachers are affected by the calling up of Groups 2 to 9.

AMALGAMATION OF SCHOOLS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE WAR
The Managers of the Thatcham CE Schools will not consent to the Committee’s suggestion that the Infants’ School should be closed, and that both Mixed and Infants should be taken in the Mixed School.
The Managers of Cookham Dean Schools have accepted a proposal for the temporary amalgamation of their two departments under the Headmistress of the Junior Mixed School and the consent of the Board of Education has been obtained on the understanding that the matter will be subject to reconsideration should the arrangement be found to be unsatisfactory in practice.

EMERGENCY ARRANGEMENTS FOR STAFFING
The Board of Education have announced that, in view of the enlistment in response to His Majesty’s appeal of a further number of teachers, the Board rely on Local Education Authorities, after consulting HM Inspector, to make the best arrangements possible for maintaining the schools at a satisfactory level of efficiency. If this is done, they will exercise a wide discretion in the payment of grants. The Board hope that authorities will do all they can to provide temporary substitutes for assistants who have joined the forces. They will, however, expect every effort to be made to provide a properly qualified Head Teacher in each school; but may, in exceptional cases, e.g. small or remote schools, agree to recognise a teacher not fully qualified.

These departures must be regarded as for the period of the war only.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES
A letter has been received from the Educational Supply Association stating that, owing to the very considerably increased cost of articles, they must take advantage of the force majeure clause of their contract. A letter has also been received from Messrs Charles & Son (Kindergarten Materials) asking for an increase of 12 ½ per cent on their contract prices.

By-laws and Attendance Sub-committee

MORTIMER ST JOHN’S SCHOOL
The Sub-committee have considered a suggestion from the School management Sub-committee that this school might be closed for the period of the war. The Managers have agreed to offer no opposition to the proposal… The children would attend St Mary’s Infants’ School.

Agricultural Instruction Committee report [also to the Education Committee]

TRAINING OF WOMEN
The Committee have received a recommendation from the Berkshire War Agricultural Committee that a grant not exceeding £50 be made to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour for the training of women in farm work.

A communication has also been received from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries calling attention to the importance of training women for work on the land, and inviting the co-operation of the Committee in providing such instruction as is required.

It is according recommended that a sum not exceeding £50 be granted to the Berkshire Committee on Women and Farm Labour during the current financial year for the purposes of training women on the lines set out for the organisation by the circular letter of the Board of Agriculture of 29 November, 1915, and for the organisation by that Committee of meetings, where desirable, with the object of forming a register of women capable of undertaking some agricultural work and of farmers willing to employ them.

Reports to Berkshire Education Committee (C/CL/C1/1/19)

No need for Workrooms for Women – but yes please to 2000 Christmas gifts for soldiers’ children

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met at Shire Hall on 15 December 1914.

Reports from Abingdon, Wokingham & Wallingford RDC were read to the effect that no special unemployment existed in their respective areas.

A report from various Districts upon Workrooms for Women was read, shewing that no such workrooms had been opened, nor was there need for them.

Applications for relief were considered.
Hellyer, Windsor. Case considered on Nov 24th ult. Mr Gardner undertook to see the landlord’s agent & make an arrangement regarding payment of arrears of rent; also to pay a sum of 28/- representing rent of 7/- per week for the four weeks ending Dec 12/14.
Cox, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 2.0.0. be made as representing 10/- per week for four weeks, & that the Windsor Committee be asked to furnish particulars of applicant’s former wages in case of renewal of application.
Cole, Wargrave. A grant of £1 was made.
Ottley, Easthampstead. Resolved that a grant of 10/- be made. The secretary was instructed to ask the local Committee to furnish further proof that the applicant’s unemployment was due to the war if another demand for relief were made.
Gunn, Binfield. The case was referred back to the local Committee for further enquiroes.
Nobes, East Hanney. Resolved that a grant of 10/- per week for the four weeks ending January 9th be made.
Bourvalet, East Challow. Resolved that a grant of 5/6 per week for four weeks ending December 26th be made. The secretary was instructed to convey to the local Committee the information that the Committee would be prepared to consider a renewal of the grant should the local Committee make a satisfactory report at the expiration of the four weeks.

The “American Xmas Gifts of Children” were considered. Mr Wright read a letter he had sent to the Local Gov Board asking for a consignment of 2,000 gifts & a letter he proposed to send to District Committees. Both letters were approved by the Committee.

The Chairman reported that Shepherd of Abingdon had written saying his carpet factory was likely to close down, & that he had interviewed Mr Shepherd & endeavoured to put him into touch with wholesale buyers.

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

Thousands of police reservists and Special Constables sign up

The Chief Constable and the Clerk of the Peace informed the Standing Joint Committee of the County Council and Quarter Sessions of the effects of the war on the police force and the Clerk’s department.

10 October 1914
CHIEF CONSTABLE’S REPORT

On the outbreak of the war the two boarded-out horses from the 11th Hussars were, at the request of the Military Authorities, returned to Aldershot….

The allowances to the wives of Police Constables recalled to Army service are, I now understand, to be altered from the 1st October, 1914, by an increased allowance from Army funds…

As regards the single Constables, I would ask that some consideration may be made them… I would, therefore recommend that the following three unmarried Constables (Army Reservists) who were recalled to the Army for service on 5th and 6th August, 1914, and who have been regularly contributing for their mothers’ support should be granted the allowance of 7/- per week:-
PC 36, George A. Eales
PC 163, Philip Hubbard
PC 214, Harry Easton
and that the money be paid monthly to the mother in each case.

Since the date of your last meeting in August, I have called up one more Police Reservist to take the place of a Police Constable called upon to resign. The total of First Police Reservists now serving is therefore 44.

Formation of a Police Special Reserve.
I beg to report that on the outbreak of war the duties of the Police were increased out of all proportion to the strength of the Force. It was necessary to recall all those away on annual leave and to suspend the weekly rest day. Forty-four 1st Police Reservists have since then been called up for duty. The demands on the time of the Officers and Constables have been very great, consequent on the necessity for continuous watching of the main bridges over the Thames, the railway lines, the requisition of Police by the Military Authorities for mobilization, purchase of horses, vehicles, and billeting, and the posting and distribution of many Orders. The registration and watching of alien enemies under the Aliens Act, 1914, further added important duties for the Police to carry out.
In order that the Police might get some assistance at such a time I issued a Special Constables appeal, a copy of which is attached.
Consequent on this appeal I received the very greatest help and assistance throughout the County, and especially as regards the guarding and watching of the bridges (railway and main road), the railways, waterworks, lighting works and other vulnerable points; and as a result of this splendid and patriotic response to my appeal, I have now a Berks Police Special Reserve Force of nearly four thousand (4,000) under the following organization:-
Chief Organizing Officer Colonel F. C. Ricardo, CVO
Assistant Chief Organising Officer Colonel W. Thornton
Divisional Officer, Abingdon and Wallingford Police Division
Colonel A. M. Carthew-Yorstoun, CB
Divisional Officer, Faringdon Division Francis M. Butler, esq.
Divisional Officer, Maidenhead Division Heatley Noble, esq.
Divisional Officer, Newbury Division (vacant)
Divisional Officer, Hungerford Sub-division Colonel Willes
Divisional Officer, Reading Division (vacant)
Divisional Officer, Wantage Division E. Stevens, esq.
Divisional Officer, Windsor Division Colonel F. Mackenzie, CB
Divisional Officer, Wokingham Division Admiral Eustace, RN

To all these Officers I am very much indebted for their valuable help and voluntary service in this organization. The efficiency of our organization is entirely due to their energetic work.

This Force has for several weeks been drilling and doing patrol work in conjunction with the Police in many parts of the county. Classes of instruction in first aid to the injured are being formed, and miniature rifle ranges are being used by the kind permission of the owners, and new ones about to be given for such use.

We have been careful to exclude from the Reserve all those who are eligible for and whose circumstances permit of them joining the Army.

I have further received great help from the Berkshire Automobile Club, and owners of motor cars generally throughout the county, in placing motor cars at the disposal of the Police when required.

I would ask your authority to swear in a total number of Special Constables not exceeding 2,000, and to provide the necessary batons, whistles and chains, armlets and other necessary articles of equipment…. Under these conditions of appointment of Special Constables, the service is a voluntary and unpaid one.

A report by the Clerk of the Peace with regard to his staff was presented as follows:-

Gentlemen
I have to report that in consequence of the War, the following members of my staff are absent on service:-
H. U. H. Thorne, Deputy Clerk of the Peace Captain, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
E. S. Holcroft, Assistant Solicitor Captain, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
R. G. Attride, Assistant Solictor (Mental Deficiency Act)
Lieutenant, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
H. P. Tate, Senior Clerk, Taxation Department Private, Honorable Artillery Company
F. J. Ford, Clerk, Taxation Department Gunner, Berks Royal Horse Artillery
J. A. Earley, Clerk Private, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
J. A. Callow, Clerk Private, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment

Mr Tate is actually abroad on active service and the remainder have all volunteered for foreign service.

In consequence of the great depletion of my staff, I have, after consultation with the Staff Purposes Committee, arranged with Mr C. G. Chambers, of the firm of Blandy & Chambers, Solicitors, Reading, to assist me in the legal work during the absence of the Deputy Clerk and the Assistant Solicitors…
It has also been necessary for me to make temporary arrangements for the clerical work and I have engaged the following:-

Miss M. A. Burgess, Shorthand-Typist, at 12/6 per week from 7th September, 1914
Miss Norah Scrivener, Shorthand-Typist, at 10/- per week from 14th September, 1914
Stanley A. Bidmead, Office Boy, at 5/- per week from 1st September, 1914.

Standing Joint Committee minutes, 10 October 1914 (C/CL/C2/1/5)

Constables lost, cars gained: the first impact on the police

The Standing Joint Committee of Berkshire County Council and the Court of Quarter Sessions, which was responsible for the county police force (the Berkshire Constabulary), held a special meeting on 15 August 1914 to hear the report of the Chief Constable on the initial impact of the war on his force:

A special report by the Chief Constable was presented and … resolutions were passed as set out below:-

1. Police Army Reservists called on to rejoin the Army on mobilization:- I have the honour to report that, on the outbreak of war between this country and Germany, the following Army Reservists serving as Constables in this Force were called on to rejoin the Army on mobilization:

PC 58 Frank Brown Married
PC 101 Charles H. Goodchild Married
PC 103 Samuel Theobald Married
PC 105 Jesse J. Siney Married
PC 36 George Eales Single
PC 163 Philip Hubbard Single
PC 214 Harry Easton Single
PC 216 Ernest E. Sparkes Single

One other Army Reservist, PC 51, James H. Wood, who is the Drill Corporal to the Force, was, on my recommendation, allowed to remain for duty with the Force instead of being called up for duty.

I would recommend that, pending any order of the Secretary of State, the wives and children of the Constables so called up should be given an allowance calculated at half the pay they were receiving on being called up for Army Service.

So far as I now know the four single Constables have no one dependent on them, and, therefore, I do not recommend any allowance in their case, but I ask the committee to allow me to use my discretion in the matter.

I would also ask your authority to allow the wives of the four Army Reservists to remain in the houses now rented by the County so long as I consider it desirable, on payment of amounts equal to half the deductions for house rent.

Adopted.

(a) Increase of Force, and calling up of Police Reserves.

I beg to report that on the declaration of war, owing to the very heavy duties and responsibilities imposed on the Police, I considered it necessary to increase the Force and to call up a portion of the First Police Reservists. Three recruits joined the Force on the 12th August, 1914, and I called up for duty on the 5th August and subsequent dates the following First Police Reservists:
1 Inspector
11 Sergeants
10 Constables, Class A
11 Constables, Class B
Total 33

(b) In addition to these I have appointed 10 First Police Reservists. These include 8 chauffeurs to drive motor cars which owners have very considerately lent to the Police, and the cars and chauffeurs are accommodated in the Police Stations. It will be necessary to appoint others as available…

(c) It has been necessary to put up temporary sheds in several of the Police Stations for motor cars now in use and for the storage of petrol and benzol, and the possible accommodation of further motor cars which might in an emergency be required for the movement of the Police…

I would also ask authority for the payment for the purchase of petrol and benzol which I have considered advisable to purchase and store. Also for the payments for the upkeep of the motor cars lent for the use of the Police, to include all running expenses, upkeep of tyres, and repairs, as necessary.

At present this arrangement has only been made for seven Divisions, but I hope to have the same arrangement for the other remaining Divisions as soon as possible, should motor cars from owners be available.

As a further precautionary measure, I am arranging as far as possible for twelve motor cars to be available for each Police Division in case of emergency, and these will remain in the owners’ hands, and be only used if required.

Authorised.

(c) I would further ask your authority for the provision of such clothing and accoutrements as may be necessary for the use of the First Police Reservists, and an allowance for those acting as chauffeurs not exceeding £3 per annum each. Several of the First Police Reservists have been fitted up with the clothing previously stored for this purpose, but others require clothing and accoutrements which I have ordered.

Authorised.

(d) There are 17 First Police Reservists still available to be called up if required, and I would ask your authority to call them up should circumstances render it necessary.
Authorised.

The Chief Constable was requested to express the thanks of the Committee to the lenders of cars for their patriotic action….

[The County Surveyor’s report revealed that the temporary buildings for the cars were at Abingdon, Faringdon, Maidenhead, Newbury, Wallingford, Wantage, Windsor (Clewer) and Wokingham police stations, and the headquarters at Reading. Fire extinguishers were also supplied.]

Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

The National Relief Fund tackles the abnormal conditions caused by the war

The local authorities of Berkshire all responded to the likely economic impact of the war in a pre-Welfare State society. The government had sent out a circular urging councils to consider the distress likely to be caused by the war, and Berkshire was not slow to respond. A meeting convened by Sir Robert G C Mowbray, Chairman of BCC, was held at the Assize Courts, Reading, on Saturday August 15, 1914, at 11 am. The official minutes of the meeting record:

The following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
I. Moved by the Chairman, seconded by the Lord Lieutenant [J Herbert Benyon], That it is expedient to form, in accordance with the circular from the Local Government Board dated 8th August 1914, a Committee to deal with the abnormal conditions arising out of the war, and that the Committee be called “The National Relief Fund – Berkshire Committee”.
II. Moved by the Chairman, seconded by Mr H G Willink. That the National Relief Fund – Berkshire Committee consist of
The Lord Lieutenant
The Member of Parliament for the three County divisions and for the Borough of Windsor
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the County Council

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Quarter Sessions

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Berkshire Education Committee

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the following County Council Committees:
Finance Committee
Highways Committee
Public Health Committee

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman and one other representative appointed by the Berkshire Insurance Committee

The Mayors of Abingdon, Maidenhead, Newbury, Wallingford, Windsor and Wokingham

The Chairman of the following Rural District Councils:
Abingdon RDC
Bradfield RDC
Easthampstead RDC
Faringdon RDC
Hungerford RDC
Cookham RDC
Newbury RDC
Wallingford RDC
Wantage RDC
Windsor RDC
Wokingham RDC

The Chairmen of Boards of Guardians who are not Chairmen of District Councils, but who are resident in the County, viz Abingdon, Bradfield, Hungerford and Maidenhead

Two representatives of the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association together with not exceeding five women to be selected by the Committee

The Chief Constable of Hungerford

III. Moved by the Chairman, seconded by Sir R B D Acland, KC. That the Mayors of the Boroughs in the County and the Chairman of the Urban District Council of Wantage and the Chairmen of the Rural District Councils in the Countty, be requested to form local Committee to act in conjunction with the National Relief Fund – Berkshire Committee.

IV. Moved by the chairman, seconded by the Lord Lieutenant. That Mr Francis H Wright, Registrar of University College, Reading, be asked to act temporarily as Honorary Secretary of this Committee.

More detail is to be found in a report printed by the Reading Mercury. The local committees were charged with investigating economic conditions, and which businesses were likely to close.

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