Flag waving children greet the Royal Family

Reading children were excited to witness a royal visit.

George Palmer Boys’ School
12th March 1918

Visit to Reading of H.M. King George & H.M. Queen Mary. Assembled school at 9.30 and marched along Elgar Rd, Field Road, Carey St. & Howard St to Oxford Road, lining the street between the premises of Messrs Callas, Sons & May Ltd, and Messrs Dunlops Ltd. The royal party was seen on its way to No.1 War Hospital & on its return. Flags were kindly lent to the boys by Mr Drew, proprietor R.F.S.C.

St Giles Boys’ School, Reading
12th March 1918

Boys were allowed to go to Jackson’s Corner to see HM the King and his Queen. They returned to school.

Battle Infants School
15th March 1918

The Head Mistress was not in school till 1.50 o’clock on Tuesday [12 March] as permission was granted to witness the ceremony of the reception of representative inhabitants and war workers of the town, by their Majesties, the King and Queen, in the Town Hall.

Redlands Boys’ School, Reading
March 12th 1918
The School marched to Broad Street marching at 1.55, in order to see the King and Queen passing the factory. At 3.30 the Scholars returned and were dismissed when close to the School.

Alfred Sutton Primary School, Reading
12th March 1918

The Infants’ school is very small on account of the King’s visit, the Junior pupils are being taken by the teachers to see the procession.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants
12th March 1918

School closed for children to see the King in Reading.

Lower Sandhurst School
March 12th 1918

I was absent from school during the latter part of the afternoon as I was attending a War Savings Conference at Wellington.

Log books of George Palmer Boys’ School (89/SCH/8/1, p. 149); Reading St Giles Boys School (R/ES2/9, p. 259); Reading: Battle Infants School (SCH20/8/2, p. 312); Redlands Boys’ School, Reading (86/SCH/3/30, p. 335)Alfred Sutton Primary School log book (89/SCH/37/1, p. 246); Sonning CE Girls and Infants’ School (89/SCH/1/4, p. 284); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1, p. 429)

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“The Germans may try to send poison to German Prisoners of war in order to contaminate water supplies”

Broadmoor, acting as a war hospital for metally ill PoWs, received the following warning. Was this ridiculous hysteria, or was there a genuine threat?

War Office
London SW1

20th June 1917

Sir,

I am commanded by the Army Council to inform you that information has been received from General Headquarters, British Armies in France, that the Germans may try to send poison to German Prisoners of war in order that the latter may contaminate water supplies etc.

I am to request that, in the event of any suspicious enclosures being found in parcels of Prisoners of War, the Commandant of the Prisoners of War Camp shall pass them to the Medical Officer for examination and analysis.

I am,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
B B Cubitt

[to]
General Officers
Commanding-in-Chief at Home.
Copies to Commandants, Prisoners of War Camp.
Commandant, Crowthorne War Hospital, Wellington College.

Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

Blinded soldiers turn to chicken rearing

Berkshire County Council and its committees dealt with several war related matters. One was the registration of the multitude of independent war charities which had sprung up.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 14 October 1916

HEAD TEACHERS AND MILITARY SERVICE

The following Head Teachers have rejoined the Army since the last meeting: Mr Mills (Childrey), Mr Hunt (Cold Ash), Mr Bird (Priestwood), Mr Andrews (Mortimer St Mary’s) and Mr Verrall (Brimpton). Their places have been filled temporarily by the appointment of the Certificated Assistant (Woman) of their respective schools, or by the transfer of a teacher from another school.

Report of Smallholdings and Allotments Committee, 14 October 1916

COTTAGES AND LAND FOR BLINDED SOLDIERS, &C, FOR POULTRY FARMING

Enquiries were made on behalf of the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Hostel, St Dunstan’s, as to whether any assistance could be given in finding locations near Reading for Blinded Soldiers who have been taught chicken rearing. They require a cottage and about an acre of ground at a rent not exceeding £30 per annum.

The agents in the Reading district were asked if they had any suitable properties available, but from the replies received it appeared that no suitable places were available for renting, and only three or four were put forward for sale.

It was stated by St Dunstan’s that at present only leasing could be considered.

Report of the War Charities Committee, 14 October 1916

The following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have not been approved, and the Clerk instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners: (more…)

Safety knives for insane PoWs

Dr John Baker, Medical Superintendent of Broadmoor, had some concerns about aspects of the use of the hospital for insane PoWs.

Broadmoor C L Asylum
13th Septr 1916
Dear Simpson

I am enclosing a memo with reference to various points in connection with the proposed new Military Hospital, which I would be glad to get cleared up before the next meeting of the Council of Supervision, which takes place on Thursday the 21st inst….
Yours very truly
John Baker

Crowthorne Military Hospital

NAME. The most appropriate name would be “The Crowthorne Military Hospital”. There is a local voluntary hospital in the vicinity called the Heatherside Military Hospital, Wellington College.

BEDS, BEDDING, CLOTHING, FURNITURE, FUEL & LIGHT. We can supply all that is required, but the crockery is stamped “Broadmoor Asylum” and the cutlery is stamped “Broadmoor” or “BCLA”. If objection is taken to the use of these, perhaps they could be supplied from Army Stores. I would prefer to use the Asylum cutlery marked BCLA because, for the use of dangerous or suicidal patients, we have a special safety knife and fork…

If both officers and men are included amongst the patients, I would point out that it will be difficult to separate them without opening another ward, which means a larger staff, and there is only one airing court available.

JB

Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

“I cannot but dread the wave of war-memorials in churches which we must expect after the war”

The Bishop of Oxford was concerned that the rush to commemorate the fallen should result in artistically undesirable monuments in churches.

The following extracts are from the Bishop’s Message in the April Diocesan Magazine:

You are asked specially to pray…

For all the troops in our towns and villages and camps, and those ministering to them.

THE MISSION OF REPENTANCE AND HOPE

THE RETREATS
With regard to the Retreats, I am very thankful that we shall have 600 of the parochial clergy in a full-time retreat. To accommodate them I have secured the use of Radley, Bradfield and (I hope) Wellington Colleges and Wycombe Abbey School for the first week in August (Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday) and Queen’s College, Oxford, for the second week. I do not propose to issue any further instructions with regard to these retreats, nor finally arrange which of the places each of the clergy is to be directed, until the beginning of June.

THE BISHOP OF LONDON
I am relying entirely on the clergy to let it be known to all laymen and women, especially the most genuine churchpeople, that the Bishop of London, the Chairman of the Central Council of the Mission, will speak to us in Oxford, in the Sheldonian Theatre, at 3 pm on Wednesday, April 19th, and at Reading, in the Town Hall, on the same day at 8 pm.

SAINTS’ DAYS TRANSFERRED
I propose that St George’s Day, which falls on Easter Day, should this year be transferred to May 2nd… In any case I hope the clergy will not let the observance of St George’s Day intrude itself upon the observance of Easter Day…
But there is a local movement, I understand, to promote the observance of St George’s Day on Saturday, April 29th.

WAR MEMORIALS
I cannot but dread the wave of war-memorials in churches which we must expect after the war. The notion of such memorials will be excellent: but will our venerable old churches be really the better in result or the worse? The age we live in is not one when taste in decoration is common. Of course we cannot expect the Chancellor, in granting faculties, to go into questions of art. But I hope to get some diocesan committee to work, with some men on it who will command respect, to advise all who will seek their advice about war memorials. Meanwhile I would earnestly ask the clergy in doubt about the suitableness of any proposed memorial to consult me. I may even now be able to help them to competent advice.

C. OXON

Earley St Peter parish magazine, April 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/4)