Blood money

William Hallam, originally from Lockinge, worked at the Great Western Railway works in Swindon, which had been converted to munitions work. He had an unexpected reaction to higher wages.

5th October 1916

Heard to-day we are getting a War Bonus on our wages of 5/. a week. – blood money I call it.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/24)


Heavy losses feared

William Hallam had a house guest, while Florence Vansittart Neale was now worried about the cost of the Battle of the Somme.

William Hallam, 9th July 1916
This gap in my diary was through Heysham, a friend of my sister & her husband, coming and staying with us. He is a most intelligent fellow on India generally having been brought up there and taking a great interest in the people, customs, flora & fauna of the country. Indeed I never enjoyed a man’s conversation so much. It was 11 o’clock every night before we got to bed and he monopolised all my evenings which is the only leisure I have. He was a devil of an expense tho’, everything is so dear and we had to do him well as he is in a prominent position out there. He left us last Wednesday to take on War Work on aeroplanes.

Florence Vansittart Neale, 9 July 1916
Push going on. Fear heavy losses.

Diaries of William Hallam (D/EX1415/24); and Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Lieutenant Whittle killed

Lockinge-born William Hallam hears an old acquaintance has been killed in action.

19th April 1915

A fancy dress dance at Bradford Hall. It was in aid of Belgium Fund so I let our girls go, and wife went to look on. I didn’t go out.

Saw in casualty list Lieut. Whittle killed. He is only son of Harry Whittle & grandson of Mat. Whittle of Lockinge.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/23)

“What terrible weather for our soldiers”

William Hallam gets a pay rise thanks to inflation – and has a thought to spare for the troops:

19th February 1915
Showery again. What terrible weather for our soldiers. To-day we begin to receive 2/. extra a week on account of high prices.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/23)