Seriously, if not dangerously, ill

Influenza affected schools across the county.

Riseley Common
Nov. 25th

At 9.10 am there were 25 children present, so the Head Teacher sought the advice of the Correspondent, which was that school should close on his authority, until further notice.
Some of the children have been, and are, seriously, if not dangerously, ill.

Christ Church, Reading
25th November 1918

Owing to the severity of the Influenza epidemic, by order of the Sanitary Authority, the re-opening of the school was postponed until this morning when all the staff were present.

Alfred Sutton Primary School
25th November 1918

School re-opened after closure for epidemic (Influenza).

Purley CE School – C/EL85/2
25th November 1918

School re-opened, only five in attendance, parents evidently did not know that the children were to return today.

South Moreton Board School
1918, November 25

The school has been closed for four weeks for influenza by the order of the School Medical Officer, and re-opened this morning.

Yattendon CE School log book
1918
Nov: 25

The school is closed owing to the children being ill with influenza.

Beedon
Nov 25th

School attendance very poor. Several children away with influenza and other illnesses.

Newbury: St Joseph’s
25/11/18

School re-opened this morning. The attendance is better – 29 being present this morning and 33 this afternoon.

Newbury: Wilson
25/11/18

School reopened this morning owing to the constrained prevalence of the epidemic of influenza the schools have been closed until this morning.

Coley Street Primary School Reading
25/11/1918

Miss Dean has been absent suffering with influenza

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School (89/SCH/7/6); Reading: Alfred Sutton Primary School log book (89/SCH/37/1); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2); South Moreton Board School (C/EL104/2); Yattendon CE School (SCH37/8/3); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

Advertisements

We have now finished blackberry picking

The terrible flu epidemic hit Hurst.

Hurst
25th October 1918

Some of the boys in the lower class are away with influenza. School closed for a fortnight owing to influenza.

Hampstead Norreys
25th Oct.

We have now finished blackberry picking & altogether this school has picked 2001 lbs. With Filsham (177 ½ lbs) and Yattendon (163 ½ lbs) we have sent away 2,342 lbs.

On “Our Day”, 24th Oct., we collected £6 7s 0 ½ d for the Red Cross Funds.

Reading
1918
Oct 25

School closed till the 5th Nov. because of the prevalence of Influenza. Three teachers – Miss Tilley, Miss Godwin, and Mrs Page, away through influenza.

25th October 1918
A Lantern lecture was given in the schoolroom this evening by Dr Smith – the proceeds going to the Red Cross Fund.


Log books of Hurst C of E Boys School log book (D/P73/28/23, p. 39); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); St John’s School, Reading (D/P172/28A/23); Aston Tirrold CE School log book (C/EL105/1, p. 168)

A rather large influx of “raid” children

More families fled London, while local children collected chestnuts for munitions.

Crowthorne
October 26th 1917

There has been a rather large influx of “raid” children from East London.

Yattendon
Octr 26th

Half holiday given this afternoon for chestnut picking.

Crowthorne C.E. School log book (D/P102B/28/2); Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/2)

A refugee from the air raids

Yattendon children were sent out to pick horse chestnuts (for munitions) and blackberries (for jam to send to the troops).

Yattendon CE School
Octr 10th

Holiday given this afternoon to enable the children to gather horse chestnuts, which are asked for by the Ministry of Munitions.

Received circular re “Picking Blackberries” from Education Committee.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School
10th October 1917

Re-opened school after fair holiday, admitted one boy (from London – a refugee from the air raids).

Log books of Yattendon CE School (SCH37/8/3) and Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School (C/EL4/2)

Posters on National Service to be placed in a conspicuous position

Berkshire schools were asked to publicise the National Service Scheme.

Yattendon CE School
1917 March 19th

Received poster & letter re National Service, and Inadvertent Disclosure of Military Information, from the Correspondent [probably the vicar]. The latter subject has been dealt with on several occasions.

Lower Sandhurst School
March 19th 1917

Received Poster on National Service to place in a conspicuous position on or near the school.

Newbury St Nicolas CE Boys School
19th March 1917

Mr Pyke left today to take up his military duties.

Log books of Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1); Yattendon CE School (SCH37/8/3);
Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School log book (90/SCH/5/3)

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…)

Gone to live with relations

A head teacher who had left for the army returned after his health broke down, while some families had to move house due to the breadwinner father joining the army.

Yattendon CE School
1916
Sept 5th

I resume charge of the school having been discharged from the Army as physically unfit for further service, after several months with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

E. Crook.

Alwyn Road School
September 5th 1916

School reopened this morning. Some few children have left consequent on fathers going into Army and mothers going to live elsewhere with relations.

Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/3); Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1)

Just arrived from Salonika

A west Berkshire teacher’s husband was back in England, having been wounded on the eastern front.

June 14th 1916
Reopened school [after Whitsun holiday since 9 June]…

Mistress absent this morning, having gone to see her husband who had just arrived at Eastleigh Hospital from Salonica. Miss Aldridge (Art. 50) [unqualified] in charge during her absence. The Mistress returned in time for afternoon school.

Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/3)

Doing their bit: protecting Berkshire soldiers from gas

Pupils at three church schools were affected by the war. Girls in Aldermaston were spending their spare time making gas respirators for local soldiers, while Earley children got an afternoon off because of a military sports day. The head master at Yattendon joined the army, leaving his wife, who also taught at the school, as temporary head.

Aldermaston CE School, 1st October 1915

The 1st and 2nd class girls, under the supervision of Miss Adams, have been engaged in sewing on gas respirator pockets for the 3/4 Berks Regiment which is stationed here. Some of the girls volunteered to give up part of their dinner-time, and others in the village gave up an hour or so in the evening in order to “do their bit”.

Earley CE School, 1st October 1915

School was closed on Wednesday afternoon as some Athletic Sports by the soldiers were then being held in the field adjoining the school premises.

Yattendon CE School, Oct. 1st 1915

Today I received the official sanction of the Education [Committee] to enlist & the letter setting out the conditions is filed in the portfolio [which no longer survives].

Arrangements have been made for my enlisting in the ASC at Aldershot and tomorrow I go there to take up service.

My wife takes charge of the school, and Miss Toms comes on Monday as Supply Elementary Teacher until Miss Aldridge can take up the appointment for the period of the war.

E. Crook.

Aldermaston CE School, October 1915 (88/SCH/3/3); St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/1)/em>

A teacher is medically examined for the army

Mr Crook, headmaster of Yattendon Church of England School, was ready to join the army:

1915
Sept. 9

This afternoon I left school at 1.45 to go to Newbury for the Army Medical Examination. Lessons interchanged with Friday afternoon.

Yattendon CE School log book (SCH37/8/3)

How women can help to win the war

Thereza, Lady Rucker, nee Maskelyne (1863-1941), was a relative of the Toomer family of Newbury, and wife of leading scientist Sir Arthur William Rucker (1848-1915). She lived at Everington House, Yattendon, and in January 1915 came to Newbury to tell local women how they could help to win the war.

Lady Rücker very kindly came to the Wharf Mission Room on Monday 11th January, to give a New Years address to the Mothers’ Meeting there. There were about 30 present and Lady Rücker gave a most helpful address on “How Women can help in War time.” The first part of the address was practical, speaking on the devil’s four D’s, as Lady Rücker called them, dirt, drink, dress and debt. The speaker ended her address with an earnest appeal to the mothers to pray more earnestly and more regularly than ever before. “This War will be won, I like to think,” she said, “by the prayers of the Women”. She begged the mothers to have family prayers, and to make use of the Peace bell, rung every day at 12 o’clock, to remind us all at our daily tasks, whatever they may be, to offer up a prayer for our Sailors and Soldiers.

Newbury parish magazine, February 1915 (D/P89/28A/13)

The right spirit: call to join the reserves in south Berkshire

Former soldiers too old to join up at the start of the war were encouraged to join the National Reserve, making themselves available for service if required. The Sulhamstead parish magazine explains:


The National Reserve, which in Berkshire was closely associated at the outset with the Caversham and Reading Veterans’ Association, is a register of officers and men who have served satisfactorily in any naval or military capacity, and who are no longer liable for service as reservists. Membership is voluntary. There is no uniform; but a badge is issued to all duly enrolled members. The members are organised under the County Associations, with a view to increasing the military resources of the country in the event of imminent national danger. They are divided into three classes, viz:

Class I – Age under 42, and medically fit (now temporarily closed for asmission).
Class II – Aged, Officers and Sergeants under 55, all others under 50, and medically fit.
Class III – (Men unable to undertake any obligation):
(a) Those qualified for Class I, but preferring to Join Class III.
(b) Those qualified for Class II, but preferring to Join Class III.
(c ) All those, without limit of age, not qualified for Classes I or II.

Members joining Classes I and II have to sign an honourable obligation to come up for service when required in time of imminent national danger. They will then be liable to be used to reinforce the Army, for garrison or guard work, as specialists or tradesmen in technical branches, or in hospital, veterinary, remount, clerical, recruiting, or other military duties.
Class I may be required to serve either at home or abroad. Class II can only be used in this country.

There is no pay except on actual service; but National Reservists of all ranks and classes who are duly accepted for service on moblilisation, whether with the Regular Army or the Territorial Force, will receive the current Army rates of pay and allowances, according t the nature of their employment; and they or their families are eligible for pensions and allowances in case of disability or death occurring in actual service.

Four “Berks National Reserve” Battalions have been filled mainly from the towns, but it is desired now to bring the movement within reach of the country districts, and in this particular neighbourhood a new Company (No 8) of the 1st Battalion is in course of formation. Its normal area for membership will, as at present arranged, include the following parishes, viz.: Burghfield, Sulhamstead, Mortimer, Wokefield, Beech Hill, Shinfield, Grazeley, Ufton, Padworth, Aldermaston, Beenham, Bucklebury, Frilsham, Yattendon, Stanford Dingley, Bradfield, Tidmarsh, and Theale. Applications however will be entertained from residents in any adjoining parish which is in the Reading Postal District, and is not within the area of another Company.

All persons, of whatever rank, who are qualified for any of the three “Classes” are cordially invited to communicate with Mr E T Norton (Colour-Sergeant), The Oaks, Sulhamstead, Reading, or with Mr H G Willink (Captain, commanding the Company), Hillfields, Burghfield, Mortimer, Berks.

The Company already numbers nearly 30, and there is no reason why it should not reach full strength, with a proper complement of Officers and NCOs.

After the war is over it is particularly hoped that all the men discharged from “Kitchener’s Army”, who come back to this area, will join. The terms of their enlistment do not include any period of retention on the Regular Reserve; and the National Reserve will afford the best chance for their keeping on touch with each other, and not passing away out of sight.

This is not an appeal to any man on the ground that he personally will get any pecuniary or material benefit out of membership. It rests upon better grounds. To men who are fortunate enough not to be too old it offers the renewed prospect of rendering to their country useful service in time of need. To all men, who have shown already that they have the right spirit in them, it offers opportunities of keeping alive that spirit, in fellowship with others, and with the consciousness that they are still recognised as part of the national forces. And upon all, unless and until occasion arises, it makes no present demand beyond a few parades and musters, and perhaps the taking honourable part in public gatherings.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1914 (D/EX725/3)