So what was happening in Brandon during wartime?  From those first joyous first moments when the town celebrates its men joining up to defend the Empire in 1914, to the desperate times of 1918 when the residents were short of food and overrun with rats.  ‘The Times’ details what was going on in Brandon, Suffolk, during WW1.  All this information has been obtained from local newspapers, Thetford & Watton Times (now Thetford & Brandon Times) and the Bury Free Press.

1914

January –

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE.  The Paget Hall hosted a meeting of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.  Miss O.J. Dunlop (District Secretary) of Tuddenham presided, and explained that they had no sympathy with the violent suffragette party.  Mrs E.E. Kellett, M.A., of Cambridge (Hon. Secretary of the Eastern Counties Federation), argued that giving women the vote was entirely good for the country.  Miss Waring, B.A. (Organiser of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies), also gave an address.”

March –

NURSING ASSOCIATION.  The annual Brandon Nursing Association report was issued to its subscribers.  The town did have a doctor, but patients were expected to pay for his services and few could do so.  Therefore, wealthier resident subscribed to a charity to pay for the services of a district nurse to look after less fortunate residents.  The report stated –

“During the nine months Miss Pickett was with us she worked faithfully and well, and earned the respect and affection of all who came in contact with her.  It was with the very greatest regret that we parted with her.  She had to leave us very suddenly on account of the very serious illness of her sister, and she has since been obliged to sever her connection with the association, as she found it imperative to stay with her sister.  Owing to her needing care and nursing for several months she felt it her duty to remain with her.

The nurse paid 800 visits in the nine months, and attended six maternity cases.  We have been without a nurse for three or four months, but are glad to say we have now a new nurse.  The subscriptions are less by £2 than last year, and the nursing fees are upwards of £2 less. Other receipts show a falling off of £2. Grateful thanks are due to Mr F.W. Gentle for his much needed help of £3 3s from his Christmas competition.

Attention is drawn to the serious financial condition of the association.  Had it not been for the generous help above alluded to, and the fact that the town has been without a nurse for the period of three months there would have been a very large deficit. The prolonged but unavoidable absence of the nurse has been in every way regrettable, but has served to show how necessary such services are in the parish. It is necessary that some definite steps should be immediately taken to put the financial position of the association on a sound footing, and the most effective and satisfactory means appears to be feasible are an increase in the number and amount of subscriptions.

Payments –

  • Nurse’s salary (41 weeks), £41
  • Nurse’s uniform, 12s 6d
  • Nurse’s insurance, 10s 3d
  • Affiliation fee, 10s 1d
  • Cycle repairs, £2 1s 3d
  • Printing and stamps, 18s
  • Chemist and dressing, £1 14s 5d
  • Balance in hand, £8 0s 9d
  • Total = £55 7s 6d.

April –

FOOTBALL.  Brandon played their last match of the football season at Elveden, in the Ouse Valley League.  The result was a 2-1 win for Brandon.  The following week, Brandon hosted two football matches, with the Brandon and Weeting teams combining to play a team from London – G.E.R. Stratford Rovers.  The hosts won 4-0.  A similar set up was played out by the reserve teams, but Brandon/Weeting lost 1-0.  Afterwards, all the players, along with their family and friends assembled for a dinner at the Ram Hotel.”

May –

CRICKET. The Brandon Cricket Club opened their season with a decisive win at the expense of Croxton.  The match was played on the Brandon Ground. Croxton put together a total of 31, losing the first four wickets for four runs, and Brandon replied with 73 runs for four wickets.

CROXTON –
F.Stevenson, c Grass b Farrow 0
T Wright, b W Ashley 6
F Scott, b W Ashley 0
G Smith, b C Farrow 1
K Cronshey, b C Farrow 0
A Chase, c Rought-Rought b Farrow 2
V Starling, b Farrow 0
W Bell, c Farrow b Harvey 15
E Basham, b Farrow 1
W Hazlewood, b Farrow 0
W Williamson, not out 1
Extras 5
Total 31

BRANDON –
A Newton, b Stevenson 17
A.W. Rought-Rought, b Scott 10
C Farrow, not out 24
F Tyzack b F Scott 1
F Ridsdale, c Smith b Scott 5,
G Grass, not out 10
Extras 6
Total 73 (for four wickets)

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING – A heavy thunderstorm passed over the town at midnight on Friday 24th May.  A fowl house at the farm on the Ling Heath Estate, occupied by Mr Talbot, was struck by lightning, and set on fire. The occupier set to work, and was successful in extinguishing the fire before it had done any considerable amount of damage.”

SEVERE FROST – The disastrous effects of the frost on Tuesday night were visible on all sides on Wednesday. All kinds of crops in gardens and fields suffered, potatoes especially so, as in most places these were cut down to the ground. One man is reported to have lost 500 tomato plants. The fruit crop, it is feared, has in most gardens perished, and the loss is very considerable.”

June –  CHURCH PARADES.  All Sunday School classes had a summer parade through town.  This usually meant assembling at Market Hill then marching down to a meadow by the railway for sports games and a small fair.  Afterwards a tea-time treat awaited them at the maltings, by the bridge, and proceedings culminated with a torchlight parade back to Market Hill.  The Sunday schools took it in turns, with this year seeing the George Street Methodists in June, followed by St. Peter’s, Town Street Methodists and Baptists, in the weeks of July.  It was pure luck if the groups had good weather or it was a wash out.  Here’s a taste of what they did.

“Children, from the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, on George Street, formed into procession, and, led by the Brandon Band, proceeded to Market Hill, where hymns were sung, and selections of music rendered by the band.  George Wood kindly placed the Railway Meadow at the disposal of the school, and game sand sports were carried out.  Tea was served at Mr Lee-Barber’s maltings.  Colonel B.C.P. Hamilton gave a brief address to the children, then sports were carried out in the evening, concluding with a torchlight procession at dusk.

“On the afternoon of Sunday 14th June, the townspeople were attracted in large numbers to a Church Parade consisting of Territorials, Boy Scouts, members of Brandon Red Cross Detachment, and members of the Fire Brigade.  Major Mornement was in charge of the Territorials, numbering 116, were commanded by Captain C.W.W. Burrell, the eleven members of the Fire Brigade were in charge of Captain W.B. Wood, while Quartermaster Mrs F.G.W. Wood was at the head of the detachment of nurses, numbering 14, and Scoutmaster Percy Wilby led the Boy Scouts.  Owing to illness, Major F.G.W. Wood was unfortunately not able to be present.  The units formed into a procession in High Street, and headed by the band of the 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, marched to the parish church, where a special service was held. The sermon was preached by the Rev P.L. Janez, who based his discourse on the text taken from Matthew viii, 7, 8 and 9.  After the service Major Mornement held an inspection, and complimented the various units on the satisfactory way in which they had turned out and the smartness of their appearance. He especially noted the very smart bearing of the Red Cross Nurses, who made their first appearance on an occasion of this kind.  The Major expressed the hope that they would persevere with their work in Brandon, pointing out that in time of war the lives of men, would, in great measure, depend upon them. The band of the Battalion rendered an excellent programme of music on the Market Place during the evening.

CORONATION DAY – There was a ceremony on Market Hill to celebrate the anniversary of Coronation Day.  At about ten o’clock, all the school children, accompanied by their teachers, assembled in front of the schools, where they were joined by Colonel and Mrs Hamilton, the Rector (the Rev J.L. Wyatt), Mr Frederick Gentle (chairman of the managers), Mr Frederick Rissbrook, and others.

“In the presence of a considerable gathering of townspeople the Union Jack was hoisted to the top of the school flagstaff by two of the boys, Bertie Lockwood and Thomas Gore, and quite an attractive programme of songs and recitations by the children followed this.  The headmaster, Mr W.C. Appleby, conducted the singing and Colonel Hamilton said if they would only make up their minds to do the things they were taught they would never disgrace the flag of England. The Rector thanked the Colonel and his wife and asked the children to give them three cheers, which they did with great enthusiasm.  Mr Rissbrook also gave a brief address in which he thanked Miss Taylor for the excellent games and physical exercise that had been carried out under her direction.

Mr F.W. Gentle reminded the children that if they would try to remember what they had been singing about they need not fear the talk there was about England going down.  They did not believe it.  England had been great, and she still would be so if the rising generation would but do their duty. Many thanks were due to Mr and Mrs Appleby and the teachers for the splendid programme carried out in the morning.  On behalf of the teachers Mr W Appleby (headmaster) fittingly acknowledged some complimentary references to the efficiency of their work.

Here is the programme –

  • Hoisting of the Union Jack and song – “Here’s a health unto his Majesty”
  • Saluting the flag and song – “The Empire Flag”
  • Addresses
  • Song – “What Can I Do For England”, song – Hail, Hail, King George”
  • Organised games, girls’ song – “There’s a land”, “God save our King” (new arrangement)
  • Recitation, “Empire Day”
  • Ivy Mutum and Mabel Edwards, song – “Motherland” (two-part)
  • Physical exercises
  • Girls – the National Anthem

August – War had just been declared and it was reported that Brandon had 75 men serving – 34x Territorials, 13x Regular Army, 19x Reservists, 6x Navy, 2x Yeomanry and 1x Militia.

BRANDON RED CROSS.  The members of the Red Cross Detachment in Brandon are likely to have an early opportunity of putting into practice the valuable knowledge they have acquired during the last year or so. The scheme was enthusiastically supported, and as a result of their foresight the members are admirably prepared for emergencies. Six of their number have volunteered for service in any part of the kingdom, and the remainder will deal with cases which may be sent to the town.  For this purpose a local temporary hospital will be prepared, and inquiries are being made among the townspeople by circular in order to ascertain where the necessary equipment in the way of bedding, etc., may be obtained.  We understand the appeal for assistance in this direction is meting with a ready response.”

BRISK RECRUITING.  Recruiting has been brisk in the Brandon district, where Sergeant Edwards is in charge. It was stimulated by a public meeting on evening of Thursday 27th, when arrangements were made for Colonel Hamilton to reside, and for addresses to be delivered by Mr Ian Malcolm M.P., and Captain Kennedy. Altogether about 35 recruits from the district have been sent to the Britannia Barracks at Norwich.”

TROOPS IN BRANDON PARK.  Unlike those who were stationed at Thetford, the troops located at Brandon this week were not billeted on the townspeople, but were accommodated in Brandon Park.  Although billets were obtained, it was found expedient to keep troops near their horses in the Park.  With regard to the conduct of the men, the experience of the inhabitants was no less happy than that of the residents in other parts of the district.  By direction of Colonel Hamilton, the Paget Hall was opened to enable the men to do their correspondence, and the privilege was much appreciated. On Tuesday the whole of the troops were assembled for inspection.”

September –

CHURCH BELLS – It has been decided that during the war the bell of St Peter’s Church shall be tolled daily at noon to remind those who hear to offer a prayer for our sailors and soldiers on active service.”

Within a few weeks of war, the following Brandon lads were reported as either gone to war or had enlisted.

RESERVISTS – William Ashley (Rifle Brigade), L Carter (7th Dragoon Guards), W.W. Carter (Royal Field Artillery), W.R. Dixon (Suffolk Regiment), J Dyer (Suffolk Regiment), W Dyer (Suffolk Regiment), C Edwards (Northumberland Fusiliers), F Edwards (Rifle Brigade), W.H. Edwards (Northumberland Fusiliers), W Grass (Rifle Brigade), A.T. Gray (Royal Field Artillery), A Hunter (Norfolk Regiment), C Kent (York and Lancs), J Linge (Suffolk Regiment), F.J. Lingwood (Coldstream Guards), H Rolph (Norfolk Regiment), E Thompson (13th Hussars), W.M. Tuck (Suffolk Regiment), W Vail (Rifle Brigade), W.T. Westlake (Norfolk Regiment), M.C. Butcher (Norfolk Regiment), T Grass (Rifle Brigade), E.A. Whitta (3rd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment),

KITCHENER’S ARMY – A.J. Arbour, W Arnold, H Ashley, R.W. Docking, B Edwards, H Edwards, W Field, E Kent,A Langford, H Peacock, H Royal, W Talbot, E Randall, H Tilney, C.F. Wicks, P Wilby, P Wharf, W Wharf, H.W. Wharf, J Adams, H Austin, H Baker, R Cole, B Docking, A.A. Field, S Field, P Glaister, L Gostling, F Hensby, E Johnson, W Johnson, S Lingwood, A.F. Mutum, J Noble, R Norton, W Royal, B.A. Sutton, C Talbot, F Talbot, H Thompson, G Turner, G Watts, V Wharf, E Wharf, E Wolsey, F.C. Hann, A Woollard, C Woollard, W Woollard, S Parrott, F Lockwood, S Wicks, S Neep, G Daniels,

4th NORFOLKS (TERRITORIALS) – C Baxter, F Edwards, J Singleton, A Pryke, A Hunt, F Hicks, C Talbot, H Field,

OTHER REGIMENTS – W.G. Lingwood (Norfolk Regiment), H Grass (Rifle Brigade), A Halls (Norfolk Regiment), J English (Royal Garrison Artillery), Richard Thompson (re-enlisted Royal Garrison Artillery), 

NAVY – Harold Spragge, midshipman, (H.M.S. Audacious), Charles H Bullock (H.M.S. Mars), Robert Plumb (H.M.S Berwick), Fred Thompson (H.M.S. Dido), Harry Shaw Tuck (H.M.S. Savage), William Carter (H.M.S. Swiftsure), William Kent, at Shotley

October –

GIFTS FOR SOLDIERS.  Previous to the departure of the recruits who had been home for the weekend, Mr and Mrs A.E. Chapman and family gave each soldier presents of fruit, tobacco, matches, etc., which were greatly appreciated. Mr Chapman is organist at St Peter’s Church, and he had the pleasure of welcoming some who were members of the choir previous to enlisting.”

A WEEKEND VISIT.  Several young men who recently enlisted from Brandon returned from Shorncliffe on Saturday for the weekend, and were given a hearty reception. They left again on Monday afternoon.”

November –

APPOINTMENT.  Mr Robert Peel, late of Lucknow Villa, Brandon, Suffolk, and 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, has been appointed Captain in the 7th (Service) Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, stationed at Woking, Surrey – ‘London Gazette’.”

TROOPS AT BRANDON.  In common with other towns in the district, Brandon has been called upon to accommodate a considerable number of Territorials during the last few days, although in this case the stay was not long.  The men arrived on Thursday week and remained until Wednesday morning, being billeted on the townspeople.  The latter were in no way behind their neighbours in making the military visitors as comfortable as possible and in taking steps to provide amusements for them.  To this end a committee was formed to consider what could be done in the way of supplying the troops with means for recreation, as well as literature, stationery, etc. The short stay of the men prevented much being done on the present occasion, but the committee, consisting of the following ladies and gentlemen, will be prepared to carry out their good intentions on behalf of any troops who may hereafter take up quarters in the town.”

SPECIAL CONSTABLE BADGES.  It will be noticed that the special constable in Brandon have been supplied with small brass discs, to be continuously worn on their coats. The idea seems to be to enable the public more readily to recognise those who are authorised to act in this capacity than would perhaps be the case if the official badges were only donned when the constables were actually on duty.”

December –

WARM CLOTHING FOR THE TROOPS.  On the initiation of Mrs Hamilton, an admirable scheme for providing warm clothing for the troops at the front has been put into operation in Brandon.  The matter was fully considered at a meeting held at Colonel Hamilton’s residence on Wednesday of last week, and it is satisfactory to know that already 80 of the townspeople have become contributors.  The chief idea is to make the scheme as comprehensive as possible.  To this end subscriptions have been restricted to not more than three pence a week.  All classes of people thus have an opportunity of doing their share in providing comforts for the men in the fighting line.

Thanks to the loyal co-operation of the head teachers, even the elementary school children are able to give their pence and half have in two weeks subscribed upwards of 30s. The funds will be used for providing material and articles, consisting chiefly of socks, helmets, and such things will be made at home.  Once a week the billiard room at Colonel Hamilton’s house will be placed at the disposal of the contributors who will deliver the completed articles and receive the wool for making others.  The finished garments will be dispatched either to the overseas base of the Expeditionary Force or to Lady French, who will presumably forward them to the front.  By this means it is hoped a constant supply will be sent from Brandon throughout the winter.  Mrs Hamilton received valuable assistance in the matter of organisation from Miss Owles and Miss Marjorie Wood, and Miss Taylor has undertaken the duties of secretary.  Mrs Appleby, Head Mistress of the Girls’ School, and Mrs Lingwood, Head Mistress of the Infants, have also given most useful service in supervising the scheme as far as the schools are concerned.”

1915

January –

RECRUITS.  Another batch of Brandon recruits were reported to have enlisted to fight …
William Wells, Frank Baker, Albert Dickson, F.W. Blomfield, Percy Kent, Frank Norton, Sydney Carter and Samuel Eagle.”

February –

MORE MEN ENLISTED AT BRANDON.  Alfred Armiger, Frank Bullock, Harold Reynolds Crocker, William Dorling, George Drewery, Fred Dyer, Harry John English, Arthur W Graver, John Newell, W Steggles, Ernest W Thompson, F.E. Thompson, Robert Tusk, Charles Warren, Bert Wicks, Charles Farrow and Harold Ashley.”

“SPECIAL CONSTABLES.  The following townspeople are wearing the little metal disc which indicates that they have been sworn in as special constables:  George Henry Gates, Arthur Lee Barber, the Rev Lucian P Janez, Montague Froud, Frederick William Gentle, Frederick Jospeh Mount, John Sydney Cooper, Frank Foxwell Brown, and George Garnham.  During an emergency, the Special Constables should assemble at the Police Station and residents to remain quietly in their houses.”

“AIR RAID SIREN.  In the event of an attack by air or bombardment, notice will be given to the inhabitants of Brandon by Messrs G. Wood and Son’s hooter being sounded for ten minutes.  After a short interval it would again be sounded.”

April –

RECREATION FOR THE TROOPS.  The question of providing recreation facilities for the troops billeted in Brandon was considered at a meeting held in the Paget Hall.  The Wesleyan Schools, the Paget Hall and Church Institute, were all thrown open as recreation rooms for troops, while the Church Institute and Wesleyan School rooms were also transformed into restaurants where the soldiers could obtain refreshments at cost price.  All the buildings were open every day of the week, including Sunday, from 4pm to 9pm, with refreshments being served between 6.30 and 8.30.  Games, books, writing materials, etc., were provided and members of the Baptist and Primitive Methodists assisted in the refreshment department at the Church Institute.”

WELSH SINGERS AT CHURCH.  The presence of the Welsh Fusiliers at Brandon offered the town an opportunity of hearing the Welshmen’s musical abilities, and it was not surprising that the Parish Church was overcrowded during one Sunday evening, when several members of the regiment contributed to a programme of high class vocal music.  All their efforts were reported to be very greatly appreciated.

  • “The Martyrs Of The Arena” – Male voice choir
  • “Watchman, what of the night?” – L-Cpl S.F. Williams (tenor) and Sgt M.R. Herbert (bass)
  • “Lead, Kindly Light” – Pvt G. Wilym Williams (tenor)”

BRANDON MAN JOINS AUSTRALIAN FORCE.  It was reported that Mr Reginald J Woodrow, of Sydney Australia, had joined the Australian Expeditionary Force for Egypt, then Europe. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs FG Woodrow. Their eldest son has been in the service of his country for some time. He was formerly in the Brandon Volunteer Corps.”

May –

SOLDIERS DEPART.  The Welsh Fusiliers, who had been billeted at Brandon for about five months, left for “somewhere in England”.  The townspeople turned out in large numbers to see them off by train at about 8.30pm.”

June –

“CONCERT.  At the Church Institute, a concert was given by some troops billeted in the town.  It was also announced that the Institute and Bowling Green have been placed at the disposal of troops in the town and so the troops showed their thanks by giving the concert.  Proceeds of the concert equated to £2 17s 6d.”

August –

MILITARY SPORTS.  Early in August, in a meadow kindly lent by Mr Towler,  a sports day was arranged by the 2/1st E.A. (Essex) R.G.A. Heavy Battery (Major S.E. Wood commanding). The programme consisted of flat races (100 yards, 440 yards, and one mile), equestrian displays, including wrestling on horseback, V.C. race, and driving competition; also tugs-of-war and swimming races in the river adjoining the field. The prizes were distributed at the end of the races by Mrs S.E. Wood.
The concert arranged to take place in the evening had to be abandoned.”

BAND PERFORMANCE.  An programme of music was rendered by the band of the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on the Market Place on Saturday evening. There was a large gathering and the music was much appreciated.”

September –
EGGS AS MESSENGERS TO THE WOUNDED.  Several Brandon school children contributed eggs for the wounded at the Baptist Church, and wrote their names and addresses on the shells and sent little messages.  In two cases these brought letters of gratitude from soldiers in hospitals as far as Manchester and Eastbourne.  Ivy Field, of Bury Road, received the following letter from Private H.W. Martin Winter, 8th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, who is at Crumpsall Military Hospital, Manchester.

This morning as I was having breakfast I came across an egg that bore your name and address, and also a little message, and it has inspired me into writing and thanking you for your kindness. And, of course, you are a stranger to me, I presume that you are a schoolgirl, if not you will have to forgive me; but all the same you will probably be glad to know that at least there is one that is very grateful. It is not so much the gift, but it reveals that in your heart you feel proud of the soldiers that have done their duty to their King and country, and to the women and children; and it is a great pleasure to me to let you know that your kindness is not wasted. I would like you to thank all your friends and companions that you know have sent these little gifts, in my name on behalf of the wounded soldiers, and if ever I go to the Front again your little message will help and comfort me in that hour of darkness.”

The other letter was from Private W Bayliss, of the 9th Worcesters, who is at the Summerdown Convalescent Camp, Eastbourne, and it was addressed to Donald Lingwood, son of Mr and Mrs H Lingwood, Thetford Road, Brandon. The contents are as follows …

I send this letter of thanks to you for the kindness you have shown to us wounded soldiers who have been invalided home to England from the Dardanelles. We had eggs this morning for breakfast, and the first one that was put on my plate had your name and address upon it, so I think I am only doing right by sending this letter to you. After twelve months’ service it is quite a treat to have something tasty for breakfast.  It would have been a blessing if we had had eggs for breakfast at the Dardanelles instead of bully beef and biscuits.”

CHURCHES AND THE LIGHTING PROBLEM.  With the return of the darker autumn evenings the problem of reducing the church lights for evening service to comply with the regulations became acute.  Most Churches overcame the difficulty by screening the windows, but in the case of the parish church this was rather a formidable and expensive undertaking, up to the this time it was not adopted. There are 18 windows in the church, most of them of a large size, and the outlay on blinds or curtains would necessarily be a considerable cost.  After a Sunday morning service a consultation was held when the Rector (the Rev J.L. Wyatt), Dr W.O. trotter (churchwarden), and the sidesmen were present. After due consideration, it was agreed that no blinds be provided, and that the services be at 3 o’clock in the afternoon instead of 6.30.”

October –

SCHOOL HOURS ALTERED.  In order to meet the restrictions as to lighting, the hours of attendance at the Council Schools have been altered, and are now as follows:

  • Morning session 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Afternoon session 1.30pm – 3.10pm, and to 3.40pm for the other departments.”

November –

RAILWAYMEN SOLDIERS.  A framed list of men who have left Brandon Railway Station staff to serve their country hangs in one of the waiting rooms.  The list contains the following names: Lance-Corporal J Dack, 4th Norfolk Regiment; H.E. Duncan, A.J. Dyball, A.H.P. Gunton, all signal section, Royal Engineers; Corporal W. Newell, 4th Norfolk Regiment; Private W.W. Tuck, 2nd Suffolk Regiment.”

December –

SOLDIERS’ THANKS.  Following on the recent egg service for our wounded, three letters of thanks have been received from soldiers in France. The recipients are Mrs Syer, Miss Beatrice Challis, and Miss Edith Gathercole. The letters were from a Scotsman, Canadian and a Devonshire man.”

PARISH CHURCH AND LIGHTING REGULATIONS – It has been decided to screen the windows of the Parish Church so that the evening services on Sundays may shortly be resumed.

1916

January –

KNOCKED DOWN BY A MOTOR CAR.  A 7 year-old boy, named Ernest Edward Hunt, son of Mr Edward Hunt, of 103 Thetford Road, was knocked down by a motor car, owned by Mr Harold Clarke, of Ixworth.  The boy wass crossing the road, near Heath House, when he was hit. The accident was witnessed by Marian Mount, daughter of Mr F.J. Mount, and she at once went to the assistance of the child, who appeared to be stunned and seriously injured. The boy was carried to his home by Alfred Dyer. The motorist pulled up, and besides taking the child with his father to Dr Trotter’s, seems to have given all the help he could. The boy was undoubtedly struck by one of the mudguards, and in addition to a nasty wound on the head, was severely shaken and bruised. He has since been lying very ill at his home. The child is one of a large family, and has always been delicate. He has been the source of anxiety to his parents, to whom much sympathy will go out in this new trouble which has befallen them.”

CHILD INJURED.  A 6 year-old boy, named William Henry Baker, whose parents live at Town Street, was knocked down and injured by a motor car, which was crossing the Market Hill. The boy was playing with others just before school time, when the car, driven by Mr Harry Adcock, of Harling Farm, East Harling, was travelling at a slow pace near ‘The Five Bells’.  The car hit the boy and knocked him to the ground. Mr Adcock at once stopped and attended to the child, whom he conveyed to the doctor. There was a wound at the back of the head, and it was found necessary to put in six stitches. Mr Adcock next conveyed the boy to his home, and afterwards reported the matter to the police. The occurrence appears to have been purely accidental, and Mr Adcock did everything he possibly could for the lad. The accident was witnessed by a soldier, named John Henry E. Garner, who testifies to the fact that the car was travelling at a very moderate rate. This is the second case of the kind in Brandon within a few days, and it raises the question whether, in view of the great increase of motor and other vehicular traffic, the children should be warned by their teachers or parents or both, of the danger of carelessly running about the streets.”

POSTAL RE-ARRANGEMENTS.  From Monday 21st January, there will be only two postal deliveries in the town on week days. One commencing at 7am and the other at 11.45am. The 5.35pm delivery will be abolished. From the same date the collections from the Railway Station and Bridge End letter boxes will be made at 8pm and 8.15pm respectively instead of 8.45pm and 9pm.”

April –

WOMEN WORKERS.  It is stated that the women of Brandon have sent in their names pretty freely for employment on the land, or in some other form of war service. Lady Aird has consented to act as the Brandon representative on the West Suffolk County war Agricultural Committee, and she is receiving very able assistance locally from Miss Agatha Crocker.”

June –

POUND DAY.  In connection with the series of local efforts on behalf of the Red Cross work, a “Pound Day” was held, where the townspeople were invited to bring gifts for sale. Owing to the bad weather, the collection and sale took place in the Church Institute instead of the Market Place. There was an excellent response to the appeal, and the goods, consisting of groceries, garden produce, flowers, sweets and a host of other things, sold readily.”

July –

“POLICE AND MILITARY SERVICE.  At a meeting of the West Suffolk Standing Joint Committee, the question of the release of twelve married or single constables for military service was considered.  The Chairman (Mr A.M. Wilson) pointed out that the deficiency was already 18, and both the Chief Constable and himself expressed the view that more could not be spared. In the course of discussion, Colonel Hamilton (Brandon) said that if any counties should keep up a strong police force it should be the Eastern Counties.  Colonel Spragge (Brandon) said as an old service man he should certainly vote against any more men being released.  In the result, on the motion of Colonel Hamilton, it was agreed that the Council should report that they could not see their way to further deplete the police force at present.”

August –

WAR ANNIVERSARY.  To celebrate the second anniversary of the war, a service was held at St Peter’s Church.  The Rector, Rev J.L. Wyatt, officiated. Special services were held on Sunday, when there was a choral celebration of the Holy Communion at 8a.m., and there were 45 communicants, and at a second celebration at noon there were nearly 70 communicants.  The church was filled at the eleven o’clock service, when the Rector was the preacher.  A children’s service was held in the afternoon.  The Rector officiated and gave the address. The sermon was preached at the evening service by the Rev R.H. Noble, the curate.  The national anthem was sung at the services, and Mr F.A. Chapman, the organist played appropriate music.  At all the services the offertories were on behalf of the Lord Kitchener memorial for the disabled soldiers and the total for the day was £12 16s 11d.”

September –

HARVEST FESTIVAL.  The harvest festivals at Brandon and district commenced on Sunday, when the Town Street Primitive Methodists celebrated their festival. Liberal offerings of fruit, vegetables, and produce were sent by the members and friends and these had been used with taste to adorn the interior of the church. The preacher was Mr. E.A. Dodson, of Lakenheath. An appeal was made for eggs for the wounded, and 17 were contributed. The following scholars of the Sunday School collected 15s. :- Elsie Adams, May Daking, John Austin, John Daking. The harvest tea was provided on Monday and the thanksgiving meeting followed. Dr. A.J. Pickworth (Lakenheath) presided. The speakers were the Chairman (Rev. C. Mensink), the newly appointed Baptisit minister, and the Rev. C. Shreeve. There was a sale of fruit, vegetable, etc.”

November –

PRISONERS OF WAR FUNDRASIER.  The recent effort for the Suffolk Prisoners Of War Fund was very successful as the appended particulars will show.  Mrs F.G.W. Wood and Mrs George Clarke were responsible for organising the event on behalf of Lady Aird. The collectors were:

  • The Messrs. L and B Lingwood 19s 1½d
  • Miss Crask 15s 4½d
  • Mrs H Brearley £1 11s 5d
  • Miss Bruton £3 7s 11d
    Miss Hardy £1 18s 11d
  • Mrs George Clarke and Mrs W.J. Murrell (Vine Court) £1 17s 4½d
  • Mrs F Morris £1 13s 9½d
  • Miss Neep £1 14s 5½d
  • The Sunday’s offertories at the Parish Church £4 9s 8½d
  • Baptist Church £1 7s 8d
  • Wesleyan Church £1 2s
  • Primitive Methodist Church, Town Street 6s
  • And a special donation of £100 from Sir John Aird
  • The total realised was £123 5s 11d.”

V.A.D.  The following lady members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment either have been, or are still, engaged in hospital duty. Mrs George Clark, Miss Crask, Miss Garner-Richards, Miss Bruton, and Miss Neep.”

December –

MOBILISING LABOUR
MEN FROM 17 TO 56 FOR NATIONAL SERVICE
THE TRANSFERENCE AND BILLETING OF WAR WORKERS

Regarding the Prime Minister’s announcement of the pending organisation of the man power of the nation, it is stated that the Government intends to call on all men from 17 to 56 years of age not now enrolled in the nation’s work to enrol themselves as Volunteer War Workers. They will release men of military age, providing additional hands in munition works, and make available for productive trades many men now engaged in non-essential and unproductive employment. A schedule of indispensable trades will be drawn up. In this connection it is to be remarked that the Government, which will soon have effective control of the mines and shipping, will be able to refuse coal and sea transport facilities for the non-essential industries.

Full trade union rate of wages for skilled of unskilled work will be paid to war workers. In addition a subsistence at the rate of half a crown a day for the seven days of the week will be paid to men who, owing to the system of transfer, will be under the necessity of maintaining two homes. There is to be a register in every locality of war, industrial, or productive requirements, which will vary from time to time.

It is further stated that a schedule of indispensable and non-essential trades is to be drawn up. Non-essential industries will be shut down without any compunction, so that labour employed in them may be available for munitions or productive industries.

All men enrolled must consent to be transferred to occupations and localities where their services are most required in the interests of the State. If a town telegraphs that it has 200 registered war workers for whom employment cannot be found for three weeks, it will be the duty of the Director and his staff to provide the required labour for another town, billeting them if necessary on householders, just as is done with soldiers.

1917

January –

ROLL OF HONOUR.  An illuminated framed roll of honour has been hung in St Peter’s Church. It contains the names of 27 men who have made the supreme sacrifice.”

LORD KITCHENER’S MEMORIAL.  A flag day was held at the end of the month for the Lord Kitchener Memorial. It was organised by Mr Mrs F.J. Mount, who had the assistance of a number of local ladies. The result of the day’s collection was £7 3s 3d.”

February –

WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE.  A committee meeting was held, at the Church Institute, Brandon, Colonel B.E. Spragge presiding. The Hon Secretary (Mr F.J. Mount) stated that seven associations had already been formed-

  • one at each of the three departments Brandon Council School
  • one at Mr Rought’s works
  • one for St Peter’s Church
  • one for Santon Downham and one for Weeting

These associations had been supplied with subscription books for 363 members and were asking for a further supply. Mrs Spragge stated that subscriptions amounting to £24 9s had been collected by St Peter’s Church Association and 31 certificates had been bought. The school teachers reported having purchased 11 certificates (boy’s dept.) 5 (girls’ dept.) 10 (infants dept.). Mr Rought stated that 24 certificates had been purchased by his firm’s association, making a grand total to date of 81. The progress made was considered most satisfactory for the short period the scheme has been working, viz. January 23rd.

Mr Mount said the head teachers at the Council School had done much to make the scheme a success, having explained the matter so clearly to the scholars who, in turn, informed their parents and set them thinking, so that when other associations were formed, of which the parents were asked to become members, it was found the spade work had in a great measure been done. It was hoped that five further associations would be formed at an early date, viz.: ‘Geo. Wood and Sons’, ‘Spartan Engine Co.’, ‘Oddfellows Society’, ‘S and F Lingwood’ and Brandon Co-operative Society.”

WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE.  The Hon. Secretary of the Brandon and District Committee reports that rapid progress is still being made by the Brandon Associations, one having 105 members and another 80 members. At the present moment it is estimated that the total membership of the seven associations, at present formed, numbers 400. Although the war loan is closed, certificates can still be purchased.”

April –

WAR SAVINGS.  The first quarterly audit of the Brandon and District War Savings Committee has just taken place. The accounts of the aforementioned associations were examined and found correct:

  • Brandon ‘Excelsior’ Boys’ – 60 members, 52 certificates
  • ‘Victory’ Girls’ Council Schools – 72 members, 56 certificates
  • ‘Endeavour’, Infants Council Schools – 68 members, 30 certificates
  • Mr Rought-Rought’s Works – 108 members, 81 certificates
  • St Peter’s Church – 89 members, 145 certificates
  • Santon Downham – 25 members, 29 certificates
  • Weeting – 51 members, 41 certificates
  • Euston – 65 members, 23 certificates
  • Banham – 57 members, 35 certificates
  • Total members – 598, 554 certificates

All this has been accomplished since February 1st, when the first association was formed at Brandon. The Euston and Barnham associations had only been in existence about a month previous to the audit.”

July –

ROLL OF HONOUR.  The roll of honour at the Wesleyan Church now contains the names of 35 young men who were either connected with the church or Sunday School.”

August –

GARDEN FETE FOR THE RED CROSS.  Encouraged by the success which attended the social evening recently held on behalf of the Suffolk Prisoners of War Fund, the ladies of the Red Cross Society ventured on a smaller event. This took the form of a garden fete one evening, held at Brandon House grounds by kind permission of Lieut.-Colonel B.C.P. Hamilton and Mrs Hamilton, who is the Commandant. An attractive programme had been arranged and this attracted a large attendance, the function proving very successful.”

October –

TO HELP THE RED CROSS FUNDS.  Mr Smith very kindly gave several hours to parading the town with an organ. Members of the V.A.D., Suffolk 62, and others, made a collection in aid of the funds of the British Red Cross Society, which amounted £6 18s 2d. This has been handed to the Vice-President, to be sent to the County Director at Bury St Edmunds. Mr Smith is to be heartily congratulated on this splendid result of his effort to assist this most deserving organisation.”

November –

WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE.  A special meeting of Brandon and District Committee and officers of local associations for war savings was held at the Church Institute on the evening of Thursday, 15th November. Mrs Spragge presided.  The secretary gave the number of members of the eleven associations up to the half-year ending September 30th.  The gross totals were 635 members, and the certificates purchased amounted to 1,317.  Mr Hunt, who specially attended the meeting, complimented the committee on the progress made, and gave some very interesting details of work being carried on in the county generally. He suggested the formation of a household association in Brandon to be worked by ladies, the members of such committee to act as house-to-house collectors. It was resolved to hold a series of four lantern lectures, and that an early application be made to the Central Committee for the slides.  Mr O Lingwood very kindly promised to lend a lantern, and Mrs Spragge and Dr Trotter to read two of the lectures.  Mr Hunt, Dr Trotter and the Rev P.J.D. Johnson were chosen as speakers.  The further arrangement of dates, etc., were left in the hands of the chairman and secretary. The Rev P.J.D. and Mrs Johnson were elected members of the committee to fill the vacancies caused by the Rev J.L. and Mrs Wyatt leaving the district.”

December –

SOLDIERS’ CHRISTMAS GIFT.  A desire was expressed that every soldier connected with the Baptist Church congregation or Sunday School should be remembered at Christmas. An appeal was made, with the result that a sum of money was sent to each man.”

1918

January –

WAR SAVINGS.  The quarterly report of the Brandon and District War SAvings COmmittee shows the eleven associations have made good progress.

  • In October, there were 630 members, and £102 16s 3d contributed.
  • In November, 627 members, and £112 4s 2d.
  • In December, 673 members, and £191 3s 2d.”

February –

THE SAILOR’S SOCIETY.  There was a large attendance at the Church Institute to hear an address on the work being done by the Sailor’s Society. The Rev P.D. Johnson (the Rector) presided. Mr F.W. Allen gave a very interesting address, advocating the claims of the society.”

March –

BRANDON NEW ROLL OF HONOUR.  The roll of honour of men from Brandon who have given their lives for their country is completed, containing forty-six names. A new roll has been provided, and contains two names. This roll has been neatly inscribed by Mrs F Farrow, and is hung in St Peter’s Church.”

April –

THE RAT PEST
£15,000,000 OF DESTRUCTION YEARLY TO THE NATIONS STORES

It is computed that at a very low estimate an annual inroad to the extent of 15 millions value is made upon the national larder by the colossal army of rats in our midst.  In the British Isles there exists a colony of these pests, fattening upon our foodstuffs, effecting enormous damage to property, and spreading disease.

The loss to farmers alone from the depreciation of rats is in the neighbourhood of one million pounds sterling per annum. On shipboard the rats do at least one pennyworth of damage per day, and to shopkeepers, millers, restaurant proprietors, and storekeepers, the cost of entertaining these unwelcome guests is approximately equal to twenty shillings per year per head of the people living with or employed by them.

Such possibilities menacing our national food supplies, our health, and our finance, are rousing indignation at the inroads of these rodents, resulting in a campaign which agriculturalists, warehouse proprietors, shippers, and institutions are organising for the destruction of the rats.

June –

FOR THE WOUNDED.  As the result of a flag day on behalf of the National Egg Collection for the Wounded, £6 10d has been sent to the Central Committee, London.”

WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE.  A special meeting of the Brandon and District War Savings Committee was held at the Council Schools. Mrs B.E. Spragge presided. The Chairman remarked that as she was shortly leaving the district, she tendered her resignation.  This was received with regret, and she was thanked for her past services.  Dr W.O. Trotter was unanimously elected Chairman, and he agreed to accept office.  It was decided to carry out the War Weapons Week campaign from July 13th to 20th, and Mrs Spragge consented to act as Chairman of the Ladies’ Committee, as she will not be leaving Brandon until the end of that month.”

July –

MATINEE FOR THE WOUNDED.  Through the kindness of Mr Stanley Lingwood, another addition was made to the amount already raised at Brandon for the Red Cross Society.  At the opening of the Electric Picture House on Tuesday afternoon the whole of the proceeds were devoted to the fund.  Lieut.-Colonel B.C.P. Hamilton, J.P. declaring the house open, said that Mr Lingwood was one of the heroes who had done his bit for his country, and was now disabled through being wounded.  Having experienced the benefits of the society, he was now anxious to make some little return.”

INFLUENZA.  The death of Miss Mary Elizabeth Armiger, who was 29 years of age, occurred suddenly on the 17th. She had an attack of influenza, but her death was unexpected.”

August –

BANK HOLIDAY FETE.  With a desire to respond to the urgent request to assist the Norfolk and Suffolk Prisoners’ of War Fund, a committee organised a fete, which, by permission of Captain A.W. Rought-Rought, was held on Bank Holiday at Heath House, Brandon. An interesting programme of sports and other attractions was arranged.

The organisers of the fete, and those who assisted, on Bank Holiday are to be congratulated on the splendid result.  After paying expenses, there will be a balance of over £300 for the Norfolk and Suffolk Prisoners of War Fund.”

PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.  The residents of Brandon will feel especially interested to learn that at a meeting of the West Suffolk County Council held at Bury St Edmunds, the Council voted £1,000 for the Prisoners of War Fund. Brandon leads in the matter of support for this fund.”

WAR ANNIVERSARY.  In celebration with the fourth anniversary of the war, special services were held at the parish church on Sunday 4th August. The Holy Communion was celebrated at 8am. The ‘E’ Company, 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, attended the 11 o’clock service. The Rev. P.J.D. Johnson, the Rector, officiated at all the services. The offertories, amounting to £7 7s 10½d, were for the Prisoners of War Fund.”

September –

PARAFFIN RATION
SHORTAGE MAY LEAD TO CONTROL

An acute shortage of paraffin oil is imminent. There has been largely increased demand following the coal shortage and the rationing of fuel and light. This means that many people are having recourse to oil to supplement their rations, and that the new demand if unchecked will deprive of their ordinary supplies of oil householders unprovided with gas or electricity. The Petroleum Pool Board is taking steps to meet the situation. An order under the Defence of the Realm Act is in contemplation restricting the use of oil for heating purposes and prohibiting hoarding. People found hoarding oil will be made to disgorge it, as was done in the case of food. People who have bought oil stoves within a prescribed period are likely to be prohibited from using them. Those who contemplate buying oil stoves will do well to act with caution. The order is a preliminary to domestic rationing should circumstances render it necessary. Stocks of oil are at present no more than sufficient, and the demands of the Army and Navy are steadily increasing.

October –

LEAGUE OF HELP FOR THE SAILORS AND SOLDIERS.  The fortnightly meetings of the above League will commence on November 6th, at Brandon House, at 3 o’clock. Mrs Hamilton hopes that the members will carry on the good and useful work as in past years.”

November –

INFLUENZA VICTIMS.  A considerable amount of sorrow has been occasioned through the death of young people who have fallen victims to influenza.

  • Miss Daisy Crocker, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Percy Crocker, of Foord Farm, and grand daughter of the late Rev W.F. Crocker, late Rector of Brandon, died aged 28.
  • Miss Dorothy May Page, niece of Mr and Mrs Challis, of The Laundry, London Road has also died.
  • Whilst another victim is Miss Esme Josephine Mount, daughter of Mr and MRs F.J. Mount, of The Laurels, Thetford Road, who passed away  attended school on Friday, as usual, and was taken ill on Saturday morning and passed away on Sunday.
  • Mr and Mrs P Crocker and family wish to thank all friends for kind enquiries and sympathy in their sad bereavement.

COLDS AND INFLUENZA
THE WAY TO AVOID THEM

Some persons have been known to fall into icy water, and never experience the slightest ailment afterwards. Others travelling in a crowded train or sitting at home in a draught, are laid up with a heavy cold, or, worse still, fall victims to the prevalent influenza.

The difference is all in the bodily condition at the time. When a person is strong, hearty, able to enjoy a brisk, cold day, chills and infections are set at defiance. But when the system is below par, run down, bloodless and nervous, the germs of influenza are quick to seize their opportunity. Go to bed at the first feverish sign of influenza, eat little or nothing, and call in the doctor. Remember that when the fever has gone a long period follows during which the system remains low and depressed. There is a great difficulty in regaining strength, and the victim is usually unfit for a normal amount of work.

The way to avoid colds, influenza, and all other infections is to keep the health up to the mark, the nerves steady, the digestion in good working order, the veins full of good, red blood. Because they make good rich blood, and so help the body to resist attacks of colds and influenza, thousands have praised Dr Williams’ pink pills for pale people.

INFLUENZA. THE SCHOOLS CLOSED.  There were so many cases of influenza and sickness among the children attending school, and this seriously affected attendance, that the authorities decided to close the schools for a few days.”

GERMANY’S TERMS
MAY BE HAD UPON APPLICATION

Mr Lloyd George announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday that the Versailles Conference had reached complete agreement as to the terms of armistice with Germany. These had been transmitted to President Wilson with the request that he should inform the German Government that if they wished to know the conditions of the armistice they should apply to Marshal Foch. If an application was made it had been decided that a British naval representative would be associated with Marshal Foch.

The Prime Minister also announced that Marshal Foch had been placed in supreme strategical direction of all forces operating against Germany on all the fronts.

THE ARMISTICE.  A quiet and expectant spirit was noticeable on Monday morning among the townspeople, and when the news arrived it was received with jubilation. Many businesses and private house fronts were bright with flags, etc.  The children turned out with flags, trumpets, squeaky bladders, ribbons, etc.  The bells of St. Peter’s Church announced the news, and in the evening a company of bell ringers came over from Thetford and rand merry peals, and it was a joy to hear the peal once again.  In the town a procession was formed, and there were bonfires, fireworks, coloured matches, etc. A well-attended thanksgiving service was held at St. Peter’s Church.  The work people at the factories, etc., were given a holiday.”

CAMPANOLOGY.  Five members of the Norwich Diocesan Association were met by Mr E Shinn, of Brandon. They rang 720 changes of Bob Minor at St Peter’s Church, Brandon, as under – R. Shinn 1, Charles Carter 2, Horace Hawes 3, William Everett 4, George Flatt 5, T Fitz-John tenor, Owen Ford and George Cates also took part in the round.”

 

REPATRIATED PRISONERS
ARRANGEMENTS FOR THEIR RETURN

Elaborate arrangements have been made for repatriating the British prisoners of war in Germany.

1. All prisoners in camps in Germany, east of the Elbe, will be brought back from Danzig, and two other ports near Kiel, to Denmark.

2. About 60 per cent, of the prisoners will be returned through Holland, as this is more convenient for most of the German camps, but some will return through our lines in France, and these will be concentrated at Dunkirk and Calais, where camps are prepared for them. Stores of food, clothing, and medical comforts have been sent by the Government to Copenhagen, Rotterdam and France, and a hospital ship for those men requiring medical attention. The Central Prisoners of War Committee and the London branches are sending a large quantity of parcels also to meet the men at Copenhagen and Rotterdam.

3. On their arrival in England at Hull and Dover they will be taken to concentration camps in the neighbourhood, and detained there for medical examination for periods of 24 to 72 hours. Those who are fit will be sent on furlough, and the unfit to convalescent homes for treatment.

4. Regimental Care Committees will receive the names of prisoners as they return, and these will be of those in the Norfolk Regiment.

5. The first of the prisoners returning from Turkey left for England on November 5th, and may be expected home in about a fortnight; the same arrangements for their care are being made at Dover.

WORK DEPOT.  A work depot was opened at the Church Institute, the object being to work for the wounded. An appeal is made for funds to purchase materials.”

PEACE THANKSGIVING.  Special services of thanksgiving were held at St Peter’s Church. There was a celebration of the Holy Communion at 8am.  At the 11 o’clock service the local Company of the Norfolk Volunteers attended with their band. The Rev P.J.C. Johnson officiated.  A children’s service was held in the afternoon, when the Rev C.R. Bartram spoke.  The evening service was well attended. A special form of service was used. The day’s offertories were for providing a permanent war memorial in the church for those who have fallen in the war, and amounted to £10 14s 8d.  At the Baptist Church a service of thanksgiving was held in the morning, and a service of praise in the evening. The minister, the Rev C Mensink, was the preacher.  The morning service at the Wesleyan Church was conducted by the Rev E.J. Pike, and the evening service by Mr F Drew, of Lakenheath.”

NO MORE RECRUITING.  The Secretaries of the Local Government Board and the Ministry of National Service make the following announcement –

The Government has decided that all recruiting under the Military Service Acts is to be suspended. All outstanding calling-up notices, whether for medical examination or service, are cancelled. All cases pending before tribunals should be suspended.”

December –

THE COUNCIL SCHOOLS.  After being closed for nearly a month, the Council School was re-opened on Monday. There are still many cases of sickness and influenza in the town.”