Friday, 20 July 2018

News from Stanbridge



Stanbridge Church 1905 [Z1130/108/1]

Saturday 20th July 1918:  The wedding has taken place today in Stanbridge Church of Corporal Will Jones to Miss Violet Dockrill, the niece of Mr and Mrs John Dockrill of Stanbridge. Corporal Jones is home on leave recovering after being wounded for a second time in Italy. A number of other men from the villages of Stanbridge and Tilsworth are also recovering from recent wounds. Private Reginald Stairs is staying with his sister at Dunstable while on sick leave. He was badly hurt and lost a leg at the first battle of Gaza, where he was left on the battlefield with two dead men on top of him for some hours before being picked up by an ambulance. He had previously been wounded in Gallipoli. Private Philip Mead, who also recently had a leg amputated, underwent another operation last week and is making favourable progress. Just a few weeks after his father joined up, Private William Gurney has been badly wounded in the foot and is in now hospital at Bournemouth. Also recovering from wounds are Private Frank Price, son of James Price of Manor Farm, Tilsworth, and Corporal Charles Horn, who had returned to the fray after suffering wounds at Vimy Ridge last year.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 23rd July 1918

Friday, 13 July 2018

Belgian Charged with Failure to Register




Leighton Buzzard High Street with Swan Hotel to the left, c.1900 [Z1306/72/10/1]

Saturday 13th July 1918: George Marie Van-der-Poele, a Belgian subject, has appeared at the Leighton Buzzard police court after receiving a summons for failing to notify the Registration Officer of where he intended to be living and the date on which he changed his place of residence. Mr Van-der-Poele came from London on 26th June intending to stay at the Swan Hotel and duly reported his arrival. However, he should have had his identity book stamped before he left London and this had not been done. Speaking in broken English he explained that he had intended to return to London but had some difficulty in getting a season ticket. He was then advised to inform the London police. The proprietor of the Swan Hotel later notified the Leighton Buzzard police that Mr Van-der-Poele had gone, and the next day a postcard was received saying that he had returned to London.

While the prosecution did not want a heavy penalty to be imposed, they did wish the magistrates to make it clear to Mr. Van-der-Poele that he was obliged to inform the police whenever he decided to change his residence. He had been fined for a similar offence at Linslade last February, although in that case he had been to France without notifying the police. The Chairman explained to Mr. Van-der-Poele that notice must be given by foreigners before changing address, and that sending a postcard after the event was not sufficient.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 16th July 1918

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Teaching Foreign Languages




Luton Modern School c.1910 [Z1306/75/2/3]

Wednesday 10th July 1918: The Governors of the Luton Modern School and Technical Institution held a meeting yesterday afternoon at the Town Hall, at which one matter under discussion was the teaching of modern languages,. Until now the first language studied by pupils at the school has been Latin or German, and many pupils without sufficient aptitude were learning two languages. After considering a Government Committee report on the issue a committee appointed to look at the matter made this recommendation to the governors: “As from the Autumn Term, 1918, French shall be the first foreign language taken in the Luton Modern School … for a second foreign language the pupil shall have the choice of German or Latin, but, as a general rule, a second language cannot be taken before entering Form III, and only then on showing aptitude for languages, and provided the pupil is remaining at school for at least a further two years”.

Alderman Williams argued that the current policy of taking German first and following on with either French or Latin, learning two languages simultaneously, had not been as successful as they hoped. The Headmaster thought it would be better if pupils were allowed to thoroughly master one language before learning a second. He regretted the loss of German as a first language due to its commercial benefits, but recognised that it over all it would be better to start with French. Councillor Primett suggested that there was a need to teach Spanish as there were good business openings in South America. After concluding the discussion, the governors agreed to adopt the recommendations in the report.

Source: Luton News, 11th July 1918

Friday, 6 July 2018

Soldier Fails to Provide for his Wife




Former Court House, Wing Road, Linslade (2008)

Saturday 6th July 1918: A former soldier has been charged at Linslade with abandoning his wife and three children, leaving them to be provided for by the Leighton Buzzard Poor Law Union. Reginald Arthur Noke, now of Birmingham but formerly of Wing, pleaded not guilty. The court was told that Noke had met with his wife at Northampton on 29th April and had given her £13 out of a cheque for £16 which had come for him from America; with this money she had paid off her debts. The Chaplain of Northampton Gaol had arranged for Noke to start work in the town, but he did not do so. As his wife heard nothing more from him she had to seek relief from the Poor Law Guardians, who had paid her four guineas. In the meantime Noke’s war pension had been reviewed, and he was now entitled to a balance of £40.

Noke said he had now got a job as a driver on the Birmingham Tramways at 25 shillings per week. He expected to pass out on Sunday as a qualified driver and would then earn £3 a week. If his wife would come to Birmingham he would provide for her there; if not, then he would pay her an allowance. He had written to the War Office and made over his pension to his children, and he was also willing to hand over the £40 due to him. The magistrates granted him bail while enquiries were made about the outstanding pension.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 9th July 1918

Monday, 2 July 2018

Mayor Receives Letter of Thanks from Buckingham Palace




Harry Browning, Mayor of Bedford

Tuesday 2nd July 1918: Following the King and Queen’s visit to Bedford  last week Mr. Harry Browning, the Mayor of Bedford, has received this letter from Buckingham Palace:
“Dear Mr. Mayor, I am commanded to assure you how much pleased the King and Queen were to visit Bedford, and to show their appreciation of the part played by its citizens in the war. Their Majesties were glad to have this opportunity of seeing for themselves the work that is being carried on by all classes in the various war organisations, in the Schools, and in the workshops, and they were much gratified by the loyal welcome with which they were received everywhere and on all sides. It was especially interesting to the King and Queen to become associated with the Schools, which by worthily maintaining the name of their benefactor and founder, have given your town the prominent place it occupies today in the educational life of the country. In thanking you for all that was done to ensure the success of today’s proceedings, I am to add that their Majesties will ever cherish happy recollections of their visit to your Borough. Yours sincerely, Clive Wigram.”
 Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 5th July 1918

Friday, 29 June 2018

Linslade Neighbours are Prisoners of War




Group of Bedfordshire prisoners of war, 1919 [Z1306/16/36/16]

Saturday 29th June 1918: Rifleman Arthur William Sayell of the Rifle Brigade, who is now a prisoner of war in Germany after being captured at St. Quentin on 21st March, has written to his parents at Springfield Road, Linslade. After being taken prisoner he was marched for some distance and then put on a train for Giessen, where he was kept for three weeks. He has now been moved to Limburg Camp. Rifleman Joe Woods, of Fern View, Springfield Road had been with Rifleman Sayell since they joined the army. They were captured together, but were parted after they reached Giessen.

Rifleman Sayell says that so far he has been treated decently and is getting enough food. He has received food parcels from the Prisoners of War Help Committee and the Red Cross, including biscuits, cocoa, condensed milk, roast mutton, beef and dripping. He complains that time passes very slowly, although they expect soon to be given some work. In the same barracks he has met Horace Rollings of George Street, Leighton Buzzard, who had only just returned from leave when he was captured.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 2nd July 1918

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A Royal Visit to Bedford




Bedford Girls’ High School, 1905 [Z1130/9/2/3/25]

Thursday 27th June 1918: Bedford has been honoured today with a visit from the King and Queen. Their Majesties arrived in Bedford on the royal train at 11.00am and were met by a reception committee including the Mayor and Mayoress, the Lord Lieutenant and Mrs. Howard Whitbread, the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, the Town Clerk, the Chief Constable and the Stationmaster. A guard of honour from the Royal Engineers presented arms and the national anthem was played by the Engineers’ Band. Their Majesties’ first visit was to W.H. Allen’s engineering works where the Guard of Honour was made up of men who had been in the firing line and those who had been discharged due to wounds. A tour of the works followed, to the delight of the girls employed there. A number of engines were seen in various stages of construction, as were dynamos for electric lighting; a very brief visit was paid to the Test House, where the vibration and noise of the running engines put paid to any attempts to speak; and the tour included the Women’s Dining Hall, where the mid-day meal was being prepared. Their Majesties were offered refreshments in the Board Room. Mr. Richard Allen said later that the King had expressed very great pleasure in what he had seen, and had especially remarked on the arrangements made for the welfare of the women.

At 12.00pm the royal party made its way to the High School, where they King and Queen were cheered by the girls as they entered the school hall. Outside in the grounds were a large number of old girls in V.A.D. uniforms. A beautiful bouquet of carnations was presented to the Queen by the head girl, Kathleen Tulloch. Their Majesties were then given a tour of three classrooms where lessons were in progress. The girls of the Modern School were also present, and their head girl, Hilda Howe, gave the Queen a bouquet of sweet peas.

From the High School the King and Queen moved on to the Town Hall for a civic reception, before returning to their train at the Midland Railway station for lunch. Their final visit in the town was Bedford School. Their route from the station was lined with cheering crowds, including hundreds of school children waving Union Jacks. On the way to the School their Majesties inspected a long line of wounded soldiers and their nurses, When they arrived they were greeted by the Headmaster, before the School Corps and the Officers Training Corps presented arms. Three cheers were given for both the King and the Queen before the School Corps formed up for a “March Past”. After the staff of the School were presented individually, the party moved to the edge of the cricket pitch where the staff and senior boys of the Modern School were gathered. The King spoke to these boys regretting that they had not been able to visit the Modern School, and congratulated Bedford School on its splendid record. He announcing that he wished to give the boys of both schools an extra week’s holiday to celebrate the royal visit. The Royal party returned to the station and left Bedford at 4.00pm.

Source: Bedfordshire Times, 28th June 1918