Friday, 8 May 2015

In the Event of Invasion

Church Road, Wilstead 1914 [Z1306/134/6/1]

Saturday 8th May 1915:  A meeting has been held at which plans were made for an emergency scheme covering the villages of Cople, Willington, Cardington, Eastcotts, Wilstead and Elstow, to be put into effect in the event of German invasion. In each village a deputy has been appointed to the head of the Emergency Committee, Mr John Arnold Whitworth. Each deputy is to be sworn in as a Special Constable and to take complete charge of his village, appointing four men under him to take charge of live stock, tools, transport and food stuffs. Each will be required to carry out the following duties:

Live Stock – cattle, sheep and horses not required for transport are to be driven to Wilstead, enroute for Haynes, Millbrook and Woburn Sands. The man in charge should select a staff capable of driving and also destroying and rendering unfit for human food any animals the military requires to be destroyed. Horses fit for transport should be collected at the village centre.

Tools – the man in charge will require a staff with axes, ropes, saws, picks and spades for felling trees, making roads, filling ditches, collecting and fixing barbed wire or such other duties as the military may require. He will need to work closely with the man responsible for transport; together they should load up tools and wire and take them to the nearest centre.

Transport – all transport material should be collected at the nearest centre. Where required this should be loaded with items collected by the man in charge of tools.

Food Stuffs – a staff must be found to burn and destroy any supplies which are ordered to be destroyed, or to load such supplies as may be required to be moved.

Owners of motor cars and motor cycles should be asked to bring them to the nearest County Police Station, with as much petrol as they can carry. Mr Whitchurch wishes to be advised of the number of Boy Scouts or Special Constables required in addition to the local staff, who should be used as much as possible. The village deputies have been asked to impress upon the farmers the need to brand their stock for identification purposes.

Source: Notes made by John Arnold Whitchurch [WW1/EC1/3]

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