Saturday, 2 May 2015

News from the Villages

Water Mill, Barton-le-Clay [Z1130/7/6]

Sunday 2nd May 1915

The most recent concert held in aid of the starving poor of Bruges contributed the sum of £7 towards the £500 total so far raised by the Bedford concert party who are devoting their efforts to this cause. The promoter writes: “Please accept my best thanks for the cheque enclosed, it is just great, and Barton has surpassed all villages of similar size. Will you please also thank the kind people who got the Schoolroom ready, lit fire etc., and charged us nothing for doing so. We all enjoyed coming to Barton very much, you were all such a nice audience.”

More bad news has reached the village with the mother and sister of Lionel Grant Miller in suspense over his fate. An L. G. Miller of the East Surreys has been killed in action, but this man appears to have a different number to Gravenhurst’s Lionel Miller. The same Regiment also has a Lionel George Miller and an L. Miller so it is hoped that Lionel Grant is one of the fifty East Surreys taken prisoner at Neuve Chapelle.[1]

For the first time soldiers were billeted at Flitton on Monday evening 19th April. Despite the short notice and inconvenience the village did its best to make them welcome. Unfortunately the event was marred by the dreadful accident which resulted in the death of five year old Ralph Catlin.

The concert announced last month, given by the same Bedford party as the one held at Barton, went off extremely well. The audience was not very large but was extremely enthusiastic. The total amount raised for the starving Belgians was £5 8s 10d. Three more Silsoe men have volunteered to serve their Country: Charles Pratt, Frederick Bunker and Harry Bunker.

Last Tuesday War Badges were distributed to those Scouts who have earned them; however, only a few were present to receive their badges as no less than two Assistant Scoutmasters and six Scouts have enlisted and are with their battalions. The soldiers who had been billeted in the village have now left to camp under canvas for the summer. It is hoped that they will have time to visit on occasions.

Source: Monthly Magazine for the parishes of Barton-le-Cley, Clophill, Flitton and Greenfield, Gravenhurst, Silsoe, Westoning, May 1915 [P21/30/17]

[1] As with Walter Redman last month this hope proved to be misplaced. Lionel Grant Miller had been killed in action on 12th March 1915. Like Redman, his comrade  in the 2nd Battalion of the East Surreys, he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial. An obituary was published in the August magazine which states that he was engaged in ambulance work when he was shot and killed by a sniper. 

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