Sunday, 7 June 2015

News from the Villages

Clapham Road Infants School class celebrates Empire Day, 1906 [Z912/21(18)]

Monday 7th June 1915: News from theVillages

A tea was given last month for the Belgian refugees of the district. About fifty, with friends, attended. As it was a fine day there were various pastimes in the gardens and the afternoon ended with a concert by the brass band. A vote of thanks was given by Mr. C. Marien, who gave a graphic description of their flight from Antwerp and the trials they had undergone on their way to England. He hoped that when the Germans have been evicted the band would come to Antwerp and take part in the celebrations. As the village correspondent says “how extraordinary it seems to write the above. If anyone had predicted a year ago that we should have been entertaining Belgian refugees at Barton, it would have seemed incredible”.

The Cricket Club has decided to not play regular fixtures this season due to the war, though it is hoped that some scratch games may be arranged with so many soldiers around. Bert Royston, who has often helped the village team, went to the Front with the Canadian Scottish and has been taken prisoner.

Flitton and Greenfield
As the school was closed for Whitsuntide on Empire Day, May 24th, the children celebrated it early on Friday 21st. Prizes were given out by the Vicar, there were songs and flag-waving and a speech given by Miss Leach. Each child brought in one penny in order to send tobacco, chocolate and other comforts to our soldiers and sailors who are “fighting the greatest fight for honour and freedom the world has ever known.”.

The children of Gravenhurst also celebrated Empire Day on 21st May, when they saluted the flag, sang the National Anthem, and marched into the schoolroom singing patriotic songs. They were then given a half-day holiday.

Eggs are still being collected weekly for the wounded soldiers at Wrest Hospital and delivered to the hospital every Thursday by the Misses Jones. The eggs are much appreciated but they are currently being provided by only a small number of people and an appeal has been made for more parishioners to donate. The authorities at Wrest say they can make good use of as many eggs as the village can send them. Every little helps, even one egg a week!

Forty three men who are either from this parish or closely connected with it have now joined the armed forces. Sergeant G. Gazely has been at the Front since the  beginning of the war and has now been wounded for a second time. 

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

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