May 29, 2012


January 1918 …

LANTERN LECTURE – At the Church Institute, the second of a series of lantern lectures was given under the auspices of the Brandon and District War Savings Associations. The lecture was read by the Rev P.J.D. Johnson (Rector). An address was given by Mrs B.E. Spragge (North Court). The lantern was managed by Mr H Lingwood, assisted by Mr B Lingwood.

PRIZE DISTRIBUTION – At the annual distribution of the prizes to the scholars attending the George Street Primitive Methodist Sunday School those who recited at the anniversary were given a bound volume, and each scholar had a book in lieu of oranges.

LANTERN LECTURE – A series of four highly interesting lantern lectures, given at the Church Institute, were concluded, and these have been connected with the Brandon and District War Savings Association. The rev P.J.D. Johnson presided. The lecture, which was entitled ‘The War in the Air’, was read by Mrs F.G.W. Wood.”

CHILDREN’S PLEASANT EVENING – The scholars attending the Town Street Primitive Methodist Sunday School were given a pleasant evening when a ration tea was first served, and the remainder of the evening was spent in a very enjoyable manner. Mr Albert Challis (the superintendent) and teachers were present.

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 1918 …

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.

A SMASH – During shunting operations at the Railway Station on morning of Wednesday 20th February an engine struck one of the gates at the level crossing and smashed it. The impact broke off the large gate-post. Fortunately at the time there was no traffic over the crossing.

March 1918 …

FLAG DAY – The amount of £7 14s 2d was raised by a flag day in Brandon.

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.

THE BUSINESS MEN’S WEEK – Members of the Brandon and District War Savings Committee and Associations were most energetic in their efforts to make the Business Men’s Week a success in the town, and they succeeded, as the little town responded in a splendid manner.
The total subscribed was £1,683 16s 2d. Mrs Spragge (North Court) was Chairman of the Special Committee. Mrs George Clarke, of High Street, had a ladder in her window and on this was recorded the daily subscriptions.

SACRED CONCERT – At the Baptist Church on Good Friday evening a sacred concert was given. Men of the Northern Army Corps, assisted by the choir, carried out the programme. The Rev Mensink, the minister, presided over a full audience.

April 1918 …



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.

LAY REPRESENTATIVE – A meeting of communicants of the Church of England was held at the Rectory Schoolroom for the purpose of electing three lay representatives to the Rural-decanal Conference. The Rev P.J.D Johnson (Rector) presided. The result was that Messrs. A.W. Rought-Rought, F.W. Gentle, and F Neep were elected for a period of three years

May 1918 …

DEACONESS’S VISIT – Deaconess Elizabeth visited Brandon and she gave an address to Sunday School teachers and church workers at the Rectory Schoolroom. There was a good attendance. The following morning at 10 o’clock she attended the Church Institute and gave an address to the scholars of the Sunday School.

June 1918 …

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 1918 …

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.

DEATH OF MISS ARMIGER – 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.

JUMBLE SALE – A jumble sale was held at the Church Institute. There was a variety of articles contributed by Mrs Spragge. The entire proceeds were for the Brandon Nursing Association.

August 1918 …

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.

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.

FINANCIAL RESULT OF FETE – 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.

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.

TRADE UNIONISM – In connection with the Amalgamated Society of Wood Cutting Machinists a meeting was held at the Ram Hotel on Saturday 10th August, when it was resolved to form a branch for Brandon. About 20 members were enrolled with the prospect of the membership being very largely increased in the near future. The initial arrangements in connection with the opening of this branch were in the hands of Mr A.S. Bird (Secretary to the Wymondham branch). The meeting was presided over by Mr S Kidman (President of the Wymondham branch).

REVISION COURT – This year the town of Brandon was included in the Court held at Mildenhall on Monday for the revision of the voters’ list. Mr A Townsend Cobbold attended. Mr A.E. Chapman represented Brandon and Mr F.J. Mount the parish of Santon Downham.

BOWLING COMPETITION – In aid of the Red Cross Funds a bowls tournament took place on the lawn of Mr C.H. Peacock. The subscription list was headed by a generous contribution from Mr Thoroughgood (President of the Commercial Travellers’ Bowling Green, Brighton). As a result of the tournament about five guineas was raised for the above worthy cause. Two prizes were given by friends, and were won by Messrs. Fred and Frank Ridsdale by the narrow margin of one point.

THE RIVER (and bridge) – The water in the river is remarkably low considering the recent heavy rain and flood. Anglers have been scarce this season, but there is plenty of fish.   The bridge has undergone repair, the cracks have been filled with cement, and the whole fabric has been coated with the same material.

September 1918 …

SACRED CONCERT – A capital sacred concert was given at the Wesleyan Church and the programme was carried out by members of the choir of the Thetford Wesleyan Church, assisted by soldiers. The concert was much enjoyed.


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 1918 …

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.

WAR SAVINGS – The half-yearly audit of the Brandon and District War Savings Association shows that the various associations are making satisfactory progress.

November 1918 …

ART PUPIL’S SUCCESS – Miss A.M. Crick, youngest daughter of Mrs A.E. Chapman, of Beavor House, Brandon, has been successful in passing the art examination in the ‘A’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ subjects. She sat for the examination at Bury St Edmunds in connection with the West Suffolk Education Committee. She is assistant mistress at the Elveden Village School.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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 bellringers 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.

TRADES UNION MEETING – There was a large attendance at a joint meeting at the Ram Hotel clubroom on Friday evening of the trades unions having branches in the town. Mr Leach was elected Chairman for the meeting. Mr W Mutum was unanimously elected a Labour representative on the Local Food Committee. The meeting considered a form of application, which is being issued to all applicants for the Ling Heath Trust coals. It was agreed to call a special meeting the following evening for the purpose of protesting against filling up the forms. The meeting was duly held in the same room, about one hundred parishioners being present. It was agreed not to fill up the circulars. A deputation representing the legal settlers was instructed to arrange an interview with the trustees of the Ling Heath on the matter.


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 1918 …

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.