PRESENTATION – At the annual distribution of prizes at the Council Schools, Alice Carter was presented with a silver watch, given by the West Suffolk Education Committee. The inscription was, “Presented to Alice Carter for ten years’ perfect attendance, Brandon Council School, December 1914”.
CHRISTMAS – The Christmas season appeared to lack the usual joyful spirit and this was not surprising, when it is remembered that there were such a number of homes where fathers, sons, or brothers were away doing their duty for their country. A few were home on leave, two being from the trenches in Belgium.
St Peter’s Church was effectively decorated by the gardeners from Brandon Hall, the Park, heath House, Brandon House, North Court, and the rectory. Many beautiful plants in bloom, holly, and evergreens were sent. Holy Communion was celebrated at eight a.m. and the second at noon. There was a total attendance of 67 communicants. The rector, the Rev. J.L Wyatt, was assisted at the services, and the rector was the preacher at the eleven o’clock service. A carol service was held in the afternoon. The offertories were on behalf of the Church of England Waifs and Strays, and realised £5 10s 7d. After the Sunday evening service the choir sang several carols.
SCHOOLS PRIZE DISTRIBUTION – The annual distribution of the prizes, awarded by the West Suffolk Education Committee, took place at the Council Schools. The Managers present were: The Rev, J.L. Wyatt (the Rector), and Mr F Rissbrook. The Rector presided at all the schools, the boys being visited first. Richard Owen recited, “Courage Boys”, and another recitation was given by Eric Field, James Woosley and Bertie Elmer. The boys sang two patriotic songs. Seven boys had made the maximum attendance, 115 and forty-five books were distributed. Mr W.C. Appleby (the head master) made some remarks on the school.
At the girls’ school Mrs Appleby had also arranged a programme. They sang the song, “England”, and a Christmas carol. Mabel Edwards recited, “Girls that are wanted,” and Ivy Mutum also recited, “The Marseilles” and the National Anthem were sung. Twelve girls had made perfect attendance, and fifty-one books had been won.
At the infant school nine children had made the maximum of attendance, and thirty-five received a prize.
Under the direction of the head mistress, Mrs O. Lingwood, the children sang a carol; several took part in a recitation.
RECRUITS – Another batch of Brandon recruits were reported to have enlisted to fight …
William Wells, Frank Baker, Albert Dickson, F.W. Blomfield, Percy Kent, Frank Norton, Sydney Carter and Samuel Eagle.
SERVICE – A Sunday morning service at St Peter’s Church was attended by about fifty soldiers of the Northampton Regiment, billeted in Brandon. The Rev. P.C. Janse (the Assistant Curate) officiated.
THETFORD ROAD FLOODING – Surface water, following two months of rain, accumulated along Thetford Road and several residents had to evade a miniature lake whenever they wish to pass to and from their dwellings. One resident opened up a temporary channel in their garden path to prevent the water from entering their house. Local officials temporarily dealt with the matter by borrowing a local “blood” cart from a local slaughter house to remove water! Using the blood cart the water was drawn from the roadway and discharged into the town pit a short distance away.
More men enlisted at Brandon …
Alfred Armiger, Frank Bullock, Harold Reynolds Crocker, William Dorling, George Drewery, Fred Dyer, Harry John English, Arthur W Graver, John Newell, W Steggles, Ernest W Thompson, F.E. Thompson, Robert Tusk, Charles Warren, Bert Wicks, Charles Farrow and Harold Ashley.
SPECIAL CONSTABLES – The following townspeople are wearing the little metal disc which indicates that they have been sworn in as special constables for Brandon …
George Henry Gates, Arthur Lee Barber, the Rev Lucian P Janez, Montague Froud, Frederick William Gentle, Frederick Jospeh Mount, John Sydney Cooper, Frank Foxwell Brown, and George Garnham.
In case of emergency their services would at once be requisitioned, as may be gathered from an instruction which had been posted in the town – to the effect that in the event of an attack by air or bombardment, notice will be given to the inhabitants of Brandon by Messrs G. Wood and Son’s hooter being sounded for ten minutes. After a short interval it would again be sounded.
Special constables would assemble at the Police Station, and the inhabitants were requested to remain quietly in their houses pending instructions from the Police. Sir John Aird, of Brandon Park, is Chairman of the Emergency Committee for the Lackford Petty Sessional Division.
SERVICE FOR MEN – As there is now no service at the Parish Church on Sunday evenings a service for men only is to be held at the Church Institute. The first was held on Sunday evening, when the attendance was good.
NATIONAL EGG COLLECTION – This week an effort is being made in Brandon to assist the National Egg Collection for our wounded soldiers. This scheme has the full approval of the War Office, and an appeal is being made to the country for 200,000 new laid eggs per week. Mr F. Neep, grocer, of High Street, has kindly consented to allow his shop to be used as a receiving house, and the eggs will be despatched to the Lakenheath depot, which is in charge of Mrs A.J. Powell, who is Hon. Secretary and collector. It may be mentioned that since December 19th no less than 528 new laid eggs have been contributed at Lakenheath, Eriswell and Wangford. The scheme is supported by numbers of poor people who contribute their one or two eggs per week, and other donations will be thankfully received.
RECREATION FOR THR TROOPS – The question of providing recreation facilities for the troops billeted in Brandon was considered at a meeting held in the Paget Hall. The Wesleyan Schools, the Paget Hall and Church Institute, were all thrown open as recreation rooms for troops, while the Church Institute and Wesleyan School rooms were also transformed into restaurants where the soldiers could obtain refreshments at cost price. All the buildings were open every day of the week, including Sunday, from 4pm to 9pm, with refreshments being served between 6.30 and 8.30.
Games, books, writing materials, etc., were provided and members of the Baptist and Primitive Methodists assisted in the refreshment department at the Church Institute.
WELSH SINGERS AT CHURCH – The presence of the Welsh Fusiliers at Brandon offered the town an opportunity of hearing the Welshmen’s musical abilities, and it was not surprising that the Parish Church was overcrowded during one Sunday evening, when several members of the regiment contributed to a programme of high class vocal music. All their efforts were reported to be very greatly appreciated.
“The Martyrs Of The Arena” – Male voice choir
“Watchman, what of the night?” – L-Cpl S.F. Williams (tenor) and Sgt M.R. Herbert (bass)
“Lead, Kindly Light” – Pvt G. Wilym Williams (tenor)
BRANDON MAN JOINS AUSTRALIAN FORCE – It was reported that Mr Reginald J Woodrow, of Sydney Australia, had joined the Australian Expeditionary Force for Egypt, then Europe. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs FG Woodrow. Their eldest son has been in the service of his country for some time. He was formerly in the Brandon Volunteer Corps.
SOLDIERS DEPART – The Welsh Fusiliers, who had been billeted at Brandon for about five months, left for “somewhere in England”. The townspeople turned out in large numbers to see them off by train at about 8.30pm.
RAINFALL – Rain was registered at north Court Gardens by Mr T. Caiger for the month of April to the amount of 0.55 inches. This is far below the average.
THE EMPIRE DAY GATHERING on the Market Hill did not take place this year. Flags were flown from the tower of St Peter’s Church and from a few private houses.
GIFTS TO THE CHURCH – Mrs F.G. Wood, of Grafton House, has presented two beautiful linen cloths to St Peter’s Church, one for the Holy Table and the other for the side table. Both are beautifully worked and embroidered. The Rector, Rev. J.L. Wyatt, dedicated these gifts on Sunday morning.
CONCERT – At the Church Institute, a concert was given by some troops billeted in the town. It was also announced that the Institute and Bowling Green have been placed at the disposal of troops in the town and so the troops showed their thanks by giving the concert. Proceeds of the concert equated to £2 17s 6d.
INTERCESSORY SERVICE – To comemmorate the anniversary of the declaration of war, a service of penitence and intercession was held at the Parish Church. The service was attended by the Brandon Volunteer Training Corps. After the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’, an address was given by the Rev. Cannon Farmiloe, of Bury St Edmunds. Intercession followed, with a memorial prayer for those who have fallen in the war.
MILITARY SPORTS – Early in August, in a meadow kindly lent by Mr Towler, a sports day was arranged by the 2/1st E.A. (Essex) R.G.A. Heavy Battery (Major S.E. Wood commanding). The programme consisted of flat races (100 yards, 440 yards, and one mile), equestrian displays, including wrestling on horseback, V.C. race, and driving competition; also tugs-of-war and swimming races in the river adjoining the field. The prizes were distributed at the end of the races by Mrs S.E. Wood.
The concert arranged to take place in the evening had to be abandoned.
BAND PERFORMANCE – An programme of music was rendered by the band of the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on the Market Place on Saturday evening. There was a large gathering and the music was much appreciated.
MOTOR CAR ABLAZE – An overflow of petrol caused a new car to be engulled in fire on the London Road. The car was a 12-horse power Peugeot, owned by Lieutenant R.J. Gunther, of the Lovat Scouts. He arrived at Messrs. Hanbury’s garage about 7.30pm and asked for four gallons of petrol, leaving the engine running. The manager (Mr F Scott) having emptied one of the cans of petrol into the tank, was in the act of emptying the other, and being at the same time in conversation with Lieutenant Gunther, did not notice that the tank was full. The result was the spirit overflowed and ignited, the car very soon becoming enveloped in flame despite all the efforts to subdue the fire. Mr Scott was slightly burnt about the hand and arm, and was afterwards medically attended. Inspector Vincent and PC de Rungary were quickly on the scene, and the unusual sight of the burning car attracted a large crowd of onlookers.
Nothing could be done to save the car, and the damage was estimated at £400.
NATIONAL REGISTRATION – The following gentlemen carried out the work of registration at this town:
Dr W.O. Trotter, the Rev W.H. Bartman, Messrs A.W. Rought-Rought, George Wood, R.H Parrott, S. Gates H Winter, L Garner-Richards, H.U. Wood-Shearman, and Mr S.J. Milelr (Thetford) the outlying districts.
WEDDING – A quiet wedding took place at St Peter’s church on Wednesday, when the parties were Prvt. Frederick William Andrews Woodrow, Norfolk Cyclists, eldest son of Mr Miss Winifred Louise, only daughter of Mr and Mrs W Edgington, of Rose Villa, both of Brandon. The bride is a teacher at the Girls’ Council School, a teacher at the Church Sunday School, and an associate of the Girls’ Friendly Society. She wore a white silk embroidered dress with white silk hat and Brussels lace and carried a handsome bouquet, the gift of the bridegroom. She was given away by her father, who wore his Voluntary Training Corps uniform. The bridesmaids were Miss Doris Woodrow and Miss Mary Woodrow, the bridegroom’s sisters, and they were attired in blue satin dresses, white hats, and white feather ruches(?), and also wore gold brooches, the gifts of the bridegroom. The ceremony was performed by the Rector (the Rev J.L. Wyatt). The guests were entertained at the Church Institute. The wedding presents were both numerous and useful, among them being half-dozen dessert knives and spoons from the associates of the Girls’ Friendly Society, and from the numbers of the same also a bonbon dish. He fellow teachers at the Council Schools gave the bride a Queen Anne teapot.
WEDDING – At St Peter’s Church on Sunday a quiet wedding was solemnised the ceremony being performed by the Rev. J.L. Wyatt, the rector. The bride was Miss Gladys Chapman, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs O Chapman, London House, Brandon, and the bridegroom Prvt. Percy Weston, A.S.C. The bride was given away by her father, and wore a white silk dress, bridal veil, and orange blossoms. She carried a handsome bouquet, the gift of the bridegroom. Miss Bertha Chapman (her sister) was bridesmaid, and wore a sage blue crepon dress and black hat trimmed to match. Prvt. C Farrow, 6th Norfolk regiment, was best man.
EGG SERVICE – In connection with the effort to raise one million eggs for the wounded by the National Egg Collection, a special egg service was held at the Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon. The gratifying number of 320 was contributed. An address was given by Mr H Sparrow. The morning and evening services were conducted by Mr Tompkins, of Thetford.
EGGS AS MESSENGERS TO THE WOUNDED – Several Brandon school children contributed eggs for the wounded at the Baptist Church, and wrote their names and addresses on the shells and sent little messages. In two cases these brought letters of gratitude from soldiers in hospitals as far as Manchester and Eastbourne.
Ivy Field, of Bury Road, received the following letter from Private H.W. Martin Winter, 8th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, who is at Crumpsall Military Hospital, Manchester.
“This morning as I was having breakfast I came across an egg that bore your name and address, and also a little message, and it has inspired me into writing and thanking you for your kindness. And, of course, you are a stranger to me, I presume that you are a schoolgirl, if not you will have to forgive me; but all the same you will probably be glad to know that at least there is one that is very grateful. It is not so much the gift, but it reveals that in your heart you feel proud of the soldiers that have done their duty to their King and country, and to the women and children; and it is a great pleasure to me to let you know that your kindness is not wasted. I would like you to thank all your friends and companions that you know have sent these little gifts, in my name on behalf of the wounded soldiers, and if ever I go to the Front again your little message will help and comfort me in that hour of darkness.”
The other letter was from Private W Bayliss, of the 9th Worcesters, who is at the Summerdown Convalescent Camp, Eastbourne, and it was addressed to Donald Lingwood, son of Mr and Mrs H Lingwood, Thetford Road, Brandon. The contents are as follows …
“I send this letter of thanks to you for the kindness you have shown to us wounded soldiers who have been invalided home to England from the Dardanelles. We had eggs this morning for breakfast, and the first one that was put on my plate had your name and address upon it, so I think I am only doing right by sending this letter to you. After twelve months’ service it is quite a treat to have something tasty for breakfast.
It would have been a blessing if we had had eggs for breakfast at the Dardanelles instead of bully beef and biscuits.”
CHURCHES AND THE LIGHTING PROBLEM – With the return of the darker autumn evenings the problem of reducing the church lights for evening service to comply with the regulations became acute. Most Churches overcame the difficulty by screening the windows, but in the case of the parish church this was rather a formidable and expensive undertaking, up to the this time it was not adopted. There are 18 windows in the church, most of them of a large size, and the outlay on blinds or curtains would necessarily be a considerable cost. After a Sunday morning service a consultation was held when the Rector (the Rev J.L. Wyatt), Dr W.O. trotter (churchwarden), and the sidesmen were present. After due consideration, it was agreed that no blinds be provided, and that the services be at 3 o’clock in the afternoon instead of 6.30.
THE SCHOOL CLOCK – The Public Clock in the turret of the Council Schools has undergone a thorough cleaning. The work had been undertaken by Mr W.J. Murrell, Brandon, and the face now presents a bright and fresh appearance. It was outlined in gold leaf, also the figures on the dial and the bell has been re-hung.
In order to conform to the Lighting Regulations the face will not be illuminated.
A NARROW ESCAPE – An accident occurred when a military motor-car, which was being driven along Mundford Road, reached the railway station level crossing and dashed into the gate nearest the road. The gate being closed against the public was forced open by the impact. The car came to a standstill on the line. At the moment the 5.59 up train was approaching the station, but was fortunately brought to a standstill some yards from the car through the efforts of the station staff. The red light on the gate was found on the four-footway, and this the driver asserts he did not notice. Fortunately no one was injured, but the car sustained some damage.
MEMORIAL SERVICE – It is proposed to hold a memorial service at the Parish Church for the Brandon men who have fallen in the war. These number about 14. The service will be taken by the Rector (the Rev J.L. Wyatt), and the Volunteer Training Corps are expected to attend. Appropriate music will be rendered by the organist (Mr A.E. Chapman).
SCHOOL HOURS ALTERED – In order to meet the restrictions as to lighting, the hours of attendance at the Council Schools have been altered, and are now as follows:
Morning session 9.30am – 12.30pm
Afternoon session 1.30pm – 3.10pm, and to 3.40pm for the other departments.
RAILWAYMEN SOLDIERS – A framed list of men who have left Brandon Railway Station staff to serve their country hangs in one of the waiting rooms. The list contains the following names …
Lance-Corporal J Dack, 4th Norfolk Regiment;
H.E. Duncan, A.J. Dyball, A.H.P. Gunton, all signal section, Royal Engineers;
Corporal W. Newell, 4th Norfolk Regiment;
Private W.W. Tuck, 2nd Suffolk Regiment.
ACCIDENT – On Friday evening an accident befell Mrs Kent-Woolsey, who had been to the Railway Station, and was returning to Brandon Hall. The horse she was driving fell on ice at the Cemetery Cottage, on Church Road. She was thrown on to the road, sustaining injuries to her head, and being badly bruised. She was taken into the Cemetery Lodge, where Mr and Mrs F Wilby rendered assistance, as did Gunner Daniels, who rendered First Aid. The little boy who was with his mother at the time jumped out of the cart quite unhurt.
DEATH OF MRS KENT-WOOLSEY – After a long illness, Mrs Kent-Woolsey, wife of Mr Henry Kent-Woolsey, Town Street, passed away at Thetford on Friday, November 12th. The mortal remains were brought back to her house, and the funeral took place on Monday afternoon. The rector (Rev. J.L. Wyatt) officiated. There were present the five sons, three daughters, and other relatives. Some floral tributes were sent.
FIRST AID CLASS – At Brandon House on Monday evening, by kind permission of Mrs B.C.P. Hamilton, a class for ladies in first aid was commenced. Dr W.O. Trotter is the lecturer, and Mrs Trotter is the Hon. Secretary.
SOLDIERS’ THANKS – Following on the recent egg service for our wounded, three letters of thanks have been received from soldiers in France. The recipients are Mrs Syer, Miss Beatrice Challis, and Miss Edith Gathercole. The letters were from a Scotsman, Canadian and a Devonshire man.
PARISH CHURCH AND LIGHTING REGULATIONS – It has been decided to screen the windows of the Parish Church so that the evening services on Sundays may shortly be resumed.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES – The services at Parish Church on Christmas Day were well attended, and the decorations were very attractive. The early celebration was taken by the Reverend Noble, who also officiated at the subsequent parade service. Matins at which the Rector (the Rev. J.L. Wyatt) officiated, was followed by another celebration of the Holy Communion at 8, with parade service following at 9.45. The Rector officiated at Matins, and the anthem was “His Name shall be called Wonderful” (Simper). In the evening the anthem was repeated, and the following carols were given:-
“An angel’s Christmas song”
“Sleep, Holy Babe”
“Kings of old”
“The first Nowell”
“Good King Wenceslas”
and “’Twas in the winter cold”.
Mr A.E. Chapman (organist) played “The Hallelujah Chorus” as a concluding voluntary. The Christmas Day collection was for Waifs and Strays.