The Hadleigh Home Front in 1914

27th January

School Diary - Case of scarlatina identified, classroom disinfected by the Sanitary Officer.

19th February

School Diary - Eye testing and teeth examinations.

24th February

School Diary - 48 scholars had teeth extracted.

28th June

Archduke Franz Ferdinand assinated at Sarajevo with his wife Duchess Sophie.

14th July

School Diary - Deplorable attendance – many children had impetigo and there was a scare regarding cerebro-spinal meningitis

15th July

School Diary - After months of drought there was very heavy rain.

3rd August

Germany declares war on France and Belguim

August holidays

School Diary - School buildings were several times visited and inspected by Lady Rowley, doctors, nurses connected with the Red Cross Society with a view to assessing its suitability as a hospital for wounded and sick soldiers in the event of its being required by the Army authorities. 

4th August

Britain declares war on Germany

14-24th Aug

Battle of Mons – first engagement between Britain and Germany.

17th August

Hadleigh Urban District Council - Extraordinary meeting to consider communications from West Suffolk County CouncilWar Relief Committee, to form a subsidiarycommittee for the Hadleigh Urban District Council.

21st August

Hadleigh Urban District Council - reply to Captain G. Harry, Stuston Lodge, Scole. Local Govt. Board Inspector, re. the state of employment and distress in Hadleigh. There is nothing exceptional in connection with the state of employment and distress on account of the war. If there are changes, I will be pleased to avail myselfof the kind offer of official assistance and advice. Harold Grimwade. 

28th August

Hadleigh Urban District Council - reply to Captain G. Harry, Stuston Lodge, Scole. Local Govt. Board Inspector, re. the state of employment and distress in Hadleigh. There is nothing unusual in connection with the state of employment and distress on account in this district. Our matting factory is working short time, but this often happens at this time of year. Harold Grimwade. 

28th August

The Royal Navy wins the first battle of Heligoland Bight


YELLOW - None of us will forget the scene at the railway station on the night when the Territorials left for their camp. Their behavior was excellent, and they had evidently apperciated the tea which had been provided for them a little earlier in the Guild Room, when Mr Hilton, a visitor from London, as well as the Dean spoke some parting words to them. There must still be some of our young men left who are free to respond to Lord Kitchener's call for active service. No man whose age and health and circumstances qualify him to go ought to shrink from offering himself for the national defence. 

YELLOW - Lady Rowley , Mrs Everitt and Mrs P H Wilson will be glad to receive donations towards providing shirts and socks for our own company of Territorials. On leaving Hadleigh for active service each member had in his possession only one shirt provided by the Government, and it has been pointed out by the Colonel of the Regiment that they are in great need of an extra shirt each. The estimated cost of a flannel shirt is 4 shillings and a pair of socks 9 pence.

1st September

GREEN - First class receiving lessons on the geography of war.

7th September

GREEN - Communication from BSE Education Offices relating to absence being granted to teachers in West Suffolk for service as Territorials, Soldiers on active service, Red Cross Nurses etc.

9th September

Suffolk & Essex Free Press - A recruting meeting was held in Hadleigh, chaired by Sir Joshua Rowley.   

GREEN - In consequence of the war and prominent place that Europe occupies in current thought and action the 1st class will continue to receive lessons on the geography of war.

23rd September

Suffolk & Essex Free Press - Lecture in aid of the Hadleigh Territorial Fund. Suffolk & Essex Free Press

28th - 22nd November

The First Battle of Ypres

30th September

Suffolk & Essex Free Press - Hadleigh & District Sewing Party gifts of 135 shirts and 135 pairs of socks to the 5th Suffolks, who are based at Colchester. There were 123 Hadleigh men in the Company.


YELLOW - It should be known that the Sub-Committee appointed by the Urban District Council for the purpose is ready to deal with any cases of distress that may arise through the circumstances of the war. But as a matter of fact there is no sign of unusual distress among us; indeed several families whose male members have gone out are actually in receipt of a higher weekly wage than when their bread winners were at home and had to be fed. Any such should be encouraged to save, however little, each week for future needs.

29th August

On Saturday evening, there arrived in Hadleigh a motor car bringing an adjutant of the army, who had come in advance of a large detachment of the Midland Mounted Brigade, to procure quarters for the weekend.  

The Billet-Master, Inspector Watling, was sent out post haste to find board and lodging for about 60 officers. Everyone was ready to offer the entainment required, and the town became the scene of quite unusual excitement – people running to and fro procuring provisions for their visitors, while the tradesmen prepared for the expected demand on their resources.

30th August

On Sunday, people began to gather in the High Street at an early hour, in view of the coming of the troops: but it was not until after 2pm that the first units arrived, and from that time until 8 o'clock they were coming in, the last to arrive being the Treansport which had broken down on several occasions. All the men looked hot and tired, as also did the horses, owing to the fact that they had been on the move since 3am, and they were glad enough to get settled in camp. In the evening some 20 troopers came into our service, when the lesson were read by their chaplain, the Rev. H.K.Bros, Vicar of Copt Hall, Leicestershire. It was gratifying to hear on all sides reports of the excellent behaviour of the troops while in our town. Leaving Hadleigh on Tuesday morning at 5am, they went by easy stages to Diss where they remained for some time.  

5th October

Hadleigh Urban District Council - received a circular from the Local Government Board, and an extract of a speech from the Prime Minister as to accommodation and suitable catering provision to recruits who are responding to the national call to arms.

20th October

Twelve soldiers wounded in the Great European War arrived at Hadleigh Railway Station on their was to Layham Hospital. Children lined up to see the soldiers pass in motor cars.

21st October

GREEN - Miss Barlow, a teacher, is to take up duty as a nurse at Layham Hospital today.

School Diary - Trafalgar Day – Lessons were given on the life of Lord Nelson with special reference to the battle of Trafalgar. Dean Carter also spoke to the whole school on the subject, and read a post card he had received from Herbert Leathers, an old boy, serving with the British Fleet. Letters and post cards have been received from several former scholars who are on active service, including a letter from Lance Sergeant R Ward, of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, who is in charge of a machine gun section at the front.

29th October

Trench warfare started to dominate the Western Front.

17th November

GREEN - A box containing a collection for Belgian refugees (taken round classes for voluntary contributions) was opened; it contained 16s 6d.

2nd November

Britain begins a Naval Blockade of Germany.

23rd November

School Diary - Miss Wright of Hampstead, London paid a short visit to the school this morning and spoke to scholars of Standards VI and VII upon the work of housing and befriending nearly 400 Belgium women and children – work which she is taking an active part. 

25th November

School Diary - Some infants contributed 3s 6d to the Layham Hospital Fund.   

4th December

School Diary - Stimulated by a visit of Miss Wright, above referred to. Miss Shelley, teacher of Standard 1, has aroused the interest of her class in the homeless Belgian children and has purchased a small Xmas tree, placed it in her room and now the children are being invited to decorate the tree with toys, sweets etc. which shortly before Xmas will be taken from the tree and forwarded to Miss Wright for the decoration of the large tree being prepared for the refugee Belgian children now in Hampstead – which happened on the 18th December.  

7th December

Circular from the War Office as to employees of ex non-Commissioned Officers and ex soldiers, encouraging them to enlist.

15th December

BLUE or ORANGE - Second Lieutenant W J Eighteen of the Oxford & Bucks Regiment, recently promoted from the rank of sergeant in the 1st Suffolks, visited his old school this afternoon.

18th December

BLUE or ORANGE - Several former scholars – members of various regiments of the British Army – have also called and some of them have gone out of their way to do so. At the present time there are 43 old boys serving with the Expeditionary Force and a large number at the different training camps in England. I have kept in touch with most of themand the corrsepondence which this entails is considerable. Eleven boys have been wounded and are either in hospitals or at home. These are not included in the 43 on foreign service.

23rd December

GREEN - The Belgian Box opened again – it was possible to send 12s.