Sunday 29 September 2019

World War 2 Eighty Years On - The 1939 Register for Eton Wick

With in a month of the Declaration of War by Neville Chamberlain in 1939 a record of every household in the UK was taken. The Register was taken on 29 September 1939 and the information was used to produce identity cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration books. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription and the direction of labour, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation. The Register was designed to capture the details of every member of the civilian population – military personnel were not recorded. It contains details of around 40 million people, recorded in more than 65,000 volumes (transcript books). 
A house in Prospect Place

The enumerator for Eton Wick recorded the names and details of 1,294 people in 313 households. Emma Woolhouse was the oldest person living in the village, she was 94 years old. Emma's first two homes in the village after marrying Thomas Woolhouse was at 8 and 2 Prospect Place. The 1939 Register records that the 10 houses that made up Prospect Place were empty.

The youngest child on the Register was Joan Tarrant who was 1 month old.

It should be noted that the 1939 Register recorded Eton Wick and Boveney New Town as one community following the Local Government Act of 1933 that brought to an end the separate councils for the two neighbouring communities and created Eton Urban District Council.

The Register includes the extra war time duties that residents had volunteered for. There are a number of closed records in the 1939 Register that has been released by the National Records Office. Local research has been able to add a further 13 names to the information available in the Register. 

You can view a transcription of the 1939 Register for Eton Wick by clicking on this link. or pasting this URL in to your internet browser: 

Given Name Surname Extra duties
William Akers Auxiliary Fireman Eton UDC
George Ball Special Constable
Henry Barton Auxiliary Fireman
George Batt Police Messenger
Harry Batt Special Constable
John Bell Special Constable
John Bidmead Auxiliary Fireman
Charles Bond Ambulance Driver
Frank  Bond ARP messenger
Albert Bond ARP Warden
Eddie Bond Police Messenger
Ernie Bond Police Messenger
John Bow Ambulance Services First Aid Service Merthyr 
Laura Bow British Red Cross Nursing Services Merthyr 
William Brown ARP
David  Bryant Police Messenger
Edwin  Buckland Special Policeman
Harry  Burfoot Rescue and Demolition
Alice Burfoot Womens Volunteer Service
Harold Carpenter Auxiliary Fire Service Eton UDC
Henry Carpenter Auxiliary Fireman, Pump operator
Arthur Chamberlain ARP Air Raid Warden
Millicent A  Chantler Red Cross Nurse
Henry Chantler Air Raid Warden Eton UDC
Sylvia Chew ARP Ambulance Driver
Joyce Chew ARP Ambulance Driver
Archibald Chew ARP Joint Committee Evacuees
Miriam Chew Red Cross Civil Nursing Reserve
Annie Chew Womens Volunteer Service
Arthur Codd ARP Eton UDC
William Collyer ARP Windsor Castle
Harriett Cook Air Raid Warden Eton UDC
Albert Cooley ARP Road Repair Squad
Peter Cooley St John's Ambulance Nobel's Slough DIY Military Hospital
Ernest Drake ARP Senior Warden
Walter  Elkins ARP Warden
George Eyles ARP Warden (W. Thrupp Chief warden)
Douglas Eyles Police Messenger
Harry Friend Special Constable
Bob Friend Special Policeman
Mary Graham ARP First Aid
William Graham ARP Warden
Arthur Gregory ARP Warden Eton
Arthur Grubb ARP Emergency motor driver 
Lavina Hammerton Red Cross Nurse
Robert Heath ARP Services Somerset CC
George Hedges ARP Stretcher Bearer
Albert Hood Ambulance Driver
Lilian Husted Red Cross Nurse Enrolled for training
George Jacobs Demolition Squad(?)
Marion Johnson Air Raid Warden
Henry Johnson Auxiliary Fireman
George Kelley Special Constable
Peter Kemp Sgt. RAF VR no. 74097
Arthur Lane Special Constable
Norman Lane Special Policeman
Jane Mc Millan Red Cross Nurse
Frederick Mead Air Raid Warden
George Mills Retained Fireman Eton RDC
Richard Mitchener Auxiliary Fireman Reading
Thomas Morrell Rescue and Demolition Slough Borough Council
Albert Morrell Special Constable
Reverend Morris ARP Warden
Maurice North Auxiliary Fireman
John Oxlade ARP Rescue and Demolition
James Pass ARP Decontamination
Albert Prior Rescue and Demolition Eton UDC
John Prosser Special Constable
Ernie Prosser Special Policeman
Robert Pulvertaft Emergency Medical Service
Caroline Schafran Helper under evacuation
William Swain Auxiliary Fireman
Reginald Talbot Auxiliary Fireman Eton UDC
George Tarrant Special Constable
Ernie Thomas Special Policeman
Florence Thurston British Red Cross Nursing Auxiliary
Robert Weatherall Air Raid Warden Part time Eton Urban and South Bucks Councils
Ken  Weller ARP Messenger
Hubert Wells Eton Fire Brigade
Edward Wilkinson ARP Warden
Harry Wilson ARP messenger
William Woolhouse ARP
Ernest Woolhouse ARP Demolition Eton Wick

This article includes information from The 1939 Register, Frank Bond's articles in Our Village and Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. 

Wednesday 25 September 2019

World War 2 Eighty Years On - Petrol Rationing Introduced

Petrol rationing introduced for civilian use, with the basic ration being dependent upon the Horse Power of the vehicle.   Accompanying this was an order fixing the maximum speed limit at 30 m.p.h. during blackout hours.   The amount of fuel allocated to the local Blue Bus Company operating the Dorney - Eton Wick - Windsor service necessitated revision of their timetable leading to a less frequent service.  Wartime restrictions allowing no service after 9 pm.  

As more evacuees and war workers came to the village the service became inadequate for their needs and representations were made by the Eton U.D.C. on behalf of the village residents and Mr.Cole, the proprietor, to the Ministry of Fuel for an increased ration but no increase was given and the service stopped at 9 pm for most of the war years.

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 

Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Eton Wick Newsletter - April 2014 - `Our Village' Magazine

`Newtown' and beyond Bell Lane In previous newsletters we have seen the development of Eton Wick (in the Parish of Eton) having many building restrictions, imposed by Commons, Lammas, Farms etc., and of course the boundary West of the Parish being Bell Lane and beyond into the Parish of Burnham. This may seem inconvenient, but surely it is the attraction of our village; being surrounded by the countryside. Other local villages such as Upton, Chalvey and Cippenham have been 'swallowed up' by an ever expanding Slough. We are able to walk North, South, East or West through open country or along the river bank and usually return by a different route without fear of trespass. 

To the East is Eton Town and College and growth of the village in that direction was not possible. The town was ever short of building sites to meet its own needs. In fact in the early post Great War years (early 1920s) Eton wanted to build homes to re-accommodate its own families. They were obliged to negotiate with the Eton Wick Council (independent 1894 — 1934) to change the boundary of Town to Village from the 'Sleds' to Broken Furlong, thereby enabling Eton to develop part of their new holding; and Somerville Road with housing, was created. Apart from the boundary change, it became necessary to switch the Lammas grazing rights of Broken Furlong to a like acreage across the main road. 

Without this 'switch' it would not have been permissible to build on Lammas designated land, as a certain Mr Thomas Hughes could have testified over seventy years earlier. In 1846 he had built two houses on land he owned in the village. The land however, known as Tilstone Shot, was subject to Lammas, which prompted a sharp reaction from villagers, and a subsequent court case, held in Aylesbury, ordered the houses to be taken down. 

This exchanged Lammas area opposite Broken Furlong is of course the area that was in dispute in 2007 for the proposed can park, and possible rail halt. The houses and new road were built in early to mid-1920s and named 'Somerville' in, presumably, recognition of the Town Council Chairman, Mr Somerville, whose negotiations with the village had been so successful. It is easily seen then that Eton Wick could not readily expand to the East, and before Boveney Newtown (c. 1880s) came about any thoughts of building west of the Bell Lane boundary was restricted by the land between the lane and Dorney Common being farm land or privately owned; much of it by the Palmer family of Dorney Court. 

Apart from the main through road there were no other roads in this Burnham Parish area, except perhaps Moores Lane, a rough earth track leading to Cippenham and Slough. It could not have been Moores Lane in those early days because Mr Moore had not yet arrived from Rotherhithe. It was perhaps an unusual situation where Bell Farm was situated just inside of the Eton/Burnham boundary, enjoyed the Lammas grazing of Eton and yet had much of its farm lands over the stream and in Burnham. 

Some limited building had taken place across the border by the late 19th Century. The Shepherd's Hut public house had its first beer license in 1833 — this was probably the only dwelling along Tilstone Lane (main road). Bell Farm had built a few farm labourer cottages — some in the lane and eight more built at right angles in what later became Alma Road. They were demolished around 1970 to make way for the flats of todays' Bellsfield Court — again appropriately named. 

Not until 1870 when, following a deteriorating situation with regard to the Eton Town and College sewage that Eton Council purchased Bell Farm, planning to pump their waste the mile and half to the village farm, where in accordance with common practice at that time it would be spread over furrowed land and reputedly was very good for root and other crops. The Council were not farmers, and needed to engage a manager, and to 'shed' some of its acreage. In 1875 they sold seven acres of farm land, just across the stream and border, to Mr Bott of Common Road, Eton Wick. Unfortunately Bott had now stretched his finances to the point of having overreached himself, and within five years had sold his seven acre site to Mr James Ayres, who had an eye for business. Ayres sold off the recently acquired farm land, plot by plot. A single house here, a block or terraced now there; eventually, and within a few brief years new roads and their dwellings were covering the seven acres. Here was Alma Road, Inkerman and later Northfield Roads — not yet Eton Wick, this new development in the Burnham ward was called Boveney Newtown. Its population was a little larger than neighbouring Eton Wick, and being new was perhaps even more vibrant, but in some ways dependent. It had no school for its children, and they were meant to go to Dorney, but of course with no bus service the bleak track across Dorney Common in winters and on wet summer days made this beyond expectations. Eton Wick's small school at the top of The Walk was inadequate, so in 1886 the Crown provided land in Sheepcote for a larger school which served both communities for the next sixty or so years when post war extensions were carried out. 

An amusing (or was it) story of the interim period was related by a Mr Talbot. The influx of Newtown children into the original single room school necessitated a platform upper room for infants. Temporary and crude the floor was a plank affair and it was not uncommon for an infant needing the toilet, perhaps left it too late, and the lower, older class got a 'dripping' from above. Needing to spend a penny, or 'pennies from heaven'? Where was health and safety in the 1880s?

'Newtown' was all that was built each side of Alma Road and the development of Inkerman, Northfield Road and Bell Lane. One field opposite the Shepherd's Hut and South from Alma Road, between Bell Lane and Moores Lane was retained for grazing for about fifty years, until Vaughan Gardens were built in the late 1930s by the Council, and at the end of WW2 twelve prefabricated homes were built immediately East of Vaughan Gardens. West of Moores Lane to Dorney Common (North of Tilstone Lane) [main road] there were no houses until after WW2 when the Eton Council developed the entire area, including the roads of Colenorton Crescent, Boveney New Road and Stockdales. This area was largely covered with allotments until after WW2. Across the main road (South) much of the land was owned by Mr Palmer of Dorney and had not been built on.

Probably the development of farm land for 'Newtown' prompted the Dorney owner to similarly use his land. In 1896 he had a long terraced row of sixteen houses built in what we now know as Victoria Road. Again very appropriately named because 1898 was the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The houses not so appropriately named, being 'Castle View Terrace' and facing due South one would be hardly likely to see the castle in the East. Further development at this time came along the main road and at the end of 'Castle View' gardens. These, and the houses built past the entrance road to Victoria Road (now named 'Victoria' also, but originally known as Hogarth Road in acknowledgement of Mr Hogarth — area administrator to Mr Palmer) attracted business men and others from Windsor and Eton following the 1894 flooding. Victoria Road was a cul de sac for nearly sixty years when the Meux (Shepherds' Hut) field was developed for Princes Close estate in the 1950s. 

Other post WW2 developments included Queens Road and Cornwall Close (private), the East side of Tilstone Avenue and Tilstone Close (also private) and of course much in the old Eton Wick village. It takes more than housing to give a place character and perhaps in a future magazine I can speak of the people who changed the village and gradually brought the two communities together. There were farmers, and of course people like Mr Moore who had followed his newly wed daughter to Newtown; and the strength of both in imposing themselves in such a constructive way. In conclusion now though I will come back to names of roads. Alma and Inkerman are scenes of hard fighting between Britain and France against Russia in the mid-1850s; in the Crimean War, and some twenty five to thirty years before Newtown's main roads were built and presumably named. Why? It was so long after the conflict. Who chose the names? Was it James Ayres? He is listed as a local Market Gardener. Coincidence I doubt. In Alma Road is a house named Galata Cottage. 'Galata' was the height overlooking the river Alma. If you have the answer, please do join in and share it. 

Not content with sending their sewage to Eton Wick, thirteen years later and following infectious diseases in Eton, including Small Pox, they built a Cottage Isolation Hospital between Bell Farm and Saddocks Farm of Eton Wick. This went out of use in c.1930. This small hospital would never be used by residents of Eton Wick, who were obliged to go to Cippenham on account of not being within the relevant Sanitary District. 

Submitted by Frank Bond 

This article was originally published in the Eton Wick Newsletter - Our Village as is republished with the kind permission of the Eton Wick Village Hall Committee. Click here to go to the Collection page.

Monday 9 September 2019

War Memorial Committee Meeting September 1919

Committee Meeting held September 9th 1919 

Mr Nutt's fee to be £25 for "Professional work, design details, and supervision during the work execution". Mr Vaughan agreed to consult with Mr Nutt as the committee considered his fee excessive.

This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone  
and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.

Sunday 8 September 2019

World War 2 Eighty Years On - Friday, September 8th 1939

A cigarette card from the
WD & HO Wills ARP series
published in 1938. 
The next warning came at breakfast time on September 8th again no enemy action.  

An amusing account by Frank Bond gives some indication as to the uncertainty that an alert provoked.             

"On hearing the air raid alarm sounding, I hurried to the A.R.P. post at Burfoots in the Eton Wick Road.  On reporting for duty, fulfilling my task as messenger boy, I was sent on a cycle errand along Common Road.  During the early days of the war one naturally believed that the Germans were definitely coming to attack Eton Wick and undoubtedly all their beastliness including gas would rain down upon us.  Consequently, to cycle along Common Road, I was equipped with all the anti-bomb, anti-gas apparatus available. I expected to see everyone dashing for cover and was quite put out when Mrs Annie Sherman, standing at her Hope Cottage gate, called out to her two young sons, “Come quick, Look at Frank Bond all dressed up like a funny man”.  Hell, I thought, how could we hope to beat the Germans."

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham.