During 1944 the village set up a "Welcome Home Fund"
This information has just come to light after 60+yrs of being filed away.
The details below are taken from the original Minute Book and associated paperwork
recorded by the secretary Les Mills.
WAR SAVINGS ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE,
A Public Meeting was held on 19th October
1944 in the Victory Hall specifically to consider what could be done to
show the village appreciation for those away fighting in the war.
The Chairman (Barry Deaves) welcomed 7
Parishioners who had been put forward as possible committee members.
Meeting 26th Oct 1944
Present:- Miss Brand, Mr B Deaves, Mr E Hume, Mr G Drake, Mr H Morton, Mr E Salmon, Mr E Bowers, Mr G Lewis, Mr Creek, Mr G Swallow, Mr L Mills and Dr Smith.
The chairman opened the meeting and welcomed five new members to the committee. The fund to date (only one week had elapsed) had raised £125.
Mr Robinson would be asked to produce posters around the village.
Miss Mynott, Mrs Perkins, Mr Mansfield and Mr Hume were authorised to receive donations.
Collecting Boxes were to be distributed around the village.
It was unanimously agreed to include the Merchant Navy in the scheme but not the Bevan Boys. (see bottom of page)
The Fund would be registered with the Charity Commissioners, A program of entertainment would be organised to raise funds.
Meeting Jan 11th 1945
Present:- Mr Deaves, E Hume, L Mills, W Morton, H Morton, G Lewis, A Creek,
The meeting was convened at short notice so a representative could be nominated to sit on the Village Hall Committee. H Morton duly elected.
£256 raised so far.
15 collecting boxes were now distributed around the village.
Meeting 19th Feb 1945
Meeting 12th April 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, Smith, G Drake, E Hume, W Morton, H Morton, E Salmon, E Bowers, G Lewis, A Creek and L Mills.
With B Deaves indisposed, it was proposed that G Drake be elected as Deputy Chairman - agreed
The fund now stood at £404. The problem which now arose was that the GPO only allowed £500 as a maximum in this type of account. It was proposed to write to them to increase this limit.
A form was to be delivered to all householders together with an accompanying letter asking for nominations which would be considered for the fund.
A request was also to be made to the Chief Constable to have a house to house collection the day after "V" day
Mr Hume would be responsible for the collection. Mr Creek would arrange for the Suffolk side whilst Mr Mills for Essex.
Meeting April 12th 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, A Creek, G Drake, G Lewis, H Morton and G Drake(Dep Chair)
It was proposed by Mr Mills to organise a dance in the Village Hall once a month up to Dec 1945.
Mr Morton also requested a Whist Drive once a month.
Mr Morton also proposed a Fete on July 7th in an attempt to raise further funds.
May 26th was booked for a Dance and May 24th for a Whist Drive
Meeting May 18th 1945
Meeting Mon 23rd July 1945
Present:- Miss Mynott, Miss Brand, Dr Smith, H Morton, W Morton, G Lewis, E Salmon, E Hume, E Bowes, B Deaves and L Mills
The fund now stood at £720. The GPO had agreed to raise their limit to £900.
18 names which had been put forward for consideration, were deemed not eligible.
A question was raised concerning the deceased - this was deferred until later date when more numbers were known.
Miss Brand asked if the fund was going to be distributed as soon as the recipients arrived home ?
Miss Brand and Miss Mynott proposed that £10 per head should be distributed.
Concern was raised about the gift being seen as Charity or Welfare ? It was decided an accompanying card would state it was "in recognition of their services to the country"
Messrs Benham of Colchester would be asked to print 200 cards. The meeting in August would decide the method and date of distribution.
Meeting Sept 11th 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, Miss Mynott, A Creek, W Norton, H Morton, G Lewis, G Swallow, E Hume, G Drake, E Bowers B Deaves and L Mills.
Mr Hume proposed a cut-off date for the fund as off 31st Dec 1945
A letter was received from the Bures St Mary Parish Council concerning donations towards the "Local Limits Suffolk Remembrance Appeal Fund"
The Secretary to reply, that the wording of the Funds registration did not allow transfer to other organisations.
The fund now stood at £850
Miss Brand proposed the Vicar place the Balance Sheet in the Parish Magazine.
The Secretary was to insert an advert in the local papers stating the fund would be closed on Dec. 31st
Mr Morton proposed a Christmas Draw to be held at the Whist Drive on Dec 20th
Meeting 31st Oct 1945
Present:- Miss Bland, Miss Mynott, A Creek, E Hume, B Deaves, L Mills
Emergency meeting was convened as an application had been received from the "Thanksgiving Week Committee" to allow the use of the Hall on 15th and 17th Nov.
Theses dates were agreed.
Victory Hall booked by the Committee for 22nd Nov for a Whist Drive and 31st for a Dance
Meeting 4th Dec1945
Present:- W Morton, G Lewis, H Morton, E Salmon, E Hume, H Creek, B Deaves and L Mills
A letter was read from Mr A Mansfield stating that he felt compelled to withdraw the use of his window for the sale of tickets. A reply would be sent thanking him for his support.
Miss Brand proposed that the £10 per head gift be rescinded.
After along discussion it was proposed by Mr Creek that the first payment of £7-10-0 per head be made on Jan 1st 1946 to all those names approved on the list
It was also approved to send the money to the deceased next of kin with the words "Welcome Home" removed.
A notice was to be inserted in the Suffolk Free Press to the effect that Dec 31st was the final closing date.
A dance was to be organised in the Village Hall for Dec 26th
Meeting 27th Feb 1946
Meeting 28th June 1946
Meeting 4th Oct 1946
Final Meeting held on 22nd Oct 1948
The Meeting Closed.
NOTES:- As you can see from the Minutes
the fund raised £1005 which was a staggering amount of money during
the war years.
and Bevin Boys
However this is not the end of the fund raising story.
During 1942 Sudbury and Melford District Council designated February 21st - 28th as WARSHIP WEEK. A target of £75,000 was set being the funds required for the warship "Scarab"
"Scarab" was a River Gun Boat based in the Mediterranean
Yet incredibly by the 25th the "Suffolk Free Press" reported that an indictor outside Sudbury Town Hall announced a total of £114,532 14s 0d
Bures Hamlet and St Mary between them raised "2,380 4s 6d".
We were alone in being granted an extension to two weeks, as the village covered two parishes.
Acknowledgement to "Heart of our History" by Ashley Copper