Kendal Borough Council's part in WW1

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Kendal Borough Council's part in WW1

Postby plbramham » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:35 am

Hi, In my role as a Kendal Town Councillor, I am the council’s representative on a group which is producing a First World War Centenary exhibition for the town in August 2014, in conjunction with Queen Katherine School, the Civic Society, museum, library, plus other individuals and organisations.

While researching the home front aspect, I have been taking a look through the minutes of Kendal Borough Council meetings and have made some interesting finds.

At that time the Mayoral year ran from November and we only had two Mayors between 1913-1919 (both with rather silly names!)
The main one for the WW1 period was John John Thomas (yes, two “John”s) 1915-19, who was preceded by Tom Gordon-Thomas, 1913-15, who took his wife’s maiden name “Gordon” to make it double- barrelled. (Thank goodness or we would have had a Tom-Thom followed by a John-John!). In those days (and indeed up until the 1990s), the Mayor became deputy Mayor the year AFTER his term of office, hence Gordon-Thompson was deputy mayor 1915-19)

The Mayor and council were VERY involved in the war effort including forming the Local Tribunal for The Military Services Act (conscientious objectors, exemptions from service etc) and forming the Food Control Committee( for rationing and price control).

Other highlights I’ve spotted include:

The Council’s aircraft damage insurance in the event of bombing. Air raid warnings. Early closing of library in winter (light through glass roof could attract bombers!). Early closing of shops under Defence of the Realm Act. Belgian refugee children at Kendal Catholic School. Ploughing Castle Hill for food production. Museum receiving a pair of captured German machine guns. Anthrax outbreak. Spanish Flu prevention- schools closed. Plus allowances to Council employees in military service -which of course with the Borough Council ( pre 1970s local government reforms) included teachers, police/firemen.

The names of the Council Committees in operation during the First World War period were:
Local tribunal Military Service Act , National Registration, Air Raid Warning, War Allowance, Hostile Aircraft, Coal Prices, Food Control, Watch (for Police, issuing licences etc), Lighting & Fire Engine, Health, Joint Health &Education (perhaps a combination for disease prevention e.g. flu in 1918?) Food Control,, Cultivation of Land (allotments being established at this time),Streets& Buildings, Gas & Water, Electricity, Education, Property, Local Fuel& Lighting ,Baths & Wash houses, Pleasure Grounds, Public library, Sewerage, Mrs Bindloss Gift ( a charity fund) , Wages, Museum, General Purpose, Finance, National Service, Diseases of Animals, Rates, Boundaries, Housing, Property, Cemeteries, , Maternity & Child Welfare, Housing of Working classes ( first council houses being built in 1920s).

I make that 37 Committees!! - and I may have missed some,

Here’s a few interesting extracts posted below, Paul
KC1 Tribunal Military Service Act.jpg
5th Feb 1916 Mayor etc form Military Service tribunal
KC2 Council worker killed 2nd Border 12 Dec 1915.jpg
22th December 1915 Finance Committee. Council worker killed with 7th Border. From CWGC : ARMER, JOHN WILLIAM. Serjeant . No 5464 Date of Death:15/12/1915. Age: 35 LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY. Husband of E. J. Armer, of 17, Milton St., Barrow-in-Furness
KC3 hostile aircraft Committee 21 Dec 1916.jpg
13th December 1916 Hostile aircraft Committee
KC4 Education Committee Belgian children.jpg
8th January 1917 Education Committee- Belgian children
KC4 Education Committee Belgian children.jpg (31.61 KiB) Viewed 2348 times
KC 5 Aircraft Insurance.jpg
29th January 1918 Finance Committee Aircraft (bombing!) insurance
KC 5 Aircraft Insurance.jpg (35.53 KiB) Viewed 2348 times
KC 6 Lan army 7 May 1918.jpg
&th May 1918 Formation of Land Army
KC 7 Education Committe annual report Spanish Flu.jpg
December 1918 Education Committee annual report - Spanish Flu
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