Wendover Remembers, December 1916

Val Moir and Mike Senior  |  Published: Dec 1st 2016

After twenty-eight months of conflict, all the belligerents were suffering from war-weariness.  The great battles of the Somme and Verdun had come to an end with, between them, some 1.7 million casualties.  And yet, there was no sign of the end of the war.  In Britain, Lloyd George resigned from the Government frustrated by the slow progress of the war.  Prime Minister Asquith then resigned and Lloyd George took over from him.  Germany put forward a Peace Note, but refused to return the territories it had occupied – particularly Belgium.  The Note was rejected by both Britain and France.  The hard “Turnip Winter” and the British blockade caused severe and widespread hunger in Germany.

Britain also suffered from the bitterly cold weather.  The hills around Wendover were covered in snow.  Mr Molineux, the Head of Wendover School, recorded in the Log Book that there was an epidemic of influenza that struck both pupils and teachers.  He was obliged to cancel the end of term examinations.  At Weston Turville, children had attended school even though suffering from measles.  The disease spread and the village was put out of bounds to the soldiers of Halton Camp.

As Christmas approached, it was decided that all the Wendover men serving at the Front should receive a gift parcel.  Collection boxes were placed in the shops, hotels and churches to raise the money.  On the first Sunday in December £8.0.6 was collected at St Mary’s and 6s7d at the St Agnes Mission Church.  Enough money was collected to buy a gifts for all the local men.  In early 1917 the Wendover Magazine published many letters of thanks. The photograph shows various gifts displayed at Nicholas Lee’s shop in the High Street.  It also shows shop-fitters adding the adjoining house to the draper’s shop owned by Mr Lee. 

The Bucks Herald reported that Tom Eldridge had sent a letter to his father, Frank, saying that he had been promoted to Sergeant.  “The news will be received with pleasure by all his old friends in Aylesbury as well as Wendover, he having been for several years goods clerk to Aylesbury Joint Station”.  The Wycombe Military Tribunal heard a plea from a 19 year old bricklayer, named Flitney, who was employed by Sir A H Lee MP, of Chequers Court.  The young man said that he was the sole supporter of his widowed mother and had eight brothers in the forces.  The Tribunal granted six months exemption in recognition of the sacrifices that Mrs Flitney had already made.

view of Wendover High Street, 1916
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