Many of the Belgian refugees had arrived in the village having lost everything they possessed. The Ewhurst Belgian Relief Committee was set up to provide them with some warm clothing and a little tobacco. Most of the money was raised by subscription. The Parish Magazine reported that £86.5s.2d. had been promised, (of which £57.5s.2d. had been received). Collection boxes marked ‘Leave Your change’ were placed in different shops in the village. A Christmas Lunch was provided for the Belgians, funded from the Christmas Day offerings at the parish church.
The Volunteer Training Corps
On Saturday 5th December the Surrey Advertiser reported that “A well attended meeting held at the Church Hall on Wednesday evening to discuss the formation of a Volunteer Corps. The Rev. A.E. Clark Kennedy (the late Rector) outlined the object of the scheme and answered a number of questions. Drill will take place on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and it is expected that a large corps will be formed.”
Christmas Gifts from Canada and the United States
Gifts were received from the United States, but sadly, were disappointing. The Parish Magazine reported that “It was hoped that it would be possible to supply sufficient presents for the children of all Sailors and Soldiers serving their country but our local War Relief Committee has received notice from Headquarters that the presents must be limited to the children of men who have been or are missing, and the Belgian children in this country. The gifts consist chiefly clothing. There are very few toys.”
The Canadians sent food supplies – “The Local Government Board has allocated as our share of the gifts from the Canadian Government to the Nation, 3 sacks of potatoes and 1 bag (98ls) of flour.
Presents were also given by local famers for distribution, including Mr Sadler of Ellens Green, who donated apples and potatoes.