Ewhurst History Society

« The Aftermath of the First World War

September 1918

Blackberry Picking

In September 1918 children in rural schools schools across the country picked blackberries as part of the war effort. The school log book records that Ewhurst School children picked 236 lbs on the 3rdSeptember, and on the 9thSeptember were able to send three cwt to ‘Southwell and Co Jam Manufacturers’ in Bermondsey. The berries were sent by train and had to be dispatched within two days of picking. They were paid for their work as the log book for the 12thSeptember notes that they had despatched 1,032 lbs. and earned £12.18.1 ½ d. On the 20thSeptember it was noted that “The children have gathered nearly 900lbs blackberries again this week; cheque for picking £10.12s.6d” On the 27thSeptember it was noted that “Mr Winter, HMI, visited the school this afternoon on behalf of the Ministry of Food to thank both teaches and scholars for their efforts re gathering blackberries for the Government.”


News from the Front

It was reported that Captain Edwin William Ede M.C. Royal Fusiliers had been Killed in Action on 30thAugust. The Surrey Advertiser noted “He was only 20 years of age and had been in France for 18 months having seen much service. As a lad he was well known in Ewhurst often spending his holidays with his uncles and aunts. In addition to winning the Military Cross he had been mentioned in dispatches. His death is particularly sad as at the time of the War Office announcement he was expected home on leave. His colonel, in a letter of sympathy and appreciation states that Capt. Ede fell gallantly leading his company in attack being killed by a machine gun bullet at close range.” He was the only son of Mr and Mrs Ede of Catford and was educated at St Dunstans. He entered the Army from an OTC and was Gazetteed to the Royal Fusiliers.

In September came news that Alfred Jenkins, a Private in the Royal Sussex Battalion, had been injured and died of wounds near Bapaume, on 29thSeptember. He was 33 and lived at Cox Green with his wife, Minnie and two children, Rosaline and Alfred.