October 13, 2013

School

Brandon Schools

This page features extracts from the log book of the Brandon Council School and Infants’ School. The school was the forerunner of the Forest Primary Community School which today still uses some of the buildings from that time. During the war the school was split into two different buildings , one for the Infants (aged 4 – 8) and the other for the Juniors (aged 8 – 14). One building, known as the lower building was for the infants and the upper building, facing onto the Market Hill, was a school for the older children.

I = Infants; J = Juniors;

1939

11th September 1939 J
(New school year begins)
84 children from Green School, Tottenham, London, evacuees taken in.  19 children admitted from various schools and 29 from Infant Dept.
21st September 1939 J
Rev. & Mrs. Bishop from Tottenham called and visited the children and teacher from Tottenham.
22nd September 1939 J
Curate from Tottenham visited the school this morning. An assembly of Tottenham children in woodwork room.

1940

23rd September 1940 J
Registers marked at 10-00am this morning owing to Air Raid Warnings during the night. Staff present at 9-00am and a few children.
24th September 1940
Registers marked at 10-00am this morning owing to Air Raid Warnings during the night. Staff present at 9-00am and a few children.
25th September 1940
Registers marked at 10-00am this morning.

1941

27th February 1941 J
Four alerts today. During one at about 1-00pm the roof of the school cookery room and class room (No.3) pierced by enemy machine gun bullets. No-one injured.

2nd April 1941 I
Miss Barton (His Majesty’s Inspector) visited the school this afternoon regarding the air raid damage of 27th February 1941.
31st July 1941 I
Bombs dropped on Brandon overnight. Very disturbed night for everyone. Poor attendance in school as a consequence. The morning attendance was only 81 and the afternoon’s attendance was 85.
5th August 1941 I
School re-opened after being closed for one day, on Monday 4th August. 50 children promoted to Junior School. 6 additional children taken off registers as they have returned to London. Total losses of children from the school is 65. Classes re-organised on a strict age basis and probably the children returning were evacuees.
7th August 1941 I
Nurse Collins visited to inspect heads.
27th August 1941 I
Gas masks examined and notes were sent home where gas masks were found to be defective.
29th October 1941 I
All children’s gas masks fitted.  The following children had left their masks at home:

  • Class I – P.Farthing; P.Essex; P.Bones; J.Boydon; P.Zipfell; A.Hammond;
  • Class II – S.Docking; T.Fishlock; M.Drewery; J.Curson; J.Constable; P.Randall; S.Harbour; A.Norton;
  • Class III – R.Cullen; M.Hooper; C.Docking;

The following children’s gas masks were found to be defective and notes were forwarded to the perspective parents:

  • Class I – B.Adams; D.Branch; A.Walker; S.Austin; R.Woods; P.Marchant; B.Tuck; A.Tucker; P.Owen; N.Norton; R.Gathercole;
  • Class II – M.Williams; J.Cole; J.McFarlane; M.Green; D.Dorling; S.Pye; M.Gibson; N.Strult; B.Clarke; S.Cole-Wilkin; A.Jolly;
  • Class III – M.Walker; B.Baskett; B.Bilverstone; P.Wright; R.Bailey; K.Hunt; M.Truscott; D.Boobe; G.Challis;

10th November 1941 I
Alert in afternoon.
9th December 1941 I
Nurse inspects for impetigo and scabies.

1942

16th January 1942 I
Dentist visited.

4th February 1942 I
First day of medical inspections.
5th February 1942 I
Doctor unable to complete medical inspections due to the state of the roads.
6th February 1942 I
Doctor unable to complete medical inspections due to the state of the roads.
9th February 1942 I
Doctor finally arrives to complete examinations.
11th February 1942 I
Miss Barton (His Majesty’s Inspector) visited the school regarding gun emplacements.
9th March 1942 I
12 children had teeth extracted by gas.
13th July 1942 I
Mrs. I.Byron absent with permission on account of her husband’s leave from His Majesty’s Forces.
21st July 1942 I
Absence of Mrs. Walker on account of her husband’s leave.
23rd July 1942 I
Return of Mrs. Walker. Air raid alert sounded during the morning and a second alert overnight.
23rd September 1942 I
Nurse Collins examined all children for scabies.
30th September 1942 I
Air raid alert at 10-50am, children taken to shelter. All clear sounded at 11-40am.
19th October 1942 I
Air raid warning at 9-55am. Children went into shelter until 12-00 noon and then dismissed. In future children will remain in their separate classrooms during warning period – huddled together in one location seems to be absurd and much less safe than scattered throughout the school. All clear this morning at 1-15pm.
I am having trouble with unruliness of children hitting or hurting each other and shall have to resort to corporal punishment. The lobby has been flooded 3 times and the dustbin emptied 4 times in one morning.
20th November 1942 I
I am asking that John Woods should be medically examined – he is a very demoralising influence and if he is abnormal we must make a different arrangement. His speciality is holding little children’s heads under the water tap and stoning and he seems to have no idea of right and wrong. He comes from Wangford Hall.
2nd December 1942 I
Meeting at 3-30pm until 4-30pm in the staff room today to discuss a Christmas treat for the school. Present were, in the Committee Chair, Madame de Lotbiniere, all teachers, Mrs. Carl and Mrs. Bernard Lingwood.
Mr. Grimmer visited on Wednesday and saw our air raid arrangements. He agreed with the staff that the shelter is inadequate and we have arranged for children to stay in their respective rooms when the warning is heard.
3rd December 1942 I
I took all the Barnardo’s to Mr. Lumsden this morning, as they had visited his pigs unattended. Mr. Lumsden gave them a hint of what might happen and they are deprived of their weekly pennies. (Pigs all died later in a mysterious way.)
9th December 1942 I
Invited all mothers to come and see our air raid arrangements. All those who came agreed that the shelter is more dangerous than our system of shelter in classrooms which are warm and much less dangerous. Mr. Grimmer had received notice from the Secretary for Education that the present staff will be recognised until war ends.
15th December 1942 I
Air raid warning at 10-40am. Children all went in school and took shelter as arranged. Registers were called after the ‘all clear’.
Stray cat in school, living in staff room. We are feeding it until the R.S.P.C.A. Inspector can come and destroy it. (Cat destroyed by Dr Beaumont.)
22nd December 1942 I
Lovely party and Christmas tree organised by Madame de Lotbiniere and Miss Carl and Mrs. Bernard Lingwood. Mr. Parry took the part of Father Christmas, each child had a 3d piece and an apple.

1943

10th January 1943 I
Bad weather and air raid warning.
13th January 1943 I
Mrs. Foster, dentist, examined all children present, 110.
8th February 1943 I
I find the drains are all blocked with large lumps of flint, the children have taken off the traps and filled up the holes. I have tried to clean them up myself but with very little success. The next boy doing this will be caned, as we get perpetual floods.
10th February 1943 I
Rather long (air raid) warning – several mothers came and fetched their children away.
22nd February 1943 I
Received a receipt and letter of thanks from Mrs. Churchill for 1 guinea sent to the Russian Red Cross by this school.
8th March 1943 I
Madame Lotbiniere called to see me. I have had no case of theft among the Brandon children, but very many among the Barnardos. They are a problem, as the only means of making them pay is force. They are a demoralising influence among the little towns children and I see no improvement. They are the only children I have to punish.
12th May 1943 I
Up to May 1943 no Brandon child has received corporal punishment.
The children from Wangford have been punished several times for theft and bad disobedience.
John Woods received 4 on the seat with the cane. Interfering with teachers’ property repeatedly.

1944

19th January 1944 I
Only 70 children are present today. Some have gone to a ‘prisoners of war’ party at Bury St. Edmunds, but the remainder have coughs, colds and impetigo.
8th November 1944 I
Rector visited and is taking Miss Huke and the Headmistress to Mildenhall to receive the plaque for the ‘Salute the Soldiers’ week. Our target was £10 but the sum raised was £50.

1945

8th-9th May 1945 IJ
VE-Day – VICTORY! 2 day’s holiday, school closed today and tomorrow.
10th May 1945 J
School reopened. Poor attendance. Attendance Officer called, but decided not to visit in the circumstances.