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1914: Generous financial commitment for War 'Distress' fund

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 18 August 1914




The Cuckfield Urban Council met as a Committee, to consider the question of distress created by the war, at the Queen's Hall, Cuckfield, on Thursday evening. In attendance were Mr. A. Beeching., J.P. (Chairman), Miss Payne, Mr. S. Knight, Mr. R. Harris, Mr. C. Hobson, Mr. B. J. Burtenshaw, Mr. H. Bates, Mr. E. E. Napper, Mr. J. Denman and Mr. S. Caffyn (members of the Council), Mr. C. H. Waugh (Clerk), and the following residents :—the Rev. R. Fisher (Vicar), Mr. R. A. Bevan, J.P., Mr. B. Y. Bevan, J.P., Colonel S. R. Clarke, C. B., J.P., Mr. E. Mumford Preston, Major Kenny-Herbert, Mr. W. Stevens, J.P., Mr. W. E. Mitchell and Mr. T. I. Symons.

The Chairman having explained the object of the meeting, it was decided to form a Committee to deal with cases of distress in the ecclesiastical parish of Cuckfield due directly or indirectly to the war.

Drawing of Queen's Hall High Street

Next was discussed whether the money collected should be forwarded to the Central Fund. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that it was in the winter months that distress was likely to be greatest. Coal and food would be dearer and labour less. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association could be relied upon to look after the needs of the dependents of those associated with the services, and he thought it was the duty of local employers of labour to do their best to find their men work. Jobs of wood-cutting might be found. Personally be should like to see Cuckfield money used for Cuckfield people.

Mr. Stevens mentioned what was being done in Brighton, and advocated the money being sent to the Central Fund, which would result in each place receiving support according to its need.

Mr. B. Y. BEVAN agreed with the last speaker, adding that by contributing to the Central Fund the money would be properly distributed and there would be no over- lapping.

It was subsequently unanimously resolved that the money should be sent to the Central Fund.

The following Committee was formed, with power to add to their number:—Mr Beeching, Mr. Knight, Mr Harris, the Rev. R. Fisher, Mr. B. A. Bevan, Mr. B. Y. Bevan, Colonel S. R. Clarke, Major Kenny- Herbert, Mr. E. M. Preston, Mr. W. Stevens, Mr. W. E. Mitchell and Miss Payne.

A letter was read from Miss Bevan, offering to the Committee, on behalf of the local Women's Suffrage Society, the assistance of an organised band of women should it be desired. It was also stated that the Society would suspend its propaganda work until the close of the war.

The Clerk was instructed to write and thank Miss Bevan for her letter, which was referred to the Committee for consideration.

This closed the Council business.

A special meeting of the Committee followed, and the following appointments were made :—Chairman of the Committee, the Rev. R. Fisher; Vice-Chairman, Mr. A. Beeching; Treasurer, Mr. B. Bevan: Hon. Secretary, Mr. C. H. Waugh.

It was decided that a circular should be sent round the town appealing for subscriptions. The following amounts were promised in the room :—Colonel S. R. Clarke, £100 ; Mr. E. M. Preston, £100; Mr. R. A. Bevan, £30 ; Mr. B. Y. Bevan, £10; the Rev. R. Fisher, £10; Mr. S. Knight, £10 ; Miss Payne, .£l5 ; Major Kenny-Herbert, £5; Mr. A. Beeching, £5; Mr. W. Stevens, £5; Mr. R. Harris, £5; and Mr. C. H. Waugh, £5—making a total of £280.



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