Haslingfield Parish Council and the Great War

It is still a matter of some debate on how much the Great War impacted on life in a rural community like Haslingfield. John Beynon, in his ‘The Call to Arms’, outlines the impact on individual families whose menfolk either enlisted or who sought, through exemption, not to enlist. But was there a collective impact? Click Read More below for more info.

The minutes of Haslingfield Parish Council for the war period give little clue to this. In December 1917 mention was made of the Cambridgeshire and Ely Prisoner of War Relief Fund, and the vicar canvassed the whole village to raise £22 1s 8d in its cause. In November 1918 a committee was formed with a view to building a war memorial. Yet the biggest war-time entry in the minutes was as follows:

“21st June 1917    Mr. T. Emson proposed and Mr. J. Wisbey seconded that H. Harding catch rats and be paid by the Council by the day, also the clerk to pay by rats’ tails and sparrows’ heads and sparrows’ eggs

1/0 per dozen rats’ tails

3d per dozen fledged sparrows’ heads

2d per dozen unfledged sparrows’ heads and

1d per dozen sparrows’ eggs.”

So maybe life just carried on as before for some!

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