Effect of the War at Home in Thetford

In May 1916, the Vicar (the Rev. R.C.S. Sweeting ) held the annual vestry meeting for St. Cuthbert’s parish  in Thetford. The church accounts were discussed and total income was £141 7s.5d. and expenditure was £121 0s.8d. This very satisfactory balance was attributed largely to the presence of troops in the town and their regular church attendance.

Also during May, the East Anglian Foresters’ Federation held their half-yearly meeting in the town. Numbers attending were considerably down: most of the young men were away fighting and with the probability of married men being called up, there was likely to be a further depletion in numbers.However, those who were beyond military age agreed to try to carry on the work.

At a special meeting of Thetford Town Council, the health of the borough was discussed, including the unusually low birth rate.In 1915, the civil population had decreased from 4,778 to 4,707 and 80 births had been registered.

Thetford Rural Council held their annual meeting in May and again the low birth rate but also the high death rate in 1915 were discussed.During 1915, population decreased from 10,061 to 9,095. 180 births were registered during the year, giving a birth rate of 19.8 per 1,000 which was low.

In 1916, a red disc was introduced for use by families who had one or more members serving with the forces to put in their windows. The discs had the words “Not at Home” and “A man from this house now serving in his Majesty’s Forces” on them. In Thetford, the discs could be obtained from a Mr. J. Edgell of King’s House.



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