One hundred years ago in 1916, when the war was raging, things were happening here in the two local schools, Ryeish Green and Lambs Lane. Many of the teachers were called up as they were male and the female teachers were few and far between and single women. When Mr Jones left Lambs Lane to join the Army the staff duties had to be rearranged. In 1915, pupil teacher Edith Wilson worked on a part time basis of 2 hours per week and the next year, a monitoress was appointed. This meant that the monitoress would then count as a Supplementary Teacher in two years’ time when she became 18 years old.
Even with the shortages of staff, the attitude towards married women discouraged their employment. At Lambs Lane, in 1916, Miss Rawson asked the Education Committee whether she would be retained after her marriage. The Committee replied that they would approve her retention after her marriage provided that her domestic duties and physical health did not interfere, in any way, with her work in the school.
Ethel Snell, who with her sister Louisa, attended Lambs Lane School when it opened in 1908, had transferred from
Charles Russell School in Swallowfield which had then closed. Ethel left Lambs Lane in 1912 and went onto Three Mile Cross School (Ryeish Green) where she was appointed as a monitoress, passing her Pupil Teacher test and appointed a Pupil Teacher 18 months later. She stayed at Ryeish for her five-year apprenticeship and in 1917, qualified as a teacher. She was there in 1916 and after qualifying taught at Twyford.
There was a succession of caretakers at Ryeish Green who were also called up. Mr Underwood who was appointed late in the war received his papers and the managers of the school appealed for his exemption from service to keep him there. Mr Reely, the Headmaster, was called to the Recruiting Office at the small town hall in Reading. The call was a mistake on the part of the recruiting office. He did however, eventually enlist in 1918 and joined the RAF despite having been refused permission to enlist earlier.
The punishment book has an entry for 1916, which states that one boy refused to do anything he was told and was caned. He still continued to refuse to do as he was told and said that his mother was his authority. The boy was sent home. More can be found in our books.