No boots for orphan children in Holbeach area in 1916

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The cost of living was rising as a result of the war in 1916 but Holbeach Guardians were taking a strong line on giving money for boots to foster children.

The Rev Harvey Smith suggested, at the monthly meeting of the Holbeach Board of Guardians, that an allowance of 7s 6d per year be made for boots for each “boarded-out child” during the war.

He said they all knew how “increased the cost of living had become during the war”, and the Board had only allowed an increase of 6d a week for each child.

The vicar was “strongly of the opinion that something further should be done for the children in these times”.

He added that he did not think they could find another Union which paid so little as they did for boarded-out children. Even before the war, most Unions paid 5s a week and a clothing grant of 10s a quarter.

However, one of the Guardians asked if it was the foster parents who were asking for the boots, and another added that some foster parents “took these children to get everything they could out of them, and should be able to afford to buy them boots”, while another Guardian disputed this idea.

One concluded: “Once you commence this business we shall never know the end. It will be coats and all manner of things next.”

The motion was lost by six votes to seven.

The Holland district’s uncertified and supplementary teachers were also asking for a war bonus and increase in salary “in view of the increase in the cost of living”. Certified teachers had already received a “considerable increase”.

They were applying for an advance of £10 a year, at a cost of around £2,000 in total.

The teachers were to have no answer that month as the question was referred to the next meeting of the Education Committee.