World War Two Guide

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Guide to World War Two Records

Using this Guide

This is a guide to the sources we have at the Berkshire Record Office on World War Two.

It is divided into the following sections:

Air Raid Precautions (ARP)/Civil Defence Organisation

Bombing Raids

Evacuation Scheme

Home Front

Home Guard

Remembrance

The guide is arranged by place for towns and villages throughout Berkshire. Records that are not place-specific are grouped under ‘Berkshire’ at the beginning of each section. At LMA means the documents are at the London Metropolitan Archives and are not held at BRO.

The reference listed after each entry is the document reference to quote if you would like to see that specific record. (Please note that some references are for more than one item). If you have any questions, just ask staff for advice.

If you would like to visit us to carry out your research, please email or call us to make an appointment. See our Planning Your Visit leaflet for further information.

Who Did What?

During wartime many emergency functions were run by the Government. The two most important local councils in Berkshire at the time were Berkshire County Council and Reading Corporation, which were responsible for effecting emergency orders. These principal councils either carried out the orders themselves or delegated them to the other borough or district councils. For more information please read the introduction to the C/CD catalogue.

Air Raid Precautions (ARP)/Civil Defence

County and District Organisation

[Excluding records for Reading and Slough; see under entries for each borough council for details of what is held] 

Berkshire County Council

Air Raid Precautions Committee, 1936–1939. C/CL/C3/15/1

Emergency Committee for Civil Defence minutes, 1939-1948. C/CL/C3/19/1

County Defence and Invasion Committees minutes, 1941-1943. C/CL/C3/20

Report Centres and Wardens’ Posts, 1938-1946. C/CD/A1/1-35

Emergency Services (First Aid Posts, Decontamination Squads), 1938-1947. C/CD/A2/1-56; C/CD/A5/1

Equipment Stores, 1938-1947. C/CD/A3/1-14

Air Raid Shelters, 1939-1948. C/CD/A4/1-91; C/CD/A5/3/1-11

County Operational Data, 1944. C/CD/A5/4

Schedules re. military manoeuvres, 1903-1951. C/CL/G1/39

Correspondence re. VD in armed forces, 1916-1940. C/CL/G1/68/4

Correspondence re. disabled ex-servicemen, 1920-1942. C/CL/G1/75

Correspondence re. agricultural training for personnel released from war service, 1944-1945. C/CL/G1/116/20

Abingdon Rural District


ARP/Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1946. RD/A/CB1/7-11

ARP matters dealt with in Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1939-1944. RD/A/CB1/7-9

Bradfield Rural District

ARP Committee reports in the minutes of the Rural District Council, 1939-1945. RD/B/CA1/34-40

Emergency Committee reports in Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/B/CA1/34-40

Cookham Rural District

ARP/ Emergency Committee reports in the Rural District Council Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes, 1938-1948. RD/C/CB2/4-6

Rural District Council Minutes also contain information on provision, 1938-1947. RD/C/CA1/17-18

Easthampstead Rural District

Planning applications for air raid shelters, 1939-1943. RD/E/SB2/125; SB3/114; SB5/251; SB6/442, 455

ARP committee reports and information on provision in the Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/E/CA1/15

Emergency Committee minutes, 1940-1945. RD/E/CB16/1

Health and General Services Committee minutes, 1939-1945. RD/E/CB13/2

Faringdon Rural District

Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1946. RD/F/CB4/1-3

Hungerford Rural District

Rural District Council and Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1945. RD/H/CA1/10-12

Maidenhead

ARP Sub-Committee minutes, later the Civil Defence Sub-Committee, 1941-1945. M/AC2/3/2

Newbury

Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1945. N/AC2/2/6, N/AC2/19/2-10

Newbury Rural District

Some information on the Emergency Committee in the Rural District Council minutes, 1939. RD/N/CA1/10

Reading

Emergency Committee for Civil Defence minutes 1939-1942, later Emergency and Invasion Committee minutes, 1942-1944. R/AC2/20/1-6

Records of Chief ARP Warden, 1939-1958. D/EX1657/1-6

Letter from the mayor and chairman of the Emergency Committee for Civil Defence, Reading thanking members of the Civil Defence (General) Service for their contributions, 1945. D/EX2387/8/2

Slough

ARP Committee minutes, 1935-1942. S/AC1/4/3; S/AC2/18/1; S/AC2/19/1; S/AC2/23/1; S/AC2/25/1

Civil Defence (Special) Committee, later Civil Defence Committee, 1940-1944. S/AC1/4/3-6

Civil Defence Sub-Committee, Civil Defence (Public Relations) Sub-committee, 1940-1942. S/AC2/25/1

Civil Defence (Billeting etc.) Sub-committee, Invasion Sub-committee, 1942-1947. S/AC2/25/2

Wallingford

ARP Committee minutes, 1938-1942. W/AC2/2/8-9

Joint Fire Brigade and ARP Committee minutes, 1941. W/AC2/2/9

Wallingford Rural District

Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/W/CA1/19-20

Wantage

Reports of the ARP Committee in the Urban District Council minutes, later in Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1939-1945. UD/WT/CA1/8-9

Wantage Rural District

Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/WT/CA1/13-15

Windsor

ARP Committee minutes, 1939-1945. WI/AC2/11/9-15

Windsor Rural District

Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1945. RD/WI/CB1/1; RD/WI/CA1/23-24, 26

Wokingham Rural District

ARP, later Emergency Committee, minutes, 1939 –1942. RD/WO/CB26/3

Emergency Committee minutes, 1939-1940. RD/WO/CB17/1

Civil Defence Special Committee of Thames Conservancy minutes, 1939- 1946. D/TC/B8/4/1-3

Procedures for reporting damage, 1940. D/EX2158/12; D/TC311-313

Berkshire Constabulary papers relating to ARP. D/EX2158/1-2

Out-County

Board of Education circular on ARP in schools, 1939. D/P19/28/21/2

South Buckinghamshire ARP Joint Committee, 1937-1942. S/AC3/1/1-2

South Buckinghamshire ARP Emergency Committee, 1937-1950. S/AC3/2/1-2

ARP/Civil Defence – Local Organisation

The amount of information contained in these records can vary.

Abingdon

Contract for the construction of a public air raid shelter in the basement of No. 25 High Street, 1941. C/CL/L2/285/1-2

Arborfield

Contract for the construction of an air raid shelter at Arborfield CE School, 1940. C/CL/L2/287/1-2

Ashampstead

Local Defence later Invasion) Committee minutes, papers and War Book, 1941-1944. CPC8/18/3

Beenham

Records of the Local Defence Committee, including War Book, 1938-1944. D/EX847/1

Beedon

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC15/2/1

Chaddleworth

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1941. CPC32/1/1

Crowthorne

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1941. CPC102B/1/2

Combe

War Book of the Local Defence Committee, 1942. D/P197/28/6

Compton

Local Defence / Invasion Committee minutes, papers and War Book, 1941-1944. CPC41/18/12-15

Finchampstead

Nine Mile Ride County Primary School construction of an air raid shelter, 1941. C/CL/L2/292/1-2

Hampstead Marshall

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940. CPC61/1/1

Hungerford

Contract for the construction of walls for the protection from air raids at the Public Assistance Institution, 1941. C/CL/L2/293/1-2

Contract for the removal of defence works on High Street, 1945. C/CL/L2/316

Kintbury

Photograph of Kintbury Nursing Division, St John’s Ambulance Brigade, n.d. D/EX2349/3/1

Photograph of Kintbury ARP Wardens, n.d. D/EX2349/4/1

Mapledurham

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1942. CPC162B/1/2

Newbury

Contract for the construction of two air raid shelters at the County Girls School, 1940. C/CL/L2/291

Padworth

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940. CPC90/1/1

Pangbourne

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1940. CPC91/2/1

Purley

Civil Parish Council minutes and rough minutes, 1939-1941. CPC93/1/1; CPC93/2/1

Diary mentions fire-watching, 1941-1943. D/EX2104/20-22

Reading

Contract for overhead and lateral protection for air raid precautions work to the County Police Headquarters, 1941. C/CL/L2/288

Contract for alterations to County air raid shelter at the Shire Hall, 1941. C/CL/L2/290/1-5

Contract for the construction of an air raid shelter at No.10 Abbots Walk, 1943. C/CL/L2/315/1-2

Papers of a Civil Defence Officer in Reading, 1940-1942. D/EX1370/1/1-14; 2/1-9; 3/1-2

Pocket Guide to the ARP Arrangements in Reading, c.1939. D/EX1650/1

Fire arrangements at Huntley & Palmer’s factory, 1941. D/EX2116/2-3

Use of part of Reading Prison by military authorities for fire-watching, 1945. P/RP1/16/1

Rate books reference the conversion of properties to air raid shelters in Katesgrove Ward, 1942. R/FR1/17

Buildings destroyed by enemy action in Friar Street, Abbey Ward including the Arcade and the People’s Pantry, 1943. R/FR1/9

Copy letter from Smallcombe to Reading Borough Air Raid Precautions Officer, concerning the report and control procedure, 1944. D/EX2387/8/1

Correspondence and papers concerning an invention for assisting aeroplanes to land at night, 1942-1944. D/EX2387/7/5

Shaw-cum-Donnington

Newspaper clipping of public appeal for ARP volunteers in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940. CPC106/1/1

Shinfield

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC110/1/5

Slough

AP map of Slough 1940. D/EX1983/1

Building Control plans include air raid shelters, 1938-1948. S/SB2

Sonning

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939. CPC113/1/3

Speen

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1942. CPC116/1/3

Stanford-in-the-Vale

Appointment card Air Raid Warden, 1939. D/EX284/545

Stratfield Mortimer

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1941. CPC120/1/2

Streatley

Civil Parish Council Minutes, 1940-1945. CPC122/1/2

Stubbings

Letters re air raid procedures, 1939. D/P195/8A/66

Sunningdale

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1941. CPC150B/1/2

Sunninghill

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939. CPC126/1/4

War Book of the Local Defence Committee (with Sunningdale), 1942-1944. CPC126/18/4

Thatcham

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1942. CPC130/1/4

Contract for the construction of five air raid shelters at the County Senior School 1940. C/CL/L2/291

Contract for the removal of defence works, 1945. C/CL/L2/316

Tilehurst

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1941. CPC126/1/4

Twyford

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939. CPC73B/1/3

Wallingford

Notice of fire fighting demonstration 1941. D/P139/28/8

Contract for the construction of walls for protection against air raids at the Wallingford Public Assistance Institution, 1940. C/CL/L2/296/1-2

Contract for the construction and adaptation of a concrete hut for use as a wartime nursery on land fronting Church Lane, 1943. C/CL/L2/314/1-2

Waltham St Lawrence

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1941. CPC141/1/2

Wargrave

Civil Parish Council minutes 1940. CPC145/1/4

West Hendred

Civil Parish Council minutes 1940. CPC67/1/1

Winkfield

Planning application for alterations at Winkfield Manor to provide ARP facilities, 1940. RD/E/SB6/441

Civil Parish Council minutes include some information on the Emergency Committee, 1940-1945. CPC151/1/2

Air raid shelters shown on plan of factory, 1942. RD/E/SB6/462/15

Air raid shelter shown on plan of works, 1943. RD/E/SB6/479/4

Planning application for fire-watcher’s dormitory, 1943. RD/E/SB6/486

Winnersh

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1944. CPC73C/1/22

Wokingham

Contract for alterations to the Air Raid Precautions Report Centre, Shute End, 1941. C/CL/L2/279/1-2

Plan of Air Raid Shelters, 1940. WO/SW2/3/1-3

Floor plan of ARP first aid post at the indoor bowling green, Reading Road, 1938. WO/SW2/1

Woodley

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939. CPC113B/1/3

Contract for the construction of five surface-type air raid shelters (at Waingels Copse Secondary) School, 1940. C/CL/L2/286

Contract for a wartime nursery and construction of two air raid shelters, 1942. C/CL/L2/324/1-5

Bombing Raids

Berkshire

Plans for Post-Blitz Emergency Works in Berkshire, 1942-1943. D/EX1483/1/1

Incident reports, including Log Books and Unexploded Bomb certificates, 1940-1946. C/CD/C1-5

Basildon

Diary mentions land-mine, 1940. D/EX2104/19

Charney Bassett

Memorandum on damage to church, 1939-1945. D/P83B/5/1

Crowthorne

Planning application, 1947, shows position of Master’s Lodge destroyed by enemy action, Wellington College. RD/E/SB10/94/2

Maidenhead

Emergency Committee [convened to address bombing damage], 1944. M/AC2/3/2

Newbury

Recollections of Newbury Girls School in wartime, including the bombing raid on Newbury, 1943. SCH12/18/16

Reading

German map showing bombing targets in Reading, c.1940. D/EX1911/1

St. Mary’s register of services includes details of the effects of the blackout on church services and bomb damage in Reading, 1939-1944. D/P98/1B/12

Statement of damage from enemy action to St. Laurence’s church, 1943. D/P97/8A/18

Huntley and Palmers Ltd air raid casualty card (unused), n.d. D/EX1748/1/23

Photographs of bomb damage in Reading town centre, 1943. D/EX1657/3

Diary mentions bombs dropped, 1943. D/EX2104/22

Records of Victor Barton, including handwritten account of the bombing in Reading in 1943. D/EX2732/1-4

Papers regarding damage to 4-10 Castle Crescent by enemy action and subsequent claim for compensation, 1940. D/EX1942/2/2/33

Correspondence and papers concerning an invention for dealing with unexploded anti-personnel bombs, 1943. D/EX2387/7/7

Stratfield Mortimer

Photograph of wounded soldiers, Stratfield Mortimer, n.d. [c.1939-45]. SCH12/15/54

Tilehurst

Diary mentions bombs dropped, 1940. D/EX2104/19

Wokingham

Register of properties damaged by enemy action, 1940-1943. WO/SA4/2

Procedures for reporting damage, 1940. D/EX2158/12

Out-County

Reference to bomb damage at the British Museum’s Natural History Department, 1944. D/EZ177/5/2

Evacuation Scheme

Berkshire

Clerk’s department files on evacuation including general management of government schemes, emergency planning and management of properties, 1938-1948. C/CD/B1-B3

Evacuees Welfare Sub-Committee, 1941-1942 and Evacuation Sub-Committee, May-December 1942. C/CL/C3/5E/1

Registers of schools evacuated to Berkshire, 1939-1945. C/ED/H7/5/1-257

Dialogue about evacuation, 1939. D/EX2095/1/1

Abingdon

Diaries of The Harbinger Infants School (Millwall), including postcards and press cuttings, 1939-1945. At LMA LCC/EO/WAR/5/1

Abingdon Rural District

Finance and General Services Committee Minutes, 1939-1945. RD/A/CB1/8-11

Binfield

Notes, photographs and press cuttings on the war, including evacuees, air raids and Home Guard, c.1939-1945. D/EX1511/1/5

Bracknell

Special Committee on “The Forest”, High Street, Bracknell, as sick bay accommodation [for evacuees], 1939. RD/E/CB16/1

Bradfield Rural District

Evacuation Committee reports in the Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/B/CA1/34-40

Instructions for the reception of evacuees, 1939. D/EX2454/1

Burghfield

Brief memoir of school life by John Passant, headmaster of Mrs Bland’s School, 1934-1942, including account of the impact of the arrival of the evacuees at the school [written in 1981]. D/EX2082/4/1-9

Caversham

Papers regarding the use of Wesley Hall by children evacuated from a school in London, 1939-1941. D/MS30/1F/1-3

Cookham Rural District

Billeting Committee minutes, 1941-1944. RD/C/CB13/2

Finance and General Services minutes, 1939-1945. RD/C/CB2/4-6

Donnington

Sale particulars for property including a cottage occupied by evacuees, 1945. D/EX898/2/456

Easthampstead Rural District

Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/E/CA1/15-16

Billeting Costs Refunds Committee minutes, 1941. RD/E/CB16/1

Extract from a map of Reading, overprinted in German, showing places of military interest c.1940. D/EX 1911/1

Hungerford

Correspondence regarding the use of the Methodist Church Sunday School for the evacuated Macklin Street Roman Catholic School, 1939-1946. D/MS3/1F/8

Maidenhead

Special Committee Regarding Evacuation minutes, later the Billeting and Emergency Feeding Committee, 1939-1946; Craufurd Home (or evacuees) Sub-Committee minutes, 1945. M/AC2/3/2

Newbury

Recollections of an evacuee in Newbury, 1940 [written in 1990]. T/Z35

Recollections of Newbury Girls School in wartime, including the evacuation of Godolphin & Latymer School to share the premises. SCH12/18/16

Newbury Rural District

Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1944. RD/N/CA1/10

Reading

London evacuees at Battle Senior School recorded in the log book, 1939-1944. 2001/SCH4/2

Circulars from Chief Billeting Officer of Reading relating to evacuation (addressed to Mr Gleave, Headmaster of Battle School, Reading), 1940. D/MS62/8/5/1-4

Official letter from HM Queen Elizabeth II to Elsie Smallcombe thanking her for taking in evacuee children, 1939; with explanatory note by Will Smallcombe with recollections of the children, 1974. D/EX2387/13/6

Sandhurst

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940. CPC102/1/3

Slough

Emergency Housing and Billeting Sub-Committee, 1942-1947. S/AC2/25/2

Stratfield Mortimer

Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1940. CPC120/1/2

Stubbings

Use of school by evacuees, 1939. D/P195/28/35

Sutton Courtenay

Reminiscences of evacuation and life in Sutton Courtenay during war. D/P128/28/37

Wallingford

Lists of evacuees in Wallingford Cottage Homes, 1940-1943. D/XGW1/6

Wantage

Report on the effects of evacuation on a rural village by the Architects Association, n.d. [1940]. D/EX2382/1

Wargrave

Proposal for an evacuation camp at Cockpole Green and other information on the evacuation scheme in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1941. CPC145/1/4

White Waltham

Evacuees’ use of allotments described in the memoirs of Charles Hazell of Littlewick Green, 1946. D/EX1505/1, pp 211-212

Windsor

Evacuation Committee minutes, 1942-1945. WI/AC2/11/12-15

Details of nurses evacuated from London hospitals to Windsor, 1939-1944. D/H6/15/1

Windsor Rural District

Evacuation Committee minutes, 1941-1943. RD/WI/CA1/23-24

Wokingham

Records and memories of Oakfield Hostel (for child evacuees), 1940-c.1985. D/EX1362/1-6

Wokingham Rural District

Evacuation Scheme Sub-Committee minutes, 1940-1941. RD/WO/CB26/3

Correspondence regarding Springwell Open Air School, evacuated to Winnersh, 1939-1940. At LMA LCC/EO/WAR/2/29

Woodley

Information on the use of the village hall by evacuees in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939. CPC113B/1/3

Out-County

Register of evacuees to St Neots, Huntingdonshire, 1939-1943. D/MS82/8/10

School magazines of St Margaret’s School, Westgate on Sea, Kent including details of the school’s evacuation to North Wales and experiences of some Old Girls at the start of the war, 1938-1939. D/EX73/3/28/24/1-2

Home Front

Berkshire

War Agricultural Committee papers, 1940s. D/EX734/31-33, D/EX652/26

Advertisement and application form for Volunteer Agricultural Camps, 1945. D/EX2369/1

Berkshire County Council Domestic Food Production Committee notes of members of the village produce associations, 1944. D/EX1511/10/18

Wills and administrations of persons killed during active service, c.1939-1945. D/EBB/B3/129, 175, 194, 204, 231, 261, 279, 312, 324, 337, 368, 370, 414, 475, 484, 530, 556, 750

Police circulars, 1939-1945. D/EX2158

Tract promoting women’s equality with men through war work, n.d. [1939-1945]. D/EX2095/1/2

Abingdon Rural District

Correspondence re. use of PoW labourers, 1947. C/CL/SB2/6

Housing Post-War Housing Sub-Committee minutes, 1944. RD/A/CB1/10

Arborfield

Correspondence re. damage to bridge by US Army Air Corps vehicle, 1943. C/CL/SB14/34

Ascot

Planning application for War Department map depot, 1946-1947. RD/E/SB10/3

Planning application for Army storage sheds for uniforms and kit, near Ascot West Station, 1939. RD/E/SB6/408

Beech Hill

Evacuee’s memoir, 1940-1941. D/N49/14/7

Binfield

Clothing ration book, 1947. D/ENM10/4

Bisham

Copy of the Bisham Abbey Journal, a magazine produced for and by patients and staff at the Red Cross convalescent home which occupied Bisham Abbey, 1941. D/EX73/4/7/28

Papers regarding use of Bisham Abbey as a convalescent home/hospital, 1940-1945. D/EZ73/1/7/17, 2/1/8, 2/2/15, 4/7/28

Blewbury

War Savings Campaigns records, 1941-1945. D/P20/28/8-17

Bracknell

Planning applications for Berkshire War Agricultural Committee stores at Bracknell and Warfield, 1941-1948. RD/E/SB5/261; SB7/12; SB10/45, 275

Bradfield Rural District

Food Control Committee reports in the Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/B/CA1/34-40

Bucklebury

Plans of Bradfield Rural District Council post-war housing proposed at Bucklebury and Hatch Lane, Bucklebury, 1944. CPC28/17/2

Newspaper cutting on the use of Bucklebury Common as a Vehicle Repair Depot, 1939-1945. D/EX227/Z4

Caversham

References to the use of the Rectory by Reay Central School [Stockwell, London], 1941, and the Home Guard requisitioning St Peter’s Church Hall, 1943. D/P162/6/40

Chieveley

Plans of volunteer agricultural workers’ camp at Downend, for War Agricultural Executive Committee, 1944. RD/N/SB1/193

Coleshill

Details of fire watching and the Welcome Home Fund in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC40/1/1

Cookham

Military personnel and “Thank You Girls” using Cookham Bridge, c.1939-1946. BR/C/10/19

Cookham Rural District

Special Use of Petroleum Spirit Committee, August 1942, Special (Removal of iron railings, gates, etc) Sub-Committee June 1942, and Salvage Committee minutes, 1942-1946. RD/C/CB13/2

Didcot

Wartime Nursery plans, n.d. C/AR/P5/1

Contract for a wartime nursery at Lydals Road and other works. C/CL/L2/309/1-2

Easthampstead Rural District

Information on the Food Control Committee, 1939-1945. RD/E/C1/15-16

Iron Railings Committee minutes 1941. RD/E/CB16/1

Post-war development information in the Rural District Council minutes 1944-1945. RD/E/CA1/16

Rationing of soap, 1942. D/EX2158/13

Faringdon

Faringdon Labour Party references to war and to dangers of Fascism, 1938-1940. D/EX2740/1

Faringdon Rural District

Wartime information file, 1941-1942. D/EX2193/1

Post-War Reconstruction Sub-Committee minutes, 1942-1943. RD/F/CB5/1

Finchampstead

Information on blackout provision, civilian war deaths provision, and scrap metal collection in the Civil Parish Council minutes 1940-1945. CPC56/1/3

Hermitage

Plans of emergency hospital sewage disposal plant apparently used by US forces, 1942. RD/N/SB1/191

Hinksey, North

Botley Wartime Nursery plans, n.d. C/AR/P5/2/1-2

Hurst St Nicholas

Information on emergency food control, salvage, post-war planning, victory celebrations and the Welcome Home Fund in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1941-1945. CPC73/1/4

Ilsley, East

Information on the Welcome Home Fund in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1945. CPC74/1/1

Inkpen

Records of Manor Farm, managed by women during the war, 1941-1955. D/EX1785/1/1-3, 6; 2/1-3, 6; 3/1

Information on Victory in Europe Day celebrations in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1945. CPC76/1/2

Maidenhead

Communal Feeding Sub-Committee minutes, 1941; Food Office Amalgamation Special Sub-Committee minutes, 1941; Salvage Sub-Committee and Salvage Scrutiny Sub-Committee minutes, 1942-1943; Holidays at Home Sub-Committee minutes, 1943; Entertainments Sub-Committee minutes [concerning Victory in Europe Day celebrations], 1945. M/AC2/3/2

Letter re. milk delivery, 1941. D/EX2311/4/1

Newspaper cuttings relating to Frederick Hickman’s army service 1925-1993. D/EX1219/1-4

Mapledurham

Information on post-war reconstruction in the Civil Parish Council minutes 1942-1943. CPC162B/1/2

Moulsford

Papers relating to the Moulsford Welcome Home Fund, Including minutes and accounts, 1947. CPC88/18/2

Newbury

Register of petrol rationing, 1941-1945. D/EX656/16, 16a

Newbury Boys Club magazines [produced in part to communicate the difficulties of wartime], 1943. D/EX1741/1

Papers relating to the reception of Dutch children, 1945. N/D59/2/4

Papers relating to the reception of returning servicemen, 1945. N/D59/2/5

Papers relating to wartime Red Cross activities, 1941-1947. N/D59/3/1,2

Reports on evacuation and medical services, 1944. N/D59/4/2

Wartime uniform requirements, Newbury Girls School, 1943. SCH12/7/1

Newbury Rural District

Information on the Food Control Committee, the salvage scheme and post-war housing in the Rural District Council minutes, 1939-1945. RD/N/CA1/10

Newland

Post-war development discussion recorded in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1944. CPC73D/1/12

Padworth

Information on the salvage scheme, communal feeding, and domestic food production in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC90/1/1-2

Pangbourne

Information on wartime allotments, troops stationed in Pangbourne, holidays at home, post-war housing and the Welcome Home Fund in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC91/2/1

Letters regarding gifts by Pangbourne Congregational Church to families of German prisoners of war worshipping at church, 1947. D/N45/14/8

Purley

Information on post-war housing in the Civil Parish Council minutes and rough minutes, 1944-1945. CPC93/1/1, CPC93/2/1

Information on the Welcome Home Fund in the Civil Parish Council rough minutes, 1945. CPC93/1/1

Radley

Orders of service in the time of war 1940 and thanksgiving for victory, 1945. D/P95/28/3

Reading

Wartime staffing measures file, 1939-1947. R/FB9/2

Post-War Reconstruction Committee minutes, 1942-1946. R/AC1/3/84, 90, 93, 97

Letters relating to the wartime activities of Samuel Elliott and Sons Ltd, Engineers, including work on landing craft, 1942-1945. D/EX1263/6/6-9

Record of the work of the British Welcome Club for servicemen at Broad Street Church, 1943-1945. D/N11/1/2/9

List of army comforts provided by Tyndale Baptist Church, 1939. D/N28/7/2/3

Photographs and articles concerning military vehicle conversions carried out by Vincents of Reading, 1939-1944. D/EX1401/46-48

Reading National Savings Committee records, 1939-1945. P/NS2/9, 10; P/NS6/2

Letters of A R Reeves on life in wartime, c.1941. D/EBB/B3/550

Sale catalogue of house requisitioned as a children’s sickbay, 1942. D/EX1852/2/9

Letter from the Red Cross regarding communications with people in enemy occupied territory, 1942. D/EBB/B3/260

Annual dinner menus of Reading Biscuit Factory Fire Brigade, 1936-1949. D/EX1615/6

Blotter advertising “Embrostat Process” as a precaution against air raids by Sargents Embrook Limited, Printers, c.1940s. D/EX1397/1

Diaries of Gerald S Hampton of Reading, referencing war-related incidents, 1940-1943. D/EX2104/19-22

Letter to English hostesses at American Red Cross dances, including rules for behaviour, 1944. D/EX2595/1

Membership card of Will Smallcombe for the YMCA “Snapshots From Home” League. D/EX2387/13/7

Letter from the Department of Scientific Research and Experiment at the Admiralty, stating that Smallcombe’s suggestion for the use of barrage balloons for observation was of no practical use, 1942. D/EX2387/7/6

Syllabus of lectures to HM Forces arranged by the University of Reading (including several by Smallcombe, 1944. D/EX2387/6/9

Sandhurst

Information on the Produce Association [run at the direction of the Berkshire War Agricultural Committee], 1942-1943 and the salvage of iron railings, 1943 in the Civil Parish Council minutes. CPC102/1/3

Showing light in blackout, 1941. D/EX2158/9

Shinfield

Arrangements for provision of services in case of civilian deaths due to enemy action 1940, wartime allotments, 1941, iron railing salvage, 1941-1945 and the Victory Garden Show, 1943 in the Civil Parish Council minutes. CPC110/1/5

Shrivenham

Papers on and photographs of bells and plaque in the parish church given by British and American soldiers stationed in Shrivenham, 1944-1946. D/P112/8A/37-39

Shrivenham Post, newspaper of US Army University Centre, 1945. D/EX1407/1

Slough

Staff War Allowances) Sub-Committee, 1942-1947, Salvage Sub-Committee, British Restaurant Sub-Committee, 1942-1947. S/AC2/25/2

Bell’s Asbestos and Engineering Ltd scrapbook containing advertisements for fire screens, smother blankets, and bells for incendiary bombs supplied to ARP departments, n.d. [c.1940s]. D/EX1800/2

Building Control plans include details of air raid shelters, 1938-1948. S/SB2

Stratfield Mortimer

Information on communal feeding, emergency water supplies and the salvage scheme in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1945. CPC120/1/2

Streatley

Information on the salvage scheme, civilian deaths, allotments and post-war development in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1939-1945. CPC122/1/2

Prayer in the time of war, 1940. D/P122/1C/2

Sunningdale

Information on the use of an allotment by a London schoolmaster for educational purposes 1939, post-war development and peace celebrations 1945 in the Civil Parish Council minutes. CPC150B/1/2

Sunninghill

Information on post-war development and Victory in Europe Day celebrations in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1945. CPC126/1/4

Sunningwell

Papers concerning the Welcome Home Fund and festivities for members of the forces, 1946. D/P127/28/3

Thatcham

Information on the salvage of iron railings, holidays at home, allotments for wartime food production, post-war development and Victory in Japan Day celebrations in the Civil Parish Council Minutes, 1940-1945. CPC130/1/4

Theale

Information on a communal feeding centre, 1940-1941 and post-war housing in Civil Parish Council minutes, 1944-1945. CPC132B/1/2

Tilehurst

Information on emergency communal feeding, salvage scheme, domestic food production, post-war planning, ration books, Battle of Britain Sunday, Sailors Flag Day, Warships Week and Victory in Europe Day celebrations in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940-1945. CPC132/1/6-7

Statement regarding the appointment of a German curate, 1943. D/P132/8A/5

Twyford

Information on iron salvage in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1940. CPC73B/1/3

Wallingford Borough

Local Government Staffs War Service) Act Committee minutes, 1939-1940. W/AC2/2/8

Emergency Petrol Supplies Committee minutes, 1943, Emergency Housing Accommodation Committee minutes, 1945. W/AC2/2/9

Wartime Nursery plans, n.d. C/AR/P5/6

Wallingford Rural District

Information on the Food Control Committee, 1940-1944; salvage scheme, 1941; British Restaurant Sub-Committee, 1942; Didcot Warships Week,1942; American troops, 1942; post-war reconstruction, 1945; use of German prisoners of war as labourers (for the preparation of post-war housing sites), 1945; and the Victory in Europe Day holiday, 1945 in the Rural District Council minutes, 1940–1944. RD/W/CA1/19-20

Waltham St Lawrence

Information on victory celebrations in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1945. CPC141/1/2

Tracts on aspects of the war published by Gertrude Bennet, 1939–c.1945. D/EX2095

Wantage

Food Control Committee minutes, 1939. UD/WT/CA1/8-9

Ration card and ID card of nurse, 1939-1943. D/H15/4/1/12, 14

Wantage Rural District Council

Wartime information file, 1941-1942. D/EX2193/1

West Hanney

References to war news, including an exchange with a vicar from London, 1940-1945. D/P63/1B/5, 6

West Hendred

Information on ploughing the village recreation ground for food production in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1941. CPC67/1/1

Windsor

Wartime Nurseries Committee minutes, 1940-1945. WI/AC2/11/11-15

Shop registration for rationing, 1939. WI/D13/1

Copies of letter regarding the supply of eggs to Windsor Castle, 1940. T/A96/1-5

Dig for Victory Campaign and wartime allotments information in the Allotments Committee minutes, 1939-1945. WI/AC2/9/9-15

Communal Feeding Committee, later British Restaurant Committee minutes, 1942-1945. WI/AC2/11/12-15

Windsor Rural District

Reconstruction Committee minutes, 1943-1946. RD/WI/CA1/25-28

Old Windsor

Copy of letter of appreciation to those returning from military service, Old Windsor, c.1945. CPC150/18/5

Some information on peace-time celebrations in Old Windsor in Civil Parish Council Minutes, 1945. CPC162B/1/2

Winkfield

Some information on post-war housing in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1944. CPC151/1/2

Winnersh

Information on iron railing and other salvage schemes, 1941-1943 and post-war development, 1943-1944, in the Civil Parish Council minutes. CPC73C/1/2-3

Wokingham

Letters from the Wokingham Borough Surveyor as the Local Fuel Overseer, 1939-1943. WO/SA2/9-13

Scrapbooks of the Town Clerk on all aspects of wartime life, 1939-1945. WO/AZ1/2-2

Plans of the proposed British Restaurant, for the Ministry of Food, 1941-1942. WO/SW2/4/1-4

Some information about food organisers for communal feeding) in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1941. CPC154B/1/2

Food ration card, n.d. D/ENM10/3

Woodley

Information on entertainment for troops, 1941; war loan Investments, 1941; emergency food officers’ posts, 1942; iron railing salvage, 1942 and ration books, 1941-1942, in the Civil Parish Council minutes. CPC113B/1/3

Woolhampton

Plans of Woolhampton House and letter referring to its conversion into wartime school, 1939. RD/E/SB2/47

Out-County

Illustrated colour pamphlet “Here comes the Milk!” produced by the Express Dairy Company on maintaining milk delivery in London through the Blitz, n.d. [c.1945]. D/EX2311/9/2

Southern Command Plans of tank transporter routes, 1944. D/EX1742/5

Map of Salisbury Plain showing night-march route, 1942. D/EX503/3/2

Ordnance Survey map of South East England, showing airfields and other air defence sites at the beginning of WW2, 1940. BRO library

War conditions in Cambridge described, 1942. D/EZ1775/4

Printed pamphlet about factory ventilation in the blackout, 1942. RD/E/SB6/462/11

News from the Front

Account of escape from Poland after German invasion, 1939. D/EWN/F92

Home Guard

Berkshire

Berkshire Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association minutes, 1936-1949 and scrapbook, 1922-1952. P/TA1/4/1; P/TA1/1/2

Lord Glyn’s Home Guard papers including material relating to the Upper Thames Patrol, 1940-1960. D/EGL/O149-174

Photograph of No 1 Platoon, F Company, 11th Battalion, Berkshire Home Guard, n.d. [c.1943-1944]. D/EX2033/1

Bracknell

A History of the 6th Bracknell) Battalion Berkshire Home Guard, 1945. D/EX1458/4

Compton

Photograph of the Home Guard, c.1940s. CPC41/18/26

Newbury

Local Defence Volunteer Corps number 2 platoon register of personnel, c.1940s. D/EX656/15

Reading

Records of the 7th Huntley & Palmers Branch) Berkshire Home Guard Association, 1941-1970. D/EX1615/1-5

Photographs, probably of Home Guard unit at Samuel Elliott and Sons, Ltd, c.1940s. D/EX1263/12/11

Photographs of Women’s Army Corps parade, n.d. D/EX831/1

Sandhurst

Copy of the ‘B’ Sandhurst) Company 11th Berkshire Battalion Home Guard history [1940-1945], 2005. T/A156/2

Sonning

Photographs of Sonning Home Guard, including Woodley Platoon, 1940-1944. D/EX1458/1-3

Theale

Register and accounts of Theale Home Guard, 1940-1941. D/P132B/28/5

Warfield

Planning application for Nissen huts for Home Guard, 1942. RD/E/SB5/263

Remembrance

Berkshire

Copy of Imperial War Commission roll of honour for civilian war dead including Maidenhead, Newbury, Wallingford, Wantage, Windsor, n.d. [c.1939-1945]. D/EX1445/7

Ascot

Roll of honour, n.d. D/P185/28/50

Crowthorne

Information on the war memorial in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1947. CPC102B/3/2

Easthampstead

Papers relating to the war memorial cross in the churchyard, 1919-c.1945. D/P49/6/4

Great Coxwell

Book of remembrance for servicemen of the parish killed in the two world wars, c.1914-1989. D/P44/28/4

Hermitage

War memorial fund accounts, 1947-1949. D/P62B/28/18-19

Inkpen

Information on the war memorial in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1944. CPC76/1/2

Newbury

Printed appeal for School War Memorial, 1948. SCH11/18/15

Reading

Holy Trinity roll of honour, c.1940s. D/P171/28/6

Slough

War memorials Sub-committee, 1942-1947. S/AC2/25/2

Sunninghill

Papers relating to the war memorial, 1949-1950. D/P126/8A/8

Thatcham

Information on the war memorial in the Civil Parish Council minutes, 1944-1945. CPC130/1/4

Windsor

Royal Windsor Salutes the Soldier Week photograph album, 1944. WI/D255/1

Roll of honour, n.d. WI/D258/1

Wokingham

Welcome Home Fund records, [c.1939]-1947. D/EX2142


Further Information

Service Records

For information on individuals serving in World War 2:

Ministry of Defence Veterans’ Agency Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures, Mail Point 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX

Records of central government operations during World War 2

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU; Tel: 020 8876 3444; www.nationalarchives.org.uk 

Records of London County Council 

For information on and some records from schools evacuated to Berkshire:

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Rd, London EC1R 0HB; Tel: 020 7332 3820; www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/

Local Regiments

Information on the Royal Berkshire Regiment can be obtained at:

Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire (Salisbury) Museum

58 The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2EX; Tel: 01722 419419; www.thewardrobe.org.uk

War Memorials

The Imperial War Museum undertook a survey of war memorials in the UK, entitled the National Inventory of War Memorials. For further 

information, please contact: War Memorials Archive, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6H2; Tel: 0207 207 89863; www.ukniwm.org.uk

War Graves

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, SL6 7DX; Tel: 01628 634221; www.cwgc.org