During 1944 the village set up a "Welcome Home Fund"
This information has just come to light after 60+yrs of being filed away.
The details below are taken from the original Minute Book and associated paperwork
recorded by the secretary Les Mills.

A Public Meeting was held on 19th October 1944 in the Victory Hall specifically to consider what could be done to show the village appreciation for those away fighting in the war.
About 40 parishioners were present.
A "Bures Welcome Home Fund" was to be set up which would donate the raised income to the soldiers when they returned home.

The Chairman (Barry Deaves) welcomed 7 Parishioners who had been put forward as possible committee members.
Namely: Mr Fetherstone, Miss Mynott, Miss J Brand, Mr Creek, Mr G Swallow, Mrs P Salmon and Mrs Scarlett.
After a secret ballot those elected were:
Miss J Brand, Miss R Mynott, Mr S Fetherstone, Mr H Creek and Mr G Swallow. Mr L Mills was appointed Secretary
The meeting would ask the Bures British Legion to raise funds for Christmas. It was emphasised that the fund raising committee should not hinder the work of other organisations in .the village.
It was also proposed to include the Merchant Navy and the Bevan Boys to be eligible for benefit.

This was the first event organised by the Committee in cooperation with the USAAF

Meeting 26th Oct 1944
Present:- Miss Brand, Mr B Deaves, Mr E Hume, Mr G Drake, Mr H Morton, Mr E Salmon, Mr E Bowers, Mr G Lewis, Mr Creek, Mr G Swallow, Mr L Mills and Dr Smith.
The chairman opened the meeting and welcomed five new members to the committee. The fund to date (only one week had elapsed) had raised £125.
Mr Robinson would be asked to produce posters around the village.
Miss Mynott, Mrs Perkins, Mr Mansfield and Mr Hume were authorised to receive donations.
Collecting Boxes were to be distributed around the village.
It was unanimously agreed to include the Merchant Navy in the scheme but not the Bevan Boys. (see bottom of page)
The Fund would be registered with the Charity Commissioners, A program of entertainment would be organised to raise funds.

Meeting Jan 11th 1945
Present:- Mr Deaves, E Hume, L Mills, W Morton, H Morton, G Lewis, A Creek,
The meeting was convened at short notice so a representative could be nominated to sit on the Village Hall Committee. H Morton duly elected.
£256 raised so far.
15 collecting boxes were now distributed around the village.

Meeting 19th Feb 1945
Present:- B Deaves(Chairman) ,G Drake, Miss Mynott, Miss Brand, B Deaves, E Hume, G Lewis, G Swallow and L Mills
A notice had been received from Mr Downing requesting that the committee hand over the Victory Hall for Buttercup Day (Easter Sat). As the committee had already booked the hall for this day the request was turned down.
The committee would organise a dance on March 31st
Miss Brand suggested the Bures Bowls Club should be approached with a view to organising a tournament together with side-shows in order to raise funds.
The fund now stood at £300 together with War Saving Stamps to the value of £23-6-8

Meeting 12th April 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, Smith, G Drake, E Hume, W Morton, H Morton, E Salmon, E Bowers, G Lewis, A Creek and L Mills.
With B Deaves indisposed, it was proposed that G Drake be elected as Deputy Chairman - agreed
The fund now stood at £404. The problem which now arose was that the GPO only allowed £500 as a maximum in this type of account. It was proposed to write to them to increase this limit.
A form was to be delivered to all householders together with an accompanying letter asking for nominations which would be considered for the fund.
A request was also to be made to the Chief Constable to have a house to house collection the day after "V" day
Mr Hume would be responsible for the collection. Mr Creek would arrange for the Suffolk side whilst Mr Mills for Essex.

Meeting April 12th 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, A Creek, G Drake, G Lewis, H Morton and G Drake(Dep Chair)
It was proposed by Mr Mills to organise a dance in the Village Hall once a month up to Dec 1945.
Mr Morton also requested a Whist Drive once a month.
Mr Morton also proposed a Fete on July 7th in an attempt to raise further funds.
May 26th was booked for a Dance and May 24th for a Whist Drive

Meeting May 18th 1945
Present:- G Drake, Miss Brand, Miss Mynott, Mr Creek and L Mills
Mr Powell was organising a Whist Drive Prize.
Mr G Drake said collecting was now taking place at the Meat Depot.
The Womens Institute requested a combined fete on Aug Bank Holiday Monday.
Mrs Bowers was elected to represent the fund on the Womens Institute.

Meeting Mon 23rd July 1945
Present:- Miss Mynott, Miss Brand, Dr Smith, H Morton, W Morton, G Lewis, E Salmon, E Hume, E Bowes, B Deaves and L Mills
The fund now stood at £720. The GPO had agreed to raise their limit to £900.
18 names which had been put forward for consideration, were deemed not eligible.
A question was raised concerning the deceased - this was deferred until later date when more numbers were known.
Miss Brand asked if the fund was going to be distributed as soon as the recipients arrived home ?
Miss Brand and Miss Mynott proposed that £10 per head should be distributed.
Concern was raised about the gift being seen as Charity or Welfare ? It was decided an accompanying card would state it was "in recognition of their services to the country"
Messrs Benham of Colchester would be asked to print 200 cards. The meeting in August would decide the method and date of distribution.

Meeting Sept 11th 1945
Present:- Miss Brand, Miss Mynott, A Creek, W Norton, H Morton, G Lewis, G Swallow, E Hume, G Drake, E Bowers B Deaves and L Mills.
Mr Hume proposed a cut-off date for the fund as off 31st Dec 1945
A letter was received from the Bures St Mary Parish Council concerning donations towards the "Local Limits Suffolk Remembrance Appeal Fund"
The Secretary to reply, that the wording of the Funds registration did not allow transfer to other organisations.
The fund now stood at £850
Miss Brand proposed the Vicar place the Balance Sheet in the Parish Magazine.
The Secretary was to insert an advert in the local papers stating the fund would be closed on Dec. 31st
Mr Morton proposed a Christmas Draw to be held at the Whist Drive on Dec 20th

Meeting 31st Oct 1945
Present:- Miss Bland, Miss Mynott, A Creek, E Hume, B Deaves, L Mills
Emergency meeting was convened as an application had been received from the "Thanksgiving Week Committee" to allow the use of the Hall on 15th and 17th Nov.
Theses dates were agreed.
Victory Hall booked by the Committee for 22nd Nov for a Whist Drive and 31st for a Dance

Meeting 4th Dec1945
Present:- W Morton, G Lewis, H Morton, E Salmon, E Hume, H Creek, B Deaves and L Mills
A letter was read from Mr A Mansfield stating that he felt compelled to withdraw the use of his window for the sale of tickets. A reply would be sent thanking him for his support.
Miss Brand proposed that the £10 per head gift be rescinded.
After along discussion it was proposed by Mr Creek that the first payment of £7-10-0 per head be made on Jan 1st 1946 to all those names approved on the list
It was also approved to send the money to the deceased next of kin with the words "Welcome Home" removed.
A notice was to be inserted in the Suffolk Free Press to the effect that Dec 31st was the final closing date.
A dance was to be organised in the Village Hall for Dec 26th

Meeting 27th Feb 1946
Present: B Deaves, Miss Mynott, Miss Brand, Dr Smith, H Morton, W Morton, E Salmon, E Hume, A Creek, and L Mills
A letter was read from the late Harry Wardens wife asking if she was to be included in the scheme, no decision taken
6 Names were deleted from the list as not entitled:- Raymond Gill, William Bretherick, Jan Hume, William Mattock, David Robertson and James Whitfield.
The Secretary was to write to Mrs Savoury obtaining particulars of her children who may be entitled.
Five Trustees were empowered to withdraw money from the fund (no names documented)
The fund now stood at £1005

Meeting 28th June 1946
Present:- Miss Mynott, Dr Smith, H Creek, E Salmon, G Drake, H Morton, W Morton and L Mills
Dr Smith was elected as Chairman for the meeting
6 further names were deleted from the fund as not eligible:- Eric Baldwin, Laurence Keeble, Maurice Taylor, Arthur Weavers, David Fairweather & Richard Brown
Basil Bitten to be paid if he is not entitled elsewhere.
Further enquiries required concerning Edward Binks.

Meeting 4th Oct 1946
Present:- Miss Mynott, Dr Smith, B Eaves, E Salmon, E Hume, E Bowers, B Deaves and L Mills
The Secretary reported that 52 letters of thanks had been received.
The Treasurer, Mr E Hume reported that 106 beneficiaries had been paid leaving a balance of £216-4-3
4 Further names were deleted from the list, Reginald Cooper, Dennis Eaves, John Baker and Barbara Kilbey.
Barbara Kilbey did not meet the 31st Dec deadline
3 further names were approved:- Christian Kirk, Alexander Kirk and Arthur Reades, Also included the next of kin of the late Miss Carr and Harry Warden.
The Charity Registrars to be informed that no further collections would take place.

Final Meeting held on 22nd Oct 1948
Present:- Eight members and B Deaves (Chairman)
The Treasurer reported that 135 beneficiaries had been paid out leaving a surplus of £7-5-7
Mr Hume proposed the Auditors receive a fee of 4 gns - agreed
Dr Smith proposed the final balance sheet be published in the Suffolk and Essex Free Press at a cost of £2.00 - agreed
The Chairman proposed the remaining balance of 21/- be allocated to the Secretary for his stationary expenses.
2/- of that to go to the hire of the Victory Hall
It was agreed the fund would be closed on that date namely 22nd Oct 1948

The Meeting Closed.

NOTES:- As you can see from the Minutes the fund raised £1005 which was a staggering amount of money during the war years.
Thanks to Don Mills of the Croft for allowing publication of Les Mills(dec) paperwork
Click here to see list of applicants

Merchant Navy and Bevin Boys
Meeting 26th Oct 1944:-

Proposed by Mr H Morton seconded by Mr E.H.Hume that the beneficiaries of the Fund include the Merchant Navy, this was unanimously agreed.
Proposed by Miss Brand, seconded by Mr Drake to include the Bevin Boys. On being put to the meeting this motion was unanimously defeated.

More information on the Bevin Boys
Reading this article you will note that men named Bevin Boys, had no choice in going down the mines.
.............To make the process random, one of Ernest Bevin's (War Minister) secretaries would each week pull a digit from a hat containing all ten digits, 0-9, and all men liable for call-up that week whose National Service number ended in that digit were directed to work in the mines.
It seems grossly unfair that men who enlisted for the services and who subsequently directed to work down the mines were treated with such contempt. When the war ended in 1945, the Bevin Boys were not discharged until 1948.

However this is not the end of the fund raising story.
During 1942 Sudbury and Melford District Council designated February 21st - 28th as WARSHIP WEEK. A target of £75,000 was set being the funds required for the warship "Scarab"
"Scarab" was a River Gun Boat based in the Mediterranean
Yet incredibly by the 25th the "Suffolk Free Press" reported that an indictor outside Sudbury Town Hall announced a total of £114,532 14s 0d
Bures Hamlet and St Mary between them raised "2,380 4s 6d".
We were alone in being granted an extension to two weeks, as the village
covered two parishes.

Acknowledgement to "Heart of our History" by Ashley Copper