Formed late 1914/early 1915
QUEEN BEE: Miss Constable
Alice Martin, Kitty Martin, Adeline Hambling, Dorothy Hambling, Alice Fuller, Faith Flegg, Glady Smith, Mabel Glanfield, Doris Mower, Kate Taylor, Elsie Hacon, Laura Crisp, Hilda Spicer — Pupil Teacher at the school.
The idea, was to be of use to our Soldiers and Sailors.
The Bees met every Saturday at Darsham Cottage, the home of Mrs Thornhill, for a sewing class and to give help to the Red Cross.
Mrs Thornhill provided 80 yards of material from which in the following three months the girls had made 151 bandages. These were sent to the Northgate St. Depot. Meanwhile, each "Busy Bee" had been given one penny with which to trade. This resulted in a total after three months, of £1. 14s. 10d for the purchase of more material for their sewing class.
Their next aim was to send a parcel to each of the 24 Darsham men fighting for "King & Country". By the end of the year the girls had collected enough wool from a friend to make 24 pairs of mittens; 22 scarves from an anonymous donor; 1 scarf from Mrs Spicer; 1 scarf from Miss Spicer; £1.10s. from "A Smoker"; £2.15s.10d from the sale of two baskets of work; 12 Ibs of Plum Puddings from Mrs Thornhill and 5s towards postage. The girls were able to send a parcel to each of the men which contained:—
1 Scarf £lb Plum Pudding
1 Pair Mittens £lb Raisins
1 Pair Socks 1 Tin Condensed Milk
1 Pair Bootlaces Notepaper & Post Cards
1 Handkerchief 1 Pencil
1 Packet Spearmint 1 Box Matches
In March, the "Busy Bees" organised a sale of work which realised the sum of £16. 18s. 6d to buy further material for their Red Cross work.
The first consignment was sent in April to the W.H.S. Depot at Ipswich, and consisted of 200 various articles. They collected and sent an Easter gift of 200 eggs to Halesworth Hospital and during the summer holiday they collected and sent another parcel of 220 eggs to the same hospital.
In September the "Busy Bees" organised a sale of work and a garden fete in the Vicarage garden which raised the sum of £46.6s.6d which was devoted to sending a Christmas parcel to each of the 65 Darsham Servicemen.
In October they sent another consignment of 100 useful articles to the W.H.S. Depot at Ipswich and the girls collected 40 pairs of gloves as a last effort for the year the sum of £2. 9s. 6d to make "for our brave Mine-Sweepers.'
Many of the girls had left the village but those who remained sent a large parcel of useful garments to the Ipswich Depot of the Red Cross and sent a parcel of 220 eggs to Halesworth Hospital.
Miss Constable "lived-in" at Darsham Cottage and was house keeper to the Thornhill family. After the surviving son Lt.Leslie Thornhill died in 1926 Miss Constable retired to live at Wink's Isle, Brussels Green.
The Order or Guild of the "Active Ants" (Boys) was inaugurated at the beginning of 1917 for the duration of the war, as a companion Order to the "Busy Bees" (Girls). The Order was dissolved at the end of 1918.
MASTER ANT: Dr.Tennant, the Vicar.
Harvey Smith, Wilfred Holmes, Rupert Balls, George Denny, Freddie Flegg, Chester Flegg, Jack Taylor, Robert Norman, Val. Noller, Alec Noller
This Order consisted of young boys who pledged themselves, under certain rules and conditions, to be made use of in any capacity'according to their powers — to run errands and do other odd jobs in house or parish — to be in fact the handy little men of the parish: for these services they expected some small payment and each had a box for that purpose. The object being that the boys as well as the girls should " do their bit" during the war years. The box contents were devoted to a War Fund chosen by the boys.
The total sum for 1917 amounted to £5. 3s.10d and was given to the East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital (Wounded Soldiers).
At the end of 1918 the "Master Ant", Dr.Tennant, reported that several boxes had not yet been handed in but that so far the collection for that year amounted to £1. 14s. 1d which was being donated this time, to a charity for sailors.