Wickford of Rhode Island donated money to Wickford in Essex.

It is recorded in the Chelmsford Chronicle of Friday 11 October 1940, that Mrs R Frew, who was the commandant of the 152 British Red Cross group in Wickford, Essex, received a cheque to the sum of 43.80 dollars via the British Red Cross and Order of St John. She is likely to have been Mary Frew, who was married to Robert Frew, the medical practitioner residing at Ladybrow where Ladygate is today. The cheque ( £10 16s 9d when converted to sterling) was passed to the British Red Cross via His Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador who had received it from the manager of the Industrial Trust Company which, in the late nineteenth century at least, traded from 57 Westminster Street in Wickford, Rhode Island. (The company began commercial business on 1st August 1887 and advertised as dealing in transactions of general banking and trusts). The monies were sent to Wickford, Essex, on behalf of the Main Street Association in order to increase the existing Wickford Red Cross fund which was set up to help those suffering from enemy action during the second world war. The underlying reason for this generous gift appears to have been the close association our Rhode Island cousins feel towards this town from which came two of the founders of their town, when Elizabeth Reade and her new husband, John Winthorpe junior, left Wickford, Essex, for Rhode Island in 1635.

It is further reported in the Chelmsford Chronicle of Friday 28 February 1941 that members of the Wickford church in the US had donated the sum of £53 to the Reverend A G Munson, the rector of St Catherine, for the benefit of church work in the parish. Arthur George Munson, incidentally, was appointed rector at St Catherine in 1932, having previously served as curate at All Saints, Maldon.

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