The Reference Room in the library was given up to Belgian refugees by the Urban District Council to serve as a reading room where provision of newspapers was delivered such as the Independent Belge and other literature. The library also provided space for writing and correspondence.
Druce Cheal was a librarian who joined the Royal Engineers in 1914. He and a colleague were laying mines in front of Allied trenches when a sudden German advance cut them off. They managed to unite with an artillery position and following their heroic actions were both awarded the Military Medal.