Honour the dead – but first honour and inspire the living

Some of the Earley men who had joined up had paid the ultimate price before the end of 1914. But the Earley parish magazine had a trenchant message for parishioners regarding the way soldiers were indulged with alcohol.

Roll of Honour

We deeply regret the increasing list of those who have either laid down their lives or been wounded in the service of their country. Of this large number some are connected with our parish, and we offer our most heartfelt sympathy to their families, especially to Mr and Mrs Fisher of S. Bartholomew’s Road, and Mr and Mrs Kintchin of Filey Road, whose sons have both been killed in action. No particulars are to hand of William James Kintchin except one sad event: but we may say, without breaking confidence, that the account sent of Edward Fisher (a reservist and sometime postman of Reading) shows he died a most noble death immediately after carrying out of action a wounded man.

We at home cannot realize, indeed can have no idea, what battle actually means to those engaged, but we can honour them in life as well as in death; and the meaning of all the meetings recently held in the town hall, and in our own club for girls, is to impress upon them the all-important need of shewing honour to those who are about to fight for our hearths and homes. The streets of our town too often and too sadly shew how difficult it is for many to learn this elementary lesson. Those who are ready to honour and mourn the dead have first to learn to honour and inspire the living. The soldiers’ great enemies are the thoughtlessness and frivolity, the want of seriousness, and miserable treating to strong drink on the part of those who call themselves their best friends. Alas! That it should be so; that many men, women and girls should need to be roused to their sense of duty, when at this time it is so self-evident.

We print below a list of those who have died or been wounded and are upon our electoral roll:-

Killed

Edward Fisher Grenadier Guards
Eric Weston Wilson West Yorks. Regiment
Morgan David HMS Hawke
William Golding Royal Field Artillery
William James Kintchin Royal Berks. Regiment

Wounded

Thomas George Huggins Royal Berks Regiment
Austin Charlewood Turner Connaught Rangers
Henry Wise Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Albert Povey Royal Berks Regiment
Charles Taylor
Ernest Brown Royal Oxfordshire Regiment
Stephen Gibbons Royal Middlesex Regiment

War Working Parties

The shirts and belts have nearly all been despatched to our own sailors and soldiers whose homes are in the parish – such a number of of parcels to do up and send off! We are now having working parties every Thursday at 3pm for the Belgians, and huge parcel of clothes is sent up every week to be despatched to Belgium for the destitute and homeless there. Wonderful garments are made out of odds and ends, other cast-off garments mended, and older things cut up for children’s garments etc. Five machines are going, and garments turned out like magic without any expense except the carriage of packages – a little money for this would be very acceptable. We are able to send up £4 17s 6d in money, £3 2s results from the excellent concert arranged by the Guild children, £1 anonymous, 2s 6d from Mr Whiting, and 13s from Mr Monnery. So we find we are doing our bit to help at this terrible time.

Earley parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P192/28A/13)

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