“It’s not very pleasant out here”

The people of Wargrave continued to contribute to the war effort, but were starting to slack off a little. Perhaps the war was already seeming too long. They may have been inspired to redouble their efforts by the letters in the parish magazine from serving soldiers grateful for their gifts of cigarettes.

Surgical Dressing Emergency Society

The society has had a great many dressings and comforts sent in from the Branches and outside friends, but, the workers in Wargrave have considerably fallen off. The need for dressings is becoming more urgent every day and we do hope very much that those who can spare more time, and make a special effort to come to the workrooms more often, will do so, as the Hospital is taking away some of our best workers. Mr Butcher has become a regular worker, and has undertaken to entirely pack all the bales. This is heavy work, taking up a great deal of time, and it is an enormous help.

We have most thoroughly enjoyed the Thursday Readings by the Vicar, and we are most grateful to him for sparing us so much of his time.

Harvest Gifts

Letters continue to arrive from Sailors and Soldiers, at sea and in the trenches, expressing their thanks for the Tobacco and Cigarettes sent from the Harvest Festival. During the last month there have been letters from Fred. Brown, A. Creighton, Percy Elsley, W. A. George, J. H. Hodge, A. W. Hall, M. Hutchings, F. G. Mayne, H. Ogbourne, C. Pugh and H. Shaw.

It is of course impossible to print such letters at any length, but they all express the greatest cheerfulness and much appreciation of the little gifts.

“Sir, it is very pleasant for us to know that you at home think of us as you do, it is really very encouraging. The cigarettes, dear sir, I am enjoying immensely, more so perhaps knowing they came form home. I cannot say we are having a grand time here where we are, but there is no need to grumble and we are kept busy always in keeping ourselves and ship and guns up to the mark and efficient, waiting for the days when we shall be called to overthrow what is left of the German Fleet.”

“Will you thank all the parishioners for me and tell them I am quite well and happy under the circumstances, although out here it’s not very pleasant, it’s raining nearly every day, and every thing in such an awful state, we have been in action three weeks this time, but I think we are coming out for a rest in the New Year, and then I think we shall stand a chance for leave, and then I hope I shall have the pleasure of thanking you personally. I think we shall have a good right time this Christmas, if only the Germans will leave off sending their souvenirs over for a few hours. Wishing all your people a Happy New Year.”

“You would be surprised to see how we have our Church Services out here, in an old ruined barn, or in a field, but I know we get God’s blessing just as we would in God’s own Churches in England.”

“I am pleased to hear they are getting on with the rebuilding of the Church and have got the Bells hung in the Tower, if I am lucky enough to go through this war safely I hope to have another turn Bell-ringing, as I used to be a Bell-ringer before the war.”

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

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