A war memorial scheme that will command the sympathy and approval of us all

The RAF had used a church hall in east Reading.

My dear friends…

I am glad to say that S. John’s Institute is being restored to the Parish. The R.A.F. are vacating the premises on January 31st. It will be good to have the building under our control once more. The R.A.F. have been most considerate in allowing us the use of the Large Hall almost whenever we applied for it, but we have missed the smaller rooms very much… We must not be disappointed, however, if we cannot get back to the Institute just at once; there will be a good deal of cleaning up to be done before the building will be quite ready for full parochial occupation. Also, we must remember that the small rent paid by the military authorities has just sufficed to pay the expenses of running the building during the time of their occupation. This rent will now cease, and the Institute will become again one of the chief charges upon the parish; perhaps you will remember this when sending in your subscriptions for 1919…

I hope that the War Memorial Committee will be able soon to lay before me a scheme that will command the sympathy and approval of us all, and especially of those most concerned – members of our congregation who have themselves suffered bereavement in the war…

Your sincere friend and vicar,
W. Britton

Reading St. John parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P172/28A/24)

Six steps

There was real progress for Phyllis.

30 January 1919

Phyllis on sofa from 5.15 to 7.15, & between 2 Sisters walked 6 steps – & her temperature had not risen! Most thankful.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

“The national health is at a low ebb, on account of war rations, & the influenza epidemic”

Four years of war shortages and the flu had combined to make a feeble nation.

30 January 1919

Notice sent out with regard to regulations for fasting in Lent, which are to be modified, as Mother has had it impressed on her by medical authority that the national health is at a low ebb, on account of war rations, & the influenza epidemic.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

“He speaks well on the whole of his treatment in the prisoners’ camp”

Cigarettes were this year’s Christmas gift for Maidenhead soldiers.

OUR SOLDIERS.

A letter of Christmas greeting was again sent to each of our soldiers, and a packet of cigarettes to those who were overseas. We hope that in a very short time the majority of them will be back amongst us. Robert Bolton and Alfred Isaac have already been discharged. Reginald Hill was at home for Christmas leave, looking quite recovered after his long hospital experiences. Wallace Mattingley and George Ayres are in Germany.

We are glad to hear that 2nd Lieut Edgar Jones, son of Rev. G H. Jones, of Marlow, who, after a few days in France was taken prisoner about 17 months ago, returned home in time for Christmas. He speaks well on the whole of his treatment in the prisoners’ camp.

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, January 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

They cannot be demobilised in advance of general demobilisation

January 28th, 1919

Letter from Mr Gulliver, Assistant Master, read, stating that he is willing to resume his former duties as male Attendant, at the old salary, from the date Mr Lockhart leaves.

Letter from the Local Government Board read, stating that the Guardians’ application for the discharge from the army of Messrs Wood and Edwards, Porter and Labour Master, respectively, has been considered but they cannot be demobilised in advance of general demobilisation.


Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

The case of the three German children

Wokingham Poor Law Union wanted to hand over responsibility for three children whose father had no doubt been interned.

28th Jan., 1919

The Chairman, on behalf of the House Committee, reported …

That the Committee had considered the case of the three German children at the Cottage Home, and recommend that steps should now be taken for their removal to their place of settlement.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

Having decided to continue in the Army he will not be returning to his former post”

Some men actually enjoyed army life better than civilian employment.

House Committee Report, dated 28th January 1919.

Your Committee have received a letter from Mr S J Regler, the former handy-man at the Workhouse, stating that having decided to continue in the Army he will not be returning to his former post. Your Committee recommend that his request to be granted a testimonial in respect of his past services be acceded to.

Your Committee recommend that the appointment of Albert Millson as handy-man be permanent.

Bradfield Board of Guardians’ minutes (G/B1/38)

Really better

Phyllis was gradually recovering.

28 January 1919

I off by 9.3 to London…

Found Phyllis looking really better. More herself, her eyes very blue. Seymour turned up, & masseuse. Sisters had lifted her on sofa a little while last night. Hopes Dr will let her lie there soon for a change. Tube still in, rather hurting. Less discharge.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

“Councillor Camp deprecated any extravagant Peace Celebration but thought that it should be of a subdued character”

Newbury Borough Councillors had mixed views on remembering the war.

January 28 1919

Finance Watch and General Purposes Committee – the reports of the 31st December last and 24th January instant were taken as read … also to a conference to be held with a Representative of the Local Government Board on the inception and execution of works during demobilisation and reconstruction, and to the recommendation of the Committee with regard to the reinstatement on his discharge from the Army of the Borough Surveyor [Mr Vincent], the salary to be paid, and the discharge of his duties. Seconded by Alderman Rankin, Councillor Hopson then enquired whether any communication had been made to the Borough Surveyor on the limitation of his professional work. Alderman Stradling stated that he understood that the Surveyor assented to the proposed terms.

The Mayor referred to the proposed War Memorial, and desired the Council’s opinion upon the subject.

Councillor Carter suggested the calling of a Public Town’s Meeting with reference to any Peace Celebration. Councillor Geater also referred to the same subject. Councillor Camp deprecated any extravagant Peace Celebration but thought that it should be of a subdued character.

Alderman Lucas suggested that the matter of the War memorial should be referred to a Special Committee. Councillor Hopson moved that the matter be referred to the Finance Committee and the Chairmen of the other Committees of the Council. Seconded by Alderman Rankin and moved. The report was then put and carried…

Museum and Free Public Library Committee

The report of the 13th January instant was taken as read and its adoption moved by Councillor Hopson who referred particularly to a proposed War Collection for the Museum. Seconded by Alderman Jackson, and the report was put and carried.

Newbury Borough Council minutes (N/AC1/2/9)

Treatment for gas poisoning contracted in the trenches

One of the many institutions run by the Community of St John Baptist was a Convalescent Home in Folkestone, Kent – the ideal place for one of the clergymen who assisted the Sisters to go to rcover from his war experiences.

27 January 1919
The Sub-Warden went to St Andrew’s Home in order to have treatment for gas poisoning contracted in the trenches.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

The War Savings Organisation throughout the country should be continued as a permanent part of our national machinery

It was hoped that savers would continue in the habit adopted to help the war effort.

War Savings Certificates

It is the earnest desire of the Government that the War Savings Organisation throughout the country should be continued as a permanent part of our national machinery.

The War Savings’ Organisation now comprises 1,830 Local War Savings’ Committees, which, for propaganda and organizing purposes, cover practically the whole country; 41,500 War Savings Associations for the co-operative purchase of War Savings’ Certificates; and 14,000 Official agencies for the sale of Certificates and War Savings’ Stamps. Altogether there are to-day nearly 200,000 voluntary workers engaged in administrative work connected with the movement. The figures do not include units working under the Scottish Committees.

The development of the habit of saving has been one of the most marked features of War Conditions in this country, as is evidenced by the fact that the number of holdings of Government Securities has increased from 345,100 on the opening of hostilities to over 17,000,000 to-day. In order still further to encourage this habit, it has been decided that, subject to the necessary legislation being obtained, holders of War Savings’ Certificates shall, on the maturity of those Certificates, have the right to extend their term for a further period of five years, in which case they will increase in value at the rate of 1d. per month until the end of this second period of five years, when a bonus of 1/- will be added. The value of the Certificate purchased for 15/6 becomes £1 at the end of five years and 26/- at the end of ten years, and during the whole period of ten years the Certificates can at any time be cashed. This right of extension attaches to all Certificates already issued and, until notice of its withdrawal is given, to those issued in the future.

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

In a prisoners’ hospital in Germany

Some PoWs were in a bad state.

We are glad to welcome home John Tidy, Richard Taylor and Percy Huxford, who have been prisoners of war, and to hear that Arthur Francis and Ben Ferns have arrived in England, though they are at present in hospital. Mrs. Ednie has heard that her son Victor is in a prisoners’ hospital in Germany, but he is expected to be moved home soon.

Winkfield District Magazine, January 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11)

The New Year opens with far happier and brighter prospects than we have known since 1914

The vicar of Reading St Mary was optimistic about the future.

The Vicar’s Notes

The very best wishes to all S. Mary’s people for 1919. The New Year opens with far happier and brighter prospects than we have known since 1914. And so we may well look forward to the future with hope and courage.

All would wish to give their truest sympathy to Dr. and Mrs. Holden on the sad loss of their boy from influenza: also to Mrs. Collins, of Gun Street, on the sudden death of her husband.

R.I.P.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P98/28A/16)

“We can’t get coal enough to keep the flame of life within our veins”

Fuel was still in short supply, as the universities got a sudden influx of new students, many of them men who had served in the armed forces.

29 Barton Road
25 January ‘19

My dearest old CMY

We can’t get coal enough to keep the flame of life within our veins – though we are eking our fuel out with blocks of wood – 30/- for 300! – and even with the fire in my little study (you remember it?) I go about with Florrie’s Shetland shawl – I gave it her when she was Miss Spencer – wrapped round my senile shoulders. And we cannot afford fire in the study more than twice a week. Half of our whole coal ration has already been used.

The streets are filled with Caps and Gowns – all new. The wearers of course are all freshmen. When last, say, 3 years back, Cambridge saw u.g.s, not a soul wore academical dress, except to lecture. Now they are vain of it. How they will manage at Trinity I wonder. The Cadets have left the New Court Rooms in a dirty confusion, and the upholsterers cannot supply furniture of beds, chairs, tables, etc. Many mammas seem to be importing furniture from home to their hopefuls. Lawrence, Junior Bursar, is driven out of his senses. Then in Master’s Courts are 400 Naval Lieutenants and Sub-lieutenants. The gold lace of their uniforms quite cuts out the military khaki. So I hear ladies say. It glitters over the streets all day. Naval men refuse Oxford, which doubtless knows neither Math nor Science.

But did you notice the slight cast here by the Army? I boil!

Our dear love, Florence’s and mine, to you both.

Ever affec
Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image, Cambridge don, to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)

At least we may hope that the bloodshed is past, and that the Peace terms may help to right the many wrongs committed

What would a post-war world look like, many wondered.

My dear friends,

We open our New Year with hearts relieved of the heavy anxiety which all of us felt at the dawn of the year past. At least we may hope that the bloodshed is past, and that the Peace terms may help to right the many wrongs committed.

But our victory, so largely brought about by the English speaking nations, lays upon those nations no light responsibility. How wide and how deep that responsibility will be, and into what spheres it will penetrate, is something one can more easily feel than formulate into words. We may take it for granted that things which had grown old are now becoming new, and that those things which were cast down are now being raised up; and that all things are returning to perfection, through Him from whom they took their origin.

Statesmen are of one accord that the world must be built up on new lines. Are they inspired with the truth that perfection cannot lie apart from Jesus Christ? We have seen a pagan efficiency brought down with a run. The years 1914-18 are pages of history which may well make Statebuilders think. Where Christ was banished, there lay already the germ of failure. The worship of power and wealth has brought a proud nation to its knees before a horror-struck and outraged world. Is this nothing to us who wield perhaps the greatest influence since the days of the old Roman Empire?

But it is more about matters at home I am concerned. If a league of nations is possible beyond our Empire, surely it is possible to be at home as a city at unity in itself. Class differences in outlook perhaps there always will be, but class antagonisms are mutually suicidal. If we could learn to respect each other’s outlook, and help that so far as the outlook is just and right, England could be a happier, more united country. God has given us such proof of His confidence that He has given us this victory. Let us begin by being at least just at home.

And it is in the spiritual sphere also that the consequences of victory is to be felt. We see the stirring of conscience in religious bodies that disunion and schism are not the Mind of Christ. These Bodies are not to be brought into unity piecemeal. The resulting bitterness of individual conversion only makes the antagonisms worse. I do not think we as Christians sufficiently realise the loss to Christ through conflicting Christianity; and we should be prepared to make any concession to those separated from us as does not involve a breach with the true Catholic Church of Christ. Just as prejudice is not to be allowed to stand in the way of England’s reconstruction, neither should it stand in the way of the reconstruction of the Church….
One fallacy which has been exploded by the war was that unity by command meant the sacrifice of national independence. We now know that diversity of effort meant playing into the enemy’s hand. The English army had its part to play, as the English Church will always have her part to play; and the English army suffered no loss of prestige or national self-determination because it correlated its effort with the armies of the allied forces under a supreme command. It has been a great lesson, and one which can be so pointedly applied…

The coming year must be full of matters of deep moment. I pray God that we may meet it under His guidance.

We owe a debt of thanks to Mr Self Fowles for the great help he has given as a temporary choirmaster. He has given himself heart and soul to the work, and has been loyally backed up by the choir. His heart is in the Church, and we hope that he may find a sphere as congenial to him as All Souls has been. Mr Clarke will resume his place at the organ at once, and he will receive a hearty welcome back from many old friends.

The cost of Magazines has again risen. We do not propose to raise the price, but we hope that those who can afford it will raise the sum they usually pay for the year. As the Magazine has been in existence for 23 years the vicar has determined to continue it; but it was after some hesitation.

Your affectionate priest and friend,

Barrington B. Murray

South Ascot Parochial magazine, January 1919 (D/P186/28A/19)