Forbury Hill “not really suitable for the erection of a War Memorial such as would be worthy of the great events which it was now proposed to commemorate”

There was considerable debate over a proposed Berkshire war memorial. This project never came to fruition, as not enough money was raised, and the committee folded in 1922. However, in 1930 a former serviceman who was elected mayor of Reading revived it.

17 November 1919

The secretary reported that Dr Stewart Abram, Mayor of Reading, had acceded to the request to join the committee [and was present at this meeting]. He also reported the death of Mr H C Mylne and it was agreed that Mr Martin, the newly elected Mayor of Wokingham, be asked to take the vacant place on the committee.

The secretary reported that the Town Clerk had written saying that the application for the Forbury Hill site had been considered by the Parks & Pleasure Grounds Committee, and that they have recommended the Town Council to accede to the application of the Berkshire War Memorial Executive Committee. The recommendation above will be considered by the Council on the 4th December.

The site of the Forbury Hill selected for the memorial was criticised by Mr Bates, who pointed out that in all probability the Hill was itself a memorial and that it was not really suitable for the erection of a War Memorial such as would be worthy of the great events which it was now proposed to commemorate. Considerable discussion took place, and it was suggested that a much better position could be found in the Forbury Gardens at the Victoria Gate. Mr Bates moved and Mr Howell seconded

“that the Town Clerk should be informed that on re-consideration and after an inspection of the Forbury Hill and Gardens the Committee feel that it would be undesirable to interfere with the amenities of what they understand is really an Historical Monument. Moreover the Committee finds that any suitable monument erected on the Hill would necessitate much re-modelling of the Gardens and interference with the existing arrangements. In the circumstances the Committee request that the application made in the secretary’s letter of the 24th October be not put forward at the Town Council meeting on the 4th December.”

This was approved unanimously. The secretary was instructed to intimate that a fresh application for another site in the near neighbourhood will probably be forthcoming later on.

The Committee visited the Forbury Gardens in connection with a suggestion made by Mr Bates, supported by Councillor Howell and others, and it was ultimately decided that Mr Benyon, Mr Bates and Councillor Howell be appointed a Sub-committee to prepare a plan of the site in question in order that the matter may be further considered at the next committee meeting.

The secretary reported the issue of posters & record cards as agreed at the last meeting, and the question was raised as to the persons whose names should be recorded. Colonel Barker moved that “the Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Men who were serving in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Territorial battalions of the Berkshire Forces when the war broke out, be deemed to be Berkshire men for the purpose of the memorial”. The resolution was seconded by Mr Bates and passed.

The secretary was instructed to return the designs submitted at the last committee meeting, and to express the thanks of the committee to the designers.

Bills for printing and petty expenditure were submitted and passed.

Berkshire War Memorial Committee minutes (R/D134/3/1)

A Cross for the war memorial Altar has been promised

War Memorial Chapel Fund

Unfortunately, the detailed list of subscriptions has been crowded out, but will appear in the December issue. Total cash received for general purposes, £292 15s 11d, and another £75 to £100 for an oak Altar, and a Cross for the Altar has also been promised.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, November 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

“It is difficult to obtain a complete list of those parishioners or worshippers in our church who died in the War”

Would this be the final list of names for the St Bartholomew’s war memorial?

As it has been said before, it is difficult to obtain a complete list of those parishioners or worshippers in our church who died in the War and whose names will be inscribed on the wall of the memorial porch. We shall be glad to corrections or additions to the list printed here:-

Edward Fisher Septimus James Hawkes
William J KItchin Gilbert Barber
Henry Kitchin Harold Cole
George Bond Bert David
Ralph Pusey Henry William David
Albert Ernest Gibbs Alfred Gilbert Allen
Clifford Salman Ernest John Hallett
William David Stevens W T Martin
Francis Harry Stevens George Strudley
Ronald Eric Brown H G Huggins
John William Allen A H Martin
Leonard Noble Love F E Wickens
William Love E E Baggs
Charles Love Ernest Thomas Baul
Richard Frederick Crockford Charles Henry Hunt
James Benjamin Butler Thomas William Bew
John Andrew Ritson George William Goddard
Frank Edgar Hewitt Edwin Harry Goddard
Frederick Richard Stieber Percy George Franklin
Leonard Streake Sidney Hartwell
John O’Callaghan Arthur George Harris
Frank Gosling H G Davis
Edward Osbourne Stanley Richard Flower
Charles James Bird Percy William Lemm
Albert Povey* Ernest Thomas Wicks
Frank Washbourne Earley A H Pace

*We are unable to trace the address of this name

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, November 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

A mysterious peace fell like the dew from heaven upon the hearts of a waiting people

Rector’s Letter

My dear friends

I am sure that you felt, as I did, that when the King called the nation to remembrance of the Glorious Dead on November 11th, the first anniversary of Armistice Day, His Majesty once again, with the sympathy and insight he has so often shown, struck a chord that vibrated in the hearts of his people. It was a beautiful thing thus to bid us pause and think and remember. For the space of two minutes at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month all work ceased on land and sea, and men were solemnized into a great silence, and a mysterious peace fell like the dew from heaven upon the hearts of a waiting people. And countless men and women faced life more bravely for the help vouchsafed in those moments of communion with the Unseen…

George H Williams

Remenham parish magazine, November 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

The great silence: the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain

The first Remembrance Day was observed in churches across the county.

Wargrave

Armistice Day

The first anniversary was well observed in the parish. There was a celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m. A muffled peal was rung from 10.30 to 10.45 a.m. A service in church was held at 10.45 and ended with the two minutes of silence when 11 o’clock was struck on the tenor bell. A full peal of bells, with firing, was rung in the evening. The services were well attended and ringing was exceptionally good.

Crazies Hill Notes

On November 11th an Intercessory Service was held in memory of those who laid down their lives during the War, and, at the hour of eleven, a silent tribute was paid to the fallen. Those moments of meditation were for many of us, accompanied by grief; but there were also hope and pride and high resolve in the thoughts of all who took part in that Service. Perhaps the uppermost thought was that the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain.

Burghfield

Armistice Day

Rural circumstances do not lend themselves to such striking manifestations as were to be seen in towns and cities during the “great silence”. But there can have been few in the parish who did not act upon the King’s suggestion and desire. Many of us would like this mute solemn commemoration to be repeated annually.


Ascot

On the Anniversary of the Armistice there was a special Celebration of the Holy Communion at 10.40 at which all our parishioners, who gave their lives in the War, were remembered by name.
The service was so timed that, at the moment of silence throughout the Empire, the large congregation was in the act of pleading the Sacrifice of Christ for the Living and the Dead.

In the evening there was a special Service of Thanksgiving , when we prayed for God’s Blessing upon the Ex-Service Men’s Club, the first portion of the Ascot War Memorial, which was declared open by Lady Roberts, and handed over to the Men’s Committee immediately afterwards. During the first week over 150 men joined the club.

Cranbourne

On Armistice Day a large number of our Parishioners came to Church at a few minutes before eleven o’clock and spent the time in silent prayer. After the bell had struck eleven strokes and the two minutes had elapsed, a Celebration of the Holy Communion took place. Instead of a sermon the Vicar read Mr. Arkwright’s no well-known hymn “O Valiant hearts” and before the Church Militant Prayer the names of all our fallen were read at the altar and specially commended to God’s keeping.


Newbury

On Armistice Day, November 11th, we kept the King’s command by holding a Special Service at 10.55, including the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock. There was a large congregation. The sights in the streets of our great cities, when all traffic stopped and men stood with bared heads, must have been most striking. Truly does the whole Empire honour the men who gave their lives in God’s Cause of Righteousness.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1919 (D/P145/28A/31); Ascot and Cranbourne in Winkfield District Magazine, December 1919 (D/P 151/ 28A/11/12); Burghfield parish magazine, December 1919 (D/EX725/4); Newbury parish magazine, December1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

‘Cutting the sod’ for the village war memorial

What better day to start the memorial off?

11/11/19

From 3pm to 3.30pm today the children took part in the ceremony of ‘cutting the sod’ for the village war memorial.

Log book of Leckhampstead School (C/EL 51/2)

And a big bell

11 November 1919

2 min: silence. Remembrance & Prayer at 11 a.m. Rang big bell.

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

Two minutes of perfect silence and stillness

Schools remembered the Armistice one year earlier on the first Remembrance Day.

Bracknell
11th November 1919

Today is the first anniversary of the armistice. All the children and staff assembled around the flagstaff. Just before 11 a.m the Headmaster read the King’s proclamation – the flag was lowered to half mast and two minutes of perfect silence and stillness was observed as a simple service of silence and remembrance. Children sang ‘God save the King’ and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ were given in the upper classes.

White Waltham
November 11th 1919

Today Nov 11th is the first anniversary of the Armistice which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and freedom. The King has sent the following message to the people with a request that his message should be read to the pupils in all schools.

Kings Message:

I believe my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the armistice came into force, the eleventh our of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there may be for one brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all normal activities. During that time, except in rare cases where this may be impractical, all work, all sound, and all locomotion should cease, as that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the Glorious Dead.

No elaborate organisation appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which can easily be arranged the suit the circumstances of each locality. I believe that we shall, all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure, whatever it may be and unite in this simple service of Silence and Remeberance.

George R.I.

Programme:

10.50 All Children assembled in Large Room
10.55 Brief explanation of reason of assembly and the Reading of the King’s Message.
11-11.2 Reverent Remembrance of the Glorious Dead in Silence
11.3 Singing of Hymn “On the Resurrection Morning” to end a most impressive service
11.10 Resumption of work.

Eastbury
11th November 1919

The League of Nations Day Nov. 11th. At eleven o’ clock a pause was made in the ordinary work. The bell tolled thirteen times as that was the number of men at Eastbury who have made the great sacrifice. During that time the names of the dead heroes were written on the blackboard, while all the children stood silent, seeming to realise the act of honour the silence was giving to the glorious dead.

Prayers for the departed were read and the prayer for peace and a hymn was sung. The children seemed much impressed by the lessons that were given. The King’s letter was read. The national anthem concluded the service.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1919

The Anniversary of Armistice Day was kept in school by a complete change of timetable commencing with a simple musical service of praise & worship & an address to the children on “Give to the world the best you have” as a basis for a League of Nations.

The Silence Time (which is a daily occurrence here) was devoted to the sending of love & affection to the fathers of our children killed in the war & yet still near them. The lessons throughout the day were in relation to this, & bigger children were allowed to take home what they had written about the Great Day.

A widowed mother called in the afternoon & told of the cheer she had received from her little boy’s expression of what has been told him in school today.

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All men who, having lost their lives during the war, may be considered fit subjects for Berkshire Commemoration

It was important to remember all the war dead.

County and Reading War memorial

A strong Committee, upon which Mr Willink is serving, are considering this difficult subject, and an appeal will shortly be issued. At present the only decision arrived at is that the site shall be the mound in the Forbury Gardens. The Committee are issuing to all incumbents of parishes, and to all Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Associations, a request to send in the names, with details, of all men who, having lost their lives during the war, may be considered fit subjects for Berkshire Commemoration. If we can settle our own list for our own Parish Cross, this ought to serve both purposes. And Mr Willink repeats his appeal for any comments on the provisional list now to be seen in the church, near the lectern.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1919 (D/EX725/4)

More names than were originally arranged for have been accepted by the Committee as worthy of a place on the Memorial

Cookham Dean was going to need a bigger war memorial.

The Vicar’s Letter

I regret that it is impossible at present to assign a definite date for the Blessing and Dedication of the War Memorial. The delay is due to the fact that more names than were originally arranged for have been accepted by the Committee as worthy of a place on the Memorial, and extra space must be provided for them. As soon as this is satisfactorily finished in every detail, notice will be given of the Dedication Service.

Cookham Dean parish magazine, November 1919 (D/P43B/28A/11)

“This sense of freedom, this new opportunity, this cleaner world, has been purchased for us at the cost of life”

Jerusalem was sung at the dedication of the war memorial in Maidenhead Congregational (now United Reformed) Church.

November 1919
THE WAR MEMORIAL.

On Sunday evening, Nov. 2nd, a Special Service will be held at 6.30 in grateful and reverent memory of our young men who gave their lives in the Great War. The tablet will be unveiled by Mr. Lewis, who will also preach a sermon suitable to the occasion. We hope to see present every member of the Church and Congregation who is not unavoidably prevented.

December 1919
THE MEMORIAL BRASS.

The Brass Tablet erected to the memory of our young men who fell in the Great War was formally unveiled at the Sunday Evening Service, Nov. 2nd. There was a large congregation. The Minister was supported on the rostrum by the Deacons of the Church. The anthem was, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again,” and the choir sang as a voluntary, Parry’s setting of Blake’s inspiring verses, which declare –

“We will not cease from mental strife,
Nor shall the sword sleep in our hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green and pleasant land.”

Mr. Lewis took for his text, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He said that the cause for which our young friends had laid down their lives was great and worthy, and concluded,

“Let us remember that we are those for whom lives have been laid down. This sense of freedom, this new opportunity, this cleaner world, has been purchased for us at the cost of life. That we might live our lives safely, without being tyrannized over by coarse and godless men, free to develop our own life in the way that seems highest to us, men have suffered and died. Now all life must be more sacred to us. This dear England must be more sacred. It is because Christ has been denied the right to control the life of the nations that the great sorrows yet will come (for there are evils infinitely greater than war and death), if we will not strive to set right the life of the land, according to His mind and will. We don’t belong to ourselves any more, for Christ bought us long ago, and we have been bought again by British soldiers for the service of our brother men. May we be worthy of all that has been done for us.”

The brass is a splendid piece of workmanship, and has been greatly admired. It was executed by a London firm, to the order of Mr Hews.


Maidenhead Congregational magazine, November and December 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

All the names of those who had fallen should be inscribed on the Memorial

Once the joy and relief of peace was over, it was time to reflect soberly on our losses.

WAR MEMORIAL

A committee meeting was held at Sulhamstead House on Saturday, November 1st, at 6 pm. The accounts of the Peace Celebrations were audited and found correct, showing a balance in hand of £23.9s.3d.

It was unanimously decided that this balance should be carried to the fund for erecting the “War Memorial” as arranged at the Public Meeting held on Monday, July 8th. The following resolutions were carried unanimously:

1. That the balance of £23.9s.3d should be carried to the fund called the “War Memorial Fund”, and used in the erection of a Memorial.

2. That the Rev. A K P Shepherd be appointed Treasurer.

3. That a house-to-house collection for the fund should be made.

4. That all the names of those who had fallen should be inscribed on the Memorial.

5. That a special committee should be appointed to carry out these arrangements, consisting of the present Finance Committee and the following: Mr Flitter, Mr Jones, Mrs Palmer, Mrs Shepherd, Mr Tyser, Mr Wells.

6. A vote of thanks to Sir George and Lady Watson for allowing the Sports and celebrations to be held in their grounds, and for also allowing Sulhamstead House to be used for the tea.

7. A vote of thanks to the staff at Sulhamstead House for their hard work on Peace Day.

8. A vote of thanks to Mr Clay, the Secretary.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, December 1919 (D/EX725/4)

“The Committee cannot proceed with the design selected unless a total of at least £500 is secured”

Stratfield Mortimer needed to raise money for its war memorial.

The War Memorial

The Committee report as follows:-

“Subscriptions received to date at Lloyds Bank are £166 6s 0d. In addition, £100 has been promised. Any donations to this fund should be sent to Lloyds Bank, Reading, crossed ‘Mortimer War Memorial Fund.’ Smaller subscriptions will be gladly welcomed by the Hon. Sec., Miss Phelp, Wisley, Padworth Road.”

It is hoped that the above amounts will be largely increased early this month, as the Committee cannot proceed with the design selected unless a total of at least £500 is secured.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, October 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

To make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead

There was still bitterness towards those who had chosen not to fight.

Discharged Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Federation

On Wednesday, 22nd October, the Mortimer and District Branch met at the Jubilee Room, under the chairmanship of Mr R W Sharp, the prospective representative of the branch on the Local War Pensions Committee. Mr H C Eggleton, the Branch Chairman, explained clearly the objects of the Federation, viz (briefly), “To safeguard the interests of every ex-Service man and the dependants of our fallen comrades, and to make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead”.

It is hoped that every man who has worn the Blue or Khaki (excepting only conscientious objectors) will join the Federation. Will every man whos is suffering through delayed gratuity, etc, kindly communicate with Mr J Anderson, Secretary, Nightingale Lane, Mortimer, who will give every possible assistance; also all widows, mothers, or other dependants of those who have made the supreme sacrifice. It is hoped to have a Burghfield sub-branch, if enough new members join.

Note: The Editor willingly inserts this, and assures the Branch that the Reading Rural WP sub-committee will hope to work in harmony with a friendly ally.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1919 (D/EX725/4)

More difficult work

Burghfield would commemorate the war dead by offering opportunities to the living.

The War Memorial Committee

On October 17th they adopted a report by the “Sports” Sub-committee, recommending that £10 be spent on levelling and improving a pitch in the old triangular recreation ground at the Hatch; and an estimated sum of £68 upon similar but much more difficult work on the new Recreation Ground by Holiday House…. The £10 voted for the school children’s games (see Oct. Magazine) has been paid over to Mr Sheppard, to be expended as may be agreed by the Head Teachers of the several Schools.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1919 (D/EX725/4)