“This hospital is being used for permanently disabled soldiers, so that it will probably remain open for a long time”

The ladies of Stratfield Mortimer folded their sewing group which had supported soldiers.

The War Working Party

The Committee wish to make a final report with reference to the funds which remained in their hands. These were laid out in the purchase of a sofa, an Indian cane chair, and a Singer hand sewing machine, which have been given to the Sutherlands hospital (Reading) for use there until that hospital closes. It will be remembered that this hospital is being used for permanently disabled soldiers, so that it will probably remain open for a long time. When that hospital is closed these properties are to be handed over to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. A most grateful letter of thanks has been received from the Sutherlands Commandant, who is especially delighted with the sewing machine, which will be in constant use by the ladies who undertake the heavy task of mending.

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

“The absolute stillness and reverence of the crowd was most marked”

The Cookham Dean war memorial was unveiled.

The blessing and dedication of the war memorial, long looked forward to, took place on Sunday, November 23rd, at 3 p.m. There has been such a kindly notice of the proceedings in the local Press that it will suffice to say that no more impressive day had occurred in the history of the village since the day that the Church was consecrated in 1845. Arrangements for the orderly conducting of the ceremony had been most skilfully and carefully made by Mr. Edwards, and to this is due the great success of the afternoon. Three Companies of Service men, under the command of Capt. R. E. Hunt, helped to keep the ground. The absolute stillness and reverence of the crowd was most marked; it is said that every word of the Service could be heard by all. The hymns were accompanied most sympathetically by the Band. The children, in charge of the Lady Stewards, did their sad part faultlessly, and all felt that as far as earthly honour could go, the thirty-nine men whose names are carved upon the Memorial received that which was due and fitting from those for whom their lives had been given – ‘Faithful unto death, their name liveth for evermore.’ May our Cross be ever honoured, ever cared for, ever reverenced for their sakes in whose memory it has been erected, and, above all, for the sake of Him who died upon a Cross that they and we and all mankind may live though him.

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

Slight consolation in proud grief

A war memorial was unveiled in Ascot.

November 21st made up for two previous disappointments, and the presence of the Diocesan Bishop amongst us for his first visit to South Ascot gave additional pleasure to some old friends. He expressed his admiration more than once for our beautiful church… For the latest addition to our prized possessions – the Churchyard Crucifix erected by the relations of those from All Souls’ who gave their lives in the great war – he expressed his delight and cordial approval.

A full and visibly impressed congregation assembled for the Dedication, and the service had a pathos and dignity which will not readily be forgotten. The music was mainly composed for the occasion by Mr D Clarke, and much of the well-timed conduct of the service was due to his careful training of the choir. The memorial represents in England the last resting place of our dear lads whose bodies lie, known or unknown, in France or elsewhere. As such it will command at least the same reverence as is claimed for the Cenotaph in Whitehall. But our Cenotaph here has another and more cogent reason for reverence. It is crowned by the Symbol of the World’s Greatest Sacrifice. We have dared to place That there because we believe that there is some parallel, however distant, between the Son of God’s Redeeming Sacrifice and the sacrifice made by our men. “In that Broken Body,” as the Bishop said in his address, “there is a likeness to which any human sacrifice of life willingly made does approximate”. It is quite true that no such claim would ever be advanced by our heroes, and it might be equally true that such a thought did never occur to them. But it is as we meditate over their accepted offering that we trace reverently a parallel which makes nothing less than the Crucifix an adequate memorial.

But the memorial has a value apart from its immediate purpose. It is a silent witness to the passer-by of his one hope of salvation. “In Cruce Salus” (in the Cross lies our safety) is a truth which all men need to recollect, and here in South Ascot its truth is driven home by the presence of the Figure which gives to the cross its meaning and its power. And the passer-by will make his act of thankfulness not merely to the memory of valiant hearts which bled for England, but to the Redeemer Who died for him. Surely it will preach many a sermon to those whom sermons do not reach, and keep them in mind how much they need the Redeemer’s Sacrifice.

And the observer will notice that it is no figure of a Dead Christ which hangs there. It is Christ hanging from the Tree. The Sacred Eyes are resting in tender sympathy upon the tomb beneath. He watches over their emblematical resting place. Under His protection they rest in peace with the promise of His presence to give them refreshment in Paradise. And not to them only, but also to all who sleep or shall sleep in our graveyard under the shadow of the great Christ, is this sense of guardianship given…

The Figure of the Christ has been carved out of oak known to be 150 years old, and the colour is natural. The carver, Mr Peacock, was sent a copy of the war picture the “Great Sacrifice” for his model. He has faithfully reproduced the effect which was wished, and as a work of art it leaves nothing to be desired. The lettering was carried out by Mr Bannister and is well executed. The masonry is solid and carefully laid. Messrs Bowman’s workmen took obvious interest in the work. For the Service itself it is difficult to single out individuals for our thanks, for all deserve them. From churchwardens to the smallest choir boy, all endtered into the spirit of the day. A special word of thanks is however due to Mr Jenkins, not merely for his help given on the day, but for help during the difficult erection of the Cross, and also to Mrs Browning for her work, constantly undone, in getting the church ready, and to Mrs Keating for her gift of the flowers used for the altars.

All who care for All Souls must feel profoundly grateful to the donors of the Crucifix. It cannot but strengthen the bonds which bind us to our beautiful church. The Mourners too must have felt the deep sympathy which prevailed for them in their proud grief. Perhaps it may have been some slight consolation…

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

A Memorial which will stand for centuries as a keepsake of the bravery and sacrifice of Mortimer’s sons

Mortimer people had responded generously to the war memorial appeal.

War Memorial

The response to our appeal last month has been most satisfactory, many gifts, and some of them big gifts, having been received. The total now paid in or promised is £453 out of the £500 required. The remaining £47 which is needed may be expected to come in readily enough during this month; for probably everybody would like to be connected, by however small a gift, with a Memorial which will stand for centuries as a keepsake of the bravery and sacrifice of Mortimer’s sons. Probably also a good number of people have delayed to send in their gift, but will do so now when it is known that before long the fund will be closed. Any member of the Committee will gladly receive and forward any gifts, or these may be sent to the Hon. Sec. Miss Phelp, Wisley, Padworth Road, or be forwarded by cheque or postal order to Lloyds Bank, Reading, made payable to “Mortimer War Memorial Fund.”

The stone for the Memorial has been secured, but the bronze castings of the names and the inscription will be a slow business, and, though the carving of the stonework will be put in hand as soon as the sum required is received, the architect warns us not to expect to see the whole structure completed until early in next summer.

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

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.

(more…)

“The League of Nations is one of the ways in which an attempt is being made to reconstruct the world”

In the end the League of Nations would fail to prevent an even worse conflict, but in 1919 hopes were high.

School News
Christmas Term, 1919
Nov. 11th

We assembled in the School hall at 10.50 am, Sister read us the King’s proclamation, and at 11 am, when the Curch bell rang, we kept the two minutes’ silence, which was being observed throughout the British Empire. Afterwards, Mrs Everett spoke to us about the League of Nations…

We were all acquainted with the ordinary selfish person, yet perhaps we were less familiar with what is known as “family selfishness”, or people who do not mind what happens as long as their family does not suffer. But there is yet a third kind of selfishness, in thinking too much of one’s own country, a selfishness often disguised under the name of patriotism. A true patriot can never do too much for his own country, but in this great League of Nations, we have to include the greater part of the world – not only England, but Germany, Austria, Russia, Japan, and all the other great powers. We have to see that every nation has her fair and proper share, so that the strong shall not oppress the weak, and, moreover, the children of each country may have a chance of growing to healthy manhood and womanhood. The League of Nations is one of the ways in which an attempt is being made to reconstruct the world. The Headquarters will be at Geneva, where all disputes and other affairs will be settled.

Concluding, Mrs Everett said that the older people would do their “bit” as long as they could, but it rested with the younger generation whether the small beginnings would prove a success, and the children of another generation would have reason to look back and bless them.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1920 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

Beautiful glass representing St George

The Earley war memorial porch plans were altered to save money.

Memorial Porch Committee Meeting

There was a good attendance on October 16. Present: The Chairman, Mr Churchwarden Brown and Mr FB East (hon. Treasurers), Messrs. W B Waters, H B Mole, W Lawrence, A H Salman, H Masters, H Knapman, J A Murray, G C T Carter, F C Edwards, E Clayton Jones, E Long; Ladies – Mrs Newbery, Miss Goose, Miss Lawrence, Miss Driscoll, Miss G Fanstone.

The meeting was occupied with many matters of importance for an hour and a half. It was decided by a majority of votes that a resolution to line the porch with stone to be rescinded on the grounds of expense, and that the walls be plastered. It was agreed that the question of slate or stone material for the slab upon which the names be inscribed be left to the judgement of the architect; and the committee confirm their previous resolution that all parishioners should have the right to place names of their sons who died on this tablet; they felt, however, that it was not desirable that this should be done in cases where the names were associated with a memorial in another church, without special reason. The chairman produced some figures supplied by the builder which are of general interest:-

Estimated cost of Porch £559 13s 0d
Less nett cost of stone lining £20 18s 0d
£538 15s 0d

Add cost of figure in niche, also slate or stone tablet with names cut, amount uncertain, Architect’s commission of 10% on above amount

£53 17s 6d
£592 12s 6d

At the close of the meeting the treasurers made the following statement

Subscriptions paid or promised, as already announced in October Magazine

£482 0s 2d
Less unredeemed promises £2 1s 6d
£479 18s 8d

Collection at dedication festival £39 11s 0d
New subscriptions Oct 16 £11 5s 5d
£530 15s 1d

The next meeting of the committee was fixed for Nov 20 at 7.30pm

The work is now growing rapidly, and it is interesting to watch the plan of dovetailing the new work into the old wall of the present building. To do this the old north doorway had to be lowered to meet the timbered ceiling of the porch, a new arch has also been turned on the inside and the door cut down correspondingly. Thus the new doors and doorway will be considerably lower. Adjoining this doorway, about three feet eastward, will be a small door leading to the stairs to the chamber over the porch. The stairway is cut partly in the thickness of the wall and abuts in part on the floor of the porch, being concealed by brick walls. For this purpose one of two lights has been removed and there remains one single window just east of the stairs doorway. This light will be filled with beautiful glass painted by Mr Bewsey, representing S George. It is a gift from Mr B H Butler in memory of his son Benjamin James Butler whose ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. The glass is finished and ready for fixing. The ceiling of the porch will be built of rebated oak joists with oak panels to ceiling covered with deal floor (above) and a layer of felt between. The chamber above will thus be impervious to sound and draught. It has been decided to plaster the walls of the interior; and not as stated last month to line the porch with stone; the expense, £20 18s, seemed not justified by the advantage.


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

Relief to destitute aliens

13th October 1919

The following letters were read and ordered to be filed for future reference viz:-

1. From the Ministry of Health in regard to the continuation of allowances to the British born wives of interned or repatriated aliens and to the descendants of Russians and of repayments on account of relief to other destitute aliens.

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/33)

More members of the War Savings Association

10th Oct.
Lady Rucker addressed the scholars today on War Savings, in the hope of stimulating the savings movement & of obtaining more members of the War Savings Association.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

“She desired to make a home for her two sons who had been demobilised”

A children’s home lost its foster mother due to her own sons coming home from the war.

7th October 1919

Mrs Hannon, Foster Mother

Reporting the receipt of a … letter from Mrs Hannon asking the Guardians to allow her to resign as she desired to make a home for her two sons who had been demobilised.

Recommending that the resignation be accepted.

Foster Mother, Palmer Home

Recommending that the vacancy at this home caused by the resignation of Mrs Hannon be referred to a Sub-committee … with a view to their considering and reporting to the Committee upon the advisability of employing a Foster Father and Foster Mother.

Report of Infant Poor Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

Commemorate God’s mercy to us, and the valour of our gallant dead

War Memorial Chapel

May I remind all Collectors that they should take their cards for initialling, together with any money they have collected, to Miss Apthorp, OBE, at Stanlow, High Town Road, on Monday, October 6th.

Miss Apthorp will be at home to receive them from 10 am till 1 pm, and again from 6 pm to 8 pm. If any Collector is ill, will she please send a card to Miss Apthorp, and she will call for the money. I hope to publish a list of subscriptions to date in the November Magazine. As Treasurer, I have already received a good many subscriptions, and one legacy of £100, and a promise of a beautiful oak Altar for the new Chapel from the Sawyer family, through Miss A E Sawyer. The Altar would be in memory of the Rev. W G Sawyer, formerly Vicar of this Parish.

In connection with this, I may say that while the oak panels will be kept exclusively for the Fallen in the War, the other ornaments of the Chapel can commemorate other past worshippers in St Luke’s…

We have thus made an excellent start, but we have still a long way to go in the next 11 months, if,as we all hope, we are worthily to commemorate God’s mercy to us, and the valour of our gallant dead.

PS – We still want a few more Collectors. Will any volunteers (ladies or Gentlemen) please apply to the Hon. Sec. Miss Apthorp, or to the Hon. Treasurer, the Vicar.

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

It has only been necessary to render assistance to 47 persons

Special assistance to persons in financial difficulties due to the war was called to a halt.

Shire Hall

4th October, 1919

The Government Committee on the Prevention and Relief of Distress have decided that the time has now come for the general discontinuance of the system of the assistance to persons included in the civilian population suffering distress in consequence of the war in which the Local Representative Committee have co-operated, and with a few exceptions, such assistance has been terminated as from the 31st July last.

On the 31st July there was only one case receiving assistance from this Committee, namely, that of a widow living in Maidenhead, whose husband was an accountant in the employ of a firm in West Africa and who lost his life by the torpedoing of the SS Falaba in 1915. She has hitherto been in receipt of a weekly payment of 10/6d, and the Government Committee have asked for recommendations in any case where the need for further periodical allowances may be obviated by the payment of a small lump sum grant for rehabilitation. The Executive Committee have considered this case very carefully but they have come to the conclusion that a lump sum would be of no real value and that if the grant is to discontinue, it should do so at once.

It is satisfactory to note that since the Committee was formed in 1914, it has only been necessary to render assistance to 47 persons and that the total expenditure by the Committee during that period has amounted to £365.0.10 only.

The whole of the funds advanced to the Committee and not expended have been refunded to the Government Committee and the accounts have been audited…

Resolved: That the Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund be dissolved.

National Relief Fund: Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

A nasty accident

A soldier on leave caused a nasty accident for a Remenham woman.

It was with regret we heard that Miss Ames, our indefatigable helper in the Parish, met last month with a nasty accident at Weymouth, where she was staying for a holiday. A Colonial soldier ran into her with his bicycle, and she was thrown violently to the ground and much bruised, and mercifully escaped the loss of sight in one eye. We learn with relief and joy that Miss Ames is now progressing quite favourably towards recovery.

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

Medals commemorating ‘peace’ and a portrait of Nurse Cavell

Edith Cavell was a British nurse based in Belgium, who heled a number of British and other soldiers to escape and was shot dead by the German occupying force. She is remembered for her words, “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”

Wallingford Boys Council School
1919, 15 September

A portrait of Nurse Cavell, purchased by the boys, hung in the hall today.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School
15th September 1919

The whole of the boys attended the Town Hall this morning to receive medals commemorating ‘peace’.

Log books of Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 76); and Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3, p. 214)

It is very important that the list of names of those who died should be accurate

Plans were well advanced for the memorial at St Bartholomew’s Church.

The War Memorial

The committee met on Sept 4 at 7.30pm. There was a good attendance. Present: The Chairman, Mr Churchwarden Brown and Mr FB East (hon. Treasurers), the Rev. H B Mead, Messrs. W Lawrence, A H Salman, H Masters, J A Murray, G C Sturgess, T R Stevens, E Clayton Jones, A J H Wright, E Long; Ladies – Mrs Newbery, Miss Goose, Miss Stevens, Miss Lawrence, Miss Driscoll, Miss Type.

The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed. The chairman read a letter from the architect saying that the drawings for the builder were on the point of completion. It was suggested that the names be cut into the oak panelling to avoid difficulty in adding names sent in late and to avoid expense. It was agreed that the porch be lined with stone and the two shields carved with emblems. Mrs Newbery kindly consented to include the lower part of Cumberland Road in her district. Subscriptions received to date were paid in, with one new promise. The treasurers reported at the close of the proceedings as follows:-

Subscriptions paid or promised, as already announced £455 10s 0d
New subscriptions Sept 4 £21 10s 2d
New promises £5 0s 0d

The date of the next committee meeting was fixed for Thurs Oct 16 at 7.30pm.

Since the above meeting, a letter has been received from Mr Comper suggesting that the shields should bear “the three knives ascribed to S Bartholomew on one and Reading (emblem) on the other.” He is glad that the committee consents to stone lining of the porch, and adds “You must have the names cut on a stone or slate (and not oak) slab which will form part of the stone lining of the walls recessed within a simple shallow moulding. This, I believe, will cost no more, and be durable, and part of the fabric as it ought to be. The slab need not be fixed till the walls are built…. I dare say that you will be content with the surnames and initials …. Prefixed by some inscription.

Upon this we would say that it is very important that the list of names of those who died should be accurate, and any known name, not at present posted up in the church under the flag, should be given to the Vicar without delay.

Mr F N A Garry has presented a stone beautifully carved with old Christian emblems, which Mr Comper desires to be placed 5 feet from the floor within the porch on the west wall south of the entrance. We have also to thank Mr S Newbery for making a copy of the drawing of the porch which is hung on the church door.


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