The duty of the Mother Country to the Children

Colonial soldiers were welcome in the Hallam house.

4th May 1919

We entertained those N. Zealanders to dinner tea & supper. One’s name is Alford, the other Cleanwater – first time I’ve heard of this name. They are very grateful but as I tell all these Colonial fellows they must look at it as the duty of the Mother Country to the Children.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

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A Committee for “Welcome Home”

A Methodist Church in Reading welcomed home its men who had gone to war. The building is now the Sikh temple.

24 April 1919

Resolved…

That the following form a Committee for “Welcome Home”.

Messrs M Timbrell, A W Reed, F Charlton, H G Butler, W J Hambling, J S Neale, E W Butler, J Kimber.

Mesdames Slyfield, H J Butler, H G Butler, G Peach, H Gill, M Timmbrell, B Charlton, M Wise.

Cumberland Road Primitive Methodist Church, Reading: trustees’ minutes (D/MS55/1A/2)

No further appeal for vegetables is necessary

Another war hospital closed its doors.

Hare Hatch Notes

Congratulations to Corporal John Milford upon his having gained the Military Medal for Gallantry in the Field.

With the closing of the V.A.D. Hospital no further appeal for supply of vegetables is necessary. We desire to thank those who sent their gifts so regularly.

A.E.C.
Wargrave parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

The amount of work done, even during the last year of the War, when people were so short handed

Tribute is paid to the women of Furze Platt for their contributions.

Report of the Furze Platt War Working Party

In March 1918, a special appeal was made for funds to carry on the work at a time of great national danger. That appeal received a steady response all through the year, bringing in a total of nearly £60. When the accounts are audited a full report will appear in the press. In the meanwhile the details of the actual work done are given below.

1916 1917 1918
Bags 30 300 –
Bed Socks 78 219 310
Bandages 265 45
Bed Jackets 115 64 57
Helmets 73 7 34
Dressing Gowns 3 – –
Nightingales 10 18 –
Mosquito Nets 70 84 –
Mittens 53 135 236
Mufflers 6 68 264
Socks – 9 57
Shirts 29 26 –
Sun Shields 50 161 –
Anti-Vermin Vests- 112 226
Pyjamas – 7 –
Slippers 77 21 135
Swabs – 300 –
Helpless-case – – 25
Work Totals 859 1476 1354

Subscriptions: 1916, £64 12s 1d. 1917, £54 12s 1½d. 1918, £39 0s 4d.

The amount of work done, even during the last year of the War, when people were so short handed and had very little time to give to outside work, is a very great credit to the workers of Furze Platt. I should like to express on behalf of myself and all those interested in this work, our appreciation of all that has been done by Mrs E H Wyatt and the Collectors to make the Furze Platt District of the Maidenhead Branch a capable and reliable contributor to the Voluntary Work Organisations of the Country.

G M Skrine, Hon, Sec.

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

The need for collecting eggs for the Wounded Soldiers in the hospitals in England and France has come to an end

Clewer had contributed thousands of eggs to help feed wounded soldiers.

Clewer

The following remarkable Egg Report has been sent for insertion by Miss Durant:-

Now that the need for collecting eggs for the Wounded Soldiers in the hospitals in England and France has come to an end, I should like to express my thanks to all those in Clewer who have so kindly assisted in the good work by giving eggs and money.

Since I commenced collecting in March, 1915, Clewer has contributed 7,890 eggs and £56 11s. 0d. in cash, and I especially wish to thank the children of Clewer Green Schools, who have collected 462 eggs and £49 1s. 9d. towards the result.

M. DOROTHY DURANT,

Collector for Clewer.

Clewer parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P39/28A/9)

Energetic and continuous work for the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance during the war

One Sulhamstead woman was central to the parish’s efforts to assist the wounded.

RED CROSS SOCIETY

Mrs Grimshaw has relinquished the tenancy of the Abbots House, to the great regret of all in the parish who knew her and Mrs Greenley. We hope that her five years’ tenancy has sufficiently endeared her to the neighbourhood to bring her repeatedly back on visits.

Mrs Grimshaw’s work for the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance during the war has been energetic and continuous. Since she was first appointed as Village Representative, her small group of workers were kept steadily employed, and produced a good number of garments. During the last year upwards of 120 garments were dispatched to the Depot. Mrs Sheringham, Mile House, has undertaken the work as the Village Representative.

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

“It has helped in a small way a great patriotic movement”

Time had come for one War Savings Associaton to fold.

ST JOHN’S PARISH WAR SAVINGS ASSOCIATION

There being now so few members paying in, it is proposed to make a change by asking those few remaining members to join with the GFS Association…

Our St John’s Parish Association has been in existence nearly two years. It was affiliated to the Reading Centre on 7th March 1917, though it did not begin working till a month later.

In that period 127 Single Payment Certificates and 50 by instalment payments have been issued at a cost of £137 3s 6d, with withdrawals amounted to 18/-, leaving a balance in hand in Certificates and Cash of £2 18s 0d.

The total number who joined was 42, but only 6 are now paying-in members.

The represents, of course, only a small part of the support given to the War Savings effort in the parish. The Association was started late, so that the schools and other Associations absorbed the larger amount of the savings, but it has helped in a small way a great patriotic movement.

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

A splendid total

Tribute was paid to the work of Burghfield women through the war.

Village Red Cross Working Party

With the closing of the Reading War Hospitals Supplies Depot on Wednesday afternoon, March 12th, the Village Red Cross Working Party has ceased its useful work; the number of articles made by between 20 and 30 members during the last 3 ½ years has reached a splendid total. Many thanks to Mrs Butler for the indefatigable way in which she has throughout given her labour and time in purchasing, cutting, and in various ways preparing the materials each week for the busy workers, who soon turned them into the much needed comforts for our troops both at home and abroad.

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

The good work has been beyond all praise

It was no longer necessary to entertain soldiers.

MINISTER’S JOTTINGS

For a very long time our schoolrooms have been devoted to the almost exclusive use of the men and women in khaki in our midst. The need for this no longer exists, and so it has been decided to “close down”. The good work done in this way has been beyond all praise, and I should like to thank most heartily all those ladies and gentlemen who have carried it through so successfully.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, March 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Very fine work has been done

Another war hospital closed its doors. This one had been in the Working Men’s Club in Mortimer.

The V.A.D. Hospital

After four years and six months’ valued service, the Mortimer War Hospital closed its doors on February 28th. Under many difficulties, and in spite of frequent changes in the staff, very fine work has been done, and Miss Wyld. M.B.E., is to be congratulated upon the way in which she has, as Commandant, stuck to her work through thick and thin. Six hundred and thirty-four patients have passed through the hospital. To Dr. Cox and to all the voluntary staff these owe a deep debt of gratitude.

The Commandant writes as follows:-

“I should like to take this opportunity of thanking all the many kind friends who have so constantly sent gifts, often unknown to me, which have been a great boon to our many patients during the past 4 ½ years.

F. M. Wyld, Commandant.”

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

It has been a delightful experience to welcome home some of those who have been far too long absent

PoWs were coming home at last.

Prisoners of War

It has been a delightful experience to welcome home some of those who have been far too long absent.

Mrs. Trevor thanks all those who so kindly subscribed to the Rifle Brigade Prisoners of War Bread Fund. From July 15th, 1916, to October 22nd, 1918, inclusive, £123 14 s. 3d. was sent to the Treasurer of the Fund. The balance £12 4s. 6d. has been sent to Sir A. Pearson for S. Dunstan’s Hostel, where so many of our blind soldiers and sailors are. The accounts have been most kindly audited each half-year by Mr. Sillence, and the balance sheet hung up in the porch of S. John’s Church.

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

Many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others

The hard work of women from Newbury and Speen during the war is reviewed.

RED CROSS WORKING PARTY

The Parish Red Cross Working Party, under the superintendence of Mrs L Majendie, was started by her at the Rectory, Newbury, on May 1st, 1915.

The first meeting was hastily summoned for the purpose of making respirators, but as it was found these were not required, being provided by the War Office, work for hospitals and other objects was substituted.

Mrs Majendie carried on the meetings at more or less regular intervals from a fortnight to three weeks, with suspension of these generally during Lent.

She was assisted, first by Miss Boldero (who also held a number of supplementary meetings for mending for Newbury District Hospital), and later by Mrs and Miss Majendie, Speen.

The number of names on the books was between 50 and 60, and of these over 30 attended regularly from the first meeting, May 1st, 1915, to the last, February 18th, 1919. Thanks are due to all the members, but more especially to these last, also to the various hostesses who provided tea, and lent their houses for meetings (many more would have been glad to do this, if lack of space had not forbidden it).

The hostesses were Mrs L Majendie, Miss Boldero, Mrs A Majendie and Miss D Majendie, Miss Godding, Mrs Gould, Mrs Hawker, Mrs Porter, Mrs Camp, Mrs O’Farrell, Mrs Colbourne, amd Miss Bellinger. Some entertained at their own houses, some at the Conservative Club, and a large number of meetings were held at the Parish Room.

Some members have left Newbury, including several Belgian ladies, who worked regularly for a time.

The objects worked for were very numerous, 24 in all, and included the following:

1. Reading War Hospital, twice.
2. Newbury District Hospital, 9 times.
3. Newbury War Depot, 6 times.
4. Miss Power’s Hospital, once.
5. General Hospital No. 18, France (to Miss Hayne), once.
6. The Minesweeper Newbury, 7 times.
7. HMS Conquest (to Lieut. Burgess), once.
8. Submarine F3 (to Lieut. Burgess, once).
9. The Navy League, 3 times.
10. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Malta, once.
11. Malta and Near East Special Red Cross Appeal, once.
12. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Rouen, twice.
13. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Stationary, No. 3, France, 12 times. Extra parcels were often sent to Dr Heywood’s Hospital at other times.
14. Ripon Camp Hospital (Dr Mackay), twice.
15. French Red Cross, twice.
16. French War Emergency Fund, 11 times.
17. National Committee for Relief in Belgium and Northern France, twice.
18. Belgian Red Cross, once.
19. Italian White Cross, twice.
20. Russian Prisoners of War, once.
21. Serbian Relief Fund, 7 times.
22. Syria and Palestine Relief Fund, 5 times.
23. Air Raid victims in London, once.
24. Soldiers’ Children Aid Committee, twice.

Making 73 meetings in all.

The many grateful letters received are too numerous to quote, but each one showed clearly how much the recipients appreciated the parcels of well made clothing despatched from Newbury. Not only were new clothes sent, but many gifts of garments slightly worn, but in good condition were also sent to various Societies. These were received with special thankfulness for the many refugees in France, Belgium, and Serbia, and as the work of repatriation in some of these terribly devastated regions will have to be carried on for months to come, parcels might still be forwarded from time to time if members cared to collect for them.

Thanks are specially due to those members who were kind enough to continually lend their sewing machines for ten meetings, and to several who undertook from time to time cutting-out at home.
The sum of £92 7s 8d was collected in donations and subscriptions, and was expended in flannel, flannelette, linen, twill, sheeting, muslin, gauze, lint, and cotton wool, which were all worked up into about 2,653 different articles, comprising, roughly speaking, the following:

735 treasure bags, 386 bandages, 376 miscellaneous things (such as washers, dusters, hot water bottle covers, table napkins, etc), 253 children’s garments, 210 men’s shirts, 177 knitted articles (socks, helmets, mufflers, operation stockings, etc), 128 collars and ties for hospital wear, 108 men’s vests and other underclothing, 106 women’s underclothing and blouses, 86 towels, 68 pillow cases and sheets, 20 pair steering gloves (leather palms): total 2,653.

The pleasant fellowship in which the members worked so untiringly through many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others, may well have strengthened not only parochial and personal ties, but also many wider ones with those they were privileged to help.

Newbury parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

The immediate need for comforts for the soldiers is over

A sewing group decided to move on from wartime work to raising money for the church.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

On February 12th the vicar visited the Working Party to review the work that has been done since its inception in 1915, and to decide as to its future.

It was started by the Rev. T. Guy Rogers in April, 1915, as a Parochial Working Party, primarily to bring together members of St John’s and St Stephen’s congregations for friendly intercourse. This was to be fostered by a common interest, viz work for our local hospitals. The meeting was held on Wednesdays at the Institute until the Flying Corps took possession, when it adjourned to the Princes Street Mission Room. Miss Homan and Mrs Morley were in charge, and when Miss Homan left Miss Britton took her place.

£47 15s 9d has been collected in the parish for materials, and 3,572 things have been made.

The immediate need for comforts for the soldiers being over, the question arose as to whether it should come to an end, or, if not, under what conditions it should be carried on.

It was suggested that it should revert to its original name – Parochial Working Party – and that its raison d’etre should be to work on a business basis for the CMS, buying materials and making things for anyone who would give orders – all profits to go to the CMS. But the Working Party should also do any needlework when needed for either of the churches, e.g. mending communion linen, surplices and cassocks.

It should meet on Wednesdays from 2.30 to 4.30, and any member of either church should be welcomed, provided only that she could sew. These suggestions were agreed to.

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

PoWs weak and run down

Imprisonment was an ordeal.

XMAS PRESENT FUND FOR WINKFIELD MEN ON SERVICE.

The appeal for this fund met with a hearty response, the amount raised was £22 8s. 5d.. and nearly every family in the parish contributed.

The Vicar has received many letters and cards from the men, expressing great appreciation of the remembrance of them.

It was a great pleasure to welcome home this month two more of the prisoners of war. Fred Johnson and Fred Blau. Both showed the effects of what they had undergone, and arrived home weak and run down, but with home comforts we hope it will not be long before they completely recover their health and strength.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/2)

“An incalculable amount of pain, many limbs, and indeed many lives must have been saved by the timely arrival of the bales”

Wargrave had been at the heart of work providing surgical supplies during the war.

Wargrave Surgical Dressing Society

This Society, which has just brought its work to a close owed its existence to the energies of Miss Choate.

At Millward’s, generously lent by the late Mr. Henry Nicholl and recently by Major C.R.I. Nicholl, was started by her in March 1915, a work which grew to such an extent that during the four years some 500,000 dressings and comforts were dispatched to the wounded from Wargrave. These were not, of course, all made in the village. Under Miss Choate’s organisation, branches were started at Dartmouth, Ledbury, Loughton, Pangbourne, Peppard, Shiplake and Wimbledon, while welcome and regular parcels were received from Twyford, Kidmore and Hoylake. But all were packed for shipment and consigned from Wargrave.

The parcels went to Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations at almost every fighting area – to Mesopotamia, to Gallipoli, to Egypt, to Serbia and to American and Colonial Hospitals in England and in France.

It is impossible to ever estimate the value of the work. An incalculable amount of pain, many limbs, and indeed many lives must have been saved by the timely arrival of the bales. As a lame man said to the writer “Only we who are still suffering the effects of the shortage of medical comforts at the beginning of the war can appreciate fully the work these people have done.”

In the early days, consignments were sent in response to urgent appeals from Commandants and Matrons of Hospitals, but since 1916 the Society, in common with other of the larger Societies in England, has worked under the direction of the Department of the Director General of Voluntary Organisations at the War Office.

A.B.

A meeting of the Society and the subscribers was held on Wednesday, Feb. 5th, at Millwards to decide upon the disposal of the Balance in hand. Every provision had been made for carrying on the work through the winter if the war had continued, and the funds amounted to over £200.

In the absence of Capt. Bird, the Vicar was asked to take the chair. After a full discussion it was unanimously resolved that £200 be given to the Ward Fund and Recreation Fund of the Manor Hospital, Hampstead.

It was a great happiness to all concerned to feel that the money should benefit a work with which Miss Sinclair was so closely associated.

It was resolved that the remaining balance be given to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, for a Care and Comforts Fund for the Soldier Patients.

The accounts have not yet been audited but it is expected that the amount to be given to Reading Hospital will be about £20.

These resolutions, together with the audited accounts, must be submitted to the Charity Commissioners for approval, but there is every reason to think that they will be endorsed by them.

The men in the Manor House Orthopedic Hospital, Hampstead, for discharged Soldiers and Sailors, wish to send their grateful thanks to the Members of the Surgical Dressing Emergency Society, Wargrave, for their splendid gift (£200) to be used for their Care and Comfort. As many Wargrave ladies have consented to be god-mothers in the wards, it is the wish of the men that some of them should be on the new Committee, called the Care and Comforts Committee, who from time to time will decide how the money shall be spent. The appreciation of the men is very touching in its sincerity and sense of sympathy.

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