We think of those who are sacrificing so much for the Country over which flies the flag of the free

St Peter’s Church in Furze Platt was adorned with flags – presumably Union Jacks.

Thanks.

We have to thank Mr Rogers for the two beautiful flags which are now hung in St Peter’s Church. They were dedicated by our Vicar on the Eve of St Peter’s Day during Evensong. We think as we look at them of those who are sacrificing so much for the Country over which flies the flag of the free. Let us at home not forget to come with our sacrifice of intercession for them.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, August 1918 (D/P181/28A/27)

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Earnest supplication that the righteous cause for which we have made such heavy sacrifices may be speedily crowned with victory, and a just and lasting Peace come quickly.

Churches in the Bracknell area commemorated the fourth anniversry of the start of the war.

August

Ascot

SUNDAY, August 4th, will be the fourth anniversary of the Declaration of War, and special forms of Prayer and Thanksgiving will be used throughout the Country on that day. The hours of service at All Saints’ will be as usual.

Bracknell

THE WAR – On Sunday, August 4th, when we shall enter on the fifth year of the War, we are called to come together to seek for God’s help and guidance, and to offer our thanksgivings for the success that has been granted to our efforts. The services will be at the usual hours, but will be of a special character. It can hardly be necessary to urge that there should be a large attendance. We need God’s continued help, and we must seek for it by persistent prayer. The collections at all the services will be for the British Red Cross Society.

Warfield

On Sunday, August 4th, the fourth anniversary of the Declaration of War, there will be celebrations of the Holy Communion at 7, 8, and 12 o’clock. Morning Prayer and Intercession Service for Children at 3. Evening Prayer, Intercession, reading of the Roll of Honour, and Sermon at 6.30. May we, like the good king Hezekiah of old, go up unto the house of the Lord, at this great crisis in our nation’s life, and spread out our cause, our troubles and anxieties, national and personal before the Lord.

Winkfield

For the first time, the 4th of August, the anniversary of the beginning of the War falls on a Sunday. The government have decided against a week day commemoration, so that the whole nation, it is hoped, will observe the occasion as a day of National Intercession to God on behalf of our country, with earnest supplication that the righteous cause for which we have made such heavy sacrifices may be speedily crowned with victory, and a just and lasting Peace come quickly.

We earnestly hope that this parish will respond, as never before, and that no family will be unrepresented in this parish church on such an occasion, when, as our Prime Minister writes:

“It is fitting that the nation should remembering the services of the men who are fighting for the preservation of civilisation, and should once more reconsecrate itself to the high ideals for the attainment of which the Allied Nations have sacrificed so much”.

The names of all our men serving at the front will be read out and commended to God in prayer, and the offertories at all the services will be devoted to fund helping to send comforts to Winkfield men now prisoners of war in Germany.

September

Bracknell

THE WAR – The Services held in August 4th – the fourth anniversary of the commencement of the War – were well attended. There were many communicants, and the church was really full, both at 11 and 6.30. The special services were used, and seemed to strike the right nore, as the services were specially earnest and reverent. The good news of the Allies’ successes deepened the feeling of thankfulness and hope in all hearts. £21 18s. was collected for the Red Cross and Prisoners of War Fund.

Cranbourne

WAR ANNIVERSARY — The services on August 4th were well attended, especially in the evening. The collections were for the Prisoners of War Fund, and amounted to £11 10s. 6d.

Warfield

It was a great pleasure to see such splendid congregations and above all so many communicants, on Sunday, August 4th, the fourth anniversary of the Declaration of War. In the evening the body of the church was quite full, and the congregation joined most heartily and earnestly in the service. The collection £6 9s. 7d. was in aid of the parochial fund for providing parcels for prisoners of war, of which Mrs. Wood is secretary.

Winkfield

The services on August 4th were well attended, especially in the evening. The offertories for Prisoners of War amounted to £12 10s and on the following Sunday £7 was raised for the Mission to Seamen.


Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, August and September 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/7-8)

The spiritual importance of the day

August
The Anniversary of the Declaration of War falls this year upon a Sunday, and special forms of Prayer and Intercession have been put forth by the Archbishops. These we shall make use of at the services on that day.

September
The services on August 4th were deeply impressive to all who took part in them. before the sung Eucharist, the congregation, preceded by the Churchwardens, were led in procession by the Priest and Choir to the Shrine outside. There prayers were offered both for the fallen and those on Service. It was a happy thought which suggested this short act of pilgrimage; it undoubtedly helped to mark the spiritual importance of the day. We owe it to a member of the congregation. We need not add how we Clergy welcome suggestions from our laity which may add life to the Service of the Master. Another member of the congregation had, too, the satisfaction of hearing her own tune and words used as an introit.

South Ascot Parochial Magazine, August and September 1918 (D/P186/28A/18)

“We have no traitors in our midst worse than the so-called “pacifists,” who want peace at any price and, in many cases, are simply enemy agents.”

The fourth anniversary of the start of the war was commemorated soberly in churches throughout the county.

Sulhamstead

THE WAR

WAR COMMEMORATION

Sunday, August 4th, has been set apart for the purpose of commemorating our entry into this terrible war. We shall remind ourselves that it was impossible so long as we maintained honour, righteousness and justice to hold back. We took our place by the side of France and Belgium, not from any desire to increase our own power or raise our position in the world, but simply to prevent wrong and to work righteousness. Our objects are still the same. There is no hope for the world until the gigantic military despotism of Germany is destroyed. There will be services of Intercession at 11 a.m., St Mary’s Church, followed by the Holy Communion; 6 p.m., St Michael’s Church.

There were good attendances at the church on Sunday, August 4th, for Thanksgiving and Intercession. The offertories for the fund for assisting Prisoners of war belonging to the Royal Berks Regiment amounted to:

11 a.m. £3 11s 0 ½ d
6 p.m. £1 13s 1 ½ d
Total £5 4s 2d

Earley St Peter

August 4th

The anniversary of the proclamation of war (August4th) will this year fall on a Sunday. I do not know whether any special Order of Prayer will be issued. For myself I consider that the forms of Prayer for use in the time of War (by authority, S.P.C.K., 1S.) Contains sufficient material. But I hope all the clergy will prepare well beforehand to stimulate and satisfy the spiritual needs of their people. The collect, Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday (x. after Trinity) might well be used. Otherwise the order suggested for the last year may be used again (Forms of prayer, P. 87 FF.) with necessary changes.

My Dear Friends

The first Sunday of this month, August the 4th, is the anniversary of the war. I wonder what we should all have felt if on August 4th 1914, we had thought it would have continued up to this time. Lord Kitchener indeed said three years and enrolled his army for that time, but such is a contingency seemed impossible to the generality of our countrymen, many of whom thought that the first battle of the Marne was the beginning of the end.

Who then dreamt of the collapse of Russia, or of the entry of America into the war? Who for a moment imagined that Germany would descend to the depths of degradation to which she has sunk in the eyes of the world by her false dealings and her barbarities. Who had any conception of the miseries, the losses, the bereavements, of the greatest war that the world has ever seen? (more…)

The life of a father or husband, or brother or son – perhaps yours – may depend on what you collect

Wokingham people were urged to save fruit stones.

Fruit Stones & Nut Shells are urgently needed. Converted into charcoal, they apparently possess special properties which are necessary in the manufacture of gas helmets. Ample stocks will be available in the future, but at the moment the need is most urgent. Will all therefore who read this set aside fruit stones and nut shells (don’t let them get mouldy) and the ‘Wolf Cubs’ will collect them. Don’t be afraid that you haven’t got enough to be any good – every little helps, and the life of a father or husband, or brother or son – perhaps yours – may depend on what you collect.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, August 1918 (D/P154C/28A/1)

“I keeps my pecker up”

Sydney Spencer greatly admired his commanding officer, Captain Dillon.

July 31st [1918]
My Dearest Florence

My clothes are literally falling to pieces & my batman is going on strike if I don’t soon do something about it. So here goes. Will you be sweet & send me my trousers & best tunic keeping the brass buttons on it as these brown buttons are an “anathema” in the regiment. Also the tunic will need Norfolk badges put on it if I remember. Don’t send the old trousers but the new ones (they are of the same material as the tunic is barathia)!!!

I have sent so much kit home that things are getting almost to an indecent stage! And I simply refuse to continue this existence in breeches any longer! Also my pyjamas (the one pair I have have parted company in the middle, almost. In a day or two I am expecting to put them on one leg at a time! I have to do that always, but you know what I mean! It won’t be funny much longer however. Also (patience darling, I hang on as long as possible & then ask for lots of things at once so as not to be continually worrying you), I need about 1 dozen dark collars size 14 ½, 6 handkerchiefs, 2 pairs of thin short pants & another thin shirt. Also (!!) my batman orders me to get at once some Proberts mahogany brown polish for my belt & boots. He nearly ticked me off yesterday because I hadn’t written before!

Now to be pleasant & chatty. Since I wrote you I have moved about 30 miles. The best of it is that the flies here are about 75 % less than down where we were. Moving in this broiling weather is very fatiguing. But I keeps my pecker up & there is always something funny or incongruous to be amused or puzzled over. I wish I had time to write you sketches of French life as seen in these funny little villages. Some would amuse, some would make you sad, others not bearing the repeating, being of a nature that although highly amusing, are so essentially ‘not done’ in England, that they would leave you breathless.

When I tell you that there are practically no sanitary arrangements, & that all French cottages possess manure heaps (of which even Job himself could not complain) in their front gardens, you can imagine that [there are] times when life is not only embarrassing but precipitate.

I told you about my platoon being the winner of competitions in my last letter. My skipper – Capt. Dillon to boot – was very pleased as it brought credit on his company. By the way, he has a great love for Gold Flake cigarettes. Would you like just to please me to send him a tin, only putting your name on it, as sending them. He would be delighted & I could tell him they came from you afterwards.

He is such a splendid chap & I would like him to feel that I appreciated him & a tin of 100 gold flakes would please him immensely.

His address is the same as mine. Captain G Dillon MC, 7th Norfolks, BEF.


All love to you both from your always affectionate Brer
Sydney

Diary
Wednesday 31 July 1918

Got up at 6.30 & went down to the stream at the bottom of the garden, & had a splash in the cool cold water. On parade at 8 am & did an hour’s march [in] full marching order. Then half an hour’s PT & ½ hour’s gas drill. Cut my foot slightly when bathing this morning. Having a rest surreptitiously on Dillon’s bed. Feel very tired after yesterday.

Letter and diary of Sydney Spencer (D/EZ177/8/3/59-66; D/EZ177/8/15)

£39 since December

Buscot children collected for the war.

1918 July 31st
The School War Savings today reached the sum of £39.10s.7d (commenced Dec. 8th 17).

Buscot CE School log book (C/EL73/2)

Donations gratefully received

Reading women continued to support wounded soldiers.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

Donations have been gratefully received from Miss Britton, 10/-; the Misses Thorogood, 15/-.

List of articles made this month: 4 pyjamas, 33 treasure bags, 64 face cloths, 5 white shirts, 17 cushion covers, 1 bed jacket.

Total articles already sent, 3,221.

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

Garments are so very urgently needed for the wounded

Burghfield people continued to make clothes and hospital supplies for wounded soldiers.

Holiday House

The Committee regret that they are unable at present to arrange for any Evening Entertainments &c, due to the Lighting restrictions.

The Holiday House work party wish to thank all those who so kindly subscribed to the thousand penny fund, which was raised in answer to the appeal for funds from the Reading Depot. The amount subscribed more than reached our expectations, and we were able to send the sum of £7 10s 0d in all to the depot, £3 (i.e. 720 pennies) profits on a Whist Drive and Dance at Holiday House, and £4 10s 0d (i.e. 1,080 pennies) collected.

The Work Party would be glad to welcome more workers, as garments are so very urgently needed for the wounded, and also any help in providing wool for “operation” stockings.

Burghfield parish magazine, July 1918 (D/EX725/4)

The further call for soldiers brings home to us the coming climax of the War

There was still need for more soldiers.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,-

… Last month was a busy one, and our record of it has to be compressed; nor can I find space for a letter from Mr. Sellors, who, I am glad to say, keeps well and fit at Salonika…

As regards to more serious things, we have to thank Mr. F. Rogers for two beautiful flags for the Church; they will be a valued reminder of all we have gone through together during the War. The further call for soldiers brings home to us the coming climax of the War. Still more families have a personal interest in the welfare of our Navy, Army and Air Force.

Let those of us at home turn still more earnestly to God for strength to do our duty and bear our burdens. For from him alone comes the power to be workers, and not drones, whether for God’s service, or that of our Country, or our Homes.

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar
C.E.M. FRY

PARISH MAGAZINE

Owing to paper shortage, we are only allowed about 525 copies of the “Dawn of Day” a month. So about 1590 people will have to be content with Parish matter only.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, July 1918 (D/P181/28A/27)

Prisoners from this district are benefitting from the Lavender Market

Ascot PoWs would benefit from recent fundraising.

Our Readers will be glad to know that the “Lavender Market” held on July 20th resulted in a net profit of £200 odd, which enables the Ascot Women’s Suffrage Society to send £100 to the Royal Berkshire Regiment Prisoners of War Care Committee, and £100 to the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. Those who helped so generously will be gratified to know that their own prisoners from this district are thus benefitting.

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, September 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/8)

Merry as a marriage bell – despite the unbidden guest

Church choirs typically had an annual jolly day out. The choir at Broad Street Church in Reading invited along a group of wounded soldiers in 1918.

July

RIVER TRIP

Arrangements are being made by the Church Choir for a river trip in the afternoon of Saturday, July 20th, when they hope to entertain a party of wounded soldiers. Goring and Hartslock Woods will most likely be the places visited. In addition to the members of the choir and their wounded friends, there will be accommodation for about thirty visitors. Full details have not yet been arranged, but particulars may be obtained from members of the choir after July 1st. It is very desirable, however, that early application should be made for tickets by those who wish to join the party.

August

CHOIR TRIP

On Saturday, July 20th, the annual choir trip took place, the destination this time being Goring and Hartlock Woods. A party of twenty-five wounded soldiers from the military hospitals had been invited as guests of the choir, so there was accommodation for only about forty other friends.

In the forenoon the weather outlook seemed very uncertain, but as 1.30 pm drew near it assumed a more promising aspect. Immediately after the arrival of “the men in blue” the steam-launch “River Queen” was started, and the party of 105 proceeded upstream at a steady pace. The choir discoursed sweet music as we journeyed and “all went merry as a marriage bell”.

We reached Goring without mishap at 4.15 pm, and there we disembarked for about twenty-five minutes, to permit of a hasty look round. Setting off on the return journey at 4.45 pm, we reached Hartslock Woods at 5 o’clock, and took a short walk whilst arrangements were being made for tea.

At 5.15 we sat down to do full justice to the good things provided. The sun was now shining with unwonted brilliance, and was even considered by some to be too powerful. After tea, Mr F. W. Harvey read a letter from the Rev. W. Morton Rawlinson (who unfortunately, through indisposition, was unable to join the party) and in an appropriate speech gave welcome to our guests. To this welcome, the officer who accompanied the wounded soldiers fittingly replied, and expressed the gratitude of those for whom he spoke.

The company now dispersed in various directions. Some rambled along the banks of the river; others explored the beautiful woods; and still others climbed the high hill from which an uninterrupted view could be gained of “Father Thames”, stretching away into the distance on either side.

As our soldier friends had been granted an extension of time it was not proposed to start for home until 8.15. but unhappily the fickle sun, which had promised so well at tea-time, was hidden from view by a heavy thunder-cloud, which speedily began to give us a taste of its contents. Everyone made for the boat, and at 7.30, as there seemed to be no prospect of a change in the weather, it was decided to return.

The rain continued most of the way home, but the choir again delighted us with various musical selections, and made it impossible for us to feel depressed or even dull. Their efforts to beguile the time, from Tilehurst onwards, were supplemented by those of three youngsters on the lookout for stray pence, who, on the river bank, kept pace with the boat and provided a varied exhibition.

Altogether, although the rain was an unbidden guest, the trip was most thoroughly enjoyed, and great praise is due to the choir for the entertainment given to their wounded guests and to the whole party. We should like to thank Mr Harvey, too, and the members of the Choir Committee, for the excellent arrangements made for the comfort of all.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, July and August 1918 (D/N11/12/1/14)

“Don’t worry, she can’t speak English & I could never make love in French”

Percy Spencer was excited by his sister Florence’s getting a comic article published in Punch, and almost fell in love with a French girl.

July 14, 1918

My dear WF

Another week gone & here I am still at school & beginning to know something about musketry.

I’m very glad to hear Sydney is better again and delighted about the Punch article. Mind you send me a copy of the number.

This week I’ve been feeling very dicky myself. I think I had a touch of this strange fever, but a very slight one. Another officer here, I am sorry to say, has died with it.

Today I have been to a much bombed town near here for a holiday. There is quite a good officers’ club and one can generally meet old friends there and get a good dinner. It’s nice to sit in a pretty garden and receive tea from the fair hands of a wholesome English girl.

Today as you know is France’s National day. I went to the cathedral – which by the way has been rather badly bumped at the eastern end – and listened to a service. The singing was delightful, but it is difficult for me, much as I love the Roman Church’s seriousness, to refrain from smiling at their quaint beadles armed with swords and wearing mighty cocked hats, and at the endless collections.

Another good thing out here is the good nature of all motorists. One sets out to walk anywhere, hails the first car or bus or lorry, which always stops & takes you as far as it can. The other night a staff officer we coolly hailed drove us in here and offered to take us as afar as Paris if we liked. This however only applies as between Englishmen or as between French etc. but today I had quite a romantic experience.

Following the usual custom I stepped out to hail a car, but observing it was driven by a Frenchman, stepped back. However, it stopped & then to my pleasurable surprise I saw it was driven by a French GIRL. I’ve given her capitals as she was a capital girl. She wasn’t going very far my way but would give me a lift on my way. Well, the fair chauffeuse who was on her way to fetch the Prefect of the town we had just left melted, & when she got to her turning & I made to alight, she said she would drive me here and she did. After that we got very friendly and talked about London & the Thames, and she said that after the war she should come to London, and I said then I hoped we should meet again, whereupon she volunteered her address and I mine and neither of us could remember the other nor muster a pencil between us, so we pulled up at a cottage & borrowed one & some paper from an old lady who smiled approval at the beginning of a romance. And all the while the Prefect cooled his heels at some village down south!
I must be a lady killer after all!

Don’t worry, she can’t speak English & I could never make love in French, and Bordeaux (her home) is a long way.

Well, goodbye & God bless you both.

Yours ever
Percy

Letter from Percy Spencer (D/EZ177/7/7/53-55)

Our manifold necessities in the Great War

The Bishop’s Message

The following extracts are from the bishop’s message in the July Diocesan Magazine:

Your prayers are specially asked

For the supply of our manifold necessities in the Great War.

For all the great sufferers in body, mind and estate.

For Russia and the Russian Church.

For Serbia and the Serbian Students among us.

For Ireland.

Earley St Peter parish magazine (D/P191/28A/25)

“I think we have got the Boche fairly well in hand now “

A Sunningdale soldier wrote an optimistic letter home.

A letter from France to Miss Tritton.

11th July 1918

Dear Madam,

I hope you received the letter I sent you some time ago. I have been wondering if it had gone missing as so many are lost in transit. I trust this note will find you well, and I may state that I am the same, though I have been gassed some time ago, but am fairly recovered from the effects of it.

I hope you are still going strong at the Red Cross work. Needless to say that it is all very much appreciated by the boys out here in France.

I am looking forward with joy to the day when we will be home again, and I think we have got the Boche fairly well in hand now and that he will never do any more than he has already done… I would like it very much if you could send me the Banner (Parish magazine).

I am,

Yours sincerely,

W. K. Turner.

Sunningdale Parish magazine, August 1918 (D/P150B/28A/10)