Entertaining the Army Service Corps in Earley

Parishioners at Earley St Peter entertained the Army Service Corps men billeted locally, while worrying about their own loved ones at the front.

Report of C.E.M.S. Soldiers’ Entertainment Committee.

The generosity of the Parish enabled the committee to give Twelve entertainments to the 178th Co. of the A.S.C.; the subscribers being the Rev. Canon Fowler, Major M. Hull, Messers. Allen, Bennett, Bastow, S.O. Bastow, Beldam, Bartlett, Culham, Friedlander, Farrow, Goodenough, Goodyer, Hawkes, Hart, Heelas, Howlett, Jordan, Jones, Keep, Lee, J.Lewington, Love, Masser, Murton, Newbery, Rushbrook, Smith, Martin, Sutton, Sargeant, Tagg, Tomlin, Wilson, Wooldridge, White, Webb, Wait; Mesdames Blyde, Barkshire, Dunlop, Fowles, Friends, Goodyer, Hawkes, Hawkins, Lawrence, Montizambert, Payne, Shaw, Stroud, Southern, Wyley, Warmington, Witherington; the Misses Beauchamp, Corner, Croome, Carlsson, Davis, George, Goodwin, Hannaford, Keep, Maurice, Miller, Montizambert, Stroud, Taunton.

It is proposed to continue the entertainments for the 263rd Co., at present billeted in the Parish, but to make this possible a further appeal for funds must be made, and I shall be very grateful for any subscriptions.

List of Men Serving in His Majesty’s Forces.

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:- Richard Goodall, Charles Carpenter, Ernest Threadgill, James Winchcombe, Leonard Reeves, William Farmer, Andrew McFadyen, Edward Iles, Arthur Buskin, Stephen Platt, Percy Taylor, Arthur Harris, George Palmer, George Webb, Frank Snellgrove, Richard Hayden, George Rogers, William Mengham, Jack Durman, Guy Comport, Herbert Broadbear.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:-
Killed – Haviland Durand, Edward Smithers, Thomas Palmer; Sick – Arthur Mylam (gas poisoning).

Earley St Peter parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P191/28A/22)

Advertisements

Let us, who remain in the safety of our homes, remember the many who need our prayers

The war was hitting home in Newbury, where a number of parishioners had been killed on active service.

The War Intercession List at the Parish Church now contains more than 170 names. Of these we much regret to record the loss of Henry Percy Ford, John Seymour, Eric Barnes, Alfred Henry Ellaway, Henry Samuel Slade, David Tumblety, William George Freemantle, Francis Leslie Allen, and Alexander Herbert Davis. Among the missing are Sidney Isaac Hughes and Arthur Neal junr., while John Hilliard, one of our servers, is wounded and a prisoner of war. Let us, who remain in the safety of our homes, remember the many who need our prayers, and be constant and instant in the duty and privilege of Intercession.

The number of men at the A.S.C. Church Parade has grown, and there are now 250 or more present. They have now made a long stay in Newbury, but it is probably that when they do go, it will be at very short notice. On Sunday, June 20th, they were addressed by the Rev. A.H. Haigh, and a collection was made for S. Andrew’s Waterside Church Mission.

An appeal was made in Church on Sunday, June 14th for the work of the Red Cross at Malta, where the wounded from the Dardanelles are sent. It is here that Dr. Heywood is stationed at present, and he has very hard and responsible work to do.

Church Lads’ Brigade
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of Pte. Henry Samuel Slade and Pte. Francis Leslie Allen – the first of our members who have fallen fighting for their King and Country.

The following lads have joined H.M. Forces. No doubt there are others with whom the O.C. is not acquainted, and he would be pleased to hear of any additional names or corrections to the sub-joined list:-

H.S. Slade, F.L. Allen, Ptes. Atkins, W.C. Allen, A.G. Annettes, W.R. Bronsdon, Cleaves, W. Cooke, R. Haywood, E.E. Hill, T. Holley, S.W. Meagrow, W.J. Malder, F.J. Poffley, W.G. Pye, S. Rice, H.V. Tucker, W. Wiggins, W.G. Willis.

Next month we will try to give a more detailed list.

Newbury parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P89/28A/13)

Disabled soldiers will get pensions, so shouldn’t need extra help

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met to consider various needy cases resulting – or allegedly resulting – from the war:

9 March 1915
The Ass. Sec. reported that John Nobes of E Hanney had obtained an Army Pension, & therefore no longer required assistance from the NRF, nor had the grant made for him at last meeting been given on his behalf.

It was further reported that a letter from Mr Mount, MP, had been received, in which the following passage occurred. “Every soldier who is discharged for disability due to military service & whose disability interferes with his capacity for earning a living is eligible for Pension under the regulations”, & Mr Mount stated that this was the official reply of the War Office to his question on the subject of men invalided from the New Army.

Applications for relief were considered from
Russell of Woodley, Wokingham RDC, Taylor & Capell, Windsor RDC, each of which was adjourned for further enquiry.
Mills of Kintbury. Resolved that upon the information supplied the Committee did not consider the applicant suitable for relief from the N R Fund but that the secretary should make further enquiry into the conditions by communicating with Colonel Willes.
Tyrrell, Abingdon Borough. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a grant of 5/- a week for four weeks beginning Feb 24th to the applicant. The Committee confirmed this grant.
Gunn, Binfield, Easthampstead RDC. A grant of 10/- a week for two weeks was made to applicant, the secretary being instructed to ask the local Hon. Sec. for a report upon the case from the Local Sub-committee of the NRF.
Cole, Maidenhead Borough. Resolved upon the information given the applicant, being an invalided soldier, was not a suitable case for this Fund. The Secretary was instructed to draw the attention of the local Hon. Sec. to the statement in Mr Mount’s letter (as above quoted) regarding the claim of disabled soldiers for a pension, & also to inform him that it is possible for a recommendation to be given by the Army authorities to local National Insurance authorities by which a disabled tuberculous soldier may obtain tuberculosis treatment.
George, Maidenhead Borough. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a grant of a sum not exceeding £2 on behalf of the applicant, should the local Committee consider the case one of urgent necessity. The Committee confirmed such grant.
Allen, Cookham RDC. Resolved that the applicant was a case for Poor Law relief & not for the Nat. Relief Fund.
Bailey, Cookham RDC. Resolved that as the information produced shewed no evidence that the applicant was in distress owing to the war, no grant be made on her behalf.
Ashford, Cookham RDC. Resolved that a grant of 6/- per week for one month beginning March 8th be made.
White, Shinfield. Resolved that as the information upon this case shewed a difference of opinion between the officer & local Committee of the Old Age Pensions as to the suitability of the applicant for relief, no grant be made from the Nat. Relief Fund until such divergence of views cease.

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

Grateful for help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire committee of the National Relief Fund met on 12 January 1915 and discussed the cases of various needy persons who had applied for assistance.

Hillyer, Windsor. Mr Gardner reported that he had seen Mrs Hillyer and the house agent in this matter, that the agent had accepted the sum of £1.4.6 being 1/3 of the arrears of rent in final settlement of arrears to December 14, 1914, and that the Committee’s last grant had completely cleared the rent to date. Mr Gardner thought that with a little assistance Mrs Hillyer ought to be able to keep the rent paid & that if any assistance were given it should be definitely towards the rent. He pointed out however that Mrs Hillyer had not asked for further help & seemed grateful for what the Committee had done for her. In these circumstances the Committee decided to take no further steps in the matter, at all events for the present.

Ottley. The local Committee reported that this man had obtained work & there was nothing further to be done in the case.

Gunn. The local Committee reported that Mrs Gunn has soldiers billeted in her house and will not require any further assistance at present.

White. In this case a local chemist asked for a loan of £15 as owing to the war his business had greatly fallen off. He stated that a sum of £12 was due to him from the National Health Insurance. After careful consideration of this case the Committee did not feel justified in making a loan. They resolved that Mr White should be asked to make application to the Insurance Committee for payment of his account.

Bouvarlet. The circumstances in this case had not changed & the Committee resolved to continue the grant unless a change in the circumstances of the case was reported to them.

Allen. This case was obviously a Poor Law one & was referred to the Guardians to deal with.

Lempriere. This case was sent to the Committee by Mr Petrocockino but had not been before the Local Committee. The Committee resolved that this case was not one which came within the scope of the National Relief Fund.

Simpson. The papers in this case were submitted to the Committee, but there was nothing to indicate that it was a case of distress owing to the war. The Committee therefore took no action in the matter.

Raynolds. The Committee considered the papers in this case which was unquestionably a hard one, but which had no connection with the war. It would be dealt with by the Mayor of Wokingham who had written to the Committee on the subject.

Jennings. This case was enquired into & it was found that the facts upon the card were in at least one important particular inaccurate. The wages of Kate Jennings, stated to be 7/- a week, were found on enquiry by the Treasurer to be £35 a year. The Committee felt this was a case of normal unemployment & that the applicant should be referred to the Employment Bureau.

Cole. A letter from Mr Fox on this case was read, but the Committee did not in fact feel justified at present in making any further grant.

Miss North, The Nest, Knowle Hill, Twyford was referred to the Local Committee for report.…

A letter from Mr Shepherd with reference to orders for his factory was read. No action was taken thereon.

A letter from the Secretary of the Maidenhead Local Committee was read calling attention to the unemployment among painters. The Committee felt that the unemployment in this case was not wholly abnormal & that nothing could be done in the matter at present.

A letter was submitted from Messrs Gibbens, Abingdon, with reference to unemployment. This letter had been answered by Miss Pott & no further action seemed necessary at this stage.

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

Soldiers and sailors from Earley

The roll of honour of Earley parish was quite an impressive one even this early in the war.

The following are the names of the sailors and soldiers on the roll of this parish. A note of interrogation signifies that the name of the regiment or ship has not been furnished us.

On Active Service

Albert Ernest Allnutt HMS Iron Duke
Arthur Sidney Allnutt
James Allen Royal Berks. Regiment
Ernest Brown Ryl Oxfordshire Regt.
Edward Brown HMS Weymouth
George Bond Royal Berks. Regiment
Cecil Caulfield Royal Scottish Rifles
Herbert Collier Ryl Oxfordshire Regt.
Alfred Eyres Royal Berks. Regiment
Edward Fisher Grenadier Guards
Thomas Fullbrook HMS Blake
Stephen Gibbons ?
Alfred Gibbings Royal Navy
Sydney George Gough HMS Glasgow
Charles Samuel Gough HMS Larne
William Golding Royal Field Artillery
William Grace Life Guards
Edgar Robert Gunningham HMS Amphitrite
Ernest Holton (Surgeon) HMS Goliath
James Hussey Royal Berks. Regiment
Percy Walter Hewett HMS Fearless
Ernest Albert King Rifle Brigade
William James Kinchin Royal Berks. Regiment
Leonard Love Royal Horse Artillery
William Walter Love HMS Venerable
Thomas Pilkington Norris Royal Engineers
Edward Parvin HMS Tiger
William Henry Pomeroy HMS Magnificent
William Poffley Grenadier Guards
Ralph Pusey Grenadier Guards
Albert Povey Royal Berks. Regiment
Edward Price Royal Berks. Regiment
George William Rixon HMS Euryalus
Francis Harry Stevens HMS Euryalus
William Davis Stevens Ryl. Warwickshire Regt.
Lieut. Robert Sturgess HMS Exmouth
Lieut. Austin Charlewood Turner Connaught Rangers (P.O.W)
Joseph Tull Rifle Brigade
Harry Wise Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders (wounded)
Charles Henry White Royal Berks. Regiment
Frederick Charles Edwards HMS Bramble on service in
China
(more…)

“God forgive me if I have not played the man”

Sydney Spencer of Cookham visited Oxford, where he was an undergraduate, to investigate his options for service. His diary tells the tale of his anguished debate with hinmself.

September 3rd
Oxford

Now dies the saying ‘No news is good news’! I have had to keep away from you, Mr Diary, for a very long time, but because I have not been able to give you any news it does not mean that it is all good news. Red war still rides her bloody way, & the noise of her chariot wheels is dread & fearful. In her course she ruthlessly runs down thousands of poor men, ruining at the same time hearts & homes, puffing out the one little flame that lit the home, & snatching away the one pair of hands which earned the bread. Oh War, War, when will your end come? On all sides one hears “cursed Germans, wicked Kaiser! Oh that they were all butchered!” Who will find me a man to get up into the chariot of dread war & cast her down & trample her to the ground? That is what we want cursed in its cruelty, cursed in its cold modern methods, cursed root & branch is War, & yet here we are in modern Europe, in the civilized (?) twentieth century, making the whole of Europe shake, making a ghastly field of battle of miles of smiling country, devastating, destroying, wounding killing, yes & even Murdering! Louvain, the loveliest of cities, mellowed by its ancient buildings, beautiful for its memories of the past, [rivalling] Oxford for its traditions & its university; is no more. It has been ruthlessly levelled with the earth. It is almost unthinkable that all those homes – private citizen homes – beautiful for their memories of childhood & young married days, & days spent around the fires by hallowed old age, all, all gone! The spirits of hundreds of homes wander over desolate spots & find no habitation for themselves.

It is just striking three & I am seated on the Union Lawn to write. To write what? The chronicle of perhaps the greatest mental strain I have ever passed through. I came up here to Oxford to find out what work I could do. I did not for one minute think that service might be a point now. It came as a terrible shock & brought me up dead against “self”, when Hudgel of St John’s Street suggested that I should join as a private in the 2nd Bucks Light Infantry Territorials, which are offering to go out on active service. I passed through such a two hours from 9.30 till 11.30 this morning as I never hope to pass through again. It seemed that everything pointed to my going to the office in 20 Magdalen Street, & offering to be medically examined. Every nerve in my body & mind was at breaking tension, & I had determined to throw up all “thoughts” & join, when, passing by Keble College I saw the men I should have to join. It was terrible. My whole power of reasoning & my whole religious feeling cried out, “Play the man, & go in & take the consequences”. But my mind & self kept edging out that it would be unendurable to be always always in the company of those men. The hard living I can endure, the drilling I would have done my best to satisfy, in the dying even for my country & my God I could even support & endure, rather than the hourly & daily torture of being in the company of men whose minds although ennobled by willingness to serve their country, would be for ever grating on mine by their coarseness or even worse than that. God forgive me if I have not altogether played the man, but I have done my all at present.

Last night I was refused altogether by Colonel Ranking at the Hospital (the Examination School). This morning Dr Allen said he would see if there were [sic] any sort of work I could do on the Emergency Committee. Then came the proposal to join the body of men, & I went, confessedly to myself almost distracted by doubts & longings, by thoughts pulling & pushing me one way & another – to Dr Pope. He advised me to go to a Mr C Cookson of Magdalen College, so I went to his rooms. He told me that it was utterly foolish to think of doing such a thing as Hudgel suggested, that I was altogether unfitted for it, & that I should not only be useless but be in the way & do harm. He did not even suggest that I should do any such thing as join this new battalion for ex-public school men or university men, but that I should go home & rest quietly till term commenced & then join in the OTC at once. By this I found that according to him – I should be doing not only what was best for myself, but also the best thing all round. So my next step is to go home & get some drill from Maidenhead in preparation for joining the OTC next term. No one who has not passed through what I have passed through this morning can know what a relief it is to me to feel that I have done what I could possibly do, & that I know my duty plainly – having it set before me by men who are purposely chosen to give advice to such as myself. Dr Pope was very sweet & kind to me & I feel deeply grateful to him, as also to Mr Cookson, for the way in which they helped me through this terrible ordeal. If I want to get further information re the Public Schools & University Corps I can write to the Secretary of the Public School & University Force Committee, 46 Victoria Street, Westminster SW.

Diary of Sydney Spencer (D/EX801/12)