“May his sacrifice not be in vain!”

There was sad news for many Reading families.

The Vicar’s Notes

Intercessions

Let us remember in our prayers all our fighting men, especially, among the prisoners, Alfred Standbridge, of Boarded Lane, one of our server; Roy Russell, of Minster Street; Walter Nunn of Hope Street (also wounded); Frank Thomas, of Lavender Street.

The Fallen, especially Norman Day, of Anstey Road (died of wounds); Arthur Walley, of Bartlett’s Cottages, killed in action on Easter Day; George Gardiner, Of Lavender Place (died from wounds).
R.I.P.

All Saints District
List of Men Serving in His Majesty’s forces

We shall be very grateful for additions or corrections to our list so that it may be kept up to date.

We offer our deepest sympathy to one of the oldest members of the choir, Mr Sales, on the loss of a second son. Percy Sales was well known in the district and will be much missed. – R.I.P.

We would also offer our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Austen Leigh and family on the death of her youngest son Acting Captain Arthur Alexander Austen Leigh who was killed in action on May 11th. – R.I.P.

S. Saviours District
R.I.P.

Frank Chard, an old S. Saviours lad, has laid down his life in France. He had served in the army for some time during the war and had only recently returned to the front after his marriage. We feel much with his wife and family who mourn his loss, and also with the army who have lost in him a good soldier. May his sacrifice not be in vain!


Lads Club

We are very sorry to hear that Bert Griffin is dangerously ill in hospital in France; we hope his slight improvement will be maintained. Ben Josey is still very ill. G. Mittam, W. Sawyer are slowly recovering from their wounds. L. Shipway has quite recovered and others who are in H.M.Forces are doing well.

Our Soldiers

Edward James Bonny and Frederick Hearn are prisoners and Charles and James Wayman are missing. William Jessy and Arthur Dye and George Ward are sick, and Tom Josey wounded. They need our prayers.

Sidesman

Mr George Wells has to rejoin the Army at the end of May, but tho’ we shall lose his faithful services for the time being, we shall count him as one of our S. Saviour’s Sidesmen, and one and all wish him well.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, June 1918 (D/P98/28A/13)

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To tea in a motor bike and trailer

The Austen-Leigh family were related to Jane Austen. Honor (1881-1970) was the daughter of Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh (1836-1917), who lived in Reading and was a former vicar of Wargrave.

4 May 1917

Phyllis heard she must go to Hospital Saturday….

Austen-Leighs to tea – in motor bike & trailer. Honor to go again to France. Phyllis & Gladys furious!!

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Names for remembrance at the altar

More men from the All Saints area of west Reading had joined up.

All Saint’s District
Roll of Honour

The following additional names have been sent in for remembrance at the Altar.

Alec Austen-Leigh, Anthony Benjamin Heywood, Joseph Lambourn, Vincent Lane, Dudley Lane, John Lancelot Martin, John Mundy, William Henry Overton, Hubert George Penny.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, February 1916 (D/P98/28A/13)

“Happiness does not consist in freedom from suffering and anxiety, but in doing service for God and Country”

A middle aged church verger had joined the ranks of those fighting for their country.

The Vicars Notes

A happy New Year to all the people of S. Mary’s Parish! I say “Happy” advisedly, first, because we have learnt that whatever may be in store for us, happiness does not consist in freedom from suffering and anxiety, but in doing service for God and Country; and secondly, because we all hope and fervently pray that this New Year may bring us the blessing of peace, and such a peace as shall forward the purposes of the Kingdom of God.

All Saints District

After the first Sunday in January [2 January 1916], a very familiar figure will be missing from the church. Mr J. Mundy, who has been a tower of strength to us since he became connected with All Saints’ Church, and to whom many members of the congregation owe much of its care and thoughtfulness, has joined the Army. He is well over military age, but was extremely anxious to do what he could for King and Country. He will be much missed, and we hope that it may not be long before we shall have the pleasure of seeing him back again in his accustomed position as Verger. We feel sure that he will carry with him the good wishes of all the congregation. During his absence we shall have to make temporary arrangements to “carry on” as best we can. Mrs. Maskell, 21 Western Road, has been appointed caretaker of the church for the time being. It will be remembered that her husband acted as organ-blower and bell ringer for some time before the war broke out, and, after recovering from a severe wound, has been sent back to France again.

Roll of Honour

The following additional names have been sent in for remembrance at the Altar.

Frederick Cox, Harry Cox, Walter Cozens, Eric George Holden, Henry Leonard Gore Hurst, Frederick Hunt, Honor Austen-Leigh (Nurse), Arthur Charles Philbrick, Samuel Pike, Frederick Povey, Reginald Villiers Saunders.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P98/28A/13)

The second Day of National Intercession: a help which all can give but a power which none can measure

As a new calendar year dawned there was another national Day of Intercession. Florence Vansittart Neale helped with the recruitment of worshippers in Bisham.

2 January 1916
Special day for Intercessions & celebrations. Had been round to people & asked them to come, so had quite good congregations. Special psalms & lessons & hymns. National Anthem, & chain of prayer from 8 o’clock.

The call was reported in detail in the Winkfield magazine:

MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOPS

The following notice is issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:

The first Sunday of this year (January 3rd, 1915) was observed as a special Day of Intercession in connection with the war. It is proposed that the opening of the coming year shall in all our parishes be marked in a similar way, Sunday, January 2nd 1916, being set apart in our Churches and Cathedrals for solemn intercession to Almighty God and for thankful recognition of the devotion that has been forthcoming in the manhood and womanhood of our country. With a view to really thoughtful use of so solemn an occasion we propose that wherever possible the observance should begin on the two preceding days; that Friday, December 31st, the closing day of the year, should be kept as a day of self-denial and of penitence for the manifold sins and shortcomings whereof we are conscious as people; and that on Saturday (New Year’s Day), at such times as may be most convenient, Services should be held and opportunity given for quiet in preparation for the Holy Communion and other Services of the Sunday thus specially appointed.

We are permitted to state that this proposed observance of the opening Sunday of the New Year meets with the entire approbation and endorsement of his Majesty the King.

We have already communicated to the authorities of other religious denominations in England the proposal we are making for the observation in this way of the opening days of the coming year, and it is our hope that the whole nation may thus be moved at a solemn hour to turn to Him Who is our Hope and Strength.

RANDALL CANTUAR.
COSMO EBOR.

In Wargrave, the parish magazine advertised the events:

The Red Cross
All the Collections on Sunday, January 2nd, the Day of National Intercession, will be given to the British Red Cross Society.

Three Solemn Days
The last day of the year, Friday, December 31st, will be observed as a day of humble confession of penitence and intercession in regard to the War. Saturday, January 1st, may be observed as a day of special preparation for the Communion on Sunday. Sunday, January 2nd, will be observed as a Day of National Intercession.

The Services on Sunday, January 2nd, will be as follows- Holy Communion 8 a.m., preceded by Litany 7.45 a.m. and 12 o’clock. Mattins and Sermon at 11a.m. Children’s Service at 2.30 p.m. Evensong 6.30. The Sermons will be preached by the Rev, A. H, Austen-Leigh. A special character will be given to all the services.

It is hoped that no one will neglect to do his part in the work of Prayer, it is a help which all can give but of a power which none can measure.

The next issue reported:

British Red Cross Society
The Church Collections on the Day of National Intercession amounted to £22 13s. 3d. and were given to the Joint Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the British Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

In Reading, St John’s parish magazine also announced the day:

THE DAY OF INTERCESSION
Again we are called by the Archbishop and Bishops to make the first Sunday of the year, i.e. January 2nd, a day of prayer and intercession for our nation. We are called also to observe the last day of the Old Year as one of penitence, and the intervening day as one of preparation, in so far as shall be possible for us.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8); Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/12); Wargrave parish magazines, January and February 1916 (D/P145/28A/31); Reading St. John parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

A critical time in the history of the Balkan states

More Reading men were serving their country – and one female nurse had also gone to the front.

Intercessions

For God’s guidance of the Balkan states at this critical time in their history.

For God’s good hand upon our Navy and Army, and on all preparing to serve their King and Country.

Roll of Honour
Frank Thomas, Arthur Ford, Frank Tothurst, Ian Duncan Dickinson, Henry James Brian, Ronald Dyson, Stanley Curtis.

R.I.P.
William Heath, Frederick Clemetson.

All Saints District
Roll of Honour

The following additional names have been sent in for Remembrance at the Altar.

Alfred Ashby, Arthur Austin, Charles William Adair, Lionel Austen-Leigh, Fred Bartholomew, Lilian Simpson Field (Nurse), Hugh Douglas Hawkins, Arthur Stanley Hawkins, Henry Maule Kemble, Algernon Kink, Harold John Cooke Neobard, Harry Tims, Cecil White, Ernest Woodley.

R.I.P.
William Henry Bodie, Frederick Charles Clemetson, William Porter.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P98/28A/13)

Hospitals in need due to the war

Worshippers at Wargrave parish church and Knowl Hill district church were encouraged to support the work of local hospitals, affected by the war.

It is planned for the Harvest Thanksgiving to be held on the 3rd of October in the two Churches. The Collections will be for the Hospitals at Maidenhead and Reading. Their need of help is specially great now, in consequence of the War. The sermons at the Parish Church will, it is hoped, be preached in the morning by the Rev. S. H. Austen Leigh, and in the evening by the Rev. A. A. Bull, Vicar of Waltham St. Lawrence. There will be Holy Communion at 7 in St Paul’s Church, and at 8.30 and Mid-day in the Parish Church.

Wargrave parish magazine (D/P145/28A/31)

Former bellringers in the services to get pride of place in Wargrave

When the war broke out, the parish Wargrave had been in a state of disarray, as the church had been burnt down by an arsonist (believed to be a suffragette) earlier in 1914. By the time it had been repaired in 1915, the bellringing team had been broken up. It was revived in August 1915, with provision for those former bellringers who had joined up to be regarded as founder members of the new team.

The Belfry

A Public Meeting of Parishioners interested in bells and bell-ringing was summoned by the Vicar for Thursday, August 5th, and there was a good attendance.

The Vicar reminded the meeting that the Wargrave Ringers were in a peculiar position at the time of his institution in Nov. 1914.
Several had shown their patriotism by enlisting for the great war, the bells were broken and melted, the belfry was burned out, and there had been no ringing since the fire on Whitsunday 1914.

The Vicar, Churchwardens, and Ringers had then decided, in meeting, that after the gathering of the usual Christmas gifts from the parish, the Belfry should be dissolved and that it should make an entirely new beginning when the new bells were hung.

The eight bells had now been hung by Messrs Mears and Stainbank. A silencing apparatus was being fitted and the bells could be rung, without being heard outside the Belfry, as soon as the Architect could allow it.

It therefore seemed time to restart a Band of Ringers. The meeting was summoned in order that Ringers might be proposed and elected. When the Belfry Band was thus constituted the Belfry Members would proceed to consider their Rules. But certain preliminary rules should be passed by the whole meeting, to define the range and qualification of membership.

It was therefore resolved:
I. That the Society shall be called ‘The Wargrave Belfry and shall belong to the Sonning Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell-Ringers’, and as such shall be subject to its rules.
II. All members must be Communicants of the Church of England.
III. There shall be Ex-Officio Members, Honorary Members, and Ringing Members.

Members were then elected. It was resolved ‘That all former Members of the Belfry at present serving their Country in Navy or Army be elected Ringing Members and their names be entered first on the list to be fixed in the Belfry.’

The Following were then elected:-
Ex-Officio Members: The Vicar, Chairman and the two Churchwardens.
Honorary Members: Mrs Groves, Mrs Victor Rhodes, Miss Rhodes, Miss Sturges, Rev. A. H. Austen Leigh, Rev. W. G. Smylie, Messers H.C. Bond, A. E. Chenery and V. Wyatt.
Ringing Members: Messers G. Bailiss, W. Burrows, W. R. Fuller, W. Elsley, A. Guy, W. H. Easterling, H. Cox, S. C. Nash, J. F. Neighbour, F. Pocock, W. W. Hill, E. Thatcher.
Probationers: Messers Cecil Burrows, H. Herbert, Charles Fuller.

The Belfry Members then proceeded to pass Rules:-
All Members are expected to attend Church once on a Sunday.
A Foreman and Deputy Foreman shall be elected annually by the Belfry subject to the Vicar’s approval.
All members shall have the right of entry to the Belfry whenever open.
Probationers shall not be Members of the Belfry, but shall be admitted as Members at all times by leave of the Belfry as decided by a majority.
No one but a member, or a member of the Diocesan Guild, shall be allowed in the Belfry except by the introduction of a member, with the permission of the Foreman or Leader for the day.
Honorary Members shall pay a subscription of not less than 2/6 annually.
A list of Ringing Members shall be hung up in the Ringing Chamber, and the selection of the band for each occasion shall be made by the Foreman, who is responsible for a sufficient side.
No person except the Foreman or Leader or such person as shall be requested by the Foreman or Leader to do so shall interfere or criticise during the ringing, and all present in the Belfry shall at all times conform to the wishes of the Foreman or his deputy duly appointed.
Ringing shall always begin with a collect to be said by the Foreman or his deputy, and the Versicle ‘Praise ye the Lord’ with the response ‘The Lord’s name be praised.’
The Bells shall be rung on the following days [the days to be fixed presently].
All Ringing Members shall attend a weekly practice during the winter months; any member unable to be present shall give notice to the Foreman.
No member shall be eligible for Sunday duty until he can keep his place in ringing rounds on 8 bells for 5 consecutive minutes. Any Ringing Member unable to be present at future meetings shall give notice to the Foreman (or his deputy for the time being).
Any Ringing Member who is absent from the Belfry for a space of one month, without having thus previously given notice, shall be considered to have ceased to be a Member of the Belfry, unless he elect to become an Honorary Member.
Any money received by Subscriptions or Donations shall be paid into the ‘Belfry Fund’, of which the Treasurers shall be the Foreman and the Vicar’s Churchwarden, and shall be spent in accordance with resolution at the Annual Meeting held in [month to be fixed presently]. The Fund will be available for small expenses, for excursions to other Towers, a pleasure outing, etc., etc. If money be voted for a pleasure outing, those unable to go through ill-health or other unavoidable cause shall be entitled to an equivalent share.
All money received for Weddings, Funerals, or extraordinary occasions shall be paid into the Belfry Fund, but shall form a separate account. This special account shall be divided at the end of the year among the Members of the Belfry who attended on those occasions and shall be paid out at the Annual Meeting. Notice shall be given to all the Belfry Members when such special occasion arises, and any case of sickness shall be considered by the Belfry.
The Fees to be paid shall not be less than £5 for a day’s ringing; £2 2s. 0d. for two Peals; £1 1s.0d. for a single Peal.
Any Band of Ringers desiring to use the Wargrave Belfry must apply to the Foreman, who will apply to the Vicar at least so long beforehand as shall allow an answer to be sent by post. No more than six such applications shall be entertained by the Foreman in any one year.
The Foreman shall be responsible for keeping order in the Belfry and shall have full control and authority during the time of ringing. Ringers shall obey his orders so that there be no brawling or unseemly argument: And if any Ringer have just cause for complaint he shall appeal to the vicar and shall give the Foreman notice of his intension to do so.
It shall be the duty of the Foreman to keep a record of all attendances during the year.
Any Member wishing to move a resolution at the Annual Meeting shall place a written notice in the ringing chamber 7 days before the meeting. No alteration or addition shall be made to these rules except at an Annual Meeting after due notice.
The Ringers on all occasions shall adhere to the above Rules or forfeit their appointment.

Mr W. J. Fuller has been elected Foreman and Mr. A. Guy, Deputy Foreman.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)