“The trials and hardships our soldiers have to undergo in the great struggle”

Wargrave children may have celebrated Empire Day a week late, but they got the most graphic description of a world at war from a veteran.

Empire Day

Owing to the Whitsun Holidays the school children were unable to keep the celebration of Empire Day on May 24th, so it was postponed until Friday, the 31st, when they met at the Schools and proceeded to church where a short service was held. The Vicar gave an address from the words “Honour all men, fear God, honour the King” inculcating the lessons of patriotism and brotherly kindness from the story of Moses.

Reforming in procession after the service, the children marched back to the School Playground and assembled round the flag. Here a goodly company of parishioners had gathered and after singing the National Anthem and saluting the flag an address was given by Mr. H.P. Adams, a member of the Executive of Comrades of the Great War Society and himself a holder of the Mons Medal. He gave a vivid description of the trials and hardships our soldiers have to undergo in the great struggle and related his experiences in the battle of Mons. He paid a splendid tribute to Lord Roberts, and advised one and all to do all in their power to be thorough patriots and to show a love for the old Flag. The children sang two patriotic songs and at the close of the proceedings gave three cheers for Lady Cain who kindly provided each child with a cake and a new penny.

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

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“We can ill afford to lose men of this sort”

Winkfield families heard news of loved ones.

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING

With deep sympathy for his bereaved relatives, we have to record this month the death in action of Lieut. George Ferard, who was killed instantaneously on February 21st whilst giving first aid to one of his wounded men in the front line when under machine gun fire. Lieut. Ferard had been twice invalided home severely wounded and had only just returned to France from leave.

One of the Officers of the Devon Regiment writes “He was a very great loss to the battalion in many ways, we can ill afford to lose men of this sort.”

We have also to mourn the loss of 2nd Lieut. Arthur Cartland who was killed last month in a flying accident near Newcastle. Educated at our schools he joined the Flying Corps in 1913 and acting as “Observer” saw a great deal of active service in France. He did so well that he rapidly rose to the rank of Sergeant, and then gained his Commission and qualified as a pilot last year. Only three days before his death he was home on leave under orders to proceed to the front. He was buried at Worthing with military honours on March 2nd. This is the second son Mrs. Cartland has lost in the war, and our deep sympathy goes out to her and her family.

We congratulate most heartily Captain Sir Thomas Berney – now home on leave from Palestine – on winning the Military Cross awarded after the battle of Gaza.

We were glad to welcome home on leave this month Private R. Mitchell, who has now quite recovered from his wound; and Privates A. Carter and A. Holmes, both of whom were at the battle of Mons and now hold the 1914 medal.

We are glad to learn that Lance-Corporal James Knight, who has been ill in hospital, is progressing favourably.

Winkfield section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, April 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/4)

Pluck, endurance and steadiness under fire: a tribute to the Royal Berkshire Regiment

The sterling service at the Front of the Royal Berkshire Regiment was acknowledged on 3 December 1914 by Field Marshal Sir John French (1852-1925), Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium.

Fresh Laurels for the Berkshires
Sir John French inspected, on December 3rd, the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, which has been engaged in some of the fiercest fighting since Mons, and delivered the following address:-

Royal Berkshire Regiment, – As your Commander-in-Chief, I wish to say how much I appreciate the magnificent work you have done in this campaign. It is men like you who have enabled us to gain the successes that have been won.

This is not the first time I have fought with your regiment. Thirty years ago I remember the laurels your regiment won in Egypt – your glorious colours bear the names of nearly all the battles in which the British Army has been engaged for the last 200 years.

In these battles in France not only have you maintained your reputation, but you have won fresh laurels.

I deeply regret that Colonel Graham, who has led you so gallantly, is not present, and that he has been wounded.

We all hope that he may soon be at the head of his Battalion again.

Royal Berkshire Regiment, from the bottom of my heart I thank you – every single man of you – for what you have already done in this campaign.

It was printed in the Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, together with the personal tribute of an officer home on leave:

An Officer just returned from the front writes:-

Every one who belongs to Berkshire will be intensely proud of their regiment when the history of the doings of the 1st Battalion during the past three months comes to be written. They fought at Mons, and during the subsequent retirement and at Maroilles, and then they were in the advance and fought in the battles of Marne and Aisne. For thirty-two days they were on the Aisne, and all but five days were spent in the trenches. They are making a great name of themselves, a name for steadiness under fire, pluck and endurance. They have been out there from the beginning, have been in every battle and always on the front line. Their example should be an inducement to all able-bodied men in Berkshire to enlist immediately.

The following copy of orders by Lieutenant–Colonel M. D. Graham, commanding 1st Batt. Royal Berkshire Regt., is exhibited at Reading Barracks:-

October 29th. – The Commanding Officer has been directed by the Major General Commanding 2nd Division to convey to the Battalion the very high appreciation of their attack on October 24th, and of the determined manner in which they subsequently held their ground.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, January 1915 (D/P120/28A/14)