Two minutes of perfect silence and stillness

Schools remembered the Armistice one year earlier on the first Remembrance Day.

Bracknell
11th November 1919

Today is the first anniversary of the armistice. All the children and staff assembled around the flagstaff. Just before 11 a.m the Headmaster read the King’s proclamation – the flag was lowered to half mast and two minutes of perfect silence and stillness was observed as a simple service of silence and remembrance. Children sang ‘God save the King’ and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ were given in the upper classes.

White Waltham
November 11th 1919

Today Nov 11th is the first anniversary of the Armistice which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and freedom. The King has sent the following message to the people with a request that his message should be read to the pupils in all schools.

Kings Message:

I believe my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the armistice came into force, the eleventh our of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there may be for one brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all normal activities. During that time, except in rare cases where this may be impractical, all work, all sound, and all locomotion should cease, as that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the Glorious Dead.

No elaborate organisation appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which can easily be arranged the suit the circumstances of each locality. I believe that we shall, all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure, whatever it may be and unite in this simple service of Silence and Remeberance.

George R.I.

Programme:

10.50 All Children assembled in Large Room
10.55 Brief explanation of reason of assembly and the Reading of the King’s Message.
11-11.2 Reverent Remembrance of the Glorious Dead in Silence
11.3 Singing of Hymn “On the Resurrection Morning” to end a most impressive service
11.10 Resumption of work.

Eastbury
11th November 1919

The League of Nations Day Nov. 11th. At eleven o’ clock a pause was made in the ordinary work. The bell tolled thirteen times as that was the number of men at Eastbury who have made the great sacrifice. During that time the names of the dead heroes were written on the blackboard, while all the children stood silent, seeming to realise the act of honour the silence was giving to the glorious dead.

Prayers for the departed were read and the prayer for peace and a hymn was sung. The children seemed much impressed by the lessons that were given. The King’s letter was read. The national anthem concluded the service.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1919

The Anniversary of Armistice Day was kept in school by a complete change of timetable commencing with a simple musical service of praise & worship & an address to the children on “Give to the world the best you have” as a basis for a League of Nations.

The Silence Time (which is a daily occurrence here) was devoted to the sending of love & affection to the fathers of our children killed in the war & yet still near them. The lessons throughout the day were in relation to this, & bigger children were allowed to take home what they had written about the Great Day.

A widowed mother called in the afternoon & told of the cheer she had received from her little boy’s expression of what has been told him in school today.

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“It was a moving thing to see so many of our brave men gathered together at the end of the war”

Ex-servicemen gathered in Burghfield to celebrate the peace.

On Sunday, July 6th, an ex tempore muster of Burghfield ex-service men took place at the Hatch, where about 28 men fell in and marched to the church under Lieut. Searies, for the 11 o’clock service.

A fortnight later [20 July], after better notice, there was a fuller parade in which about 80 took part, including the Chapel band from the Common. Major Chance, Lieut. Searies, Staff Sergeant Major Jordan, Sergeant Wigmore, and other NCOs were present. The band played the party to and from church, and also well accompanied the three hymns (Nos. 166. 540 and 165), which were sung with great heartiness. The Service of Thanksgiving for Victory, and in memory of those who have given their lives, was conducted, in the absence of Mr Coates [the curate, who was on holiday], entirely by the Rector, who preached an eloquent and most inspiring sermon on the text – “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matthew XXVI.8). The lessons (Isaiah XXV.1-9 and John XII.23-33) were read by Mr Willink. The bells rung muffled peals before and after service.

On leaving church the little column proceeded to the Hatch recreation ground, at the entrance marching past Mr Willink and Mr Lousley, the former (by request) taking the salute. Before dismissal some photographs were taken by him, but the light was very bad and no great results can be expected.

It was a moving thing to see so many of our brave men gathered together at the end of the war in that church in which prayers have so often been offered for their safe return, and for that of others who will come back no more. May the great spirit of unity, which, with God’s help, has brought us through to peace, keep us still united in Burghfield during the years before us.

It was disappointing that the invitation to all soldiers and sailors in the Bradfield district, to the Military Festivities in Reading on July 19th had, late in the time, to be withdrawn. This cast unexpected burdens on our Committee. They hope, however, that the steps taken at the last moment will have given satisfaction all round.

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

“It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall”

There was progress towards a Newbury war memorial.

The War Memorial Committee came to the Church on June 18th at 2.30, to meet Mr C O Skilbeck, who came down from London to advise them, on behalf of the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee. It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall just near the Lady Chapel, and Mr Skilbeck gave the Committee the name of an architect who would draw up a design. As soon as this is settled upon, an appeal for funds will be made. To provide this Memorial, and to put the Westminster Chimes upon the Bells, may involve an expenditure of £200 or £250.

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

A wonderful day – full of thankfulness

The lights came on again as the armstice was celebrated at home.

Florence Vansittart Neale
11 November 1918

Armistice signed 5 a.m. Hurrah. War 4 years, 3months & a week.
A wonderful day – full of thankfulness. Fighting stopped at 11 a.m. Peace. Peace. We heard it on the golf links. I, the girls & Boy. Shaw heard the church bells, & we the sirens & guns!! London I hear a marvellous sight – crowds & all happy & orderly. Own overseas went up.


William Hallam
11th November 1918

We heard Germany had accepted the armistice about 20 past 11. We all left off work at 12 and came home. I washed and changed and after dinner we all went round the town which was soon decorated up and everybody visiting. Heard the first fireworks for 4 years. People letting them off even down at the Tram Centre. After tea along to Bath Rd reading room. Quite a crowd there waiting for evening papers to see the terms but there were not pub liked- the terms I mean. We all went down to St Paul’s to a thanksgiving service at 8. The most noticeable thing I suppose on going out was to see the street lamps lit. At the conclusion of the service we had a solemn Te Deum with incense.

CSJB
11 November 1918

The Armistice signed at 4 a.m. ‘Te Deum’.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9); and William Hallam (D/EX1415/25); Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

“After four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed”

The Armistice was greeted with joy and celebration in Wargrave.

Victory

The news that the Armistice was signed reached the Wargrave Post Office at almost 11.20 a.m. on Monday November 11th. The Foreman of the Belfry was ready to summon his Ringers and in a very few minutes the bells of the Parish Church rang joyously. The houses were soon bedecked with flags, the village street became full of people and the wounded soldiers marched in procession with noise and merriment. At noon there was a short service for the few who could assemble, but at 7 p.m. there was a general Service of Thanksgiving to Almighty God and the Parish Church was crowded.

The Authorities have permission for the arrangement of public festivities with bonfires and fireworks to be held within one week only of Armistice day. It seemed right to do all that could be done to impress the event upon the memories of the children, and it was felt that after four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed. But there was no time to call a public meeting to discuss the matter because the only chance of securing provisions was to make the purchases at once. By the hospitality and spirit of Sir William Cain and Mr. Bond the general entertainment of the whole village was happily arranged.

Mr. and Mrs. Bond entertained all the young people under the ages of 18 to tea. The infants met in their own school and were afterwards taken to join the older children in the Piggott School for a magic lantern entertainment. The Boys’ Club, the Girls’ Club, and the other young people had their tea in the District School. The Crazies Hill Children were well provided for in the Mission Hall and Mr. Chenery showed them a good exhibition of lantern slides.

There were many kind helpers and a good many visitors to the tea parties. At each place of entertainment there were a few words spoken to help impress the memories of the young people with the greatness of the occasion and our cause for thankfulness. Mr. Bond, Mr. Huggins, and the Vicar all said something at one place or another, and everywhere there were loud cheers for the host and hostess. It was delightful to see the enjoyment of the children.

The Fireworks were announced to commence at 8 p.m., at the Manor, and the entertainment was for all parishioners. It was a most magnificent display with many set pieces, a host of rockets and a bonfire at the last. The show was arranged at the top of the park just below the garden terrace. A great crowd of people thronged the lawns and overflowed to the grass beyond.

At the conclusion of the fireworks, when the people were gathered to the bonfire, the Vicar, supported by Mr. Bond, expressed the thanks of the parish to Sir William and Lady Cain. Everyone understood that when both time and supply were so limited there could have been no entertainment at all unless someone had acted at once. Sir William Cain has always shown that he has the welfare of Wargrave in mind and on this occasion he acted immediately, taking the whole burden upon himself and supplying an entertainment which no combined effort could have surpassed. The cheers of the guests must have done something to show how much the hospitality was appreciated, and it would indeed be difficult to think of anything that could have been devised that would have been more calculated to impress the memories of the young people with the glorious event of this happy victory than the entertainment which they enjoyed at Wargrave.

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

Cheers for the allies and the old boys fighting

Schools celebrated the end of the war.

Riseley Common
Nov. 11th

Acting on the assumption that peace has been declared (or rather an armistice arranged), as we could hear sirens sounding and church bells ringing, we have sung the National Anthem, “Praise God” etc.

St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor
November 11th 1918

Armistice day.

Stoke Road School, Slough
November 11th 1918

School was re-opened this morning – 63% (194/308). The M.O.H ordered the school to be closed until November 18th.

During the morning I received the news that Germany had accepted the Allies’ terms and signed the Armistice.

The children formed a hollow square in front of the flag-staff, to which a new rope had been attached in readiness. The flag was hoisted by the youngest boy in the school to the singing of the National Anthem. The flag was then saluted and cheers were given for the allies and the old boys fighting. Edw. J Baldwin “shinned” up the pole to attach the rope. John Cross hoisted the Flag.

Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School
11th November 1918

Beginning of Armistice. On the occasion of this I addressed the children, & hoisted the Union Jack. The National Anthem was then sung.

Stanford Dingley National School
November 11th 1918

Today, news was received that the Armistice was signed at 11 o’clock AM between Germany and the allies, this concluding the Great European War. After signing several National Songs concluding with the National Anthem. The children dispersed at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1918

There were 107 children present this morning. The news of the signing of the armistice made a difference to the attendance this afternoon. 73 children present.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book
11th November 1918

News of Germany’s signing of the armistice reached the school at 11.10 am. At midday the whole school assembled and cheered the news after singing “God Save the King”. A half holiday was given by the mayor in honour of the great event.

Abingdon Girls CE School
1918, 11th-15th November

Children were dismissed at 3 o’clock on Armistice Day at the Vicar’s request.

Coleshill CE School
15th November 1918

On Monday (11th) when news of ‘The Armistice’ arrived the children sang ‘The King’ and saluted the ‘flag’ with cheers for our Army and Navy; they were then sent home.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants
11th November 1918

School closed in the afternoon to celebrate the signing of the Armistice.

Littlewick CE School
November 11th 1918

At 11.30 AM we heard bells and hooters going and knew that the Armistice was signed and that the war was over. The children cheered and sang “God Save the King” and Rule Britannia, and put up the Union Jack.

Buscot CE School
Nov. 11th

News that the armistice had been signed reached Buscot in the afternoon. The Flag was hoisted, cheers given, National Anthem sung and the hymn “Now thank we all our God”. The children were dismissed at 3 pm, and a holiday given next day Nov 12th.

Aston Tirrold
11th November 1918

We re-opened this morning after a closure of nearly a fortnight on account of influenza. Only 42 children are present out on 75 on roll. Just before noon the rector brought in the news that the Armistice had been signed. Secular work was suspended, and we humble fell upon our knees and heartedly thanked God for His great mercy vouchsafed unto us. A holiday to commemorate the Victory was given in the afternoon.

Braywick
11th November 1918

School opened again this morning [following closure for influenza] with a very fair amount of scholars and after consulting the doctor it was decided to mark register and proceed with usual work which was done accordingly. Peace however was declared in the morning and great excitement presided, many scholars remaining at home in the afternoon. School was resumed on Tuesday, the national anthem was sung, patriotic songs, flag waving etc and children kept quite excited.

Great Coxwell
11th November 1918

War Ended. Holiday in the afternoon to celebrate the great event.

Milton
Nov 11th

Re-opened again this morning [after closure for influenza] with 28 children, several still being ill. Heard in the dinner hour of the Armistice being signed, & gave the children the half holiday.

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor (88/SCH/23/7, p. 167); Stoke Road School, Slough (89/SCH/28/1); Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School (88/SCH/32/3); Stanford Dingley National School (C/EL21); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3); Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4);Littlewick C.E. School(85/SCH/5/2, p. 197); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Aston Tirrold CE School log book (C/EL105/1, p. 169); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 208); Milton CE School (D/P85/25/25); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)Great Coxwell CE School (C/EL81/2, p. 83); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School (90/SCH/5/3); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2)

Peace was declared at 11am by the continual blowing of all Reading hooters followed by ringing of church bells

No one in Berkshire could miss the end of the war.

Earley

On Monday November 11 peace was declared at 11am by the continual blowing of all Reading hooters followed by ringing of church bells and a general half holiday. We have no peal of bells here, but we had a beautiful Thanksgiving Service at half past seven the same evening. The order of service was as follows; the National Anthem, a short address from the pulpit by the Vicar; a procession round the church with Milton’s hymn “let us with a gladsome mind” and “Now thank we all our God”; prayers and thanksgivings in front of the altar; “Gloria in Excelsis”; hymn by Mr Athelstan Riley “Ye watchers and ye holy ones”; the blessing. The whole service lasted 25 minutes. It was a damp, miserable evening but all hearts and spirits were full of thankfulness and rejoicings. The next morning a noticeable number of people communicated at 7.30.

Bracknell

November 11th will always be kept in remembrance as the day when the Armistice was signed which put an end to the fighting. The news was received in Bracknell about 11 o’clock, and spread rapidly far and near. Groups gathered together, discussing the news, and the street was soon gay with flags. A Thanksgiving Service was held in the church in the evening, which was attended be a large and representative gathering.

Never before have our hearts been so deeply stirred as they were when we sung our psalms and hymns and said our prayers of thanksgiving.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P192/28A/15); Bracknell section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, December 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/10)

A muffled peal

A bellringer was remembered.

We wish to convey our sincere sympathy to Mrs. Ernest Lovejoy on the loss of her husband in the war. Mr. E. Lovejoy was one of our bell-ringers. A muffled peal was rung on Sunday evening, November 25th, in his memory.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/12)

The war has drawn bellringers closer together

Bellringers pondered the war. Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers was an umbrella organisation for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul.

The annual meeting of the branch was held at Wokingham on Jan. 6th [1917]. Proceedings commenced with Evensong, address, & Intercessions for those engaged in the war, at St Paul’s Church, at 5.30 pm. Some 40 members attended. The Rev. S M Winter, vicar of Wargrave, gave an excellent address, based upon Judges XIV.14, in the course of which he pointed out how out of peril came forth sweetness, out of death a new life, out of dry bones a busy hive of industry, out of a barren field a fruit which shall be sweet to those that come after. There was no one, at that time, but was thinking of the “War”, which had now reached its 3rd year, & no one could foresee when it might end. Out of it had come a new binding & uniting force for the Empire that had made it stronger than ever before. It had given a new value to time, to money, a shame to idleness, selfishness & waste not understood before, & many a new triumph over disease.

We might apply the same sort of lesson to our church belfries. The bells played their part in peace & war. Now silent, might they again ring many a peal of thanksgiving in God’s good time – for the restoration of peace in equity & justice, a peace that should advance God’s Kingdom throughout the world! All had learnt a noble lesson of self-sacrifice from those members of their belfries, who had endured such terrible sufferings, & those who had laid down their loves for King & Country; each member, he hoped, might learn to do his duty, “as unto God, & not unto man”, in a better & higher way. The war had drawn them all closer together both in the Belfry, & outside of it; and so they gave their answer to the riddle, “out of the eater came forth meat, out of the strong came forth sweetness”….

Mr Winter… trusted that the restrictions upon bell-ringing would soon be removed, & joyous peals be forthcoming by reason of a secured peace. The Rev. H M Wallis congratulated the members upon the numbers attending the service, & hoped that some sweetness might accrue, even from the bitterness of the enemies’ hate….

Since their last annual meeting, the Master of the Guild, Rev. C W O Jenkyn, had won the Military Cross.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (D/EX2436/1)

“The Message of Peace seems so unheeded in the outside world, amid the din of battle”

A Christmas message from the vicar of Wargrave:

Christmas:

May the Message of Peace, which seems so unheeded in the outside world, amid the din of battle, being solace to all Christian hearts. Those who, obey the call of duty to fight for their country find indeed a peace which passes all understanding, for they have made the great surrender and offered their lives to God. Those who serve at home, or only wait and pray, may find some peace if they fill the place to which God calls them. We do not choose our place or tasks: He allots them to us all, if we are alert to hear His call. And if we are content to do out best therein we shall find Peace; the same as that which sanctified the life in Bethlehem, and in the upper room, and in the garden, and on Calvary. The Peace which belongs unto our Lord and which He has the power to give.

Gifts for Men at the Front:

As the gifts of Tobacco and Cigarettes at the Harvest Festival were not nearly enough to go round, another opportunity will be given to the congregations on Christmas Day. Any further gifts received then will be distributed among those who did not get anything from the Harvest Festival.

The letters received by the Vicar from those who have already received the little presents show how very gratefully they are appreciated.’

A Gift to the Bell-Ringers:

A very handsome medal has been presented by Mr. W.E. Cain to all who were members of the Belfry at the time of the Re-Opening of the Tower.

It is the size of half-a-crown, with a very effective view of the Church on one side and a little inscription on the other.

All the men were delighted with it, it is a gift which will certainly give the keenest pleasure to those who are now fighting and were away from home at the time.

The Bell-Ringers tender their most grateful thanks to the kind donor and their gratitude for such kindly thought is shared by all who have their interest at heart.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

Services under constant fire

An army chaplain’s experiences in the Dardanelles were published in a local parish magazine.

CRANBOURNE

INTERCESSION SERVICES.

May we again remind our Parishioners that there is an Intercession Service every Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. and also every Sunday evening at Evensong. All our men are prayed for by name at each of these services and also at one of the celebrations of the Holy Communion. We hope no one forgets to pray for our Sailors and Soldiers each evening when they hear the Church bell.

WINKFIELD

Three more of our young men, 2nd Lieut. Cecil Ferard, and Privates George Faithful and Ernest Faithful, have now gone to the Front, and their names are added to the list of “those in danger at the Front” read out in Church when we have our special Intercessions on the 2nd Sunday at Evening Service and the last Sunday in the month at Morning Prayer.

Second-Lieut. Wilfred Loyd was invalided home wounded after only seven days at the Front, but we are glad to say he is now convalescent and going on well.

Lance-Corporal A. Kimble was unfortunately obliged to undergo another operation. We rejoice to hear that it was successful, the piece of shrapnel has now been removed and we hope he will soon be allowed out of hospital.

Lance-Corporal R. Nickless has been removed from the base hospital and is now in England and going well. We learn with regret that possibly he may have to undergo another operation but sincerely hope this will not be found necessary.

In the ordinary course the Mother’s Meetings at the Vicarage would recommence this Autumn, but during this time of war, it is felt that perhaps it would be more helpful to turn them into Working Parties for the benefit of our men at the front.

A small sum was raised by an entertainment got up by Miss Montgomerie last winter, and she has kindly handed this over to Mrs. Maynard to provide some materials. It will probably be arranged to give any mothers who have sons at the front, some of this material to make useful things for them at the meetings, and Mrs. Maynard would be glad to receive the names of any who would like to attend on Thursday afternoons for this purpose; and she will then let them know when the meetings commence.

THE SACRAMENT IN A “DUG-OUT.”

The parish magazine of St. Andrew’s, Plymouth, contains an interesting letter from the Rev. H. Fulford, who is acting as a Chaplain to the Forces in the Dardanelles:-

“Services in the trenches” he says “are difficult to arrange, as we are under constant fire. Yet I have administered the Sacrament in my dug-out to as many as the place would comfortably hold, and have often spoken to men individually and in small groups in the firing-line itself, and, of course, at the fixed ambulance station. Here there is a large natural cave, and on Sunday evening it was good to hear ‘Abide with me’ sung by a large number of men, with the shells rattling overhead. We had a wonderful service in the dark just before landing on the Peninsula, and it gave us the greater courage to meet the heavy shell-fire which greeted us. Any day you may see men openly reading their New Testaments in the trenches and elsewhere, and many and earnest prayers are said from the heart. Last week I was burying a fellow, when the Corporal told me that the fatigue party, of which the dead man had been one, after a heavy shelling had got under cover and gone down on their knees and thanked God for their escape. We live here upon the threshold of two worlds much more consciously than in ordinary life, and England will be the better for the return of her Army in its present spirit. Of course there are dull and foolish ones even in the tightest corners; but, at any rate, the question of life and death has to be faced, and in most cases the religious answer carries conviction and comfort.”

Winkfield District Magazine, October 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/10)

A single bell tolled

A memorial service was held in Warfield for a young soldier.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE PHILIP BOWYER.

On Saturday, September 11th, there was a Memorial Service for the late Philip Bowyer, of the Berks Yeomanry, so of Mr. And Mrs Thomas Bowyer, of Battle Bridge, at 6.30 in the Parish Church. There was a large congregation. The service included the hymns: “They whose course on earth is o’er” and “Think O Lord in mercy.” At the conclusion of the service the Dead March was played and Mendelssohn’s “O rest in the Lord.” The belfry then rang out a muffled peal on the bells, a single bell having been tolled before the service. Our warmest sympathy is here expressed to Mr. and Mrs. T. Bowyer and family in their great loss. We thank God for a bright, young and noble life laid down for his King and fellow countrymen.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, October 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/10)

Hurst ladies take up bellringing

One area of local life to be affected by the war was the sound if church bells. The Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) noted changes – including the use of women – at their annual meeting at St Paul’s Church, Wokingham, on 2 January 1915.

The Hon. Sec…. stated that 24 ringers in the branch had joined the colours. Of these, 9 were from Hurst; meanwhile a band of 8 ladies had started in the parish to fill up the gap, & were making good progress, under the tuition of the late, & present, foremen. These ladies met with a warm welcome from the ringers, & were formally & duly elected at this meeting as members of the Guild….

The Chairman… expressed a hope that Peal ringing should be kept in abeyance during the war, but ringing practice, & for Sunday services, be continued as usual.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (D/EX2436/1)

Help our neighbours and lighten the burdens of war

The Warfield parish magazine reveals that Bracknell people were keenly supporting those affected by the war – the unemployed and Belgian refugees alike.

Bracknell

The Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be held on Wednesday, October 7th, at 8 p.m. The preacher will be the Rev. W. Thackerey, Vicar of Warfield. On Sunday, October 11th, the Church Dedication Festival will be kept. On Sunday, October 18th, there will be Thanksgiving Services for the harvest at St. Martin’s Church, Chavey Down.

At the time, when our thoughts are so constantly engaged in matters connected with the War, it may seem to some that it is difficult and even impossible to enter into these Thanksgiving Services and Festivals with the same heartiness that we have done in former years. But there is a special reason for thankfulness this year for a Harvest that has been on the whole so bounteous. Had it been otherwise our difficulties would have been increased, and our anxieties deepened, so that we shall assemble with very thankful hearts to thank God for His Gifts both for bodies and souls. The Alms on October 11th to the Royal Berks Hospital at Reading.

THE WAR.

A local Committee has been formed to deal with any cases of distress which may arise in the War. It is hoped that the usual employment in this district will continue as usual, and that there will not be many thrown out of work, but the Committee will be in existence to deal with any emergency if it is required. The dependents of Sailors and Soldiers have already and organization which will deal with the distress which may arise in the families of those who have gone to service, and the Government separation allowance is to be increased from 1st of October, which will, it is hoped, be enough to meet the need of the wives and families of married men; but the Committee will endeavour to see that none of those who are dependent on the help of the Sailors and Soldiers are suffering. The war must affect us all, and each one will have some additional burdens of anxiety or suffering, but if we are all ready to help our neighbours these burdens will be lightened.

In combination with our neighbours in Easthampstead we are doing something to help poor Belgian people upon whom much suffering has fallen. By the generosity of Mr. E. Lawrence, the Brewery House near the station has been lent for six months, and this has been fitted up as a home for Belgian Refugees.

Several families have already arrived and been settled in this house. Furniture has been provided, partly by purchase, partly by loan, and a sum of money has been promptly and generously contributed, sufficient to maintain them for the period for which the house has been lent.

Lady Haversham is the Chairman of the Committee that has organized the Home, the Rev. H. Salwey is the Secretary, and the Vicar is acting as Treasurer; gifts of vegetables and fruit will be very acceptable, and should be sent to the Matron.

Our daily Services of Intercession for the King and all in authority, for the Sailors and Soldiers who are serving their Country, and for the Wounded and Sick, and for those that have fallen, is held at 12 o’clock. When we think that nearly one hundred names of those who have gone to service from our own Parish are on the Church door, many will surely be glad to come together for a few minutes to join in prayer for them, and others, who are not able to come to Church will also offer up a prayer when they hear the Church bell.

Winkfield and Warfield parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P151/28A/6)

A midday reminder of the brave men fighting for King and Country

The church bell of St Nicolas’ Church in Newbury was rung daily during the war. The parish magazine explained to parishioners why this was:

The daily ringing of the Bell at mid-day is intended for a reminder to us of the brave men who are fighting for King and Country by sea and land, and as a call to us to offer up a short prayer for them at that hour, wherever we may be: and our Bishop has expressed the hope that this time may be one in which every parish may learn afresh the lesson of Prayer.

Newbury parish magazine, September 1914 (D/P89/28A/13)