An extra good tea

An enjoyable fete in Burghfield in aid of Red Cross funds attracted some of the recuperating soldiers.

Red Cross Fete

On Thursday, July 12th, a Red Cross Fete was held at Home Close. Sixteen wounded soldiers from Mortimer VAD Hospital were driven over, some in a brake and others in the car kindly lent by Mr and Mrs Willink. The proceedings began by a Rummage Sale and the goods were soon cleared off. There were various side shows. One of the most popular was guessing the name of a doll, 3 guesses for 1d. of course the name had frequently to be changed! Aunt Sally was also much appreciated. The soldiers able to walk about enjoyed helping with these and other games. The weather was perfect and we had tea on the lawn. The soldiers had a table to themselves and an extra good tea….The Misses Gripper’s GFS girls and Sunday School children, also many helpers, had free teas.

After tea, Mr Bulford kindly gave a most excellent Conjuring Entertainment, which the soldiers and everybody much enjoyed. The hearty singing of “God Save The King” brought a happy afternoon to a close, and the soldiers drove away amidst much cheering.

Of course the teas did not pay their way – food being so expensive and so many being given free. By the Rummage Sale and Side Shows we raised about £6. Most of this will go to the Red Cross, but a cauldron of coke has been bought for the Mission Church as a reserve, the cold having been so much felt by the congregation last winter.
We think of giving £2 towards the greatly needed dining hut and recreation room to be erected at Mortimer VAD Hospital.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1917 (D/EX725/3)

A new opportunity for women

The Women’s Institute seems as though it has been part of English life since time immemorial, but in fact it first came to the country in 1915.

The Women’s Institute

In May of this year, Mrs Watt, who is well known for having started WI in many parts of England on the model of those which have been so successful in Canada, visited Burghfield for the second time and gave an address on “The Work of Women’s Institutes”. Inspired by what she said it was desired to form a branch. The first monthly meeting was held in the Jubilee Room on Thursday June 7th and nearly 40 members were enrolled.

The aims and objects of the Institute are as follow: a) Study home economies [sic], b) provide a centre for educational and social intercourse, and for all local activities, c) encourage home and local industries, d) develop co-operative enterprise, e) stimulate interest in the Agricultural Industry. Each monthly meeting has been well attended and interesting discussions have taken place, also songs and recitations have done much to enliven proceedings. It is hoped that the members will realise that the success of the Institute depends greatly on each member trying to take an active part by giving suggestions, entering into discussions at the various meetings, bearing in mind the words on the membership card, “to do all the good we can, in every way we can, to all the people we can, and above all to study household good in any work which makes the betterment of our home the advancement of our people and the good of our country.

Burghfield parish magazine, October 1917 (D/EX725/4)

9 april 1917 Killed leading his men in attack

A senior County Council official who had joined the army was killed in action.

We record with regret … Lt-Col H U H Thorne, formerly of the Shrubberies, killed in action 9th April 1917 …

Colonel Thorne, better known in the parish as Mr Thorne, Deputy Clerk of the County Council, was a keen officer in the Berks Territorials long before the war, and went out as a Captain with the 1/4th Battalion in March 1915 (as also did Captain F A Willink, at present invalided into Reserve). At the time of his death he was in command of a Battalion of the Royal Scots Regiment, and was killed while leading them in attack; he leaves a widow and two young children.

Burghfield parish magazine, October 1917 (D/EX725/4)

War charities registered

The County Council’s War Charities Sub-committee had been busy registering local war charities, ranging from bandage making to Christmas gifts for the armed forces.

REGISTRATIONS

Since the last report to the Council the following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have been approved, and the Clerk has been instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners:

No of Cert. Name of Charity Applicant

21 Bracknell War Work Depot (Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild) Mrs Littlewood, Hillside, Bracknell

22 Hanney Xmas Tree Fund for men serving HM Forces H. Leslie Edwards, schoolmaster, Hanney

23 Bracknell Xmas Parcels Fund Canon H. Barnett, Bracknell Vicarage

24 Bradfield District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society C J Haviland, Mead House, Bradfield

25 Bracknell Oaklea Auxiliary Hospital Mrs L A Berwick, Sunny Rise, Bracknell

26 Crowthorne Waste Paper Collection of War Charities Miss H M M Moody, Ferndene, Crowthorne

27 Wargrave Woodclyffe Auxiliary Hospital W. Ryder, The Little House, Wargrave

28 Wokingham Work Guild Mrs H M Lomax, Frog Hall, Wokingham

29 South Easthampstead District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

30 Heatherside Auxiliary Military Hospital Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

31 Finchampstead Belgian Refugees S F Smithson, The Old Rectory, Finchampstead

32 Maidenhead Rural North Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs Carpendale, Pinkneys Green

33 Hungerford Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund E C Townshend, Willows Close, Hungerford

34 Finchampstead Hospital Supply Depot Miss L M Hopkinson, Wyse Hill, Finchampstead

35 Bourton War Hospital Supply Depot Mrs W H Ames, Church Farm House, Bourton

36 Hungerford District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

37 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Hungerford A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

38 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Barton Court, Kintbury A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

39 Twyford and Ruscombe War Committee Rev. R W H Acworth, Twyford Vicarage

40 Sonning and Woodley Surgical Requisites Association Mrs C Christie Miller, The Deanery, Sonning

41 Mortimer VAD Hospital Miss F M Wyld, Highbury, Mortimer

42 Waltham St Lawrence Prisoners of War Fund Claude M Warren, Old School House, Shurlock Row

43 Wokingham South Rural District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs A M Western, The Coppice, Finchamapstead

44 Registered in error – subsequently cancelled

45 Ascot Military Hospital Miss Nora Collie, Ascot Military Hospital

46 Wantage District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss Gertrude Elliott, Ginge Manor, Wantage

47 Binfield Popeswood Auxiliary Hospital Henry E A Wiggett, White Lodge, Binfield

48 Spencers Wood Local Red Cross Fund Rev. F T Lewarne, Spencers Wood, Reading

49 Faringdon District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Henry Procter, Gravel Walk, Faringdon

EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES (to 7 January, 1917, only)

2 Burghfield Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund H G Willink, JP, Hillfields, Burghfield

3 East Challow Xmas Presents Concert Fund Miss E B Vince, Manor Farm, East Challow

4 Kintbury Xmas Presents Fund Mrs Alice G Mahon, Barton Holt, Kintbury

Report of War Charities Sub-committee of BCC, 20 January 1917 C/CL/C1/1/20)

A weekly working party

A Burghfield lady planned a new sewing group to support the wounded.

WORKING PARTY

Mrs George hopes to start a weekly working party at the Jubilee Room on Thursday afternoons at 2.30, commencing on December 7th, at which garments, bandages, etc, will be made for our wounded soldiers and sailors and sent to the Reading War Hospital Supply Depot. All help will be gladly welcomed.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Did all the Christmas parcels reach the soldiers last year?

Burghfield parish was planning to send out Christmas gifts to its men serving in the armed forces for a second time.

CHRISTMAS PARCELS

It is particularly requested that parents or wives of bonafide Burghfield men absent from home on service in this country or abroad will send me, if they have not already done so, their present correct address and description, especially if there has been any change since the Roll of Honour was hung in the Church porch last summer. Last year a number of parcels were never acknowledged, and very possibly were never received owing to wrong addresses, and this year it is not proposed to send parcels to men, about whom there is any doubt.

The information ought to reach me not later than December 4th for France, and December 10th for England. Parcels for the East have already gone.

H G Willink, Hillfields.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1916 (D/EX725/3)

The war on its spiritual side

Burghfield was ready for the National Mission, as it mourned the deaths of two more of its young men.

THE NATIONAL MISSION OF REPENTANCE AND HOPE

Before this is in the hands of our readers we shall all have had the opportunity of hearing “God’s Message to England” from the lips of our special Messenger….

A copy of our Missioner’s letter, together with a list of the special services, has been distributed (I hope) to every house in the parish, but we think it will be well to preserve a copy of the letter in the magazine as a permanent record.

Missioner’s Letter

My dear friends

Our Bishop has given me the great privilege, and laid upon me the great responsibility, of carrying the message of the National Mission to you in Burghfield…

High and low, rich and poor, priest and people, all alike need the message; all alike must be humble, and ready to listen. As with the War, so with this; we are all in it, and none must stand aloof. Indeed it is the War, the War on its spiritual side, the War of a people of God against sin, selfishness, misery, and all that takes the joy and innocence out of a people’s life. And I, though a sinful man not worthy of my office, come to you in God’s name, bearing His word, declaring His promise, bringing His gifts, to help you to do our part at home for our dear native land, as the lads are doing it in other ways abroad.

Yours faithfully in Christ Jesus our Lord

Allen E. Dams

ROLL OF HONOUR

We regret to announce two more deaths during the past month.

1. William Vockins, aged 19, of Pinge Wood. He was severely wounded in the head and sent home to a London hospital, where he died on October 4th. On the previous day the poor boy, helped by his nurse, wrote a few lines to his mother to say that he felt a little better! He was confirmed in our church in March 1913.

2. Frank Pearse, aged 25, the elder son of our district nurse, was killed instantaneously by a shell in France on October 3rd. We remember him as an upright and manly young fellow, a member of our choir and a communicant. He had been in France for 14 months. His mother wishes to express her appreciation of all the sympathy she has rceieved from so many parishioners and friends. R.I.P.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Killed in the great Somme advance

Burghfield mourned the loss of one of its own at the Somme.

ROLL OF HONOUR
Killed in action, in France, during the great Somme advance, on 3rd September, 1916, George H. Rapley, aged 24, of the 8th Royal Berks Regiment.

Burghfield parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

“It is unpatriotic and wicked to waste money”

Burghfield parishioners were encouraged to support the war with their savings.

THRIFT

His Majesty’s Government have just appealed to all classes to make a new and special effort to save every sixpence they possibly can and to lend it to the Nation to help to bring about what we all desire – a speedy and victorious termination of the war. We can all surely do a little in this way to help send out the munitions to our brave sailors and soldiers. It should be distinctly understood that it is unpatriotic and wicked to waste money or to spend it carelessly just now.

We can all do our bit to help to bring about a speedy victory by lending our money, and the best way for most of us to do this is to purchase at any Post Office a War Savings Certificate. It costs 15/6 and the Government will pay a high rate of interest for the loan, for they guarantee to return £1 at the end of five years for each 15/6 thus lent. Meanwhile the money is quite safe, and can be drawn at any time if necessity arises, with interest.

During the last winter the Scouts used part of their time in preparing splints for the wounded soldiers, and were able to send 12 hand splints, 8 leg splints, and 16 arm splints.

Burghfield parish magazine, August 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Religion is not only for Sundays now

The parish church in Burghfield was left open for private prayer at this time of war.

THE OPEN CHURCH

The following is a quotation from a recent article in The Times:

“Among other discoveries caused by the war has been this one made by many people, that religion is not only for Sundays but for all days and all hours. The clergy have often told us that about religion before the war, but it seemed a platitude. Now to many people it seems a truth, and they are acting upon it, as people do upon truths when they are suddenly aware of them. So churches are no longer to them places to which they go at stated hours on Sunday; they think of them rather as a second home, a home of the spirit, as the house of God which should always be open to all his children.”

We are glad to say that both the Parish Church and the Mission Room are now left open every day for rest, prayer and meditation, and we hope that many of our people will acquire the habit of using them. On the very day that this is written, we hear that a group of 14 children went to the church in their dinner hour and, led by a lady who was present, prayed by name for their fathers and brothers who are fighting in the war.

Burghfield parish magazine, August 1916 (D/EX725/3)

A record of which Burghfield might be proud

The war’s anniversary was commemorated on the 5th of August in Burghfield. It was an opportunity to take stock of the impact of the war locally.

THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION OF WAR

On Saturday, 5th August, at the Handicraft Room, Mrs Bland’s School, a well-attended meeting was held to commemorate this anniversary. Sir Wyndham Murray, as chairman, opened the proceedings with a few patriotic remarks which were heartily received; and was succeeded by Brigadier General F. Bridgeman of Beech Hill, late Scots Guards, and formerly member for Bradford, who, in an excellent speech, drew a striking contrast between the great Duke of Wellington and our foe the Kaiser. The well-known inscription on the Duke’s monument at Strathfieldsaye [sic] records that “he was honoured abroad for in all the might of conquest he was always just, considerate, and humane” and “he was beloved at home because he had great power, and ever used it well”. Such a record could never truly be written of the Kaiser. In concluding he quoted the message given to Joshua when he became commander-in-chief of the army of Israel, “Have not I commanded thee, be strong and very courageous, be not afraid neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee wheresoever thou goest”. He moved the following resolution, “That this meeting of the parishioners of Burghfield expresses its inflexible determination to continue the struggle to a victorious end”.

Colonel A. Welby, late Scots Greys, Secretary of the Patriotic Fund, and formerly member for Taunton (who said that he remembered camping on Burghfield Common in 1872 at autumn manoeuvres), seconded. He gave a stirring account of the performances of our Army and Navy, and spoke hopefully of the war.

The resolution having been put, and carried unanimously, Mr Willink, in proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman and speakers, which was played by the parish in relation to the war, and particularly to the 240 names upon the Roll of Honour. These names were nearly all names of persons residing in Burghfield at the time of enrolment (not counting those rejected as medically unfit); some however were names of men who, though they had left the parish, had been born and bred in it, and were fairly entitled to be included. It was a record of which Burghfield might be proud. (Mr Willink hopes that parishioners will study from time to time the Roll of Honour, now hanging in the church porch, and will tell him of any omissions, or misdescriptions, or alterations, which ought to be attended to.) Mr Lousley, seconding, paid a warm tribute to the services of women in Burghfield, both on the land and in war work of various kinds. Nor were the Scouts forgotten, nor the 600 hospital appliances made on that very room, nor the eggs and vegetables sent to the hospitals in abundance.

The proceedings ended with the singing of the National Anthem. The resolution has been duly sent to the Committee for Patriotic Organisations, to be added to the numerous identical resolutions passed more or less simultaneously at similar meetings throughout the country.


Burghfield parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Leaving to take up munitions work

Two female teachers come into the spotlight today. One woman was leaving teaching to work in a munitions factory, the other had lost her soldier brother.

July 28th 1916.
Miss Robinson finished duties here today, she is

1916, July 28
Miss Lock has been absent all this week – owing to brother’s death (War)

Mrs Bland’s School log book (86/SCH/1/1, p. 209); Katesgrove Girls’ School log book (SCH/6/8/2, p. 420)

Appeal for vegetables

Burghfield people were encouraged to grow vegetables for wounded soldiers.

THE READING WAR HOSPITALS
The Care and Comforts Committee (President, Mrs Benyon) again appeals for anything we can send for the use and comfort of the wounded soldiers, especially vegetables. Some of our parishioners send their offerings privately, but we wish to announce that Mr Turvey of the “Hatch Gate” will be pleased to receive any small contributions and to forward them once a week, as he did last summer.

Burghfield parish magazine, July 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Let us be worthy of their sacrifice

Burghfield faced up to the National Mission, as family members were at the front.

THE NATIONAL MISSION OF REPENTANCE AND HOPE

It is doubtful whether the Church of England has ever been called to a task so great as that to which we are now summoned by the Archbishops. There have been great movements within the Church; but this is a movement of the whole Church, a call to discharge that mission to the nation, as a nation, with which it is entrusted. The times require such an effort; the horizon of men’s thoughts has been suddenly and immensely expanded; we are conscious, as most of us were not two years ago, of our membership in the nation, and of the responsibility of our nation in the world. Our sons and brothers at the Front are serving the nation and helping it to meet its responsibility, at the risk of their lives; many of them in doing so are finding a new realisation of God. We at home must seek from God the power to rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice and provide for them on their return a home that will sustain their spirit of devotion to duty and service to God.

But to this end we must first take stock of ourselves. Very much has come to light which shows the need for amendment and renewal of life. It is sad to find how little of the manhood of the nation, as represented by the men in training camps and the like, is really touched by the Church. We have not brought home the message with which we are entrusted as it needs to be brought home. We must seek in prayer and meditation and conference to find the cause of our ineffectiveness where it exists, so that we may repent of it and remove it where it lies in ourselves as individuals or as members of the Church in our neighbourhood.

If we will do that, there is before us a great hope – the hope of an England leavened and guided in regard to its whole life, domestic, social, industrial, political, international, by a Church whose members have sought the will of God in humility and prayer, and are ready to witness together to the Majesty of God and to His redeeming love in Christ. It is a time for prayer, for teaching, for witness; may God give us all faith that we may pray, knowledge that we may teach, and courage that we may witness – all these according to His Will and to the praise of His glory.

Burghfield parish magazine, June 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Work parties for wounded soldiers

Burghfeld parishioners were keen to help out wounded soldiers:

HOLIDAY HOUSE
Work parties for both carpentry and needlework in aid of the Wounded Soldiers are being held every Tuesday evening at Holiday House from 7 til 9 pm. Materials are provided, and all who can are asked to help.

Burghfield parish magazine, April 1916 (D/EX725/3)