“The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice”

There was a particular poignancy when news of a death came after the war had ended.

Roll of Honour.

Frederick Pither.

The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice and the blow, therefore, come with added force to his wife and children.

We would desire to convey to her the very real and special sympathy of all.

Military Cross.

Lieut. R. Palmer – to whom heartiest congratuilations.

Blinded Soldiers’ Fund.

The total sum received is £32; made up as follows:-

Carol Singing £22 10s., Christmas Dinner Table envelopes £9 10s. This latter sum is for the children of Blinded Soldiers.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Advertisements

PoWs weak and run down

Imprisonment was an ordeal.

XMAS PRESENT FUND FOR WINKFIELD MEN ON SERVICE.

The appeal for this fund met with a hearty response, the amount raised was £22 8s. 5d.. and nearly every family in the parish contributed.

The Vicar has received many letters and cards from the men, expressing great appreciation of the remembrance of them.

It was a great pleasure to welcome home this month two more of the prisoners of war. Fred Johnson and Fred Blau. Both showed the effects of what they had undergone, and arrived home weak and run down, but with home comforts we hope it will not be long before they completely recover their health and strength.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/2)

Now that the war is over we have been able to have our usual Christmas treats

Reading children enjoyed a peacetime Christmas season.

The Vicar’s Notes

Now that the war is over we have been able to have our usual Christmas treats, and to enter into them with more zest than ever. The infants and the boys and girls of our Sunday school, the choir lads, the mothers, and the Sunday school teachers and altar servers have been hospitably entertained through the generosity of many of our kind people.

Intercessions

For God’s blessing on the Peace Conference now being held in Paris.


Reading St Mary parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P98/28A/16)

“He speaks well on the whole of his treatment in the prisoners’ camp”

Cigarettes were this year’s Christmas gift for Maidenhead soldiers.

OUR SOLDIERS.

A letter of Christmas greeting was again sent to each of our soldiers, and a packet of cigarettes to those who were overseas. We hope that in a very short time the majority of them will be back amongst us. Robert Bolton and Alfred Isaac have already been discharged. Reginald Hill was at home for Christmas leave, looking quite recovered after his long hospital experiences. Wallace Mattingley and George Ayres are in Germany.

We are glad to hear that 2nd Lieut Edgar Jones, son of Rev. G H. Jones, of Marlow, who, after a few days in France was taken prisoner about 17 months ago, returned home in time for Christmas. He speaks well on the whole of his treatment in the prisoners’ camp.

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, January 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Carols for blinded soldiers

Wokingham carol singers collected money for soliders blinded in the war, and their children.

Blinded Soldiers.

The outcome of the Carol Singing has been very satisfactory, and the Choir hope to hand over £20 or so as the fruit of their efforts. Such a result has of course entailed the expenditure of considerable time and trouble, which however has been given most ungrudgingly by all the members. We congratulate them on their success. Needless to say, the generous contributions and kindly welcome everywhere received have greatly added to the pleasure of their good work.

For the children of Blinded Soldiers, nearly £10 has been contributed by means of Xmas Dinner Table envelopes.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

“They all bring the same report of ill treatment, suffering and semi-starvation, which makes the blood boil and raises the strong desire that a stern reckoning should be paid for such brutality”

Released PoWs had a tale to tell.

We rejoice to welcome home in time for Xmas, four of our Prisoners of War, C. Brant, W. Harwood, R. Mitchell, and F. Onion. They all bring the same report of ill treatment, suffering and semi-starvation, which makes the blood boil and raises the strong desire that a stern reckoning should be paid for such brutality.

We shall naturally wish to erect a parish memorial to those Winkfield men who have given their lives for their country in this War, and as this concerns all in the parish, it is proposed shortly to call a Public Meeting in the Parish Room, to discuss plans and particulars. Probably the meeting will be held towards the end of January, and due notice of it will be given.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, January 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11)

War echoes

The war was over but not forgotten.

WAR ECHOES

Honours and Promotions

Temporary Captain G H B Chance (MGC) to be Temporary Major (November). Harry D West (RGA) is Farrier Sergeant Major (date unknown).

Casualty

Private William West (MGC), died in France (of broncho-pneumonia).

Repatriation

Private F J Painter (5th Royal Berks)

Christmas Parcels

In view of the difficulties both of obtaining things to send, and of ascertaining correct addresses, and also in consideration of the fact that hostilities are suspended, Mr Willink has made no arrangements for sending parcels this season to sailors and soldiers. They may be sure, however, that they are not forgotten by all at home.

The Influenza

This epidemic, which has amounted to a veritable plague, seems to be abating in this country. We are told that throughout the world it has directly, or by after-effects, caused over 6 million deaths, more than the number reported from action of this war of 4 ½ years.

WAR SAVINGS

Peace and Thanksgiving Campaign

The war may be practically over, but money is still urgently required for a time. The National War Savings Committee have been called on by the Government to make one more big effort during the period ending with next autumn. Berkshire’s share is assessed at £900,000, of which our Bradfield Local Committee are asked to raise £50,000. with this object, Lantern Lectures, with excellent slides, will be given in each Association’s area from January to April. The present arrangements for Burghfield are:

January 8th War on Land
February 5th War in Italy
March 5th War at Sea
April 2nd War in the Holy Land

The first and third will be at the Handicraft Room, Mrs Bland’s School; the second and fourth in the Jubilee Room or the C of E School, 7 o’clock in all cases.

The Committee hope that readers of the magazine will make these facts known, and do their best to see that the campaign is a success.

A Burghfield War Memorial

It is, perhaps, too soon to begin public consultation of this matter. But it is not too soon to begin thinking about it. Probably we are all agreed that there should be some visible memorial of this Great War to keep alive the recollection of the working part playing in it by Burghfield men.

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

A Carolling Party, in the cause of Blinded Sailors and Soldiers

North Town

It is even rumoured that a North Town Carolling Party, in the cause of Blinded Sailors and Soldiers, threaten the laurels of many longer-established Carol parties.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Important changes at the Hospital after an interesting but difficult year

The war’s end meant changes for Newbury District Hospital.

Newbury District Hospital : The Thirty-Fourth Annual Report and Balance Sheet for 1918

For the year ending December 31st, 1918:

There have been important changes at the Hospital during the past year, and in many respects, the period under review has been an interesting but difficult one.

Miss Atkins, whose services as Matron are well known to the Subscribers, left in August last to be married. Having regard to her long arduous and successful work in the Hospital the Committee took upon themselves to present her, on behalf of the Subscribers, with a sum of £25 on leaving. The Subscribers are asked to ratify this grant.

Sister Biddle also left in August to take up another engagement. Miss Atkins was replaced, as Matron, by Miss Phoebe Jones, whose testimonials were of a very high character. She entered on her duties at a time when the work was very heavy, and as the Nursing Staff, for some time afterwards, was very inadequate, the Committee recognise that her position was a difficult one. Every effort was made to replace Sister Biddle, and to put the Staff on a satisfactory footing in other respects, but it was not until October that the situation was somewhat relieved by the engagement of Sister White.

Shortly afterwards the outbreak of Influenza put a further strain on the Hospital, as a large number of cases of pneumonia were received. Practically all the Probationers were laid up by Influenza, and to add to the difficulties the Matron herself was attacked, and after being laid up in the Hospital for some time was obliged to go away to recruit.

During her absence Sister White was in charge and proved herself efficient, but it became obvious that the Staff was over worked, and must be strengthened as soon as the general scarcity of Nurses would allow it.

On the advice of the Matron the Committee, late in the year, authorised advertisements for a third Sister, and some other additions to, and alterations in, the Nursing Staff. As it was not possible to make this addition immediately it became necessary to relieve the Staff by closing one of the Annexes, and reducing the number of Soldiers in the Hospital for some weeks. Throughout this period the domestic Staff was, as it still is, a source of anxiety, it being necessary to depend to a great extent on temporary assistance.

It will be seen from the statistics annexed that notwithstanding these difficulties, an unusually large number of Patients were treated in the Hospital during the year. As compared with 1917 Civilian Patients increased by 104 and Soldier Patients by 38. It would have been impossible for the small staff to cope with this work without the help of the Newbury Voluntary Aid Detachment and some other ladies, all of whom rendered most valuable assistance.

Since the retirement of Dr. Heywood, Dr. Kennedy has been responsible for Soldier Patients, Dr. Adams giving his assistance as regards surgical matters when required.

The Rev. W. S. Edgell undertook the duties of Hon. Secretary on the retirement of Mr. Savill in April.

The Committee has again to acknowledge the general interest in the Hospital evidence by the gifts of vegetables, supplies and other useful articles throughout the year. The Newbury War Hospital Supply Depot has again furnished many requisites, and Miss Wasey again organised a successful Pound Day and also presented fittings for the Anaesthetic room. Mrs. Wombwell, Mrs. Rooke and Menstone House School made very liberal donations for the entertainment of the Soldiers at Christmas. Mr. Wombwell, Mr. R. Beynon, Mr. Hogg, Mr. Cotterell, Mr. Johnson and others shewed their interest by gifts and in other ways.

Hearty thanks are due to all the members of the Medical Staff, upon whose time the Hospital has made large demands.

The Committee also desire to thank Mrs. Sharwood-Smith, the Commandant, and the Officers and ladies of the Newbury Voluntary Aid Detachment, who have done very valuable work.

Miss Cecile Boldero, the Assistant Commandant (latterly Commandant) was most helpful in the difficulty caused by the deficiency in the regular Nursing Staff.

Miss Salway has again given massage and special treatment to Soldiers, for which the Committee are most grateful, and thanks are due to Mr. Alleyne for taking charge of the recreation room.

Thanks are also due to the former and present Matrons, and the Sisters, and Nurses, for their services during a very strenuous year. In addition to their heavy nursing duties they have had to meet difficulties in catering, and the want of a permanent and sufficient domestic Staff. The economic results of their efforts are best shewn by the Statistics annexed as to cost per occupied bed, and cost of food per head. Having regard to the great rise in prices the Committee think these figures very satisfactory.

During the past year, and in fact during the war, few repairs and renewals could be done owing to the pressure of work, and a thorough overhauling of the Hospital is required now that the soldiers have gone. A considerable expense will be involved. A sub-committee has been appointed to report on the necessary repairs and renewals and on certain structural alterations. The most pressing work upstairs has been done, but the sub-committee has not finally reported. An important matter to be considered is central heating, and some other mode of heating the passages, etc. this is most desirable, and perhaps necessary, but the expense would be very large. The question of the disposal of the temporary Annexes is under consideration: one of them is now clearly unnecessary, and it is doubtful whether either of them should be retained.

In this connection it may be mentioned that when the soldiers left, the Chairman received from the Southern Command, Salisbury, a cordial letter thanking the subscribers and the committee for the generous provision made for soldiers during the war, and the care bestowed on them.

W. Walton, Chairman

W. S. Edgell, Hon. Sec.

Newbury District Hospital annual report (D/H4/4/1)

Never a better moment for preaching the Christmas message of “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men”

Reading men were to be welcomed home.

My dear Friends…

I have received a letter from the Bishop bringing to my notice his own and the Archbishops’ suggestions for the observance of the Christmas season. He says, “As to Christmas itself, there was never a better moment for preaching the Christmas message of “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men”. I trust that in this connection you will lead your people in earnest prayer for the effective establishment of a League of Nations to secure a just and permanent peace.

On December 29th we are recommended by the Archbishops to make united, reverent and thankful commemoration of those who have died in the War. Sunday, January 5th, it is suggested that we should offer special thanksgiving for victory and special prayer for the statesmen assembled in the Peace Conference.’ I propose to act on these suggestions; accordingly the list of those belonging to us who have fallen in the war will be read out at Morning and Evening Prayer on the last Sunday of the year and special thanksgiving and prayer on the lines indicated will be offered on the following Sunday. The Bishop speaks also of the need of securing a hearty and religious welcome for every one of the returning soldiers in all parishes. This can only be done by the co-operation of the people. I shall be most grateful for information as to the return of soldiers and sailors, such as shall enable me to call and offer each man a personal welcome back to the parish. …

Your sincere friend and vicar,

W. Britton

Reading St. John parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P172/28A/24)

“Beginning again in the dark”

There was great sympathy for soldiers’ whose war wounds had left them blind.

FOR ST DUNSTAN’S

We have done a good many generous things as a church, but it is doubtful if we ever responded quite so well as when we helped the cause of the Blinded Soldiers and Sailors during the Christmas season. Starting in quite a modest way with the suggestion that our choir should provide a carol service in the evening of Christmas Sunday [28 December 1918], the plans gathered sympathy, until they included a United Carol Service in the Village Hall on the Sunday evening referred to, a collection at the Watch-night service, and a special gathering of personal donations from members of our church and congregation. By this means £10 3s. 4d. was raised for those “beginning again in the dark”. We recognise that this was a united effort, and do not take the credit to ourselves, but we do appreciate the kindly sympathy that our folks showed in both subscribing to and organising such a fund.

Tilehurst Congregational Church section of Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, February 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

The best Christmas present

There was good news at last for the Vansittart Neales.

25 December 1918

Xmas Day at The Lawn, 101 Denmark Hill SE5.
Very crowded early service. Not back till past 9 o’clock. Went off directly after. Heard shade better. Then to Hospital service. Met Mr Edmunds. So pleased temp: coming down slowly. Best Xmas present.

Henry went to [his cousin] Frank Dickinson’s for tea. I sat quietly with Sister in ward. Had tea. She very kind.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Hearts full of deep thankfulness to Almighty God for His wonderful mercies to us in our great victory

Newbury churchgoers were invited to mak Christmas Day the focus of thanksgiving fr the war’s end.

With our hearts full of deep thankfulness to Almighty God for His wonderful mercies to us in our great victory and, as we hope, the permanent termination of hostilities, we should aim at making Christmas Day a day of earnest thanksgiving and worship. We would therefore remind all those who have been confirmed that the Great Act of Worship in which we are invited to take part, and in which it is our privilege and duty to take part, is the Service of Holy Communion. Let us endeavour to make careful preparation, and all to come on Christmas Day to the service which Our Lord has commanded, as the Memorial of His Supreme Sacrifice and Victory, which is the Great Feast of Fellowship between All Saints, living and departed.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

Christmas came to us this year with an unwonted sense of freedom to enjoy it, after four years of war

Christmas came to us this year with an unwonted sense of freedom to enjoy it, after four years of war. Both Churches were very prettily decorated, and for that our best thanks are due to the kind ladies who undertook the work. Good congregations and large numbers of Communicants showed that very many remembered the gratitude due to God for the gift of a Saviour…

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Homage to the Prince of Peace

Christmas was a day for rejoicing this year.

The Christmas Festival was marked by the largest Christmas Communion we have yet recorded. No doubt people felt that this homage to the Prince of Peace was more than ever due this year. Real thanksgiving, however, is never a flash in the pan, and Christians must not go back when once they have put their hands to the plough. The services themselves were beautiful and full of joy.

South Ascot Parochial magazine, February 1919 (D/P186/28A/19)