Home to clock golf and bowls

Another soldier was home.

The members of the Parish Church Branch of the CEMS were invited to the Rectory garden for a social evening on June 18th, and indulged in clock golf and bowls on the lawn. Among those present was Mr Harry Canning, returned from his service in the forces in Egypt.

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

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Welcome Home to Returned Heroes

The men of Maidenhead were welcomed back home.

June
Welcome to Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen by CEMS

On Saturday, June 14th, 5.30 to 9.30 pm, at St Luke’s, Vicarage Lawn. The Band of the Comrades of the Great War will play. if any returned Parishioner does not get an invitation, will he please communicate with Mr E Hazeldine, Hon. Sec., 5, College Rise.

July
CEMS Welcome Home to Returned Heroes

It was a happy inspiration of the St Luke’s Branch of the CEMS – which, of course, includes St Peter’s – to give a Welcome Home to the men of St Luke’s Parish, who as Sailors, Soldiers or Airmen have fought for their country in the Great War, together with their wives and sweethearts.

By the kindness of the Vicar, whose absence from home on such a memorable occasion was much regretted – not the least by the Vicar himself – the gathering took place on the Vicarage Lawn on Saturday, June 14th, and, favoured with brilliant weather, proved a great success.

When we say that 800 men and wives accepted the Society’s invitation to tea, it will be realised what a vast amount of work was entailed. But with the organisation in the capable hands of Mr Hazeldine (Hon. Sec.), and Mr Habbin (Chairman of the CEMS), and the willing help of many ladies of St Luke’s and St Peter’s congregations as waitresses, the large party was admirably served.
After tea, there were Concerts, a good programme of music by the Band of the Comrades of the Great War, and performances on the piano and violin by two wounded artistes, all of which was much appreciated. Between the various items were opportunities for conversation with, and congratulations to, the returned warriors – by no means the least enjoyable part of the proceedings – together with a further supply of refreshments. The heartiest thanks of the CEMS are offered to all the kind friends who gave them such valuable assistance in carrying through the “Welcome”, as also to those who generously contributed towards the cost.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June-July 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

A welcome to returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen of the Parish

Church of England Men’s Society

On April 29th, the CEMS decided to arrange a welcome to returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen of the Parish, on the Vicarage Lawn on Saturday, June 14th. It is hoped to have a concert, a band, and light refreshments.

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

We must now let the men whose names have been held in honour realise that we are just as keenly interested in them in peace as we were in war

Churches were asked to welcome home soldiers.

THE CHURCH AND THE ARMY

RETURN OF MEN FROM THE FRONT

The Archbishop of Canterbury earnestly commends to the clergy and laity of his diocese some suggestions adapted from a like paper issued in another diocese.

The Roll of Honour, which has, as I hope and believe, has been placed practically in every church in the diocese, was meant to be an outward and visible sign of the interest of the Church as a whole in each man whose name was found upon it. Prayers, contant prayers, were to be offered for him. This obligation the Church has fulfilled, and numbers of men are returning for whom we have prayed. We must now let the men whose names have been thus held in honour realise that we are just as keenly interested in them in peace as we were in war. We can do this in various ways.

1. A “Welcome Home Committee” should be formed at once in every parish, consisting of the clergy together with a number of communicants, both men and women.
2. The Committee should undertake the work of according a warm welcome to all the men living in the parish on their return from the Front, whether they are Churchmen or not.
3. As far as is possible someone should be appointed in every street (or district) in any large parish to act as “Watcher” on behalf of the committee in that street, who should notify its secretary immediately on the return of any man living within it.
4. On notification of the return home of any man the Committee should appoint someone to visit him at once and extend in the name of the Church a warm welcome home.

The man concerned should be treated as circumstances and common sense may dictate. Different methods would naturally be adopted with regard to communicants and those who are not, but the welcome to each would be equally warm. The incumbent might arrange for a Celebration to which the communicant, his family and any friends could be invited, and at which they could unitedly offer their thanksgiving for his safe return and also rededicate their lived to the service of God, the Church and the Country. Regarding the non-communicants, special attention should be paid to the men who signed the War Roll Pledge issued at the front, and whose names have been sent already to the incumbents. This privilege might appropriately be placed in the hands of the local branch of the CEMS, if its membership is sufficient to deal with the situation. The problem will be treated differently in a small country parish and in a town parish; but in both alike:

1. No man should return without the Church making some effort to give him a welcome.
2. The whole body of communicants should be encouraged to take an interest in the men for whom they have prayed for four years.
3. The scheme should be put into operation at once.
4. Special Services for the returned men might appropriately be held at suitable intervals.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

The spiritual needs of our Soldiers on their return from the War

The question of the church’s response to soldiers coming home was raised.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND MEN’S SOCIETY

A meeting of the local combined branches will be held in the Parish Room in St Luke’s Vicarage on Monday, February 4th, at 8 pm, when Dr F W Underhill, President of the Windsor and Maidenhead Federation, will address the members on “Some way by which the Church may meet the spiritual needs of our Soldiers on their return from the War”.

A discussion on the subject will follow.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, February 1918 (D/P181/28A/27)

Reconstruction

Church of England Men’s Society

On January 6th, Bro. C R Crump (St Mary’s), before a large number of members, gave an Address on “Reconstruction” – (1) In the Home, (2) In Church Life, (3) In the Nation. An interesting discussion followed, in which many members took part.

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

“Much respected and liked by all who knew him”

There was bad news for some Bracknell families. Home & Colonial Stores ultimately became Safeway.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.

We much regret to have to add to our list to those who have fallen the name of Silas Brown. He was well known in Bracknell as the manager of the Home and Colonial Stores and was much respected and liked by all who knew him. As a Churchman he was very regular in his attendance at Church, and was a keen member of the C.E.M.S. and a Sunday School Teacher. He had not long been in France and had been wounded before. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to his wife in her great sorrow.

News has also come in that Lieut. Cecil Perkins has been wounded, we hope not seriously, and that he will have a complete and speedy recovery.

Ernest Brown, who was injured in France by a fall of timber is in England and is regaining his strength.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/11)

“Three members have given their lives for their Country”

The Reading St Giles branch of the Church of England Men’s Society took stock of the numbers of their felllows who had joined up.

The annual meeting of our branch of the C.E.M.S. was held on the 24th [July]. Three members have given their lives for their Country: Randolph Portnell, Reginald Golder, Harry Gorring; and 28 members are now in the Navy or Army.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P96/28A/32)

A church in a hut, and quite a parish!

An army chaplain from Newbury writes on his work:

The Rev. H C Roberts writes to the Rector from the Front as follows:

“I was very pleased to get your letter and to hear some of the Newbury news. It was forwarded on to me, as I have moved on from my last station, and am now at Garrison Mess, APOS 19. It doesn’t convey much, does it? This is a very much bigger place than where I was last, and I am in charge of this part. We have a very nice church in a hut all fitted out with an altar, reading desk, etc. I believe it is about the only one of its kind out here – it holds about 170 men, and at the voluntary evening service it gets quite full. We have two early services on Sundays, 6.15 and 7.15, and an evening communion on the last Sunday of the month. More men we find are able to make their communions in the evening owing to work, so it gives them the opportunity. Here too we have a CEMS Meeting one night in the week, and last time we had about 15 present. Of course work varies very much according to district, etc. In that way this is very much better than my last place. In addition we have various parade services on Sunday too. So you see it is quite a parish!! and, as you may imagine, a pretty big one too…

We are having some very hot weeks again (this was written in July, ED) now, but for one or two nights it turned quite cold. I am sorry I can’t tell you much of the place or work, but of course we are allowed to say very little in our letters, and all mention of places, kind of work, visits, etc, is prohibited, and I can imagine quite rightly.”

Newbury St Nicholas parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P89/28A/13)

A real “Godsend” to the boys

Churchgoers in Reading and Windsor paid for a recreation “Hut” behind the front lines.

Notes from the Vicar

Intercessions list

Ptes. W.G. Pearce, 2nd Worcestershire Regt,; H.A.T. Wicks, 33rd Training Reserve Batt,; H.W. March, 47th Canadians.

Missing: Lce,-Cpl. Harold Walker.

Sick and Wounded: Pte Green; Pte. Bailey.

Departed: Lce,-Cpl. J. Cole; Gunner W. Shaw. R.I.P.

C.E.M.S.

The following report has been received about the Reading and Windsor Federation Hut.

“Everything has been done to make this Hut one of the most attractive and comfortable in this area. Crowds of men pass through daily, and much use is made of the stationary Literature, and Games provided for their comfort. Concerts are held, Lantern Services and Voluntary services of all kinds. It’s a real “Godsend” to the boys.”

Subscriptions are still needed to supply the above Hut. And will be gratefully received by the Hon. Sec. Mr. Lane, 5/-

H.J. HINDERLEY, Hon. Sec.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P96/28A/34)

Pray for God’s blessing on our cause and gallant men

Children and adults in Maidenhead were urged to pop in to the church in spare moments to pray for the troops.

War Shrine

On Whit-Sunday, May 27th, the beautiful little War Shrine presented and fixed by the St. Luke’s Branch of the C.E.M.S and one or two friends, was dedicated and unveiled by the Vicar at the Children’s Service…

It is hoped that many who pass by the Church will slip in, if but for two minutes and pray for God’s blessing on our cause and gallant men. The names of the Fallen are well and clearly written up by Mr. Habbin.

Any additions or corrections should be sent either to the Hon. Sec., Mr. E. Hazeldine, 5, College Rise, or to Mr. Habbin, 2 Fairford Road.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, July 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

Torpedoed off Capetown

More War Savings Associations continued to flourish.

Bracknell

A War Savings Association has been started in connection with the C.E.M.S. sharing-out Club, and there are already about 50 members.

Warfield

Our War Savings Association is thriving; we now have 100 members, thanks to the energy and zeal of our Secretary and Treasurer.

We welcome the return of Mr. T. Bowyer, jun, who was one of the engineers on the Cilicia which was torpedoed off Capetown and now has got back safely to Warfield.

Winkfield District Magazine, April 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/4)

What we hope to do to welcome our returned soldiers on the conclusion of peace

The men’s group at St Luke’s, Maidenhead, was keen to welcome home our soldiers when the war came to an end.

The Church of England Men’s Society

An interesting Meeting of the C.E.M.S. was held on April 16th. The details of the War Shrine were gone into.

Dr Underhill gave us an interesting account of what a Committee, of which he is a member, hope to do to welcome our returned soldiers on the conclusion of peace. It was resolved to hold a meeting at an early date to go into the matter…

I may add that if any Parishioners, other than members of the C.E.M.S., wish to contribute to the War Shrine, they should communicate with Mr. Hazeldine, Hon. Sec., 5, College Rise. The C.E.M.S. does not want to be at all selfish in the matter, and would gladly welcome any gift from outside its own body.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

It is impossible to forget the war

Yet more men went out from Earley.

C.E.M.S
It is impossible to forget the war, and once again the C.E.M.S. at St Peter’s is confronted with the exigencies of the national need for men. Mr Likeman is called to rejoin the Colours, and, for the third time since the war began, we have to appoint an Acting Hon. Secretary.

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES
The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
George Neale, Alfred Coxhead, Kenneth Gordon, Reuben Murphy, Thomas Murphy, William Murphy, Jack Murphy, Albert Still, Alfred Still, Herbert Douglas, Horace Giles, William Wilder, Harold Ballard.

In addition to those already mentioned, we especially commend the following to your prayers:

WOUNDED: Walter Samways, Percy Heath, Roby [sic?] Haslam.
SICK: Frank Masser, Frank Berry.
KILLED IN ACTION: William Bungay, Thomas Radbourne, Alfred Stroud.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, March 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

A million sheets of notepaper

Reading St Giles Church of England Men’s Society had contributed to the well-being of soldiers at the front through the CEMS Huts.

The following letters have been received giving information concerning the Reading and Windsor C.E.M.S. Huts…

January 31st 1917

This is a large and important centre always well organized. The religious and social side of the work is everything that can be desired. We also have a tea room built in addition to the hut. This gives us more room. It is a most valuable hut being in the centre of many things: hundreds of letters are written daily, Services are not forgotten, and it is now being used by the Canadian Chaplain, the Canadian troops being quartered in that district.

Funds are now urgently required to enable the headquarters to supply the huts with the proper necessaries which is very large. The provision of stationary is a considerable matter and already the society has sent out about a million sheets of notepaper and 500,000 envelopes for the use in the forty huts in France, Flanders, Egypt, Malta, Salonika and England.

I am sure the members of S. Giles’ who contributed to the hut mentioned above will be glad to hear of its usefulness.

H.J. HINDERLEY Hon.Sec.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, March 1917 (D/P96/28A/34)