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)

A place of peace in the midst of war

A grateful soldier wrote to the members of Reading and Windsor Church of England’s Men’s Society regarding the recreation huts they sponsored close behind the front line.

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

January 16th 1917
The hut is A.1. and beautifully fitted up. The General of the division is keenly interested in it, and a lovely little flower garden has been made all around it. It is a place of peace in the midst of War. Many a man has gone out finding new strength which has enabled him to stand the strain and ghastliness of trench Warfare. I am sure your members will feel it worth making sacrifices for such a result.

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

No Socials in the present state of the war

The Maidenhead St Luke branch of a church men’s group decided to abandon their annual party for patriotic reasons.

Church of England Men’s Society

The Monthly Meeting was held on Jan. 8th in the Parish Room in the Vicarage. …

The Committee .. decided whether, in the present state of the War, the “Social” should be held. It was unanimously decided to give it up.

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

“Before the sun sets, the man whom you wish to help may have passed away from earth and from the reach of your help”

The Church of England Men’s Society helped support soldiers by their work (alongside similar organisations) providing places of rest and recreation behind the lines.

C.E.M.S.
S. Giles Branch

A Meeting of the branch will be held in the parish room, on Tuesday, December 12th at 8.30 p.m., to consider the report of the Annual Conference. Any member wishing to read the report before that meeting, I would be pleased to send a copy.

The Archbishop of York appeals for subscriptions for more huts for our troops. Lieut. Stanley, the agent in charge of the C.E.M.S. on the western front, speaking at the Manchester Conference, said,

“You as a society have provided a most noble work in providing huts at the front, a long chain of huts from Ypres in the north to the banks of the Somme in the south. You were asked to provide a sum of £12,000. Up to date, September 27th, you have provided £16,180. I am going to ask you to double those figures. We have been asked to supply 80 huts at once. The huts are essential. Do not delay. Before the sun sets, the man whom you wish to help may have passed away from earth and from the reach of your help.”

The President of the Reading federation, the Rev.F.J.C. Gillmor, will be pleased to receive subscriptions for the above, or may be sent to the hon. Secretary of the branch,

H.J. HILDERLEY, 65 Pell Street.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P96/28A/33)

Cigarettes and chocolate for the troops – but not enough for all

The Harvest Festival at Wargrave Church gave the opportunity for parishioners to send gifts to the troops.

The Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival will be held on Sunday, October 8th. The collections will as usual be divided between the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

The sermons will be preached by the Vicar. Several invitations have been given to special preachers but all our friends have been obliged to decline owing to the present exceptional circumstances, shortness of staff and the approach of the National Mission.

Presents for Men at the Front

Gifts of Tobacco, Cigarettes and Chocolate will be gladly welcomed at the Harvest Festival as on the previous occasions during the war. These presents are not large in size when divided up into separate packets for all our men on the roll, but they are greatly appreciated as many letters testify. There seems no better plan than that adopted last year when small packets were made up, with a few lines of greeting in each, and given to relations to be enclosed in the next parcel from home.

The results were reported in the following issue of the parish magazine.

Presents for the Men at the Front

There was a goodly collection of Tobacco, Cigarettes, and Chocolate received at the Church and Mission buildings on the occasion of the Harvest Festival. The Church of England Men’s Society met and divided it all up into suitable packets, which have now been distributed. There was sufficient for some fifty parcels but not nearly enough to enable us to send something to everybody.

Perhaps we may be able to have another such collection at Christmas time so that we may show all the others that they are not forgotten. Or if there are any who would like to extend the list of recipients at once their gifts can be received at the Vicarage at any time and will be carefully distributed.

Wargrave parish magazine, October and November 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

Are we prepared for peace?

The Church of England Men’s Society in Earley was planning on taking a major role in the National Mission, and was already thinking ahead to the end of the war.

C.E.M.S.

A great deal of thinking and a great deal of work is being done in preparation for the National Mission and its application to the parish. A small but increasingly enthusiastic section of the membership continues to meet for discussion. In connection with the Mission an appeal has been drawn up and this, together with the paper on “Repentance”, is being delivered with a personal introduction to every house in the parish.

This branch desires to express its gratitude to the Vicar, Mr Edward Heelas and Mr Masser for donations to the expenses of the Mission campaign. The acting Hon. Secretary (Mr Keep) is now prevented by his Government duties from continuing his valuable services in his office, and his resignation was received with regret on the 24th August last….

The C.E.M.S. is expected to take an active part in preparing the nation for the coming Mission. We are also expected to take an active part in preparing the nation to receive our home-coming troops – after the war. Upon the Declaration of Peace, the “Men of the Church” must take up the Sword – the Sword of the Spirit of the Living God. Are we prepared?

Earley parish magazine, October 1916 (D/P191/28A/31/10)

“His life was too soon done”

A Cranbourne schoolmaster who had taken an active role in the life of the local church before joining the army was killed.

It is with the deepest regret we have to record the death of our friend, Private William Dowell.

He came to us in February, 1913, with a record of many examinations passed with honours and much more good work in former schools. He at once began to take an active part in our parochial life, proving himself a most loyal friend and helper to the Vicar. He was a regular communicant and taught in the Sunday School, and gained the sincere regard of the children. As leader of our “Study Circle” he distinctly made his mark, with great knowledge of the Bible, he spared no pains in preparing the subjects for discussion at the meetings of the circle; with great ability he started the discussions, and his summary of them in the minute book was a model of what such a record should be.

He joined under the Derby scheme on February 29th, 1916, and trained in the Wiltshires and was transported to the Somerset Light Infantry. We had hoped to see him back among us after the war, and it was a great shock to all of us to hear that he had been killed at the front on September 16th. We all, Teachers, Managers, Members of the C.E.M.S., Children and Vicar deeply mourn his loss. We will remember him always in our prayers.

R.I.P.

“To us it seemed his life was too soon done,
Ended, indeed, while scarcely yet begun;
God, with His clearer vision saw that he
Was ready for a larger ministry.”

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, October 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/10)

A wish fulfilled

One of the men who had left Earley to join the Navy had been killed – the second in his family to be lost.

Our best wishes accompany Mr Sidesman W B Waters who, being called up, joined the 3/4 Royal Berkshires last month. His home activities in the CEMS and his church work as sidesman and principal cross bearer, will be missed. Our hope is the outdoor life may have a beneficial effect on his health which has not been robust these last few years.

In memoriam

The great battle in the North Sea took from this neighbourhood its toll of brave sailors. Among them Francis Harry Stevens, eldest son of Mr & Mrs F Stevens, whose second boy William David, gave his life in the attack at Loos on Sep. 25th last year. His brother Francis Harry who entered the Royal Navy as stoker was making rapid progress and shewing great proficiency in the engine room. Had he lived his promotion was secured. When he heard of his brother’s death he expressed the wish that he might too die for his country, and that wish has been fulfilled for him. His younger brother Arthur is with the Army in Egypt. We desire to express our respectful sorrow with his grief stricken parents and assure them that this parish will honour the memory of their sons.

Earley parish magazine, July 1916 (D/P192/28A/14)

Wounded warriors

Soldiers recuperating in the Katesgrove area of Reading had a pleasant summer afternoon courtesy of worshippers at Christ Church.

Entertainment of wounded soldiers

On July 15th our branch of the CEMS had the great pleasure of entertaining some of the wounded soldiers from our Reading hospitals. Thanks to the kindness of the Vicar the event took place in the Vicarage garden, now looking at its best, and St Swithun proving kind, a most enjoyable time was spent by all concerned.

Thirty wounded warriors, convoyed by Messrs Bell & Eldridge from No 5 (Katesgrove) War Hospital, arrived with military punctuality at 2.30 and were soon enjoying themselves in various ways on the larger lawn. Some played bowls with the ladies and members, others competed in clock golf and lawn quoits, whilst those who did not feel equal to much exertion reclined in deck chairs and listened to the pleasant strains of a gramophone. Meanwhile the ladies’ committee prepared tea on the smaller lawn to which the men were summoned at 3.45. After tea a short whist drive, arranged by Mr J Risdale, was carried through and prizes given to the winning soldiers. Cigars, the gift of Mr W R Howell, were then handed round and we said good-bye to our guests.

Our thanks are due to Mrs Morris, Miss Breedon and Mr Pole Routh for the loan of games; to Mr Cripps for the loan of crockery; to the many ladies who so kindly gave cakes and lastly to Mrs W J Brown who so kindly and efficiently managed the tea.

Christ Church parish magazine, August 1916 (D/P170/28A/24)

“Gratitude for the share which the Sailors and Soldiers from the Parish are taking in the defence of our Country and our homes”

Winkfield Church was carefully keeping in touch with its men on active service.

C.E.M.S.

Final arrangements were made for the sending to all our men on Service an Easter Card and Booklet with the following words of greeting:

Winkfield, April 16th.

“Dear Brother,

In sending you the enclosed booklet and Easter card of greeting the Church of England Men’s Society in Winkfield wish to express their feeling of gratitude for the share which the Sailors and Soldiers from the Parish are taking in the defence of our Country and our homes. Once again the eyes of all Christians are turned, at this season, to view the two sublime events on which the salvation of the world depends, the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we cannot send you a better greeting than to wish for you and for ourselves that we may accept the former as the one thing of real importance to us, and may see in the latter the guarantee of a new and better life after death if we accept His service and trust His promise.”

Yours very truly,

H.M. Maynard, President
F.L. Wilder, Secretary

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

The following have lately joined His Majesty’s Forces: William Burt, Royal Berks. Regt.; Wilfred Church, Army Service Corps; Fred Fancourt, Grenadier Guards; Tom Simmonds, Royal Berks Regiment.

Pte. George Faithful was wounded rather badly in the head and face and has been some time in hospital but is now nearly convalescent and is expected home shortly.

Pts. George Thurmer had an accident whilst at the Front, but we are glad to learn that he is doing well.

Sergeant James Thurmer is reported as still seriously ill; his wounds were very severe and much anxiety is felt by his relatives who have our sincere sympathy.

We were glad to welcome Signaller Fred Holmes back on leave for a few days, and it was delightful to see him again in his place in the choir on the Sunday before Easter.

Welcome to 2nd Lieut. R. Hayes-Sadler whose wound is now nearly healed and who is having a few weeks convalescent at home.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District magazine, May 1916 (D/P151/28A/5)

Pray for wisdom in dealing with the objectors to military service

The Earley parish magazine was to be sent out to men from the parish serving overseas.

The following are extracts from the Bishop’s message in the May Diocesan magazine:

Your prayers are asked specially…

For candidates for Holy Orders: for the maintenance of vocation in those who have gone to the war: and an increased supply after the war….
For our army in Mesopotamia.
For guidance for our rulers.
For the maintenance of industrial peace.
For wisdom in dealing with the objectors to military service.
For British and other prisoners of war in German camps.

C.E.M.S.

It has been suggested that some of those now on Active Service would appreciate a copy of the Parish magazine or the quarterly magazine of the C.E.M.S., and the members of the Earley Branch have undertaken to forward a number of copies each month.

If this should come to the notice of anyone living in the parish who has a friend or relation at the Front or with the Fleet likely to be interested in a copy, I should be grateful for his name and full service address.

Wm H Keep
Acting Hon. Secretary
7, Melrose Avenue

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
Herbert Bacon, Robert Neale, Philip Pocock, Percy Smith, Louis Taylor, Albert Davies, Jesse Chivers, Frank Burchell, Arthur Hosler, Owen Lewington, Walter Copperthwaite, George Smith, Reginald Merry, Tom Bosley, Frank Fowler, Albert Newberry, Sidney Newberry.

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

Sick: Renton Dunlop.
Killed in Action: Sidney Marshall.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/5)