An excellent flier

Four men with connections to Sulhamstead had different experiences in the war.

The flying of 2nd Flight Lieut. Gerald Merton is so excellent that he has been given a permanent appointment as Instructor at the Depot.

Mr George Leake has been given a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd, 4th City of London Royal Fusiliers.

Lieutenant A. Grimshaw is now out of danger. The authorities felt that he must be moved from the noise of London, so he has been transferred to Sutton Place, the residence of Lord Northcliffe, who has placed it as a hospital at the disposal of the Government.

Lieutenant W. Edwards, of the Black Watch, killed in France in the Expeditionary Forces. Lieut. Edwards was formerly a pupil at the Rectory.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1915 (D/EX725/3)

Our heroes pay the great price: tragedies of this ghastly war

The death of George Shearwood, a young man originally from Reading, caused great distress at Broad Street Congregational Church. He was one of three heroic figures commemorated in the church magazine in June 1915.

The many friends of Mr George Shearwood were grieved to hear a few days ago that he had been killed in action in the Dardanelles. George Shearwood was the son of Mrs Shearwood of 323 London Road, one of our oldest church members. He emigrated to New Zealand some five years ago, but at the outbreak of the war he was in England on holiday. Like so many others he had no liking for war, but when the New Zealand Contingent was being raised, he felt it to be his duty to join his compatriots, and so he bravely made the great surrender. He was a splendid fellow in every sense of the word, and greatly esteemed by all who knew him. His death is one of the many tragedies of this ghastly war. Whilst we rejoice in the magnificent courage and devotion of our friend, we sincerely sympathize with his bereaved mother and the members of his family in the irreparable loss they have sustained. We pray that they may derive comfort from the thought that their loved one nobly gave his life for his King and Country.

We desire to express our deep sympathy, too, with Mrs Davis of 18 Swansea Road (a much esteemed member of our Women’s Social Hour) and her husband in the sad loss they have sustained in the death of their son. Thomas Davis was a very promising young fellow, with a bright career opening out before him. After serving a successful apprenticeship with Messrs Wellsteed he passed on to a large firm in Hackney; and there, when the war broke out, he joined the 4th Battalion City of London Royal Fusiliers. In due course he went out with his regiment to the front. He spent his 21st birthday in the trenches, and now, somewhere in France, he has paid the great price. He was formerly a member of our PSA Brotherhood, and an active worker in connection with the YMCA.

Another of our heroes, in a different way, was our late Brother George William Winterbourne. Brother Winterbourne did not join the army. For one thing he was too old. But he did his bit in that direction by helping to guard the Water Tanks at Tilehurst.

It was with sincere regret that the members of the Institute heard of the death of Mr George Shearwood while on active service in the East.

Previous to leaving Reading he was associated with the Institute for several years and won the esteem of all who knew him by his consistent Christian character and true manliness.

In the Institute there is a roll of honour giving the names of past and present members serving in His Majesty’s Army. Mr Shearwood is the first of these to give his life for his country, and while we mourn our loss we are cheered by the thought that he died doing his duty as a soldier of the King, and that he has now entered a higher service of the King of Kings.

Broad Street Church magazine, June 1915 (D/N11/12/1/14)