“Our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home”

Winkfield remembered its soldiers at Easter.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

In writing briefly to wish you all a happy Easter, there is I feel sure but little need to ask you not to forget our Soldiers and Sailors in prayer on Easter Day. I am sending men from our parish an Easter card with the assurance that we at the old Church at home shall be praying for them at our Easter Communion, and with the following message:

“We send you this card to remind you of the Easter flowers at Home, of our love and prayers for you in your great sacrifice for us, of our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home. Will you join with us on Easter Day in thanking God that He sent His Son to suffer and die that He might open the Gate of Life to all who trust in His Great Sacrifice for them, and that He lives to be our ever present Friend.”

The celebration of the Holy Communion on Easter Day will be at 6, 8.15, and midday at the parish Church, and at 7 at S. Mary the Less, and the names of our men at the Front will be mentioned at all these Services.
Your sincere Friend and Vicar,
H. M. MAYNARD

With sorrow we have to record this month another addition to our Roll of Honour, for Private Edward Holloway of the 6th Royal Berks Regiment died of wounds received in action on February 23rd. A memorial service was held at S. Mary the Less on March 4th, when there was a large congregation, full of sympathy for his young widow and his bereaved parents who have three other sons now at the Front.

Private Edward Fancourt has joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and Private Cecil Brant the Cyclist Corps of the 11th Berks Yeomanry.

Private Henry Clayton, who recently joined the 2nd Hants Regiment, has now gone out to the Front.

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

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Back in the trenches again

More and more Winkfield men had headed to the Front.

Gunner Daniel Taylor has been wounded in the foot, and Pte. Edward Holloway in the shoulder; both are doing well.

We regret to learn that Pte. A.E. Burt, who was convalescent from a serious illness, has had a relapse, and is again in hospital. We sincerely hope that his relatives will soon have better news of him.

Pte. Edward Still having served his time in the Coldstream Guards, has rejoined the Colours and is now with the 14th Devons at the Front.

Pte. George Holloway has also just gone to the front.

Pte. Cecil Jenden recently wrote to the vicar that he has quite recovered from his wound, and is now back in the trenches again.

We were very glad to see Pte. George Benstead again in his place in the Choir for two Sundays; though lame from his wound he is able to get about, and we trust will soon be completely recovered.

We congratulate Lance-Corporal Edward Thurmer and Lance Corporal Brant on gaining their stripe.

The following men from our Parish have just joined His Majesty’s Forces:-

Pte. Albert Brown, A.S.C. Mechanical Transport.
Pte. George Clayton, 3rd Royal Berks.
Pte. A. E. Gardner, 4th Northants.
Pte. George Franklin, 10th Sussex Regt.
Pte. William Harwood, 3rd Royal Berks.
Pte. James Summer, R.F.A.

We hope this Christmas to be able again to send small Christmas presents to the men from our parish now serving, but as their numbers this year are so great we shall need more generous help than ever to enable us to send even a very small token of remembrance to each. Mrs. Maynard is arranging to have a small rummage sale in the Parish Room at the end of November to help raise some of the necessary funds, and she would welcome any articles for this sale.

She would also be glad to receive as soon as possible from their relatives the full addresses of any men serving in Mesopotamia or Egypt, for their gifts ought to be dispatched by the middle of November.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1916 (D/P151/28A/11)

“It is appalling these awful losses, goodness knows where we find all the officers”

Two of Ralph Glyn’s fellow officers wrote to him with their opinions on the war.

June 20th [1916]
Dear Glyn

Very many thanks for your letter. I was very pleased to hear from you. Georgevitch has evidently done something to get himself into very hot water, I believe the question of decorations has something to do with it, anyhow he is absolutely shelved. You will have heard that a Colonel Nikolauivitch has been appointed Military Attache in London; it is just as well no one proposed Georgevitch for there, as he would have been refused. When they were discussing the question of who to send, they privately asked me & I suggested G, but was at once told that his name would not be entertained for a moment. I fear that there is nothing more that can be done for him. He got into trouble once before I understand over his treatment of his soldiers, & was for this reason only not with a battery in the Field Army.

It is appalling these awful losses, goodness knows where we find all the officers. Still one hopes on the whole the thing is going well though slowly.

I am glad to say I am better, though I have had a bit of [fun?] lately, everyone is having it too. [Hemlis?] & his division have left as you will have heard, most of them I believe going to help at Malta & elsewhere. The country is [illegible] fun from Typhus now, & there is a general air of cleanliness & sanitation about. All his troops practically are inoculated against Cholera.

My wife has been in the North all this time working up relief funds for Serbia, & has collected quite a lot of money; so anyhow you would not have had a chance of meeting her, thanks very much all the same. Things are very quiet here, but I am busy enough with wires & things the WO want. We were visited by 3 Austro-German aeroplanes the other day who dropped some bombs & made a lot of noise, but did not do much damage. We bagged one on its way back.
Wishing you the best of luck.

Yrs sincerely
Arthur Harrison

(more…)

News from Bucharest “is invariably all skittles”

Basil Thorold Buckley, the Director of Military Intelligence, told Ralph Glyn that he was suspicious of the veracity of “secret” information passed to the British by the Romanians. Buckley was a cousin of Berkshire peer Lord Radnor.

General Staff
Director of Military Intelligence
War Office
Whitehall
SW

17 Apr. 1916

My dear Glyn

Your request for maps is receiving attention, but I think you have in one case asked for something that does not exist.

We cannot understand the craze which exists (& has always existed) in the MEF Intelligence for news from Bucharest. It is invariably all skittles & we never can rely on it.
Here is a very fair sample of it. I have a similar thing from W Clayton on 24th March by bag to show what rotten stuff. Comes from the Romanian GS [General Staff]. The Germans know jolly well that the RGS pass it on to us. So they feed the RGS up with all sorts of lies.

Critical times in the House of Commons this week. I think LG [Lloyd George] may chuck his place in the Cabinet if the PM does not show he is strong enough to bring in Conscription. Old Leverson paid me a visit yesterday on return from Egypt. I was in an awful fright he would as to be re-employed in MI2C.

Best of luck.
Yrs ever
B T Buckley

(more…)

County Surveyor urgently required overseas

The civil engineering skills of the Berkshire County Surveyor would be a valuable asset to the Army. The County Council was willing to let him go if necessary.

COUNTY SURVEYOR
The Staff Purposes Sub-committee have considered an application made by the County Surveyor for leave of absence to take up service under the Government during the war. This application was originally made in May last to the Highways and Bridges Committee for leave to volunteer, and that Committee reported as follows:

… in their opinion no obstacle should be put in the way of the County Surveyor entering Government service for the period of the war, but having regard to the importance of his present duties from the national point of view they recommend that consent should only be given provided his service and rank under the Government be equally important to those of his present position….

On 5 June the County Surveyor reported to the Highways Committee as to the proposed organisation of his Department in case he should be given Government service, which report was adopted by them and is as follows:

C A Veal, who was temporarily engaged for the period of the war at £1 per week, has left, and T Clayton, the temporary Clerk of Works, will terminate his appointment about 1 September.

Mr Clayton’s service I suggest might be retained as he will be invaluable as a draughtsman, and in connection with the repairs to Bridges and Police Stations.

Subject to the above it is not suggested at present to engage any additional assistance, and although supervision cannot, of course, be so efficient during my absence I am of opinion that the work of the roadmen and roller gangs can, as at present, be superintended by the Sub-Surveyors, who are willing to put in any extra time or work which may be necessary for the purpose.…

On 26 July the following minute from the War Office, addressed to the Clerk, was received:

War Office
July 26th, 1815
To the Clerk of the Berks County Council

The services of Mr J F Hawkins are urgently required for employment overseas on the staff of Brigadier General Gibbon, who has especially asked for him. Mr Hawkins would be employed as Field Engineer with the rank of temporary Captain, RE. It is hoped that his services can be spared, and that he may be released at once as the matter is urgent.

G A Travers, Major AAG, RE

Your Sub-committee decided by a majority (the Chairman dissenting) … that leave of absence be given to the County Surveyor … and that, from the date the County Surveyor was Gazetted, E D Aldridge be engaged as a clerk at a salary of 10/- per week…

Arthur E Preston, Chairman
27 July 1915

Report of Staff Purposes Sub-committee to BCC Finance Committee, (C/CL1/1/18)

Special services for soldiers in Winkfield

The Royal West Kent Regiment had been stationed in Winkfield for a couple of months.

The 4th West Kent Regiment have now left the neighbourhood, and the four Companies that during the last nine Sundays have been attending our Church at 9.40 for Church parade, were addressed by their Chaplain on their last Sunday here, January 24th.

We were very glad to hold these special services for the men, whose behaviour was always excellent, and our thanks are due to the Sidesmen and other gentlemen who helped in the necessary arrangements. Special thanks must be given to Mr. Clayton who at a good deal of inconvenience bicycled over very early to take the organ, to Mr. Wetherall who undertook the work of organ blower at every service, and to Mr. Head who regularly at the close of each service collected and put away the special hymn books used by the men.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/2)