The great silence: the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain

The first Remembrance Day was observed in churches across the county.

Wargrave

Armistice Day

The first anniversary was well observed in the parish. There was a celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m. A muffled peal was rung from 10.30 to 10.45 a.m. A service in church was held at 10.45 and ended with the two minutes of silence when 11 o’clock was struck on the tenor bell. A full peal of bells, with firing, was rung in the evening. The services were well attended and ringing was exceptionally good.

Crazies Hill Notes

On November 11th an Intercessory Service was held in memory of those who laid down their lives during the War, and, at the hour of eleven, a silent tribute was paid to the fallen. Those moments of meditation were for many of us, accompanied by grief; but there were also hope and pride and high resolve in the thoughts of all who took part in that Service. Perhaps the uppermost thought was that the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain.

Burghfield

Armistice Day

Rural circumstances do not lend themselves to such striking manifestations as were to be seen in towns and cities during the “great silence”. But there can have been few in the parish who did not act upon the King’s suggestion and desire. Many of us would like this mute solemn commemoration to be repeated annually.


Ascot

On the Anniversary of the Armistice there was a special Celebration of the Holy Communion at 10.40 at which all our parishioners, who gave their lives in the War, were remembered by name.
The service was so timed that, at the moment of silence throughout the Empire, the large congregation was in the act of pleading the Sacrifice of Christ for the Living and the Dead.

In the evening there was a special Service of Thanksgiving , when we prayed for God’s Blessing upon the Ex-Service Men’s Club, the first portion of the Ascot War Memorial, which was declared open by Lady Roberts, and handed over to the Men’s Committee immediately afterwards. During the first week over 150 men joined the club.

Cranbourne

On Armistice Day a large number of our Parishioners came to Church at a few minutes before eleven o’clock and spent the time in silent prayer. After the bell had struck eleven strokes and the two minutes had elapsed, a Celebration of the Holy Communion took place. Instead of a sermon the Vicar read Mr. Arkwright’s no well-known hymn “O Valiant hearts” and before the Church Militant Prayer the names of all our fallen were read at the altar and specially commended to God’s keeping.


Newbury

On Armistice Day, November 11th, we kept the King’s command by holding a Special Service at 10.55, including the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock. There was a large congregation. The sights in the streets of our great cities, when all traffic stopped and men stood with bared heads, must have been most striking. Truly does the whole Empire honour the men who gave their lives in God’s Cause of Righteousness.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1919 (D/P145/28A/31); Ascot and Cranbourne in Winkfield District Magazine, December 1919 (D/P 151/ 28A/11/12); Burghfield parish magazine, December 1919 (D/EX725/4); Newbury parish magazine, December1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Bravery during the last Offensive Operations on the Marne

A soldier with links to Wargrave was honoured by our French allies.

Crazies Hill Notes

We are very pleased to record that Mr. Walter George, Gunner in the Royal Marines Artillery, has been awarded the French decoration, Croix de Guerre, for bravery during the last Offensive Operations on the Marne.

Mr George is well-known at Crazies Hill, where his wife, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Waldron, resides.

Wargrave parish magazine, October 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

Impossible to hold a Public Holiday without some form of public entertainment

Sports took centre stage at the Wargrave peace celebrations.

The Peace Holiday

July 19th, 1919, was proclaimed as the Peace Holiday with very short notice for the necessary arrangements. The first suggestion was that Wargrave Regatta should be held on that day, but after very careful going into the matter the Amusements Sub-Committee reported that it was impossible. The Committee therefore abandoned the attempt and fixed August 9th for the Regatta.

It was, however clearly impossible to hold a Public Holiday without some form of public entertainment, but there was no time to summon a public meeting to discuss what should be done. So it was suggested that there should be a Tea and Sports for everyone and it was ultimately decided that the Recreation Ground would be the most suitable place. It was understood that upon such an occasion all parishioners would like to have an opportunity to contribute, so it was decided that a circular letter should be issued, inviting subscriptions, and that a box for contributions should be set at the gate; but it was necessary to enter upon the expenditure at once, if arrangements were to be made in time, so Sir William Cain and Mr Henry Bond very kindly acted as guarantors.

All arrangements were made by the Committees, which enrolled about seventy-five people, all of whom worked hard for the success of the day.

The Sports Committee was fortunate in having Captain Lindemere as Secretary and the whole of the Cricket Club Committee kindly joined forces with them.

Mr. P. H. Stringer was elected Master of Ceremonies for the Sports with the task of arranging the order of events. This was not an easy matter, because there was no opportunity to make out a time-table beforehand and the events had to be so arranged as to leave the outer course free when the rope was let down at tea time. But all difficulties were overcome and the programme went with a swing from start to finish. All the competitors ran well (including the PIG), no obstacle proved insuperable, and those who did not win the first prizes will have another opportunity at the Victory Flower Show, on Wednesday, September 3rd.

The Wargrave Lads’ Club gave a very good gymnastic display which was most appreciated by everyone.

The weather was not all that could be desired, but it might have been very much worse and the rain in the morning was a warning to everyone to come prepared for heavy showers. At all events there were some bright intervals and some quite long periods without rain.

The Children

There must be a special paragraph for the children, because they have a special place in everyone’s thoughts when there is a Public Holiday on an historic occasion and we want them to remember it in after years.

There is no doubt they had a first rate time on July 19th. The day began with a parade at the Piggott School when every child was presented with a half-crown and a bag of chocolates from Sir William and Lady Cain. These were presented by Miss Cain and every coin was fresh from the mint dated with 1919.

Then there were races at the Recreation Ground, where Major Kenneth Nicholl and others kindly worked off some forty heats to relieve the programme for the afternoon.

The fun began again at half-past one, in spite of the rain, with special treats for children under seven. A Ladies’ Committee had taken entire charge of these infants and provided all sorts of pleasures ending up with a Bran Pie and a present for every one.

Then came tea, and afterwards a victory medal for each child presented by Mr. Bond. And all the afternoon there were the sports to watch, and a wonderfully caparisoned steed to ride, led by an oriental gentleman beautifully attired and a hurdy gurdy which played whenever the Band was at rest, and dancing in the tent to finish the day, altogether a very happy time.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Peace Day Celebrations were duly held at Crazies Hill on July 19th, and many appear to have thoroughly enjoyed the day, in spite of the inclemency of the weather. Over three hundred people, old and young, were entertained to dinner and tea. A Cricket match, Married Versus Single, resulted in a close victory for the Single eleven. Then followed sports, for which there were many entries, and a tug-of-war. In the evening, a firework display brought to a close a memorable occasion.

The congratulations of all are due to the Committee on having organised a most successful day’s proceedings, which will long be remembered by those who took part in the festivities.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

“There has been so much voluntary work done during the war and so much interest taken in it, that it would be a great pity if it were to cease “

It was hoped that women who had worked together for the benefit of soldiers, might continue to help other deserving causes.

Crazies Hill Notes: Working Party

The Working Party which has done such excellent work during the war, was invited to a final meeting at Hennerton, on Friday, June 13th. There was a very large attendance and the weather was glorious. In the early afternoon the gardens were much enjoyed. Tea was at four o’clock. The party assembled afterwards in the drawing room, where Mrs Rhodes presented Souvenir Cards to all the members.

The Vicar in expressing the thanks of all concerned to Miss Rhodes for the very happy meetings which had been arranged, said that he had been asked to say that the members much hoped that Miss Rhodes would re-open the meetings in the autumn, and that they would be very pleased to work under her kindly leadership for any object she might choose.

This promises very well for the future. There has been so much voluntary work done during the war and so much interest taken in it, that it would be a great pity if it were to cease altogether. Many people have acquired new habits of industry and there are many good objects which they could greatly benefit.

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

The terms of peace

A Berkshire vicar guided his flock in thoughts about how the post-war world should look.

Crazies Hill Notes

On the Sunday Evenings during Lent a course of sermons will be preached by the Vicar, Subject:- The Terms of Peace.

i. Between the Kingdoms of the World
ii. Between Capital and Labour
iii. Between Members of a Family
iv. Between God and Man
v. Between a man and his own heart

May this coming season of Lent be a time of rich blessing to us all, drawing us closer to our Lord in prayer and self-denial, so that the Easter Festival may find us prepared to rejoice in His glorious Resurrection.

Wargrave parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

“We hope shortly to turn our attention to the needs of French and Belgian Refugees”

One sewing group continued to help refugees even after the war was over.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Women’s Working Party maintains a good attendance on Wednesdays at 2.30. A final consignment of Hospital work has been received from Lady Munro’s Committee, and we hope shortly to turn our attention to the needs of French and Belgian Refugees.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

“Right in front of the battalion, leading his men in true British style”

This supplement to the roll of honour’s bald list of names gives us more detail about the parish’s fallen heroes.

Supplement to the Wargrave Parish Magazine

ROLL OF HONOUR.
R.I.P.

Almighty and everlasting God, unto whom no prayer is ever made without hope of thy compassion: We remember before thee our brethren who have laid down their lives in the cause wherein their King and country sent them. Grant that they, who have readily obeyed the call of those to whom thou hast given authority on earth, may be accounted worthy among thy faithful servants in the kingdom of heaven; and give both to them and to us forgiveness of all our sins, and an ever increasing understanding of thy will; for his sake who loved us and gave himself to us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Baker, Edward
Private, 7th Wiltshire Regiment, killed in action on the Salonica Front, April 24th, 1917, aged 21. He was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Baker. He was born at Wargrave and educated at the Piggott School. When the war commenced he was working as a grocer’s assistant in Wargrave. He volunteered in 1915 and was sent out in 1916. He was killed by a shell in a night charge.

Barker, Percy William

Private, 7th Batt. Royal Berkshire Regiment/ Killed at Salonica, July 4th 1917, aged 19. He was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. William Barker at Yeldall Lodge. His father was for twenty years a gardener at Yeldall. He was born at Crazies Hill and educated at the village school. On leaving school he began work as a gardener. He was one of the most helpful lads on the Boys’ Committee of the Boys’ Club. He volunteered May 11th, 1916. On July 4th, 1917, he was hit by a piece of shell from enemy aircraft while bathing and died within an hour. The Chaplain wrote to his parents “Your loss is shared by the whole battalion”.

Bennett, William
Sergeant, 8th Royal Berkshire Regiment, killed in France, Dec 3rd, 1916 aged 25. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bennett, of Wargrave, and when the war broke out he was working on a farm. He volunteered at once. He was killed instantly by a shell. One of his officers wrote: “Sergt. Bennett was the best N.C.O. we had in the company. Fearless, hardworking, willing, he was a constant inspiration to his platoon. His splendid record must inevitably have led to his decoration. We have lost an invaluable N.C.O. and a fine man. He was buried with all possible reverence about half a mile from Eaucourt L’Abbaye”.

Boyton, Bertram
Lieut., 6th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds in Palestine, Nov. 9th, 1917, aged 36. He was educated at King’s College, London, and was a Surveyor and Architect by profession. He was a Fellow of the Surveyors Institute and had won Gold and Silver Medals of the Society of Auctioneers by examination. He was married to Elsie, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Morris, at the Parish Church, Wargrave, Sept. 7th 1905, He was a member of the London Rowing Club and the Henley Sailing Club, and keenly interested in all athletics. He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company in April 1915. He was given a commission in the 6th London R.F.A., in July 1915 and was promoted Lieutenant soon after. He went to France with his battery in June 1916, and to Salonica in the following November. He was sent to Egypt and Palestine in June 1917, and was wounded while taking his battery into action in an advance on November 6th. He died at El Arish on November 9th, 1917.

Buckett, Ernest Frederick

Private in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, killed in action Sept. 20th, 1917, in France, aged 23. The dearly loved husband of Dorothy May Buckett, married May 31st, 1917. He was educated at the Henley National School, and before the War was a slaughterman with Messrs. O’Hara & Lee, butchers, Henley and Wargrave. In 1910 he joined the Berkshire Yeomanry (Territorial Force), and was called up on August 4th, 1914, at the commencement of the war. He immediately volunteered for foreign service. He went to France in the spring of 1915. When he had completed his five years service, since the date of his enlistment, he volunteered for another year, but received his discharge as a time-expired man in January 1916. In July, 1916, he was called up under the new regulations and sent immediately to France where he remained, except for leave on the occasion of his marriage, until he fell in action, September 20th, 1917. (more…)

A very brave young soldier

Three young Wargrave men, all of whom had joined up as teeneagers, were reported killed.

Roll of Honour
R.I.P.

Almighty and everlasting God, unto whom no prayer is ever made without hope of they compassion: We remember before thee our brethen who have laid down their lives in the cause wherein their King and country sent them. Grant that they, who have readily obeyed the call of those to whom thou hast given authority on earth, may be accounted worthy of a place among thy faithful servants in the kingdom of heaven; and give both to them and to us forgiveness for all our sins and an ever increasing understanding of thy will; for his sake who loved us and gave himself for us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The following names must be added to the Roll of those who have laid down their lives for their Country in the great war:-

Haycock, Burton. Private 1st Somerset Light Infantry, killed in action at Broadrunde Ridge, October 4th, 1917, aged 19. The eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Haycock of Cockpole Green, Crazies Hill. Reported missing November,1917. In August, 1918, a report was received that he was killed on October 4th, 1917. He joined up in February, 1917 and after 7 months training was sent to France, shortly after his 19th birthday. He had been in France only five weeks when he was killed. His Captain wrote “Your son was a very brave young soldier.”

Herbert, Charles. Rifleman 2/9 County of London Queen Victoria Rifles, killed in action September 26th, 1917, aged 21. He was reported missing until September 29th, 1918, when the news of his death was officially confirmed. He was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. John Herbert of Wargrave. He was educated at the Piggott School. At the outbreak of war he was a footman in service in London, where he found a very kind home and was much appreciated. He volunteered on May 28th, 1915, and was sent to France in February, 1917.

Williams, Jack. Private 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, killed in action September 27th, 1918 aged 18. He was educated at the Piggott School and was called up in November, 1917. He was sent to France in June, 1918. He was killed instantly. His Captain wrote:- “His death was a great loss as he was a fine soldier”.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

This splendid cause

Crazies Hill people continued to do what they could to help wounded and disabled soldiers.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Women’s War Working Party has again resumed its activities, under the direction of Miss Rhodes, and a band of loyal workers meets every Wednesday afternoon, to help forward this splendid cause.

A most successful Whist Drive was held on Wednesday, Nov 20th, the proceeds being devoted to the aid of S. Dunstan’s Hostel for blinded soldiers and sailors.

The amount raised, £16, 10s, 0d. was due in large measure to the energetic labours of Mr. H. Woodward, who secured donations to the amount of £5, 18s, 9d. The Sale of tickets and cash taken at the door amounted to £5, 8s, 9d. and a prize draw realized £5, 2s, 6d. The prizes were kindly given by several friends, so that expenses were nil.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

Fireworks and thanksgiving to God for the victory of the Allied Cause

Crazies Hill Notes

Thanksgiving services were held on the day of the signing of the Armistice, and on the following Sunday, when a large congregation gathered in the Mission Hall to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the victory of the Allied Cause.

On Saturday, Nov 16th, the scholars of Crazies Hill School assembled in the Hall for Tea by the kindness of Mr. Bond, who generously provided the refreshments. Afterwards Mr. Chenery showed us a varied selection of interesting and amusing lantern slides, which were greatly appreciated by all.

We desire to record our grateful thanks to all who kindly helped to provide a most enjoyable evening for the children.

Many availed themselves of the opportunity offered by Sir William Cain to witness an excellent firework display at the Manor.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

“After four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed”

The Armistice was greeted with joy and celebration in Wargrave.

Victory

The news that the Armistice was signed reached the Wargrave Post Office at almost 11.20 a.m. on Monday November 11th. The Foreman of the Belfry was ready to summon his Ringers and in a very few minutes the bells of the Parish Church rang joyously. The houses were soon bedecked with flags, the village street became full of people and the wounded soldiers marched in procession with noise and merriment. At noon there was a short service for the few who could assemble, but at 7 p.m. there was a general Service of Thanksgiving to Almighty God and the Parish Church was crowded.

The Authorities have permission for the arrangement of public festivities with bonfires and fireworks to be held within one week only of Armistice day. It seemed right to do all that could be done to impress the event upon the memories of the children, and it was felt that after four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed. But there was no time to call a public meeting to discuss the matter because the only chance of securing provisions was to make the purchases at once. By the hospitality and spirit of Sir William Cain and Mr. Bond the general entertainment of the whole village was happily arranged.

Mr. and Mrs. Bond entertained all the young people under the ages of 18 to tea. The infants met in their own school and were afterwards taken to join the older children in the Piggott School for a magic lantern entertainment. The Boys’ Club, the Girls’ Club, and the other young people had their tea in the District School. The Crazies Hill Children were well provided for in the Mission Hall and Mr. Chenery showed them a good exhibition of lantern slides.

There were many kind helpers and a good many visitors to the tea parties. At each place of entertainment there were a few words spoken to help impress the memories of the young people with the greatness of the occasion and our cause for thankfulness. Mr. Bond, Mr. Huggins, and the Vicar all said something at one place or another, and everywhere there were loud cheers for the host and hostess. It was delightful to see the enjoyment of the children.

The Fireworks were announced to commence at 8 p.m., at the Manor, and the entertainment was for all parishioners. It was a most magnificent display with many set pieces, a host of rockets and a bonfire at the last. The show was arranged at the top of the park just below the garden terrace. A great crowd of people thronged the lawns and overflowed to the grass beyond.

At the conclusion of the fireworks, when the people were gathered to the bonfire, the Vicar, supported by Mr. Bond, expressed the thanks of the parish to Sir William and Lady Cain. Everyone understood that when both time and supply were so limited there could have been no entertainment at all unless someone had acted at once. Sir William Cain has always shown that he has the welfare of Wargrave in mind and on this occasion he acted immediately, taking the whole burden upon himself and supplying an entertainment which no combined effort could have surpassed. The cheers of the guests must have done something to show how much the hospitality was appreciated, and it would indeed be difficult to think of anything that could have been devised that would have been more calculated to impress the memories of the young people with the glorious event of this happy victory than the entertainment which they enjoyed at Wargrave.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

The interest and attraction of the work

A Wargrave curate who had volunteered as an army chaplain was enjoying his new life.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Rev. W.G. Smylie is now working in a Church Army Hut for the benefit of the soldiers in the Inkerman Barracks, Woking, Surrey. He writes very happily about the interest and attraction of the work. He may soon go to France.

Mr Smylie is much missed by his friends at Crazies Hill and the best wishes of all will follow him in his new work.

Wargrave parish magazine, October 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

Taking up work with the Church Army

A Berkshire curate left to work with the Church Army behind the lines.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Rev. W. G. Smylie who has been the Vicar’s loyal colleague for three and a half years is leaving on September 2nd. He proposes after a short rest, to take up work with the Church Army. The good wishes of all will accompany him in his new duties.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

Supported and comforted by our prayers in the hour of trial

There was news of men from two Berkshire villages.

Hare Hatch Notes

The deepest sympathy is felt for Mrs Woodruff whose son Charles Herbert was killed between April 22nd, and 27th while serving in France. Previous to joining the army he was employed at The Lodge, he was greatly respected. In addition to this loss, we hear that her son George is a prisoner of war in Germany. We trust that she will be supported and comforted by our prayers in the hour of trial.

Crazies Hill Notes

We are very glad to see Willie Hatch home again; also Charles Haycock and Harry Whetton have been home on leave. James Dow has also been home this month but only for a very short leave.’

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

Easter eggs for wounded soldiers

Hundreds of eggs were donated as a special Easter gift for wounded soldiers. (They were real eggs not chocolate ones!)

Crazies Hill Notes

Mrs. Woodward once again made a collection of Easter eggs for wounded soldiers and is to be congratulated upon the success of her efforts. In money no less than £4 1s. was offered for this worthy object and 109 eggs were given in addition. 331 eggs were purchased with the money so generously given and a total of 440 eggs were distributed as follows: –

Wargrave Hospital 140
No. 1 War Hospital at Reading 100
Henley Hospital 100
3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth 100

It is to the last named Hospital that the work done by the Crazies Hill Working Party is sent.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)