A memorial commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it

The great and good of Berkshire gathered to consider a county war memorial. They decided ordinary soldiers should be involved too.

30 July 1919
Meeting of the War Memorial General Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reading, on the 30th July 1919.

Present
J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Chairman
Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, Vice Chairman
Mrs L Hayward, Mayoress of Reading
Col T J Bowles
Louis H Beard esquire, Constable of Hungerford
Councillor W E Collier
F J K Cross esquire
W Dockar Drysdale esquire
Ernest Gardner esquire, MP
Rev F J C Gillmor
S H Hodgkin esquire
Councillor W R Howell
Dr J B Blay
Councillor Edward Jackson
A J Mackay esquire
Councillor Frank E Moring
H C Mylne esquire, Mayor of Wokingham
Councillor Thomas Norris
W Howard Palmer esquire
Major M L Porter
Councillor L E Quelch
F A Sargeant esquire, Deputy Mayor of Reading
Councillor Wm Sparks
Edmund Stevens esquire
E M Sturges esquire
G A Watson esquire
Col George S Willes

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted the resolutions adopted at the Public Meeting held on the 22nd July appointing and defining the duties of the Committee.

This being the first meeting of the Committee since their appointment the Committee proceeded to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman, when J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, was elected to be Chairman and Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, was elected to be Vice Chairman.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council read apologies for absence from the following:

Lady Wantage
Col F W Foley
Brigadier General J E Wigan
Alderman F A Cox
Lt Col Leslie Wilson MP
P E Crutchley esquire
W Crosland esquire
Col J C Carter
W Carter esquire, Mayor of Windsor
Sir Geo Young, bart
Major C W Darby-Griffith
C Adrian Hawker esquire
Rev W M Rawlinson
F A Simonds esquire
Mrs G S Abram

The Committee then considered the appointment of a secretary and
Resolved: That, if he be willing to act, Mr E W J Arman, late Postmaster of Reading, be appointed Honorary Secretary to the Committee.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted a letter, dated 28th July, which the Town Clerk of Reading had received from Col F W Foley, expressing the opinion that more members of the rank and file of the many battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment should serve on the Committee, and, upon consideration thereof,

It was Resolved: That three nominations of NCOs or men for representation on the Committee be invited from each of the following:

1. The regular battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
2. The Berkshire Territorial Force Association.
3. The Comrades of the Great War.
4. The Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.


[An Executive Committee was appointed]

It was decided that it be a recommendation to the Executive Committee to frame their scheme and inscription as commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it.

It was decided that the suggestions received from Lady Wantage, Brigadier General J T Wigan, Alderman Cox, Lt Col Walsh and others as to the form which the memorial should take be referred to the Executive Commmittee for their consideration.

The question of the desirability of limiting the amount of individual subscriptions was considered but no resolution upon the subject was passed.

Berkshire War Memorial Committee minutes (R/D134/3/1)

Cheers for the allies and the old boys fighting

Schools celebrated the end of the war.

Riseley Common
Nov. 11th

Acting on the assumption that peace has been declared (or rather an armistice arranged), as we could hear sirens sounding and church bells ringing, we have sung the National Anthem, “Praise God” etc.

St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor
November 11th 1918

Armistice day.

Stoke Road School, Slough
November 11th 1918

School was re-opened this morning – 63% (194/308). The M.O.H ordered the school to be closed until November 18th.

During the morning I received the news that Germany had accepted the Allies’ terms and signed the Armistice.

The children formed a hollow square in front of the flag-staff, to which a new rope had been attached in readiness. The flag was hoisted by the youngest boy in the school to the singing of the National Anthem. The flag was then saluted and cheers were given for the allies and the old boys fighting. Edw. J Baldwin “shinned” up the pole to attach the rope. John Cross hoisted the Flag.

Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School
11th November 1918

Beginning of Armistice. On the occasion of this I addressed the children, & hoisted the Union Jack. The National Anthem was then sung.

Stanford Dingley National School
November 11th 1918

Today, news was received that the Armistice was signed at 11 o’clock AM between Germany and the allies, this concluding the Great European War. After signing several National Songs concluding with the National Anthem. The children dispersed at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1918

There were 107 children present this morning. The news of the signing of the armistice made a difference to the attendance this afternoon. 73 children present.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book
11th November 1918

News of Germany’s signing of the armistice reached the school at 11.10 am. At midday the whole school assembled and cheered the news after singing “God Save the King”. A half holiday was given by the mayor in honour of the great event.

Abingdon Girls CE School
1918, 11th-15th November

Children were dismissed at 3 o’clock on Armistice Day at the Vicar’s request.

Coleshill CE School
15th November 1918

On Monday (11th) when news of ‘The Armistice’ arrived the children sang ‘The King’ and saluted the ‘flag’ with cheers for our Army and Navy; they were then sent home.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants
11th November 1918

School closed in the afternoon to celebrate the signing of the Armistice.

Littlewick CE School
November 11th 1918

At 11.30 AM we heard bells and hooters going and knew that the Armistice was signed and that the war was over. The children cheered and sang “God Save the King” and Rule Britannia, and put up the Union Jack.

Buscot CE School
Nov. 11th

News that the armistice had been signed reached Buscot in the afternoon. The Flag was hoisted, cheers given, National Anthem sung and the hymn “Now thank we all our God”. The children were dismissed at 3 pm, and a holiday given next day Nov 12th.

Aston Tirrold
11th November 1918

We re-opened this morning after a closure of nearly a fortnight on account of influenza. Only 42 children are present out on 75 on roll. Just before noon the rector brought in the news that the Armistice had been signed. Secular work was suspended, and we humble fell upon our knees and heartedly thanked God for His great mercy vouchsafed unto us. A holiday to commemorate the Victory was given in the afternoon.

Braywick
11th November 1918

School opened again this morning [following closure for influenza] with a very fair amount of scholars and after consulting the doctor it was decided to mark register and proceed with usual work which was done accordingly. Peace however was declared in the morning and great excitement presided, many scholars remaining at home in the afternoon. School was resumed on Tuesday, the national anthem was sung, patriotic songs, flag waving etc and children kept quite excited.

Great Coxwell
11th November 1918

War Ended. Holiday in the afternoon to celebrate the great event.

Milton
Nov 11th

Re-opened again this morning [after closure for influenza] with 28 children, several still being ill. Heard in the dinner hour of the Armistice being signed, & gave the children the half holiday.

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor (88/SCH/23/7, p. 167); Stoke Road School, Slough (89/SCH/28/1); Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School (88/SCH/32/3); Stanford Dingley National School (C/EL21); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3); Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4);Littlewick C.E. School(85/SCH/5/2, p. 197); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Aston Tirrold CE School log book (C/EL105/1, p. 169); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 208); Milton CE School (D/P85/25/25); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)Great Coxwell CE School (C/EL81/2, p. 83); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School (90/SCH/5/3); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2)

Home from “the front”

A teacher’s brother was home on leave.

13th September, 1918

Miss Cross was absent today owing to her brother coming home from “the front”.

Arborfield, Newland and Barkham CE Junior School log book (84/SCH/1/2)

Missing, wounded and dead

There was bad news for several Reading families.

Notes from the Vicar

Intercession list.

Missing: Leman John Cross (Berks Yeomanry);

Wounded: Private Charles Edward Pearce, Royal Berks Regt.;

Departed: Private Forrest (one of our old C.L.B. boys); Edwin Wilson. R.I.P.

Reading St Giles parish magazines, January 1918 (D/P96/28A/34)

In these anxious days we need a mental tonic

Morale as well as money was raised by fundraising entertainments.

ENTERTAINMENTS.

Two most successful and thoroughly enjoyable concerts, organised by Mrs. Cross, were given in the Sunday School on November 22nd and 23rd. We offer our warmest thanks to Mrs. Cross and to the ladies and gentlemen from Fern Hill who so kindly entertained us. In these anxious days we need a mental tonic, and to have our thoughts diverted sometimes from the food problem and other war difficulties. It must be gratifying to our entertainers to have caused so much pleasure; no wonder enthusiastic cheers were given for them at the close of each performance. Again, we say, many many thanks. The proceeds, amounting to about £17 (after deducting expenses) will be given as to £10 to the Cranbourne branch of the Voluntary War Workers Association, and the balance will be given to the Fund for providing the Christmas presents [for soldiers and sailors].

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/12)

“Recovering, but only slowly”

Cranbourne women continued to work hard at home, while some of their men paid the ultimate price.

Our Working Party, in connection with the Voluntary Work Organizations held its last meeting on June 28th. It will not resume work again until the middle of September. The work which has been done was sent as it was completed to the Sub-Depot at South Hill Park. It will interest the workers and those friends who have so kindly helped, by their donations and subscriptions to provide the necessary funds, to know what has been done since the working party first met on January 26th.

The following articles have been made: 126 bed jackets, 45 pairs of mittens, 26 mufflers, 124 pairs socks, 3 pyjamas, 10 pants, 34 pairs of operation stockings, 2 shirts, 12 helmets, 30 sun shields. Mrs. Odo Cross also kindly sent a parcel of 9 pairs of operation stockings.

We record, with much regret, the Pte. William George., R.A., was killed in action on June 29th. A Memorial Service was held in Church on the 23rd July.

Corporal A. R. Hatcher is recovering from his wounds, but only slowly. He has been removed to a hospital in the north of England.

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

Three men go to war

Just three more men from Reading St Mary were reported joining up this month.

The Vicars Notes
S. Mary’s
Roll of Honour

William George Anderson, Harry Evelyn Cross, Robert White.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, April 1916 (D/P98/28A/13)

Setting up a War Agricultural Committee for the county

Food shortages were a real concern during the war, as German attacks on neutral ships impeded imports. At its meeting on 16 October 1915, Berkshire County Council decided to set up a War Agricultural Committee.

FOOD PRODUCTION
WAR AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE
A letter, dated 18 September, 1915, addressed to the Chairman of the Council by the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, forwarding a Scheme for the appointment of a War Agricultural Committee and district sub-committees, was considered.
The principal functions of the Committees will be to organise the supply of agricultural labour; to consider the maintenance of, and if possible, the increase in, the production of food; to obtain information as to the requirements and supply available of agricultural implements and fertilisers and feeding stuffs; and generally to assist and advise landowners, farmers, and labourers.

Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Lord G M Pratt, and resolved: That the following, being representative of landowners, farmers, agricultural societies and institutions, labour and other persons, be appointed a War Agricultural Committee for the County of Berks in accordance with, and for the purposes enumerated in, the circular dated 18 September, 1915, from the Board of Agriculture; with power to add to their number:

F Anstey
F Bate
J H Benyon
W Brewer
William Cordell
F J K Cross
R Crow
P E Crutchley
Miss G Elliot
C A Ferard
J A Fereman
Aaron Frogley
E Gardner, MP
H Goddard
B C Heath
W J Henman
T Latham
A W Lawrence
Local Manager, Labour Exchange
Capt. F C Loder Symonds
Job Lousley
W A Mount, MP
W Pennington
Miss G Pott
A Robinson
T Rose
Frank Saunders
W Anker Simmons
T Skurray
G F Slade
F A Smith
Harry Wilson Sowdon
E M Sturges
T S Tayler
Rev F W Thoyts
W Weall
H W Weaving
H G Willink

Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Mr Bate, and resolved:

That the Clerk of the Council be nominated, and authorised to act, as Clerk to the War Agricultural Committee for the County of Berks; and that such other members of the administrative staff of the Council, as may be available and required, be allowed to assist such Committee.

That the War Agricultural Committee be allowed the use of County Buildings and equipment free of cost.

Provided that the above authorisations are given on condition that the arrangements do not interfere with the ordinary work of the Council or their Committees.

BCC minutes (C/CL/C1/1/18)

Pray for calmness, endurance, unity and resolution

The vicar of Reading St Giles invited parishioners to pray for our Russian allies. The Russians had had a bad summer’s fighting, and were in full retreat on Poland and Lithuania.

The Vicar’s Notes

Intercessions

For God’s blessing on our dedication festival.
For success to be granted to our Russian allies.
For calmness, endurance, unity and resolution amongst our own people.

Roll of Honour

George Brindley Aufrere Baker. Robert Thatcher Beckensdale. James Melmouth Du Buisson. David Butler. John Markham Carter. Charles Henry Coventry. Harold Frank Cross. Roy Cuddeford. Frank Cuddeford. William Warren Goddard. Hugh Hart. Percival Herbert Higgins. Reginald Edward Kemble. Albert George Charles Payne. Alan Nelson Philbrick. Charles Frederick Louis Rouff. Frederick Henry Griffith Russell. George Henry Victor Saunders. Alfred Ernest Smith. Rupert Stephens. Godfrey Stevens. Arthur Wooliams.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P98/28A/13)
September 1915

Entertaining soldiers

More Territorial soldiers from Kent had been in east Berkshire over the winter and were now moving on.

Ascot
TERRITORIALS.
A large number of our Territorials, to our regret, left Ascot for Chatham on January 26th. They bought with them unaccustomed brightness to our ordinarily quiet Ascot. They are a fine, well-conducted body of men, and all Ascot wishes them GOD speed. The Army Service Corps still remains with us for a time. We understand that a contingent of Lord Kitchener’s Army may be shortly expected here.

Cranbourne
The West Kent Territorials left us on Tuesday, January 26th . They introduced into what has been described as “this dull village of Winkfield” a certain liveliness. We do not imagine we are able to compete with the “resources of civilisation” of a town like Maidstone; still we all tried to do our best to mitigate the alleged dullness.

The Sunday School was converted into a Recreation and refreshment room, water was laid on, gas stoves introduced, games and newspapers provided, concerts arranged, and the “inner man” was generously catered for. Mrs. Creasy and Mrs Maywell-Williams devoted a large part of each day to the commissariat. Their labours were much appreciated, at any rate by the soldiers, who very often expressed their thanks. Other ladies from this Parish and from Winkfield and Ascot were in attendance from 4 to 7 p.m. each evening, and the members of the C.E.M.S. and their lady friends took their place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and, helped by the Scouts, washed up and generally tidied the room after the soldiers had left. The cost of preparing the room and the expenses connected with the lighting, heating and cleaning the room amounts to about £20, towards which the following subscriptions have been received: Mr. Asher, £5; Mrs. Barron, £2 1s. 0d; Col. Cross (for newspapers), 10-; Mrs. Foster, £1; the Misses Ravenhill, £1.

The Cranbourne Reading Room in North Street was also thrown open to the Soldiers without charge, and there they met with a hearty welcome. Several ladies in the neighbourhood also provided concerts and entertainments.

We are grateful to those Soldiers who so kindly helped us in the Choir at the Parade Service and at Matins and Evensong.

Ascot and Cranbourne sections of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/2)

The joy of giving, the sorrow of loss

Cranbourne churchgoers mourned the loss of a brilliant officer, while even the children were helping to support soldiers from the area.

All our heartfelt sympathy has been given to Mrs. Phillips and Miss Phillips in their great loss. Major Edward Hawlin Phillips D .S. O., R. F. A., was an officer with a brilliant record, and his friends looked forward to a still more brilliant future for him, but in the Providence of God he has been taken. R. I. P.

SUNDAY SCHOOL.
The Sunday School has been turned into a Reading and Recreation Room for the Soldiers. Tea and refreshments are to be provided each evening. Sixteen ladies are to be in charge from 4. p. m. to 7 p. m. and the members of the C.E.M.S., assisted by the Scouts, from 7. p. m. to 9 p. m. many kind gifts of games, tables, papers &c., &c., have been received from Mr. Asher, Colonel Cross, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Edwards, the Misses Ravenhill, Mrs Barron, Mrs Goldfinch.

* * *
We are trying to do what we can to give a little pleasure to our Soldiers at the Front. The Sunday School children wish to experience the joy of giving, they have undertaken to look after two men in the 28th Battery R. F. A., 9th Brigade, 7th Meerut War Division.

The children being their pennies and half-pennies each Sunday, and in this way we are able to keep our two soldiers supplied with little comforts every week. We have already sent two parcels, and we hope soon to hear of their safe arrival.

During the next few months, while we are unable to use the Sunday School we shall be glad if the children will bring their money to Church in the afternoon, and Mrs. Burdekin will receive it after the service.
* * *
The following is a list of the names of old Scholars of our School who are now serving in His Majesty’s Forces:-

A. Brant, E. H. Brant, A. Cox, W. Cox, E. Curtis, W. L. Clarke, C. Goodchild, G. A. Hawthorn, F. Harris, T. W. Harris, J. Herridge, E. Mapp, C. Platt, W. Reed, C. Reed, W. Woodage, G. Watts, T. A. Ward, G. Weston, G. Walls, L. Walls.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1914 (D/P151/28A/6/12)

Making the soldiers happy

Broad Street Congregational Church in the centre of Reading offered entertainment to soldiers stationed in the town.  Those members of the church’s Brotherhood organisation for men who were not themselves in service took a major role in this work:
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