Rightly proud of medals

Two Sulhamstead men had been awarded medals. Friends and family were proud of them.

THE WAR

The parish is rightly proud of the honour gained by Mr. Steele’s son at the Front, and we heartily congratulated both Mr Steele and his son George, on the D.C.M recently conferred upon him. We believe also that he has been more than once mentioned in despatches. He is also a Sergeant.

Mr A Ford, now Farrier-Staff Sergeant A Ford, who formerly lived and worked at the Lower End, has very many friends in Sulhamstead. They will be glad to read the following reprinted from the Mercury in connection with the Meritorious Service Medal awarded to him. It begins with the official telegram:

“The GOC congratulates you on your being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.”

He has also received letters of congratulations – one from his commander’s wife:

“Dear Sergeant Ford, –

I was very glad indeed to hear that you had been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, and send you my best congratulations. Am sure you deserve it. I always hear how well the Divisional Train is doing, and my husband is very proud of his command. He has a very fine lot of men, and I know that you are one of the originals when they were forming at Pangbourne.”

Sulhamstead parish magazine, December 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Severe shell shock for an Earley man

Two Earley men had been wounded, one of them – brave enough to have been previously awarded a medal – suffering shell shock.

We regret to say that Sergt-Major Jordan who holds the DCM has been seriously wounded in France, and is suffering severely also from shell shock. He is the son-in-law to Mr Spencer of Manchester Road. Private Ernest George Jupe, son of Mrs Jupe of Culver Road, has also been wounded in France. He is one of those who belong to the famous Canadian contingent. We rejoice that his wound is not pronounced serious. 2nd Lieut. T P Norris RE sailed for East Africa on Oct 11 with a draft of 32 sappers.

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

Heroic gallantry under fire

A proud father in Thatcham wanted everyone to know about his son’s heroism.

A Letter from Mr. Vallis, Master of the Blue Coat School.
Rev. Sir, I am wondering if you have room in your next issue of the Parish Magazine for a short paragraph re my son’s D.C.M. The brief official notice was as follows:-

“The Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded to Band Corpl. Albert S. Vallis, Scots Fusiliers, for heroic gallantry and devotion to duty throughout the campaign as a stretcher bearer, notably on Oct. 18th, and the 19th and 20th, 1914, when he brought in wounded men under heavy fire.”

Believe me, Yours obediently, S. Vallis.

We are most pleased to be able to publish this letter in our magazine. It is a real joy to rejoice with Mr. Vallis and his son in the latter’s gallant conduct and its due recognition; more especially is this so, as it has several times been our duty to sympathise with the same family on the occasions when members of it have been wounded.

Thatcham parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P130/28A/1)

A soul-stirring example in Cookham Dean

Cookham Dean was proud of the many young men who had answered the call of their country, including those who had been killed. Unusually, they also honoured the men who had volunteered, but been rejected on medical grounds.

The Roll of Honour.

It is with very mingled feelings that this paragraph is written. Cookham Dean may well be proud of its Roll of Honour, which is published again this month. Many names have been added to it, since it was issued last in April, of lads who have responded to their Country’s Call and whose names are now added to those who earlier set them such a soul-stirring example.

One name is removed from the list of the living and finds a place among the honoured dead who have given their lives for their country- Major Richard Saker, Connaught Rangers, recently attached to the 5th Batt. Australian Infantry. He took a gallant part in the action on the occasion of the landing of the Expeditionary Force at the Dardanelles, was wounded, but, after receiving surgical aid, immediately returned to the firing line and was shot down at once by an enemy sniper. Major Saker had served in the South African War and held the Queen’s Medal, with four clasps. He was in the 38th year of his age, and leaves a widow and a dear little boy to mourn his loss, to whom we offer our respectful sympathy. A Memorial Service for Captain Saker was held in Church on the Sunday after the sad news had been received, June 27th.

Since the April list was issued Major Henderson has been mentioned in despatches and promoted Lieut.-Colonel. 2nd Lieuts. Brian Lawrence (‘Dial Close’) and Russell Simmons have been promoted Lieutenants. Sergeant William Markham distinguished himself at Hill 60, near Yprès, in a gallant action and the D.C.M. (Distinguished Conduct Medal) has been conferred upon him; he merits our very heartiest congratulations this distinction. Pte. Ernest Blinko, with others in his Company, 9th County of London (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) has been offered a commission, but, after consideration, preferred to remain as he was; nevertheless, the offer itself is a compliment which onwe are certain was well deserved. Pte. Charles Piercey has been promoted Sergt., and Pte. Ernest Horne is now Corpl.

On the Supplementary List, alas, we have lost two. 2nd Lieut. Bian Lawrence (‘Mountfield,’ Maidenhead), only son of our kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lawrence, was killed in action on June 1st; he was only 17 years of age, but had already proved his worth a gallant, reliable officer, and was a young soldier of the greatest promise; he had endeared himself alike to his brother officers and the men under his command. The dear boy has given his life for his country, and we are proud to think that his boyhood’s days were spent in this parish; had it been possible, we would have considered it a great honour if his body could have been laid in our Churchyard. To his parents and grandfather we offer our deepest and most respectful sympathy, well knowing that life in this world can never be the same for them again. Sergent Ernest Lemmon died of wounds on May 9th; he was not known here, but for months past our prayers have been offered for him and others that God would save and defend them, and we believe that those prayers have been answered as God knows best.

It is only right that the names of those who would otherwise have been on the Roll of Honour but for the misfortune that, after examination by Military Doctors, they have been pronounced medically unfit to join His Majesty’s Forces, should be recorded in the Magazine: – Albert Harris (nr. Dean Farm), Sidney George Hunt (Spike Hatch), Harry Jordan (Dean Farm), Alfred Luker (Orchard Cottages), James Price (Primrose Cottage), Harry West (School Cottages), have all offered themselves, all honour to them, but for the above reason could not be accepted. It may be that there are one or two more whose names have not reached me. It is most satisfactory to feel that there are very few young men in this place who are content to abide at home when a Call, such as never before, has sounded in the ears of the Nation, has been made to them. Why in their case has the Call been made to them in vain?

Cookham Dean parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P43B/28A/11)