Probably we are nearing the final stages of this trouble

There was sad news for some Reading families, while others could be proud of their loved ones’ medals.

It was with extreme regret that we recorded in our November issue the news of the death of Private F. R. Johnson of the Machine Gun Corps, who was killed in action shortly after he had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Previously to his joining the Army he had been a member of our Choir and was deeply interested in all that concerned its well-being. We now have to announce a very kind and thoughtful act on the part of his parents. He left behind him a certain sum of money which they decided to hand over for the benefit of the Choir and it is proposed to invest this sum in War Loan and to the use the interest in case of sickness among the men or boys of the choir. There may be times when tickets for the Convalescent Homes and railway fares to the Homes may be very acceptable, and we are much indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for their generosity. It is proposed to call the Fund the “Johnson Benevolent Fund” and we hope it may prove the nucleus of a Fund to which other members of the congregation may like to add from time to time”.

Our heartiest congratulations to Lady Carrington, whose second son Lieut. C. W. Carrington of the Grenadier Guards has recently been awarded with the Distinguished Service Order. It will be remembered that her eldest son also gained the D.S.O. and the youngest son the Military Cross.

Our deepest sympathy has been given to Mrs. Montagu Brown, on the death of her husband. He went up into the trenches on a certain date, and news came forty eight hours later that he had died of wounds. May the God of all comfort console those who are mourning his loss!

Our hearty congratulations to Lieut. Fred White on gaining the Military Cross, and to Corporal Will Taylor on gaining the D.C.M., and being now out of hospital.

This will be one of the most solemn Lents we have ever known. We all feel more and more that great changes are taking place in the world and that probably we are nearing the final stages of this trouble, the ultimate result of which it seems impossible to tell but one thing we are certain that we must not slacken our prayers – but rather increase them and deepen the spirit in which they are offered.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, February 1918 (D/P116B/28A/2)

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“Wounded no less than three times”

Men connected with All Saints’ Church and its choir were serving their country.

All Saints’ District
Choir

We feel sure that members of the congregation will like to see the following list of members of the Choir who are serving with His Majesty’s forces.

Lieut. C. Atkinson – R.N.A.S.
Sergt. J. C. Hinton – Royal BERKS
Sergt. W. H. Clemetson
Sergt. H.E. Hopcraft – A.S.C.
Sergt. W.Smith – Devons.
Pte. F.R. Johnson – Royal Berks.
Pte. H.N. Gaze – R.F.C.

We are glad to welcome to the Choir Lance-Corporal A. Beedson, of the Royal Warwicks, and Pte. S. Baron, of the Devon Regiment, who have kindly volunteered to give us their help during their stay in Reading.

In addition to the above it will be remembered that our Verger, Pte. J. Mundy, is serving with the Royal Veterinary Corps in France, and that our Organ-blower, Pte. A .H. Maskell, who served in the Royal Berks Regiment and has now been transferred to the Essex Regiment, has been wounded no less than three times. We congratulate him and Sergeants Hinton and Clemetson on their recovery from wounds.

Our Congratulations to Company Sergt-Major S. C. Nowlan, Yorks and Lancs Regiment, of 46 Somerstown, who has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, March 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

A nation’s homage

Ascot celebrated it own national hero, Lord Roberts, whose funeral we noted on 19 November. The parish also had less well known heroes in this war.

F. M. EARL ROBERTS.
The whole Empire mourns his loss. There have been famous sailors and soldiers besides Lord Roberts. A Nelson and a Wellington rest by his side in S. Paul’s Cathedral. We admire them, we pay them a nation’s homage. Their greatness and his are alike in this. But for him there is something more – universal love. His character rested upon JESUS Christ. When he knelt in deep reverence at our Parish Altar to receive the Bread of Life – when he sent forth our soldiers into the great battle of right against might with the little Testaments in their pockets, each volume with its touching message inscribed on the first page:

“I ask you to put your trust in GOD, He will watch over you and strengthen you. You will find this little Book guidance when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you are in adversity.”

When such was the character of the man, do we wonder that this pathetic and usually careless world, was at his feet, that attraction of the Christ in him became irrisistable. Rather, would it not be passing strange had it been otherwise? Our brother, being dead, yet speaketh. He bids us make much of our Christianity. For on the very first step across the threshold lies a whole world of inequity, into which he who lets go his Christianity plunges at once.

He would have been laid to rest near to his own home, near to this Church that he loved. But this was not to be: and it is better as it is. His family generously gave him up in death to the Empire that he served with his life. “Let me die the death of the righteous: let my last end be like His.” The Funeral Service was sung in All Saints Church at the same hour that the ceremony took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Our deepest sympathy is offered to his family. R. I. P.

For fuller details of the funeral we refer our readers to the newspapers.

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