The need for eggs is greater than ever

So many people kept chickens that the gift of eggs to hospitals for the wounded was an obvious patriotic offering. Some people had more to give away than others. Three ladies in Early had donated over 1000 eggs each over a two year period.

NATIONAL EGG COLLECTION

Eggs are collected every Thursday at the School, for the sick and wounded. During the two years ending in May, over 9,000 have been given by the residents of Earley.

Our chief contributors are: Mrs Hissey, 1,200; Miss Montizambert, 1139; Mrs Bastow, 1,041; Mr G Hatch, 971; Mr J Lewington, 777; Mrs W Hatch, 733; Mrs P Davis, 630; Mrs Wooridge, 421; Mrs Dance, 389; Mrs Dunlop, 262; Mr F Johnson, 260; Mr Culham, 246; Mrs Hallaway, 218; Mrs G Webb, 205; Misses Beauchamp, 150; Mrs W Nash, 124; Mrs Andrews, 100.

Among those who have given less than 100 are, Mrs G Cane, Mrs Cottrell, Mrs Hutt, Mrs H King, Miss Lea, Miss Liddiard, Miss Nickes, Mrs Prior, Mrs Shotton, Mrs Slaughter, Mrs Whitworth.

The Collector for this district is Mrs de Bathe, of Hartley Court, and she writes to say how very grateful the people at the hospitals are for the eggs, and that the need for them is greater than ever. There is to be a Flag Day on July 14th when Mrs de Bathe hopes there will be a good response especially from this district.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, July 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

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“Ain’t we rural” – nests in the dugouts

Percy Spencer told sister Florence about the disconcerting contrast of burgeoning wildlife and warfare.

May 11, 1917
My dear WF

Very many thanks for the parcel. I see you have exceeded my request and bought things, but that’s just you. I hope my a/c will stand it….

We’ve been having the most glorious weather: it seems awful that we should be in so poor a position to enjoy it. However, good weather helps towards the conclusion of our mighty task, so don’t pray for rain.

You’ve no idea what an extraordinary feeling it is to hear on the heels of a hurricane bombardment around one’s home the lazy song of the cuckoo. A swallow is building on the joist supporting our dugout. By vote it has been allowed to remain, but I doubt if we shall stand the strain of it as it has chosen a position immediately above the centre of our mess table.

2 days ago someone brought in a lovely clutch of pheasant’s eggs – rather a pity, for besides being contrary to orders I expect they were “set”. And within 10 yards of me in a moat, a bullfrog croaks to the sun. Ain’t we rural!

Yours ever
Percy

Letter from Percy Spencer (D/EZ177/7/6/36-37)

A very gallant officer and gentleman, recklessly brave and a fine example of cool courage

The Old Boys of Reading School were distinguishing themselves at the Front.

O.R. NEWS.

Killed in Action.

2nd Lieut. Norman A. Howell, King’s Shropshire Light infantry. On December 23rd.

He is the second son of Mr. W. Roland Howell, architect, of this town. Born at Reading in April 1897, he was educated at Reading School and St. Laurence College, Ramsgate, and had been about a year in his father’s office before joining the Army in November, 1915. His cadet training at school and college enabled him to get his commission. He was posted to the King’s Shropshire’s, was ordered to the front at the end of June last, and has been in the thick of the Somme fighting for six months. Lieut. Norman Howell came home on his first leave on December 6th and returned on the 16th. Within a week he had made the great sacrifice.

His Commanding Officer wrote to Mr. Howell on December 24th:

“I deeply regret to report the death of your son, who was serving in my Battalion. Whilst going up to the front line trenches in charge of a party last night an enemy sniper shot him through the head, killing him instantly. This morning his body was buried by the Chaplain near where he fell, with military honours, officers and men attending.

“I had trench mortars and rifle grenades on the sniper’s post, patrols had reported 8 to 10 Huns there, none there now! On behalf of his comrades, officers, N.C.O.’s and men, I wish to convey to you our profound sympathy . He was loved and respected by all of us, and we mourn the loss of a very gallant officer and gentleman. To all of us he was known as recklessly brave and a fine example of cool courage, devoted to his duties, which he discharged most cheerfully under the most trying conditions.”

“I placed him in charge of the Lewis Gun detachment, on which he had set his heart and soul. He belonged to my own Headquarters’ mess, and I took particular interest in him. A cross has been put up on the grave near Les Boeufs.”

It will be remembered that in October, 1915, Mr. Howell’s elder son, 2nd Lieut. Roland Basil Howell, was reported “wounded and missing.” Nothing has since been heard of him, and any hopes of his being alive hangs on the very slenderest thread. On the 16th of last month the War Office wrote saying that they were now forced to believe he was killed.

Lieut. Basil Howell was born in October, 1895, and received his commission in the 4th North Staffordshire’s three months after the war started. He was attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers (the Fighting Fifth), and went to the front in May, 1915.

Reports received from the front show that on the night of October 1st-2nd, 1915, the battalion to which Lieut. Howell was attached were in severe action. After all the officers of the company had been killed he gallantly led a bombing party to attack a German trench, but was never seen again.

Every possible enquiry was made through the War Office, the American Embassy, the Red Cross, and the wounded men who returned to England. Many references were made by the latter to the respect and love they had for the brave young officer. Like his brother he was educated at Reading School and St Laurence College, and had started his training to follow in his father’s profession. For many years he was an enthusiastic scout, and took a big share in starting the South Reading Troop.

Lieut. Cedric Charles Okey Taylor, East Kent Regiment, attached to Trench Mortar Battery, only son of Mrs. Taylor, 39, Weltje Road, Ravenscroft Park, W., and of the late Mr. Charles Warmsley Taylor, of Reading. Further details are now to hand of Lieut. Taylor’s death.

He died for King and country on December 3rd, 1916, in his 22nd year. Young in years but old in endurance, he was in constant action for 15 months at Ypres in 1915 and on the Somme in 1916. He is laid to rest in the cemetery, at Faubourg d’Amiens, Arras.

2nd Lieut. W. Marsden Cooper, Worcestershires, only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper, 107, London Street, Reading, aged 19.

Cooper was only 19 years of age and went out to the front in the Worcestershire’s about the middle of December, shortly after completing his course at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was educated at Reading School, where he gained a Council scholarship in 1909. His School career was unusually distinguished. In 1914 he gained a School Certificate followed the next year by a higher certificate.

In response to his country’s call, he decided to take a commission, and in the entrance examination for the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, held in February, 1916, he came out second on the list, gaining a Prize Cadetship. At Sandhurst his success was no less pronounced than at school, and he gained the position of Sergeant in his cadet unit, the highest position a cadet can obtain, before he left College. Not only did he have considerable intellectual gifts, as his record shows but he was a fine athlete as well. He was an excellent all round cricketer and his natural powers as a bowler would have enabled him to make his mark in really good company. As a Rugby Football player he showed great promise, and before he left school he had the distinction of being captain of football, captain of cricket and captain of the school. Yet he was never elated by success, and perhaps it was more than anything else his modesty which made him so popular with the boys and the masters alike. Those who have watched his career, for the last two years, and marked the way in which his development always seemed to keep pace with his new responsibilities feel a special grief that a young life so full of promise should have been brought thus prematurely to a close.
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New laid Easter eggs for wounded soldiers

Easter 1917 saw the children of Crazies Hill not longing for chocolate eggs for themselves, but real fresh eggs for wounded soldiers to eat.

Crazies Hill Notes

The children of the Sunday School, their parents and friends, during Lent and Easter week contributed £2 6s. for the purpose of purchasing Easter Eggs – new laid – for wounded soldiers. Mrs. Woodward acted as Hon. Treasurer to the fund, the success of which is entirely due to her energies in the matter. Mr. Woodward most generously provided packing cases and also packed the eggs with the satisfactory result that the following were dispatched and arrived still fresh and unbroken at various hospitals:-

100 eggs to Woodclyffe Auxilliary Hospital, Wargrave
100 eggs to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth
72 eggs to King George Hospital, Stamford St., London
72 eggs to No. 1 War Hospital, Reading
66 eggs to 1st Western General Hospital, Fazekerley, Liverpool

The total number sent being 410.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Decorating eggs for soldiers

Children in Slough had an Easter gift for wounded soldiers.

April 4th 1917
The children brought 40 new laid eggs as gifts for the wounded soldiers – they decorated the eggs this morning


Slough and Chalvey British Infants’ Schol log book (C/EL123, p. 339)

Eggs and coins

Cookham children were giving eggs, while those in Crowthorne were asked to join a war savings scheme.

Cookham Alwyn Road School
March 2nd 1917

The school children have this week contributed to the “Soldiers’ Egg Fund”.

Crowthorne C.E. School
March 2nd 1917

An attempt is being made to form a War Savings Certificate association.

Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1, p. 291); Crowthorne C.E. School log book (D/P102B/28/3, p. 9)

“Satisfied with the bright appearance of the wards”

A new hospital opened for wounded soldiers in Wargrave.

“Woodclyffe” Auxiliary Hospital, Wargrave. V.A.D. Berks, 58

The Woodclyffe Auxiliary Hospital re-opened on March 2nd, and on February 28th a most successful Pound Day was held, the various gifts filling the empty store cupboard. The Hospital and Woodclyffe Hall were open for inspection of visitors, who expressed themselves very much satisfied with the bright appearance of the wards, and the arrangements made for the comfort of the patients. There are now 50 beds.

A very clear balance sheet has been issued to subscribers showing that each occupied bed has cost 3s. 3½ d. per day, the Government Grant being 3/-. Gifts of vegetables and eggs are always most gratefully received, and flowers on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Wargrave parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Much pleasure for children and wounded soldiers

Maidenhead children entertained wounded soldiers – possibly those confined to their beds and unable to attend the more elaborate entertainments elsewhere.


21st February 1917

Some of the bigger children were taken to the Red + Hospital at 5 p.m. to give a short entertainment (of work done in school) to the soldiers. Afterwards they distributed fruit, cigarettes & eggs which had been collected in school. This small effort gave much pleasure to children and men.

Log book of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1, p. 388)

Christmas and its lessons in war-time

A Berkshire school saw its head teacher drafted to take over at another school whose head must have joined up, and half the children sent to yet another school.

Lower Basildon National School
20th December 1916

I have received a communication from Mr Anderson to the effect that, for the period of the war, I shall be transferred as Head Master to Cold Ash school.

The children from Std II upwards, will be transferred to Upper Basildon school, so that when school re-opens on Jan. 8., only the Infants and Std I will remain.

Lower Sandhurst School
December 20th 1916

Mr. W. J. Joye, Chairman of the Managers, visited the School and gave an address to the children on Christmas and its lessons in war-time. He at the same time commended them for their generosity in supporting the War Funds, over £16.10 and 1000 eggs having been contributed since August 1914.

Lower Basildon National School log book (C/EL7/2, p. 174); Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 383)

Socks and sardines

East Reading women and children continued to support the wounded:

CARE AND COMFORTS COMMITTEE

The vicar has received a letter from this Committee acknowledging with many thanks the receipt of the following:

Cake, eggs, biscuits, sardines, sweets, fruit, potted meat, honey, jam, books and magazines, from the children at St John’s Church. These gifts were presented at the service on October 28th.

The following articles have been sent from the Working Party: 16 shirts, 5 bed jackets, 3 pyjamas, 32 pillow cases, 7 pairs socks, 2 socks (arm), 88 many-tailed bandages, 28 locker cloths, 14 treasure bags. Total, with those already sent, 1,849.

Reading St. John parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

Doing the repairs of a family of six

Berkshire children were supporting the war effort.


October 19th 1916

Lower Sandhurst Council School

To-day being “Our Day” Red Cross Fund, the School Red Cross Box was opened and found to contain £1 – 18 – 6. This amount was forwarded to the Local Organiser for inclusion in the Sandhurst Contribution.

This amount included, our ‘War Contribution’ has now reached the sum of nine pounds five shillings; and 1017 eggs have been sent to the National Egg Collection.’

Alwyn Road School
A collection was taken in school today on behalf of “Our Day” the British Red Cross and Order of St John.

Stoke Road School, Slough

A good many exhibits for the economy exhibition have been received from the parents of children attending this school. A noteworthy exhibit is a pair of boots repaired by a boy of sixteen whose father is in the Army. In a note his mother says he is doing the repairs of a family of six.

Wescott Road School, Wokingham

The Head Master left school at 3pm in order to attend the War Pensions Committee Meeting.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 377);
Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1); Stoke Road School, Slough: log book (89/SCH/28/1, p. 389); Wokingham Wescott Road School log book (C/EL87, p. 168)

Reported wounded and missing long ago in Gallipoli

Children and adults in Bracknell contributed what they could to the war.

EGGS FOR THE WOUNDED.

During the last seven months from January, 1916, 1,106 eggs have been sent to Reading for the National Egg collection.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank on behalf of the Soldiers all those who have sent eggs, and also Mr. Barnard, who has most kindly conveyed them to Reading free of charge. I hope that everyone will continue to send as many eggs as possible each week either direct to the Vicarage or to Mr. May, High Street.

A.M. BARNETT.

WAR WORK.

Names of some of the Bracknell Children who have lately sent knitting to the War Work Depot:- Ethel Brant, Alice Cheney, Phoebe White, Amelia Quick, Phyllis Gough, Dorothy Gale, Mary Wera, May Rance, Grace Fowler, Evelyn Townshend, Margery Metson, Ethel Morley, D. Townshend.

We regret the news has now come through that Jack Franks, who was reported wounded and missing long ago in Gallipoli, is dead. He was one of our choir boys, and though it is now some years since the family left Bracknell, many of us remember him very well, and much sympathy is felt for his mother.

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

A record of which Burghfield might be proud

The war’s anniversary was commemorated on the 5th of August in Burghfield. It was an opportunity to take stock of the impact of the war locally.

THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION OF WAR

On Saturday, 5th August, at the Handicraft Room, Mrs Bland’s School, a well-attended meeting was held to commemorate this anniversary. Sir Wyndham Murray, as chairman, opened the proceedings with a few patriotic remarks which were heartily received; and was succeeded by Brigadier General F. Bridgeman of Beech Hill, late Scots Guards, and formerly member for Bradford, who, in an excellent speech, drew a striking contrast between the great Duke of Wellington and our foe the Kaiser. The well-known inscription on the Duke’s monument at Strathfieldsaye [sic] records that “he was honoured abroad for in all the might of conquest he was always just, considerate, and humane” and “he was beloved at home because he had great power, and ever used it well”. Such a record could never truly be written of the Kaiser. In concluding he quoted the message given to Joshua when he became commander-in-chief of the army of Israel, “Have not I commanded thee, be strong and very courageous, be not afraid neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee wheresoever thou goest”. He moved the following resolution, “That this meeting of the parishioners of Burghfield expresses its inflexible determination to continue the struggle to a victorious end”.

Colonel A. Welby, late Scots Greys, Secretary of the Patriotic Fund, and formerly member for Taunton (who said that he remembered camping on Burghfield Common in 1872 at autumn manoeuvres), seconded. He gave a stirring account of the performances of our Army and Navy, and spoke hopefully of the war.

The resolution having been put, and carried unanimously, Mr Willink, in proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman and speakers, which was played by the parish in relation to the war, and particularly to the 240 names upon the Roll of Honour. These names were nearly all names of persons residing in Burghfield at the time of enrolment (not counting those rejected as medically unfit); some however were names of men who, though they had left the parish, had been born and bred in it, and were fairly entitled to be included. It was a record of which Burghfield might be proud. (Mr Willink hopes that parishioners will study from time to time the Roll of Honour, now hanging in the church porch, and will tell him of any omissions, or misdescriptions, or alterations, which ought to be attended to.) Mr Lousley, seconding, paid a warm tribute to the services of women in Burghfield, both on the land and in war work of various kinds. Nor were the Scouts forgotten, nor the 600 hospital appliances made on that very room, nor the eggs and vegetables sent to the hospitals in abundance.

The proceedings ended with the singing of the National Anthem. The resolution has been duly sent to the Committee for Patriotic Organisations, to be added to the numerous identical resolutions passed more or less simultaneously at similar meetings throughout the country.


Burghfield parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

“The wonderful collections of eggs … are so much appreciated”

The eggs collected by children and others for the wounded were much appreciated.

The following letter has been received by Miss A. Barnett acknowledging the eggs which have been sent to the Reading Hospital for the wounded:-

Hartley Court, Reading
August 3rd, 1916.

Dear Madam, –

I am so extremely grateful to you for the wonderful collections of eggs you have been sending us. They are so much appreciated now, as the hospitals are so full here, and they say they are the most valued gifts they have. Will you please sat how much obliged we are to the school children and others for thinking of the wounded.

Yours sincerely,

ADA DE BATHE.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/9)

Gassed less than a week after his 18th birthday

Sonning men were serving their country, and one teenager – only just 18 – had lost his life.

THE WAR
We congratulate Captain G. E. A. Leake on his obtaining his Captaincy. His promotion has been extraordinarily rapid. He was gazetted Captain in the 3rd 4th City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, to date from February 5.

EGGS FOR THE WOUNDED
Miss B Leake has organised at the School a capital system of collecting eggs for the wounded. Anyone who has no connection with the School can send eggs through any of the schoolchildren.

ROLL OF HONOUR
It is with great sorrow that we heard of the death of Private William Henry Hill. He only reached the age of 18 on April 24th, and was gassed on April 30th. He will be remembered by many as a small choir boy, and also for a short time as one of the Scouts. At the time of enlisting at the age of 16, he was a servant at a Club at Guildford, frequented by military men. Mr Leake has received a letter from the Club speaking in the warmest terms of his services, and how he had won the esteem of every one of the officers. His father and grandparents have our deepest sympathy. He was in the 8th Batt. Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

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