Pretty eloquent testimony as to what has been happening the whole country over

More and more men were serving overseas as the war intensified.

Church News

Sorrow.

It is with very deep regret that we record the death of another of our hero “boys” – John Bernard Eighteen. Tragic indeed is the grief of this family. It was only last November that his brother, Henry Thomas, was killed in action, and now the elder brother has died of severe wounds – passing away before his mother, who was hastily summoned, could reach him. To all who mourn his loss our hearts go out in deepest sympathy, and we pray that our Heavenly Farther may draw very near to comfort and to help!


Roll of Honour.

Advantage is being taken of the fact that our Membership and District Lists are being revised and reprinted, to get our Roll of Honour dealt with in the same way. That roll has steadily been growing, but up to the present has never been arranged in any sort of fixed or permanent form. When it comes to us from the printer this month we shall be able to use it in considering that final form it must take when we place it somewhere in our buildings as a memorial for all time of our part in the Great War. In the earlier stages of the struggle we thought we thought the number on our roll was fairly high when it reached twenty. It is now much nearer sixty. This fact, when one reflects that our experience is probably quite normal, is pretty eloquent testimony as to what has been happening the whole country over. It has not been exactly easy to arrange this roll, and if it should contain omissions and errors I should be very grateful if friends would kindly let me know. For the guidance of those interested, I may say here that in drawing up the list of names, the general principle followed hitherto has been to include along with the members of the Church, Institute or Congregation, sons or husbands of our members, whose names do not appear on any other Church Roll of Honour.


Khaki Chat.

The statement made last month to the effect that Leslie Newey is now in France is incorrect. We are glad that Leslie is still on this side, and much regret the slip made.

The following paragraph was omitted from last month’s columns owing to lack of space:-

The interesting quotations given below are from a letter received from a Y.M.C.A. Hut Leader in France, and will explain themselves.

“I cannot help feeling you and your people will be glad to hear that Mr. Jordan is really doing splendid work out here….. His C.O. released him that he might be my right-hand man in running this Hut in the centre of a large Hospital on the downs….. He seems as happy as the day is long and is most useful. I am sending you this quite spontaneously.”

I might add that the Hut Leader has since been invalided home, but that Mr Jordan is still at the work referred to. His new leader is a Congregational minister.


Trinity Congregational Church magazine, August 1917 (D/EX1237/1)

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“A special grief that a young life so full of promise should have been brought thus prematurely to a close”

A Reading teenager’s burial at the front is described.

Trinity Roll of Honour.

Two more of our “boys” are this month enrolled, one of whom, we are sorry to hear, has already made the supreme sacrifice.

John Bernard Eighteen.
Henry Thomas Eighteen (Killed).


Marsden Cooper.

It is the deepest regret that we have to record the death in action of another of our young men who have gone out from our Church. After a brief two months only at the front, Second Lieutenant Marsden Cooper has fallen in the fight for his country and the right. He was an Officer full of the highest promise, having done well in everything he attempted. Our deep sympathy goes out to Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper in their bereavement.

We print an extract from the Chaplain’s letter to his parents:

“Though he had not been here long he had impressed everyone with his constant cheerfulness and straightforwardness of his character. We laid him to rest in a little Cemetery just behind the firing line late on Saturday evening. There had been some difficulty in preparing the grave owing to a sudden and somewhat violent bombardment, but about 7.45 the news was brought to our dug-out that all was ready and we felt out way out along the communication trench and then over it to the Cemetery.

It was so dark that we could not see that we had arrived at the place until one of the pioneers spoke to us. There were seven or eight of us all told, and as we stood around the open grave we repeated the words, ‘Be thou faithful unto death, and we will give thee the crown of life,’ and ‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ and together we thank God that your boy had not counted his life dear unto himself, but had laid it down for King and Country. I may not, of course say where the grave is, but I have forwarded full particulars with map reference to the Authorities. “A small wooden cross with durable inscription has been made by the Battalion Pioneers, and was placed in position on the following day.”

The following is the appreciative testimony of the Headmaster of Reading School:

“The deceased officer was only 19 years of age, and went 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 the College. Not only had he 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 his modesty which made him so popular with the boys and 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.”

Trinity Congregational Church, Reading: magazine, February 1917 (D/EX1237/1)

Four Earley men lost at sea

More Earley men had joined up, while several sailors from the parish had lost their lives in the Battle of Jutland.

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
Stuart Adams, Joseph Corby, Ernest Attewell, Alfred Wilson, Frank Lloyd, Ernest Farmer, Percy Childs, William Childs, Archibald Childs, Vincent Robertson, Charles Silver, Alfred Soper, William Martin, Reuben Martin, Arthur Jermey, Leonard Upton, Alfred Bolton, Frank Masser, Thomas Bluring, William Sales, William Cane, George Allen, Arthur Palmer, Walter Hayward, William Wells, Arthur Eighteen, Frederick Seymour, Frank Ambrose, George Freeman.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Sick and Wounded: George Hiscock, William Purdue.
Killed: Hilton Parker, Thomas Brown.
Lost at Sea: Harry Tillin, Harry Stevens, Percy Baker, Percy Bunday.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, July 1916 (D/P191/28A/31/7)

Splendid work for wounded soldiers

The women and girls of Reading St John continued to be active in supporting soldiers and sailors.

GIRLS’ CLUB COMPETITIONS…

The result of the Competitions is all the more gratifying as S. John’s Girls have been doing work in other directions all the winter; at Christmas time they sent out 20 hampers to some of our poorest neighbours, and 70 toys either made or mended. They have also made and sent to members of our Army and Navy, 3 nightshirts, 7 waist-coats, 12 pairs of long sailors’ stockings, 36 helmets, 17 pairs of socks, 16 scarves, 57 pairs of mittens. Mrs. Stuart Rickman or Arborfield Grange kindly provided all the wool for articles sent to the Navy, and another friend the wool for those sent to the Army. As many of the girls are continuing this work during the summer, there will soon be a further list of articles to the credit of the club.

CARE AND COMFORTS COMMITTEE.

Our Working Party for providing comforts for the wounded soldiers is doing splendid work. We are now in direct touch with the Military Hospital, and can be assured that we are working on the articles most needed at the moment., as Miss Homan has been appointed a member of the Sub-Committee which deals with this branch of the work. The following is the list of further subscriptions towards our fund for the purchase of materials.

Amount already acknowledged, £6. 0s. 6d; Anonymous, £1; St John’s Day Schools, 10/-; Miss Bell, 10/-; Mrs Dimbleby, 5/-; Mr John Eighteen, £2 2s 0d; Miss Hewitt, 2/6; Miss Green, 10/-; Mrs and Miss Cray, 3/-; Mrs Dauncey, 10/-; Mrs Arnold, 10/-; Miss B. Venner, 2/6; Nurse Bath, 2/6; The Misses Turquand, 10/-; Mrs Meaden, 10/-; Mrs Harrison Jones, 10/-; Miss Harrison Jones, 10/-; Mrs Beare, 5/-; Anonymous, 10/-; Mr Herbert Kingham, £1 1s 0d. Total £16 4s 0d. The £3 acknowledged last month as from Messrs Sutton should have read the Misses Sutton.

The following is the list of articles sent to the Red Cross Depot from our Working Party up to date:

hot water bottle bags, 38; locker cloths, 78; brush bags, 78; many-tailed bandages, 26; oddment bags, 21; anaesthetic pads, 34; pairs slippers, 45; pairs socks, 10; coloured pillow covers, 29; feather pillows, 3; nightshirts, 3; operating coat, 1; face cloths, 25; old linen. Total, 391.

EASTER CARDS

Replies have … been received from the following at the front: S. Pottinger, Albert Stevens, H. W. Fisher, G. King.

Reading St John parish magazine, June 1915 (D/P172/28A/23)