Four years and four months of desperate warfare manfully endured rewarded by a victorious Armistice

The vicar of a Maidenhead church was among those who had suffered from the international influenza epidemic.

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

ALAS! for the first time I have to apologize for a late Magazine; but the “Flu” must be my all sufficient excuse. It is indeed, a time of difficulty just now, so many households have illness, and many have to mourn losses; to all these our hearts go out in sympathy. But overshadowing all this is the feeling of a load having been lifted from the mind and heart of the whole Nation on St. Martin’s Day (November 11th). Four years and four months of desperate warfare manfully endured rewarded by a victorious Armistice, to lead, as we all pray, next Spring to a just and abiding Peace. The Civic Service, acknowledging the Nation’s gratitude to Almighty God, held before the Town Hall, was well attended, and I am told by all who heard it how deeply they were stirred by Mr. King-Gill’s Adress. On the same night (Wednesday) full congregations returned our thanks as a Parish to God in St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s…

Then, I have been asked by the Mayoress and Mrs Gardner to remind parishioners of the Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops. These fit crippled sailors and soldiers for earning their living in an independent way. Envelopes will be delivered at all houses, and collected at Christmastide by Boy Scouts. We all hope they may be well filled.

Finally, as regards a Thankoffering by the parish. Many friends have asked me what we mean to do to mark our gratitude for Peace and Victory. I feel that it is almost too early to settle that yet, until Peace is actually signed, or nearer than it is, as yet. Next year, I hope to call a Parish gathering to discuss what form our memorial of the gallant dead, and of the self sacrifice of those who survive, should take. But this year some people feel they would like to give something at once. It has been suggested, and the Churchwardens and I have agreed, that the Christmas Collections should, after deducting £10 at St Luke’s for the Sunday School, and £2 10s at St Peter’s, be given towards the Endowment Fund we are trying to raise to help to maintain the Assistant Clergy…

Lastly, I would ask your prayers for those called on, as Electors, to choose Members of Parliament, and for the New Parliament itself, that all things may be ordered “to the glory of God, the good of the Church, the safety, honour, and welfare, of our Sovereign and his Dominions.”

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar

C.E.M. FRY

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P181/28A/

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Turkey has given in completely

Germany’s ally Turkey surrendered. Meanwhile, at home, Ernest Gardner of Cookham, the sitting Conservative MP for Wokingham, would successfully stand for Windsor at the upcoming 1918 election, following a redrawing of constituency boundaries.

31 October 1918

Turkey out of the war!

Henry & I went off after early lunch to Windsor to nominate Mr Gardner. Lloyd George in chair. Good speeches. We had coffee & tea at Langtons & then walked on terrace. So thankful Germans had not destroyed it.

Heard Turkey had given in completely. We going to Dardanelles & Constantinople. They submit to all proposals.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

No liability for personal injury as the result of an enemy air raid

Who should pay for air raid losses? One men spirited employer refused to pay out under their workmen’s compensation policy for an employees killed in an air raid on his place of work.

17 November 1917

The Chairman reported that he had agreed to extend the time for the payment of £3 lent to Mrs Lake for an additional month from 27 November 1917. The action of the Chairman was approved, and the Committee decided that Mrs Lake be allowed a further two months extension to 27 January 1918.

The Chairman read the correspondence between the Treasurer, Mrs Coleman and the Government Committee, with reference to the fatal accident to Mrs Coleman’s husband in the air raid on June 13, 1917.

The Chairman stated that following the authority of the Government Committee he had authorised a payment of 12/6 per week to Mrs Coleman pending the settlement of her claim for compensation against her late husband’s employers under the Workman’s Compensation Act.

The following letter from Messrs Griffiths & Gardner was read:

Coleman deceased

Our clients Messrs R Barrett & Son Ltd in whose employ Mrs Coleman’s husband was at the time of his death owing to an enemy bomb exploding, have handed us your letter to her of the 6th instant and requested us to reply thereto.

We have advised our clients that there is no liability under the Workmen’s Compensation Act for personal injury as the result of an enemy raid. The deceased’s death did not result from personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, but purely owing to the raid.

We ourselves ran the same risk in our offices, as the deceased did at Messrs Barretts.

Yours faithfully
Griffith & Gardner

The Treasurer was authorised to send a copy of the above letter to the Government Committee for their observations.

The Chairman read correspondence between the Treasurer, Mr Bowyer, Miss Smith and the Government Committee, from which it appeared that Mr W F Bowyer and Miss G I Smith claimed amounts of £3.4.3 and £1.0.1 respectively, for clothing destroyed in the air raid of July 7, 1917.

The Committee decided to recommend the claims to be paid.


National Relief Fund: Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

Added to the Earley prayer list

More men had joined up from Earley.

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:

George Harper, Herbert Harper, Charles Young, Walter Burgess, Sam Hunt, Thomas Wilson, William Bright, Kenneth Comport, William Gardner, Cecil Gardner, Charles Ludgate, James Belson, James Belson junior, Richard Belson, John Brown, George Brown, George Cane, Isaac Mason, Everard Webster, Charles Lambourne, Walter Purver, Harry Rickards, Charles Hopgood.

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

SICK: David Gwynne, Walter Bluring.
WOUNDED: Arthur Belson.
PRISONER OF WAR: Albert Gibbs.
KILLED IN ACTION: Arthur Palmer, Victor Burgess, William Bartlett.

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

Back in the trenches again

More and more Winkfield men had headed to the Front.

Gunner Daniel Taylor has been wounded in the foot, and Pte. Edward Holloway in the shoulder; both are doing well.

We regret to learn that Pte. A.E. Burt, who was convalescent from a serious illness, has had a relapse, and is again in hospital. We sincerely hope that his relatives will soon have better news of him.

Pte. Edward Still having served his time in the Coldstream Guards, has rejoined the Colours and is now with the 14th Devons at the Front.

Pte. George Holloway has also just gone to the front.

Pte. Cecil Jenden recently wrote to the vicar that he has quite recovered from his wound, and is now back in the trenches again.

We were very glad to see Pte. George Benstead again in his place in the Choir for two Sundays; though lame from his wound he is able to get about, and we trust will soon be completely recovered.

We congratulate Lance-Corporal Edward Thurmer and Lance Corporal Brant on gaining their stripe.

The following men from our Parish have just joined His Majesty’s Forces:-

Pte. Albert Brown, A.S.C. Mechanical Transport.
Pte. George Clayton, 3rd Royal Berks.
Pte. A. E. Gardner, 4th Northants.
Pte. George Franklin, 10th Sussex Regt.
Pte. William Harwood, 3rd Royal Berks.
Pte. James Summer, R.F.A.

We hope this Christmas to be able again to send small Christmas presents to the men from our parish now serving, but as their numbers this year are so great we shall need more generous help than ever to enable us to send even a very small token of remembrance to each. Mrs. Maynard is arranging to have a small rummage sale in the Parish Room at the end of November to help raise some of the necessary funds, and she would welcome any articles for this sale.

She would also be glad to receive as soon as possible from their relatives the full addresses of any men serving in Mesopotamia or Egypt, for their gifts ought to be dispatched by the middle of November.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1916 (D/P151/28A/11)

Sir Roger Casement captured

Florence Vansittart Neale was shocked by the arrest of Sir Roger Casement transporting guns to the rebels of the Easter Rising in Ireland.

24 April 1916

Henry had Mr Gardner about attested men [those not liable for conscription] in Bisham….

Sir Roger Casement! arriving on Irish coast, German ship with ammunition! He taken. Germans scuttled ship.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

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)

“I wish people realised more the awfulness of the war”

Most of the young men of Cookham Dean had volunteered by the autumn of 1915.

The Vicar’s Letter

The fact that there are so few young men in the parish at the present time and also, alas, that Mr Edward Dunscombe – the respected Superintendent of the Club- has been, and I fear still is, seriously unwell, has determined me that it would be well for this winter to suspend the Young Men’s Club. The Statement of Account for the past year will be published as usual in the October issue of the Magazine, and the balance in hand banked for future use in happier times…

The Roll of Honour will probably be printed again next month… We may indeed thank God that out of our long list, at the time of writing, no further casualties have to be recorded than those mentioned in July. Many have since gone to the Front – some to France, some to the Dardanelles. The marvel to me is that those near and dear to them at home care so little to come to the Intercession Services. I wish from my heart that people here realised more the awfulness of the War, and showed their earnestness by pleading our cause and our country’s need, and for the safety of those who are nobly offering their lives for us before God week by week.

The Roll of Honour

William Wicks, previously rejected as ‘medically unfit,’ has now been allowed to join the Army, and has enlisted in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. Corporal Arthur Horne, R.E., has been promoted Sergeant….

Notices
Mrs Ernest Gardner has written to Mrs. Hunt asking her to assist in organizing a House-to-House Penny Collection in aid of the Sick and Wounded. The Collection will be made sometime during October.

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

A house to house collection for the wounded

Part of Clewer was within the borough of Windsor, but part was more rural and distinctly less developed.

Penny Fund for Sick and Wounded Soldiers

A Collection was made in Clewer lately for the East Berks portion of this Fund, by the house-to-house method. The sun thus collected amounted to £10 5s. Mrs. Ernest Gardner, the wife of our Parliamentary Member, in acknowledging this contribution, writes:

“I think you have done splendidly in the country part of Clewer Parish, and I thank you and all the kind contributors, for this most satisfactory result. The total amount collected in East Berks. was £298.”

Clewer parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P39/28A/9)

Married just before her husband sailed for the Dardanelles

The people of Bracknell were supporting the war in various ways, but special sympathy must be reserved for a recent bride now, tragically, a widow. The unfortunate May Harley did at least find love again, as she remarried after the war.

THE WAR

Very much sympathy is felt for Mrs. Harley, and her mother, Mrs Sheppee, at the death of Lieut. J. Harley, who has been killed at the Dardanelles. It will be remembered that it was only a few weeks ago that Mrs. Harley was married, just before her husband sailed, and now he has fallen in the service of his country.

Leonard Taylor is reported to have been wounded in the hand. He is serving in the Canadian contingent, and was in the terrible fighting that followed the first use by the enemy of deadly gas. In that fight he came off unscathed.

Lady Berkeley has written to say that her husband, Colonel Foley, who is in command of one of our Berkshire Battalions, writes of the need for sand bags. Mrs. Mackenzie is sending 100 from her working party, and we hope that more will soon be ready from the War supply depôt which is being formed in Bracknell. From many sources we hear that the demand for sand bags is practically unlimited.

Since the end of April a weekly despatch of eggs has been sent from Bracknell for the use of the wounded in the Reading Hospitals.

Dozen Dozen
April 29 8 6 June 18 4 4
May 7 16 2 ” 25 6 6
” 14 10 0 July 2 9 6
” 21 8 0 ” 9 8 0
” 28 4 1 ” 16 5 4
June 4 10 9 ” 23 3 8
” 11 6 5

Anyone able and willing to add to this collection should send eggs to the Vicarage. They are sent off on Fridays.

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION AND BRITISH RED CROSS SOCIETY.

The Penny Collection in the Easthampstead and Warfield Parishes realized £25 14s. 3d. Mr. F.W. Hunton organised the collection and a number of ladies and gentlemen assisted him in the work. The money has been sent to Mrs. Gardner, who is collecting from the various parishes in Berks. In a letter of thanks she says: “I am sure you will be glad to hear that East Berks. has done well in the collection. I have – with your kind cheque – £323 15s. 0d. and I have yet five or six centres to hear from.”

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Monthly Magazine, August 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/8)

Finding work for Belgian refugees

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met at Shire Hall on 9 February 1914.

The Chairman read a letter addressed to himself as Chairman of the County Council from the Government Commission for Providing Occupation for Belgian Refugees; also a memorandum sent by the same Commission & the draft of a proposed reply from himself. Mr Walton reported that the Newbury Refugee Committee had been successful in finding work for Belgian men in that neighbourhood.

Mr Norkett stated that the Maidenhead Belgian Refugee Committee had found employment of a satisfactory kind for all Belgian men in his neighbourhood, & had collected a fund of £604 of which £350 had already been spent.

After full discussion it was resolved that a reply be sent to the Government Commission stating that the Berkshire National Relief Committee were unable to form a sub-committee to undertake the duties regarding Belgian refugees in the county suggested by the Government Commission…

Application for further relief was read from the Wantage Hon. Sec. on behalf of John Nobes of East Hanney. Resolved that the matter be deferred until a report from Nobes’ medical attendant be received.
Miss Elliot undertook to urge the said doctor to forward such report forthwith. Miss Pott was instructed to write to Mr Mount, MP, and Mr Gardner, MP, upon the question of Nobes’ position as a discharged recruit from the New Army without means of subsistence.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

Grateful for help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire committee of the National Relief Fund met on 12 January 1915 and discussed the cases of various needy persons who had applied for assistance.

Hillyer, Windsor. Mr Gardner reported that he had seen Mrs Hillyer and the house agent in this matter, that the agent had accepted the sum of £1.4.6 being 1/3 of the arrears of rent in final settlement of arrears to December 14, 1914, and that the Committee’s last grant had completely cleared the rent to date. Mr Gardner thought that with a little assistance Mrs Hillyer ought to be able to keep the rent paid & that if any assistance were given it should be definitely towards the rent. He pointed out however that Mrs Hillyer had not asked for further help & seemed grateful for what the Committee had done for her. In these circumstances the Committee decided to take no further steps in the matter, at all events for the present.

Ottley. The local Committee reported that this man had obtained work & there was nothing further to be done in the case.

Gunn. The local Committee reported that Mrs Gunn has soldiers billeted in her house and will not require any further assistance at present.

White. In this case a local chemist asked for a loan of £15 as owing to the war his business had greatly fallen off. He stated that a sum of £12 was due to him from the National Health Insurance. After careful consideration of this case the Committee did not feel justified in making a loan. They resolved that Mr White should be asked to make application to the Insurance Committee for payment of his account.

Bouvarlet. The circumstances in this case had not changed & the Committee resolved to continue the grant unless a change in the circumstances of the case was reported to them.

Allen. This case was obviously a Poor Law one & was referred to the Guardians to deal with.

Lempriere. This case was sent to the Committee by Mr Petrocockino but had not been before the Local Committee. The Committee resolved that this case was not one which came within the scope of the National Relief Fund.

Simpson. The papers in this case were submitted to the Committee, but there was nothing to indicate that it was a case of distress owing to the war. The Committee therefore took no action in the matter.

Raynolds. The Committee considered the papers in this case which was unquestionably a hard one, but which had no connection with the war. It would be dealt with by the Mayor of Wokingham who had written to the Committee on the subject.

Jennings. This case was enquired into & it was found that the facts upon the card were in at least one important particular inaccurate. The wages of Kate Jennings, stated to be 7/- a week, were found on enquiry by the Treasurer to be £35 a year. The Committee felt this was a case of normal unemployment & that the applicant should be referred to the Employment Bureau.

Cole. A letter from Mr Fox on this case was read, but the Committee did not in fact feel justified at present in making any further grant.

Miss North, The Nest, Knowle Hill, Twyford was referred to the Local Committee for report.…

A letter from Mr Shepherd with reference to orders for his factory was read. No action was taken thereon.

A letter from the Secretary of the Maidenhead Local Committee was read calling attention to the unemployment among painters. The Committee felt that the unemployment in this case was not wholly abnormal & that nothing could be done in the matter at present.

A letter was submitted from Messrs Gibbens, Abingdon, with reference to unemployment. This letter had been answered by Miss Pott & no further action seemed necessary at this stage.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

No need for Workrooms for Women – but yes please to 2000 Christmas gifts for soldiers’ children

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met at Shire Hall on 15 December 1914.

Reports from Abingdon, Wokingham & Wallingford RDC were read to the effect that no special unemployment existed in their respective areas.

A report from various Districts upon Workrooms for Women was read, shewing that no such workrooms had been opened, nor was there need for them.

Applications for relief were considered.
Hellyer, Windsor. Case considered on Nov 24th ult. Mr Gardner undertook to see the landlord’s agent & make an arrangement regarding payment of arrears of rent; also to pay a sum of 28/- representing rent of 7/- per week for the four weeks ending Dec 12/14.
Cox, Windsor. Resolved that a grant of 2.0.0. be made as representing 10/- per week for four weeks, & that the Windsor Committee be asked to furnish particulars of applicant’s former wages in case of renewal of application.
Cole, Wargrave. A grant of £1 was made.
Ottley, Easthampstead. Resolved that a grant of 10/- be made. The secretary was instructed to ask the local Committee to furnish further proof that the applicant’s unemployment was due to the war if another demand for relief were made.
Gunn, Binfield. The case was referred back to the local Committee for further enquiroes.
Nobes, East Hanney. Resolved that a grant of 10/- per week for the four weeks ending January 9th be made.
Bourvalet, East Challow. Resolved that a grant of 5/6 per week for four weeks ending December 26th be made. The secretary was instructed to convey to the local Committee the information that the Committee would be prepared to consider a renewal of the grant should the local Committee make a satisfactory report at the expiration of the four weeks.

The “American Xmas Gifts of Children” were considered. Mr Wright read a letter he had sent to the Local Gov Board asking for a consignment of 2,000 gifts & a letter he proposed to send to District Committees. Both letters were approved by the Committee.

The Chairman reported that Shepherd of Abingdon had written saying his carpet factory was likely to close down, & that he had interviewed Mr Shepherd & endeavoured to put him into touch with wholesale buyers.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)