He had gone “over the top” more than 17 times

There was news of men from Maidenhead Congregationalists.

OUR SOLDIERS.

Alfred Isaac is at the Crystal Palace, in training for the Navy. George Ayres is at Anglesey, in daily expectation of orders for overseas. Wallace Mattingley is in Ireland. A. J. Lane is having his first experience of life in the front lines. Alfred Vardy is map-making a few miles from the coast in France. Reginald Hill is still in hospital at Cliveden. Ernest Bristow is daily looking for his discharge. Mr. and Mrs. Sale recently spent a day in Maidenhead, visiting their old friends. Mr. Sale is passed in the highest class for general service, and was “joining up” immediately.”

DEATH OF BENJAMIN GIBBONS.

The distressing news has just come to hand that Benjamin Gibbons was killed in action on June 24th. It is scarcely more than three weeks since he went back to France, after some time in Ireland. When he was last home on furlough he was far from well, but he was quite ready to return. In answer to a question he said that he had gone “over the top” more than 17 times. May God’s tenderest consolation be with the bereaved parents.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine (D/N33/12/1/5)

County Surveyor urgently required overseas

The civil engineering skills of the Berkshire County Surveyor would be a valuable asset to the Army. The County Council was willing to let him go if necessary.

COUNTY SURVEYOR
The Staff Purposes Sub-committee have considered an application made by the County Surveyor for leave of absence to take up service under the Government during the war. This application was originally made in May last to the Highways and Bridges Committee for leave to volunteer, and that Committee reported as follows:

… in their opinion no obstacle should be put in the way of the County Surveyor entering Government service for the period of the war, but having regard to the importance of his present duties from the national point of view they recommend that consent should only be given provided his service and rank under the Government be equally important to those of his present position….

On 5 June the County Surveyor reported to the Highways Committee as to the proposed organisation of his Department in case he should be given Government service, which report was adopted by them and is as follows:

C A Veal, who was temporarily engaged for the period of the war at £1 per week, has left, and T Clayton, the temporary Clerk of Works, will terminate his appointment about 1 September.

Mr Clayton’s service I suggest might be retained as he will be invaluable as a draughtsman, and in connection with the repairs to Bridges and Police Stations.

Subject to the above it is not suggested at present to engage any additional assistance, and although supervision cannot, of course, be so efficient during my absence I am of opinion that the work of the roadmen and roller gangs can, as at present, be superintended by the Sub-Surveyors, who are willing to put in any extra time or work which may be necessary for the purpose.…

On 26 July the following minute from the War Office, addressed to the Clerk, was received:

War Office
July 26th, 1815
To the Clerk of the Berks County Council

The services of Mr J F Hawkins are urgently required for employment overseas on the staff of Brigadier General Gibbon, who has especially asked for him. Mr Hawkins would be employed as Field Engineer with the rank of temporary Captain, RE. It is hoped that his services can be spared, and that he may be released at once as the matter is urgent.

G A Travers, Major AAG, RE

Your Sub-committee decided by a majority (the Chairman dissenting) … that leave of absence be given to the County Surveyor … and that, from the date the County Surveyor was Gazetted, E D Aldridge be engaged as a clerk at a salary of 10/- per week…

Arthur E Preston, Chairman
27 July 1915

Report of Staff Purposes Sub-committee to BCC Finance Committee, (C/CL1/1/18)