Lavender Day

Ascot parishioners were asked to contribute lavender from their gardens in a novel fundaising idea.

The Parade Service of the R.A.F. now takes place in the Church at 9, instead of in the Cinema.

‘There will be a “Lavender Day” on July 20th in aid of the Five “Ascot” beds with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in France, Corsica and Salonika, and the Berkshire War Prisoners’ Fund. Gifts of Lavender, fresh or dried, will be gratefully received by Miss Hanbury at Holmwood least a few Lavender bushes, and the smallest quantity will be welcome if sent promptly.

The Ascot Sailors and Soldiers Committee have been distributing the printed Cards, mentioned in our last issue, for relatives to post to men serving abroad. If any have not yet received a card in a stamped envelope ready to be addressed and sent along with an ordinary letter, they should apply at once to the member of the Committee in charge of their district as follows:

High Street – A.F. Bullock
H. Woods
London Road – H. Goswell
Fernbank Road – H.Tustin
Seinley and Priory Road – J. Skelton
New Road – H. Charman
A. Morton
Kennel Ride – A.Woods

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, July 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/6)

Blinded soldiers turn to chicken rearing

Berkshire County Council and its committees dealt with several war related matters. One was the registration of the multitude of independent war charities which had sprung up.

Report of School Management Sub-committee, 14 October 1916


The following Head Teachers have rejoined the Army since the last meeting: Mr Mills (Childrey), Mr Hunt (Cold Ash), Mr Bird (Priestwood), Mr Andrews (Mortimer St Mary’s) and Mr Verrall (Brimpton). Their places have been filled temporarily by the appointment of the Certificated Assistant (Woman) of their respective schools, or by the transfer of a teacher from another school.

Report of Smallholdings and Allotments Committee, 14 October 1916


Enquiries were made on behalf of the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Hostel, St Dunstan’s, as to whether any assistance could be given in finding locations near Reading for Blinded Soldiers who have been taught chicken rearing. They require a cottage and about an acre of ground at a rent not exceeding £30 per annum.

The agents in the Reading district were asked if they had any suitable properties available, but from the replies received it appeared that no suitable places were available for renting, and only three or four were put forward for sale.

It was stated by St Dunstan’s that at present only leasing could be considered.

Report of the War Charities Committee, 14 October 1916

The following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have not been approved, and the Clerk instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners: (more…)

Good wholesome fun: a soldier reports on life in training

The wonderfully named Dedlock Holmes from Stratfield Mortimer reported on his experiences as a recruit in the Royal Berkshire Regiment in a letter which was printed in the parish magazine:

4th Royal Berks Regt., T.,
Hitcham House Farm,

At the above-named spot, the country seat of Lt.-Col. Hanbury, the newly-formed Battalion are stationed.

The Camp is situated on a hill, overlooking the beautiful Thames valley on the south, and on a clear day Windsor Castle can be easily seen on the south-east. This hill is actually the first rise of the Chiltern Hills.

The Battalion at present numbers about 280 men, and a friendly spirit prevails throughout the whole, and also a spirit of good wholesome fun, as will be gathered from the names they give to their quarters (which consist of cowsheds, pig-styes, etc.). We have “Kitchener’s Villa,” “The Said Villa,” “Iseville,” “Hitchy Koo Villa,” “Ragtime Cott,” and many others.

These various so called villas meet every week in great football contests – and, so far, our “Villa” remains undefeated.
It must not be supposed, however, that we have nothing to think of but football; we never forget why we are here, and so take kindly to the somewhat hard training we get.

Every morning at 6.0 we are aroused by the bugle call, have a cold tub or wash and make ourselves fresh for an hour’s hard drill of Swedish physical exercises, which tend to loosen and strengthen every single muscle in the body, and those of us who have had two or three weeks of it can already find the benefit of it. After this follows breakfast, which, as you can imagine, is heartily enjoyed. The food we get is certainly plain, but good and wholesome. After breakfast comes the serious work of the day, varying of course from day to day.
Some days we are taken out for a route march by Lt.-Col. Hanbury, who is in command of this Battalion, and who, after a good march round the country, halts us at the beautiful Burnham Beeches while he tells us some yarns about the Chiltern Hundred, who used to look after the safety of travellers through this part in the early days.

Other mornings are spent in rifle drill, etc.: dinner is at 1.0 usually, and the afternoons spent in more drills and lectures on military subjects. Sometimes we have the evenings to ourselves while on others we are turned out for night work, outposts, etc.

The Working Men’s Club have kindly thrown open the Reading Room to us, and this is where I am now writing.

Before I close I should like to say one thing: should this catch the eye of any young fellow who is undecided about joining the Colours on account of the rumours about bad treatment, all I can say is, come and join us to-morrow, for there is a real reason why you should do so, and the change of living will do you a world of good.

With kind regards to all old friends.

Yours sincerely,
Dedlock Holmes.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P120/28A/14)