The bravest man in the trenches

Many of the former pupils of Reading School were serving with distinction.

O.R. NEWS.

Military Cross

Temp. 2nd Lieut. F.A.L. Edwards, Royal Berks Regiment.- For conspicuous gallantry during operations. When the enemy twice attacked under cover of liquid fire, 2nd Lieut. Edwards showed great pluck under most trying circumstances and held off the enemy. He was badly wounded in the head while constructing a barricade within twenty-five yards of the enemy.

2nd Lieut. (Temp. Lieut.) W/C. Costin, Gloucester Regiment. – For conspicuous gallantry during operations. When the enemy penetrated our front line he pushed forward to a point where he was much exposed, and directed an accurate fire on the trench with his trench guns. It was largely due to his skill and courage that we recaptured the trench. An Old Boy of Reading School, he won a scholarship at St. John’s College. Oxford.

2nd Lieut. D.F.Cowan.

Killed in Action.

Lieut. Hubert Charles Loder Minchin, Indian Infantry, was the eldest of three sons of the late Lieut-Col. Hugh Minchin, Indian Army, who followed their father into that branch of the service, and of whom the youngest was wounded in France in May, 1915. Lieutenant Minchin, who was 23 years old, was educated at Bath College, Reading School, and Sandhurst. After a probationary year with the Royal Sussex Regiment, he was posted to the 125th (Napier’s) Rifles, then at Mhow, with whom he served in the trenches.

After the engagement at Givenchy on December 20th, 1914, he was reported missing. Sometime later an Indian Officer, on returning to duty from hospital, reported that he had seen Lieut. Minchin struck in the neck, and killed instantly, when in the act of personally discharging a machine-gun against the enemy. The Indian officer has now notified that he must be believed to have fallen on that day.
2nd lieut.

F.A.L. Edwards, Royal Berkshire Regiment, awarded the military cross, died of wounds on August 10th. He was 23 years of age, and the youngest son of the late Capt. H.H. Edwards, Royal Navy, and Mrs. Edwards, of Broadlands, Cholsey. He was educated at Reading School and the City and Guilds College, Kensington. He had been on active service 10 months. His Adjutant wrote:

“He was the bravest man in the trenches. All the men say he was simply wonderful on the morning of August 8th. We lost a very gallant soldier and a very lovable man.”

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Some cease to contribute to Belgian relief

Members of Maidenhead Congregational Church continued to support their Belgian families, but in slightly fewer numbers.

BELGIAN RELIEF FUND.

The Secretary of the above fund desires to report that sufficient money will be forthcoming in the present system, if subscriptions are maintained, to allow our guests rent, gas, and a limited supply of coal, thereby leaving them the wages received from employment at Wycombe (a nett amount of 27/- per week) for food and clothing.

In spite of rumours to the contrary, it will be necessary to continue subscriptions at any rate during the winter months, and, on the present much reduced basis, the emergency fund will have to be used to some extent to make up the amounts of subscribers who, for one cause and another, have ceased to contribute.

The Treasurer will be glad to have the arrears, which, in a few cases, have been allowed to accumulate, and will be pleased to forward a statement of amounts owing on application.

OUR MILITARY.

We offer hearty congratulations to Mr. Cyril Hews upon his promotion to 2nd Lieut. He has been in the Army from the outbreak of the war, and has done a lot of hard work in this country and in France.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, November 1916 (D/N33/12/1/5)

A refugee makes munitions

A Belgian refugee being supported by Maidenhead churchgoers had found work – which was also supporting the war ewfort.

OUR BELGIANS.

At a meeting of the Committee on May 8th, it was decided that since M. Van Hoof was earning wages as a worker of munitions (at High Wycombe) it was no longer necessary to pay him the weekly allowance in money, but that for the present the Committee should continue to be responsible for the rent, coal and gas. In consequence, subscribers were invited to reduce their weekly contributions once more by one-half.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, June 1916 (D/N33/12/1/5)

To France in a few days

The son of a friend of Florence Vansittart Neale was soon to go to France.

12 August 1915

Edith & I to High Wycombe to lunch with Margie. Michael there training – he just heard he had to go to France in a few days – back to Bristol that afternoon. Very heavy storms. We lent him motor & stayed with Margie till after tea.

Zeppelin raids about coast of England most [of] night!

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