“After four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed”

The Armistice was greeted with joy and celebration in Wargrave.

Victory

The news that the Armistice was signed reached the Wargrave Post Office at almost 11.20 a.m. on Monday November 11th. The Foreman of the Belfry was ready to summon his Ringers and in a very few minutes the bells of the Parish Church rang joyously. The houses were soon bedecked with flags, the village street became full of people and the wounded soldiers marched in procession with noise and merriment. At noon there was a short service for the few who could assemble, but at 7 p.m. there was a general Service of Thanksgiving to Almighty God and the Parish Church was crowded.

The Authorities have permission for the arrangement of public festivities with bonfires and fireworks to be held within one week only of Armistice day. It seemed right to do all that could be done to impress the event upon the memories of the children, and it was felt that after four years of war we ought to do what we could to make up to the little people for the many ordinary pleasures of childhood which they had necessarily missed. But there was no time to call a public meeting to discuss the matter because the only chance of securing provisions was to make the purchases at once. By the hospitality and spirit of Sir William Cain and Mr. Bond the general entertainment of the whole village was happily arranged.

Mr. and Mrs. Bond entertained all the young people under the ages of 18 to tea. The infants met in their own school and were afterwards taken to join the older children in the Piggott School for a magic lantern entertainment. The Boys’ Club, the Girls’ Club, and the other young people had their tea in the District School. The Crazies Hill Children were well provided for in the Mission Hall and Mr. Chenery showed them a good exhibition of lantern slides.

There were many kind helpers and a good many visitors to the tea parties. At each place of entertainment there were a few words spoken to help impress the memories of the young people with the greatness of the occasion and our cause for thankfulness. Mr. Bond, Mr. Huggins, and the Vicar all said something at one place or another, and everywhere there were loud cheers for the host and hostess. It was delightful to see the enjoyment of the children.

The Fireworks were announced to commence at 8 p.m., at the Manor, and the entertainment was for all parishioners. It was a most magnificent display with many set pieces, a host of rockets and a bonfire at the last. The show was arranged at the top of the park just below the garden terrace. A great crowd of people thronged the lawns and overflowed to the grass beyond.

At the conclusion of the fireworks, when the people were gathered to the bonfire, the Vicar, supported by Mr. Bond, expressed the thanks of the parish to Sir William and Lady Cain. Everyone understood that when both time and supply were so limited there could have been no entertainment at all unless someone had acted at once. Sir William Cain has always shown that he has the welfare of Wargrave in mind and on this occasion he acted immediately, taking the whole burden upon himself and supplying an entertainment which no combined effort could have surpassed. The cheers of the guests must have done something to show how much the hospitality was appreciated, and it would indeed be difficult to think of anything that could have been devised that would have been more calculated to impress the memories of the young people with the glorious event of this happy victory than the entertainment which they enjoyed at Wargrave.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

Advertisements

“Everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government”

The people of Wargrave were impressed by the call to help the war effort by placing their personal savings in a Government scheme.

War Savings Association

The Wargrave War Savings Association was very successfully started at a well attended Public Meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, 1917.

Mr. Henry Bond presided, and was supported by Mr. W. C. F. Anderson, Hon. Secretary for Berks, Mr. G. G. Phillimore, who is Secretary for a local branch, and the Vicar.

The Speakers explained that everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government. The Government gives 5 per cent, interest, so everyone can help himself at the same time as he helps the country. The man who saves now is helping our soldiers by going without something himself. The less we consume from over the seas, the more room we leave in the ships to carry necessities and comforts for our soldiers.

A resolution to form a Wargrave War Savings Association was unanimously passed.

Mr. Henry Bond was unanimously elected Chairman and Hon. Treasurer. The Vicar was elected Hon. Secretary.

The following were elected to the Committee of Management, with power to add to their number.

Wargrave: Mrs. Groves, Messrs. H. Butcher, W.H. Easterling, F.W. Headington, and E. Stokes.
Hare Hatch: Mrs. Oliver Young, Messrs. A. E. Chenery and A.E. Huggins.
Crazies Hill: Messrs. J.T. Griffin and T. Moore, the Rev. W.G. Smylie.

The Office of the Association is at the Vicarage. The Certificate if affiliation to the National War Savings Committee, the Rules and Statements of Accounts will be exhibited in the Parish Room.

Office Hours at Vicarage, SATURDAYS 9.30- 10.30 a.m. and 5.30-6.30 p.m.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Tricolour Day for the French

Ladies in Wargrave sold French flags and rosettes, and postcards of the local church, in aid of our wounded allies.

Tricolour Day

“The French Wounded Emergency Fund’s” special day, Tricolour Day, was kept in Wargrave on October 2nd, and a house to house collection and sale of tricolour rosettes and pennants and St. Michael’s postcards was made throughout the parish.

The following kindly collected: Mrs. Nicholl, with Mrs. Sanderson Furniss, Mrs. Theobalds, Miss Joan Wells, Miss Betty Wells, Miss Joan Crisp, and Mrs. Remnant collected in Hare Hatch and adjoining parts of the village; Miss Brenda Rhodes at Hennerton and near neighbourhood, Miss Goulding and Miss Cain in High Street, Miss Fairburn and Mrs. Churcher in part of the village, Miss Ryder, Mrs. Harry Wells, Miss G. Huggins, and Miss Dorothy Bell at the station, Miss Georgina Holland and Miss Joan Willis in Crazies Hill, and Miss M. Easterling and Miss Wyatt part of Victoria Road.

Very many thanks are due to these kind helpers for the success of the day and to the contributors, and also to the following ladies who kindly made themselves responsible for the making up of the rosettes and pennants sold on Tricolour Day: Mrs. Nicholl, Mrs. Bond, Miss Goulding, Mrs. Lang, Mrs. Remnant, Miss Cain and Mrs. Wedderburn.

The sum collected was £42 4s. 11d.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Our Belgian guests

The people of Hare Hatch in Wargrave were generously helping to support Belgians in the area, while Florence Vansittart Neale invited some refugees to tea at Bisham Abbey.

Hare Hatch Notes
Our Belgian Guests Fund has profited during the past three months to the extent of £5 2s. 5d. The Hon. Secretary, Miss S. Nancy Huggins, desires on behalf of the Committee once again to thank the Subscribers and Collectors for their great help which is most gratefully received.

Diar of Florence Vansittart Neale, 28 July 1915
Belgians came (A Meesters etc) to tea.

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P145/28/31; diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Good work in Wargrave and district

Time and money for war work sometimes had to be taken away from other charitable endeavours. In Wargrave, those who had formerly knitted socks etc for disadvantaged children and were now knitting and sewing for soldiers, at least gave a monetary gift for the chdren.


The Children’s Union
For the support of Crippled Children Waifs and Strays Society.
Miss Mair begs to thank all the members for what they have so kindly done during the past year. Some members, who owing to the War had no time to work, have sent money instead, this money has been spent in socks and stockings for the crippled children. £3. 19s. 0d has been collected in the boxes – Miss Joan Willis having collected the most. All this has been sent with three parcels containing worked garments and picture books to Head Quarters, and Mrs. Ward Pool begs to send her grateful thanks to the members.

J. J. Mair,
Wargrave Branch Secretary,
January 1915.
League of Mercy, Wargrave
For 1914 £. s. d.
By Subs 24 6 6
Proceeds of Jumble Sale 32 17 9
Total: 57 4 3

H. H. Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, President for Berks, desires me to convey her thanks to all those who have so kindly subscribed and helped the League of Mercy, and hopes Wargrave will again do its utmost to further this good cause as funds are more needed than ever by the hospitals owing to the war.
M. B. Rhodes,
Lady Vice-President

Berkshire Needlework Guild
Two hundred and two warm and useful garments were sent from Wargrave to H. H. Princess Victoria of Schlewswig- Holstein who is now president of the Wokingham Branch, and H. H. requests that her thanks be conveyed to all those who contributed to the splendid collections sent.
M. B. Rhodes,
Vice President.

Crazies Hill Notes
Miss Cole is to be congratulated upon the success of her Red Cross Working Party, which has met every week and laboured with untiring energy. Two large parcels of garments have now been sent to Queen Mary’s Needle Work Guild.

Hare Hatch Notes
Miss S. N. Huggins acknowledges with many thanks to the collectors and subscribers towards our Belgian Guests Fund, the sum of £1. 17s. 11d. “The third instalment”.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

A most welcome gift of vegetables aboard ship

Our friend Florence Vansittart Neale was heavily involved in getting hold of fresh vegetables for the Royal Navy. Here we see one parish’s response, when they abandoned their usual horticultural show in favour of donating their best crops to hungry sailors.

At the meeting of the Wargrave and Knowl Hill Horticultural Society held in January, it was decided that owing to the War the Annual Show would not be held. A letter was read from the Vegetable Products Committee asking for vegetables for the Fleet. The Hon. Secretary was asked to organise the sending of some hampers. In answer to her appeal hampers have been forwarded to the naval base from Miss. Choatem, Mrs. Young, Rev. H. Wells, Mrs. Groves, Mrs. Rhodes, Major Bulkley D.S.O., A. E. Huggins, Esq., J. Shepherd, Esq., W. E. Cain, Esq., Sir Charles Henry, Bart., Mrs. Nicholl and Mrs. O. Young.

That the vegetables have been greatly appreciated is evidenced by the following letter received by Mrs. Oliver Young.

14, Mess, H.M.S. Hecla,
c/o G.P.O.
27/1/14
Madam,

I am writing to thank you for your most welcome present of vegetables. It has never been an easy matter, even in peace time, to get a sufficiency of such things and so I leave to guess how much we appreciate your thoughtfulness.

My mess-mates join their thanks with mine and wish you all the good things imaginable in return for your kindness.

Yours sincerely,
R. Larcombe

Mrs Oliver Young will be very glad if those who are not able to send a complete hamper will send her contributions of vegetables on Tuesdays in March as she can make them up and dispatch consignments.

Wargrave parish magazine, March 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Help in this sad time of war

The women and children of Wargrave and Knowl Hill worked hard supporting the war effort, as the parish magazine bears witness. Netley was a big hospital for the wounded in Southampton.

Berkshire Red Cross Society
Mrs. Oliver Young wishes to thank the kind friends who have given such valuable help to the Red Cross Society, both in money and work, with the result that 311 garments and 6 kitbags, complete, have been sent to the Depot in Reading. Berkshire has built and equipped a Hut at Netley, which is now filled with wounded soldiers. Two Ambulances at the cost of £400 each, have been bought for the work at the front, and a third has been subscribed for.

From the depot in Reading large consignments of garments have been sent to Headquarters in London, to Hospital ships, to Hospitals abroad, and also to the various Battalions of the Berkshire Regiments, at home and at the front.

The Wokingham North District was also asked to provide 126 warm woollen garments for our Fleet, which was done.

Mrs. Oliver Young will be very glad to have more pyjamas, shirts, socks and woollen comforts as there are still wanted.’

The League of Honour
Mrs. Groves is pleased to be able to say that 130 Members have been enrolled from this Parish, in the Wargrave Band of the above League, and that she has forwarded the socks, mittens, etc, which have been knitted by the Members, to the Berkshire Regiment, and to the Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. The next meeting will be duly announced.

The Hon. Treasurer of our Belgian Guests Fund, Miss S. Nancy Huggins, acknowledges with many thanks our first instalment to that Fund of £2. 4s. 0d.

Knowl Hill
The children of our Schools have been trying to be of some help in this sad time of war. Many have done knitting, whilst others have contributed towards the tobacco fund.

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Honour the dead – but first honour and inspire the living

Some of the Earley men who had joined up had paid the ultimate price before the end of 1914. But the Earley parish magazine had a trenchant message for parishioners regarding the way soldiers were indulged with alcohol.

Roll of Honour

We deeply regret the increasing list of those who have either laid down their lives or been wounded in the service of their country. Of this large number some are connected with our parish, and we offer our most heartfelt sympathy to their families, especially to Mr and Mrs Fisher of S. Bartholomew’s Road, and Mr and Mrs Kintchin of Filey Road, whose sons have both been killed in action. No particulars are to hand of William James Kintchin except one sad event: but we may say, without breaking confidence, that the account sent of Edward Fisher (a reservist and sometime postman of Reading) shows he died a most noble death immediately after carrying out of action a wounded man.

We at home cannot realize, indeed can have no idea, what battle actually means to those engaged, but we can honour them in life as well as in death; and the meaning of all the meetings recently held in the town hall, and in our own club for girls, is to impress upon them the all-important need of shewing honour to those who are about to fight for our hearths and homes. The streets of our town too often and too sadly shew how difficult it is for many to learn this elementary lesson. Those who are ready to honour and mourn the dead have first to learn to honour and inspire the living. The soldiers’ great enemies are the thoughtlessness and frivolity, the want of seriousness, and miserable treating to strong drink on the part of those who call themselves their best friends. Alas! That it should be so; that many men, women and girls should need to be roused to their sense of duty, when at this time it is so self-evident.

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