“Our part in the struggle for liberty”

Sir Charles Hunter (1858-1924) of Mortimer Hill was an experienced soldier and, during the First World War, held a post on the General Staff. He gave a patriotic talk to his neighbours in the church hall.

The War

On Monday evening, June 12th, in S. John’s Hall, Sir Charles Hunter gave a very interesting and illuminating lecture on the War. The Speaker was listened to with rapt attention, and we are sure that the very good audience were were both charmed and cheered – charmed as they heard of the grand way in which we are taking our part in the struggle for liberty, and cheered to know that there is no doubt as to the ultimate result of that struggle. Sir Charles was accorded a hearty vote of thanks for his goodness in giving the lecture. “God save the King” was sung, and the proceedings closed.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, July 1916 (D/P120/28A/14)

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Special prayers for the war

At St Peter’s Church in Earley, worshippers prayed for the war dead, and those still serving.

Commemoration of the Dead.

We are having a special service on Monday evening, November 1st, at Evensong in commemoration of those who have died in the war and all the faithful departed, and on Tuesday, November 2nd (All Souls’ Day) a special Celebration of Holy Communion with special intention for all the faithful departed. Any members of the congregation who would like their departed friends mentioned by name are requested to send the names to one of the Clergy before Tuesday morning.

List of Men Serving in His Majesty’s Forces.

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

Ralph Hunter, Harold Matson, Albert Callow, Fred Bulpit, Colin Matson, Albert King, Tom Goodard, John Barnes, Jack Newey.

The following we especially commend to your prayers:-

Wounded – Osmund Matson, Arthur Worsfold (gas poisoning), John Chandler, Eric Cook, William O’Leary, Reginald Waite, Stanley Platt.

Killed in Action – Herbert Roberts, Rex Lewin, Bert Farmer, Herbert Mileam, George Wright.

With the sanction of the Bishop we are finishing Evensong on Sundays at the 3rd Collect and having special intercessions and prayers for the war. Each Sunday we read the names of wounded, sick, missing, prisoners and killed, and on the 2nd Sunday in each month the whole list of those who are serving. We hope all parents and friends will come and pray for their beloved ones.

Of course we are still continuing the Special Celebrations on Tuesdays at 7 when the full list of names is read; and the Intercession Services on Tuesday at 8pm.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P191/28A/22)

Dreadful conditions in Serbia

One little known aspect of the First World War is the terrible epidemic of typhus which devastated our ally Serbia. William Hunter (1861-1937), the British doctor and fever specialist who was in charge of tackling the disease, was an family friend of the Glyns, and was surprised to run into Ralph in Serbia.

15 March 1915

My dear Ralph

I did not know the last time I saw you in Harley St that our next meeting or greeting would be – of all places – in this Heaven-forsaken and distressed land.

I am asking Colonel Harrison – our Secretary Attache here – to carry to you the letters contained herein – viz to Captain Fitzwilliams – RAMC Influenza officer at [Straela?].

I am out here as Colonel AMS in Comand of some 30 officers of the RAMC as a great Sanitary Corps sent out by the War Office to deal with the frightful problems presented in this country.

We arrived in Nish on Thursday the 4th inst, stayed there till Monday the 8th inst, interviewing all the Government Officials – from the Prime Minister downwards. Came on here to Hdquarters with my Major a week ago – brought up the other officers here last Thursday; and have during this past week been fearfully busy, amid all kinds of uncomfortable conditions, preparing our plans of operations for the whole Serbian Armies, to which we are attached.

Our stores arrive in a day or two, but already we have been able to decide – & our recommendations have enabled the Serbian Authorities to decide on the plan of operations to deal with the frightful epidemic now prevailing.

Will you tell my dear wife how things are in this country?

Will you also try to se Captain Fitzwilliams at Malta, & ask him to see that the ‘food stores’ we have ordered are sent out at once. We want them very badly.

During the last 10 days we have indeed “gelebt und gelutten”. But things are straitening [sic] out, as the result of continuous pressure.

My Headquarters will be here – with my stores & laboratories, while the larger part of the Corps of officers are going forward, elsewhere.

It’s a great fight we have to put up – against dreadful conditions of disease – & we can only aim to do our duty: against all odds, whatever they may be. No such problem of infection has ever been presented to any body of men in modern history.

I asked Mrs Hunter specially to write to Lady Mary, telling her of my mission – on which I was despatched with some 3 days’ notice, and I little knew that you had gone before.

I hope you are very well – and that you will call on my dear wife & tell her that, in spite of all difficulties, things are moving.

With all good wishes.

Yours ever sincerely
Wm Hunter

Letter from William Hunter to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/4)

More than was promised: Longworth supports refugees and wounded soldiers

The parishioners of Longworth contributed to the war effort in their prayers, and in their donations for war related good causes. The parish magazine for March reported:

I would remind the Diocese that the second Wednesday in Lent (February 24) is the day appointed for Intercession for Home Missions. I would suggest that, besides the ordinary subjects of intercession, we should pray especially for the work among the troops.

As our readers know, Longworth has promised to send help to the Belgian refugees in Oxford to the extent of £2 a week for three months. It is delightful to be able to do more than was promised. Help will be sent as long as subscriptions continue to come in. The amounts already received are as follows:

per Mr Webb – W.J. Church, £1; Mr E. Webb, 10s; box in Post Office, 1s 2d;
Per Mr Hunter – W. Goodenough, 2d; Mr G Hunter (six weeks), 3s; Mrs Rivers, 2d; Nurse King (ten weeks), 5s; Charles Broad, 2d; Mr Prince (sixteen weeks), £2; Miss King, 2s.6d; Mrs W. Edmonds 2s; The Rector (eight weeks) 16s; Mrs Cooper (ten weeks) 5s; Anon 9d; from Church Box £1 16s;
Per Mrs Crum – Lady Hyde £13 (thirteen weeks); Mrs Powell, £1, Mr Crum £13; Miss Liebscher 10s (twenty weeks) ; Mrs Porter 2s.

The collections on the Sundays, January 3 (Intercession day) and 10th, including the contents of the collecting box, amounted to 15s 2d, and were given to the British Red Cross Society, for the benefit of the wounded soldiers now in hospital at Faringdon.

Longworth parish magazine, March 1915 (D/P83/28A/10/3)

Entertainments in Winkfield for war funds

Ladies in Winkfield raised money to help the war effort by putting on a series of concerts for their neighbours.

ENTERTAINMENTS FOR WAR FUNDS.

Miss Graham Loyd repeated her excellent entertainment on Tuesday, December 29th, and a large audience enjoyed the programme provided.

Miss Loyd contributed two capital songs. Comic songs by Major Egerton and Messrs Green, Company and Woollatt were much appreciated, as was the song contributed by Mr. Worsfold, and those by Colour-Sergeant Brett, who received vociferous encores. The dialogue in costume, “Geese,” by Mrs And Miss Loyd, was excellently rendered and evoked well merited applause.

Miss Montgomerie is much to be congratulated on the success of the entertainment organised by her in the Parish Room on January 19th and repeated on the 22nd, on both occasions to a crowded house.

The first part was the play, “Hansel and Gretal,” which was prettily staged and excellently acted by Master L Guinness, the Misses M and T Guinness, Miss Viva Montgomerie, Miss Violet Sandford, Miss Camilla Finlay, Miss Frances Osman, the Misses F and A Wilder, and Miss Jean Baikie.

The children threw themselves thoroughly into their parts, and the acting of Master L Guinness as Hansel, Miss M Guinness as Gretal, and Miss T Guinness as the Witch, was especially praiseworthy. Mrs Guinness went to great trouble and expense in arranging the stage and scenery, and her efforts contributed largely to the success of the play.

The second part of the entertainment consisted of a Lantern Lecture by Miss Hunter who gave a most interesting account of her travels in far off lands, illustrated by a large number of splendid slides from photographs that had been taken on the spot. The net proceeds amounted to £7 18s. 3d.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/2)