Bluejackets land in Russia

The ‘Bluejackets‘ were a small specialised Navy force – possibly precursors of the SBS?

8 April 1918

Japs & some of our bluejackets landed Vladivostok.

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

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Hope the Japanese stop the Germans

Florence Vansittart Neale hoped the Japanese might take over from the Russians to hold back Germany on the eastern front.

1 March 1918

Hope Japs stop Germans at Vladivostok.

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

The introduction of compulsory service has rather changed the situation

The parish of Burghfield was keeping track of local men serving in the war.

THE WAR

The Roll of Honour

A list kept by the Rector, of those Burghfield men who since the beginning of the war have laid down their lives for their country and the just cause of the Allies, hangs near the reading-desk in the Church.

The full Roll, including those who have offered and been accepted for immediate or deferred service, is kept up to date by Mr. Willink so far as possible, and hangs in the Church Porch. The introduction of compulsory service has rather changed the situation: but he will be glad to receive names of men not already on the Roll but actually serving, together with the exact title of their ship or unit, also notice of any honours or promotions, wounds or deaths.

The list of wounded is growing long. Happily most cases are light. But it should be known by everybody that any disabled man is entitled to free training, if necessary or possible in some trade, and to be helped in finding employment. Information can be obtained at any Post Office. In cases of delay or difficulty in this matter, or in regard to Pensions or Allowances, applications should be made to the Berkshire War Pensions Committee through Mr. or Mrs Willink, who are on the Reading Rural Sub Committee.

Honours

Colonel Sir Wyndham Murray, of Culverlands, formerly C.B whose distinguished services in past times are well known, has been made K.C.B. He has acted as King’s Messenger during the War, and has repeatedly visited the front. He and Lady Murray have also received certain Japanese decorations.

Captain G. O. W. Willink was mentioned in Despatches in May, and has just been awarded the Military Cross for distinguished conduct in August. He has commanded “A” Coy in the 2/4 R. Berks Regt. Since he went out in July 1916, and has seen service in many parts of the line in France and Flanders.

Burghfield parish magazine, October 1917 (D/EX725/4)

Japanese attaches to visit the Somme

Japan had been allied with Great Britain since 1902, and during World War I they fought the Germans in the latter’s imperial possessions in the Far East. Captain, later Admiral, John Donald Kelly (1871-1936)

27 September 1916

We motored to [the] James – found her & Nina in. He goes to the Somme with Japanese attache’s…

Splendid victories Anglo-French….

Captain K[elly] gone to Scapa in new boat “Weymouth”.

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

“Housewives – you can help your country in this hour of need”

The vicar of Reading St Mary outlined a programme of prayer for our allies, and encouraged women to respond to the Food Economy Campaign.

The Vicar’s Notes
The week-day Eucharist’s suggested intercessions

1. In connection with the War. Prayers for our Allies.
Mondays. The Serbians and Montenegrins.
Tuesdays. The Belgians.
Wednesday. The French.
Thursday. The Russians.
Friday. The Italians.
Saturday. The Japanese.

On Fridays, intercessions will also be offered
1. For all the wounded, the prisoners, and the sick.
2. For all the suffering nationalities, e.g. the Armenians, etc.
3. For our enemies, that their hearts may be turned, and that our own hearts may be renewed.

S. Mary’s
Save the food of the Nation

To the Housewives of Great Britain and to all who are responsible for the buying and cooking of food. You can help your country in this hour of need. No one too rich or too poor to help. You are asked to save food so that those who are destitute though the War may be fed. Do this wisely and your family will be better fed.

Under the auspices of the Reading Health Society and National Food Economy League, Four Demonstration Lectures in Food Economy will be given in the Reading Gas Company’s Lecture room on Fridays, March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. Morning Lectures, 11-1, for mistresses and cooks, Course Tickets, 2/6. Afternoon Penny lectures, 3-5, for working woman. Tickets may be had from Mrs. Childs, Principal’s Lodge, Upper Redlands Road; Mrs. Coleman, Muttusmore, Castle Hill. Ask for the Handbook for Housewifes, price 1d.

All Saint’s District
Roll of Honour

Walter James Banten, Richard John Darvall, F. H. Hill, Charlie Morgan, Robert John West Saunders, William John Saunders, Frederick Taylor.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, March 1916 (D/P98/28A/13)

“In death, they were not divided”

The people of Ascot mourned the death of some of their sons who had lost their lives at the Front – including two brothers, a soldier and a sailor, killed on the same day. They also had a military hospital in the village, and contact with well-wishers in Japan (which was an ally of the British).

Roll of Honour
Oscar William Tottie R.I.P.
Eric Harold Tottie R.I.P.
Alfred Harry Tidbury R.I.P.
Bernhard Pratt-Barlow R.I.P.

A REQUIEM EUCHARIST for our Sailors and Soldiers is celebrated on Saturdays, in All Saints Church, at 8 a.m.

THOSE AT THE FRONT.

We have to add the following names to our List in the October Magazine.

NAVY – William Walter Paxford, Stephen John Waite, Egbert Arthur Tidbury.

ARMY – Sydney George Sumner, Charles John Walls, Ernest Monk, James Johnston, George Lappage, Ernest Oram, Harry Bonnard, Matthew O’Connor, Thomas John Minns, William Brown, Paul Meakin, John Henry Baker, Robert Waight Sensier.

LIEUTENANT ERIC TOTTIE, Northumberland Fusiliers, was wounded at the Front on Sunday, September 20th, and expired in the base Hospital on the 22nd, being the same day on which his brother Lieutenant Oscar Tottie lost his life on H.M.S. Aboukir. “In death they were not divided.” We can only repeat what we ventured to say last month in regard to the elder brother. We pray that GOD will comfort the father and mother of two noble lads. R.I.P.

A Memorial Service for the two young officers was held at All Saints Church on Tuesday, October 6th. It was largely attended.

“THE SUGGESTION” in last month’s Magazine has met with a most generous response, and a family of Belgian Refugees is happily installed at Easton Villa, Kennel Ride – resting after their sad flight on foot from Antwerp a short time ago. We know they will soon have many friends, for we feel sure that all who go to see them will want to go again. Anyone wishing to pay his or her subscription direct to Mrs. Elliot and “Sandridge” will find a box on her front door on Sundays, from 10.45 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 2.45 p.m. to 4 p.m. Envelopes to contain the subscriptions (on which the Donors names must be written) will be given on application to Mrs. Elliot – who is the Hon. Treasurer for all monies subscribed for the purpose.

THE ASCOT MILITARY HOSPITAL is, at the time that we write, full to overflowing with wounded and sick Soldiers. They seem happy in their quarters; and in many cases, what with Ascot air and good treatment, their convalescence has been rapid. Already several patients have sufficiently recovered to be dismissed.
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Peppered with rosettes by fast women

Oxford student Sydney Spencer of Cookham reports on festivities in aid of Belgian refugees, where he found the tone rather unseemly.

Sydney Spencer’s diary, Saturday Nov 7th 9.30 pm
I have just been to the Union to write. Today is Oxford’s Belgium day. The town tonight was absolutely packed with people, the thing seemed almost more an affair of joy & ‘gala’ than a deed of mercy. Every man, woman & child was wearing a badge & many undergrads were absolutely peppered with rosettes from head to foot – literally – for they had huge bows of red yellow & black on each shoe! Way, when he watched with me on Wednesday afternoon – (& by the way I went into Pusey House chapel to see it, it is artistic, light as is so possible in Gothic – altogether satisfying in the aesthetic way) – said that he thought that this Belgian badge day, good in itself, was bad in that giddy fast women were the sellers, & so to speak sold their affections to gain the money of the men. This is perhaps rather extreme but I am in agreement with him.

Diary of Sydney Spencer, 1914 (D/EX801/12)

Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham also attended the event, but was more interested in the successful Japanese assault on the German-held city of Tsingtao (now Qingdao) in China.

I motored to Oxford. Lunch at Randolph. Belgian Day….

Tsingtao fallen. Great blow to Germans. Relieve our troops and ships.

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