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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