Although their clothes may have been wet, the spirits of both adults and children were apparently in no way dampened

A good time was had by all at the Sulhamstead peace celebrations.

SULHAMSTEAD PEACE CELEBRATIONS

The following full and graphic account of the meetings and celebrations has been received for publication. The whole of it is worth reading and preserving. As it cannot all be printed in this copy, no attempt is made to curtail it, and the remainder will be published later. In addition to the debt which it states the parish owes to certain of its members, there must not be forgotten the admirable executive work conducted by Mr Clay, which enabled the whole to proceed without a single hitch.

A public meeting was held in Sulhamstead Schools on July 8th, when it was decided to hold our Peace Celebrations on the official day, July 19th, and to put a cross on the site of the old Church as a War Memorial. It was very well attended, and we understand it was one of the largest meetings ever held in Sulhamstead.

The following committees were appointed in connection with the Peace Celebrations, with Mr H Clay as Hon. Secretary and Treasurer.

A Catering Committee, under the guidance of Lady Watson, as follows: Mrs Cooper, Nurse Harvie, Miss Hughes, Mrs Price, Mrs Shepherd, Mrs Sheringham, Mrs Steele, Mrs Suhr, Mrs Tyser, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Jos. Wise.

A Sports Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sr W G Watson, bart, as follows: Mr Arlott, Mr A Clarke, Mr Clay, Mr Theo Jones, Mr Leake, Mr Metcalfe, Mr Ralph, Rev. A J P Shepherd, Mr Sheringham, Mr Stokes, Mr Suhr, Mr Norman Watson, Mr Winchcombe.

A Finance Committee, with Sir W G Watson, bart, as Chairman, as follows: Lady Watson, Mrs Sheringham, Miss Hughes, Mr Arlott, Mr Clay, Mr Leake, Rev, A J P Shepherd, Mr Sheringham, Mr Winchcombe.

The various committees appointed carried out their work admirably and amicably, and made the Celebrations on July 19th a great success.

Sir George Watson very kindly threw open his grounds for the occasion.

All the residents of Sulhamstead and Sulhamstead Lower End were invited to the Sports and Tea, and invitation cards were delivered by mebers of the committees to each house. These were collected, and tickets of admittance given out.

Unfortunately the weather was showery, but this did not prevent people being there, and although their clothes may have been wet, the spirits of both adults and children were apparently in no way dampened.

The children’s sports commenced at 2.30 in Sulhamstead Park by a variety of races for those under 14. There were plenty of competitors and the prizes consisted of money given by the committee and special (including two fishing rods, reels, knives, handbag and handkerchiefs) kindly given by Mr and Mrs Sheringham.

[Continued in October issue]

CONTINUATION OF REPORT ON PEACE CELEBRATION

At 4 o’clock tea was provided on the verandah at Sulhamstead House. The Adults’ Tea was served at 5 o’clock, at which meat was provided. The Rev. A J P Shepherd at this stage reminded us of those who had fallen in the war, who had gone from Sulhamstead, and read out the names. During the reading everyone stood in an impressive, solemn silence.

The Sports re-commenced at 6.30 for Adults, in which Pillow-Fighting and Blindfold Boxing caused great amusement. Mr Hayes kindly gave two 10-lb cheeses as special prizes, and money prizes were given by the committee…

The Sports concluded with Tugs of War for Men and Women, which were energetically contested. Each team was cheered by its own supporters. Mr Suhr’s team won the Men’s Tug of War, and Mrs Butler’s tem the Women’s. Mr Leake took charge of the Sports, Mr Norman Watson acting as Starter and Mr Sheringham and Mr Hayward as Judges.

During the afternoon, Bowling for a live pig, which Mr Stokes kindly gave, proved a great attraction. This was won by Mr H G Batts, who succeeded in putting down six skittles with three balls.
We are pleased to say £3.2s.11d. was received from this source as Entrance Fees.

Beer and mineral waters were provided free after 6.30.

Lady Watson presented the prizes to the winners, and vote of thanks was then given to the Catering Committee for their work in providing the tea.

Hearty cheers were given to Sir George and Lady Watson, Mr Norman Watson, and to those who gave the special prizes.

The Celebrations terminated with the National Anthem.

The gathering was a splendid success, and the thanks of everyone are due to the various committees for so ably providing pleasure for all.

Sulhamstead parish magazines, September and October 1919 (D/EX725/4)

Advertisements

In memory of two sons

The two Sulhamstead parish churches each received a gift in memeory of a fallen soldier.

The Vestry Meetings were held at the Schools on Tuesday, April 22nd. The Rector presided.

Sulhamstead Abbots:

… The Rector stated that Mr G Leake desired to insert a window in the chancel of St Mary’s Church in memory of his son, Lieutenant George Leake (acting captain), DSO, from the design originally made with the corresponding three. The Vestry gave authority for this being erected …

Sulhamstead Bannister:

… The Rector reported that Mrs Tyser was presenting the church with an organ in memory of her son, Major George Beaumont Tyser, East Lancashire Regiment, who was killed in France on July 6th, 1916. He was authorized to obtain a faculty if such were required, and was directed to convey to Mrs Tyser the thanks of the Vestry for her munificent gift.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1919 (D/EX725/4)

“Besides helping towards victory in the war, the members are laying by for the proverbial rainy day”

War savings certificates were pushed as a combination of patriotic giving and personal benefit.

SULHAMSTEAD AND UFTON WAR SAVINGS ASSOCIATION

The Association has now been at work for three months, and its success has almost exceeded all expectations. There are now 124 members, who have paid in £139 10s, being an average of nearly £10 per week; 180 certificates have been bought, and of these 138 have been handed to members. When it is remembered that these certificates will each eventually be of the value of £1, it will be seen that besides helping towards victory in the war, the members are laying by for the proverbial rainy day – this is true thrift. There are still a few who might join the Association, and it is to be hoped they will do so during the present month. The collectors are: Messrs Leake, Suhr, Clay, Ward, Arlott, and Miss Wicks – to whom the best thanks of the Association are due, for their energy and devotion to the work.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, April 1918 (D/EX725/4)

Some comfort in memories so full of sadness

A Sulhamstead family who had lost their son were invited to take pride in his heroism.

THE WAR

Mr and Mrs Leake have received the following letter from the War Office. It is indeed to be hoped that the gratifying appreciation of the services of Captain G E A Leake, DSO, may be of some comfort in memories so full of sadness:

“I have it in command from His Majesty the King to inform you, as next of kin of the late Second Lieutenant (Acting Captain) George Ernest Arthur Leake, DSO, of the London Regiment, that this Officer was mentioned in a Despatch from Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, dated 7th November, 1917, and published in the third supplement to the ‘London Gazette’ of the 21st, dated 24th December, 1917, for gallant and distinguished service in the Field.

I am to express to you the King’s high appreciation of these services, and to add that His Majesty trusts that their public acknowledgement may be of some consolation in your bereavement.

[To]
G Leake, Esq.,
Sulhamstead

Sulhamstead parish magazine, March 1918 (D/EX725/4)

Wounded Australians visit Bisham Abbey

A group of wounded Australians came for an afternoon at Bisham Abbey.

29 September 1916
Dull day, some rain. Party of 17 Australian wounded came in afternoon about 3. Saw over house – had large tea in drawing room with maids. Miss Billyard Leake brought them! Maisie came & sang. Sapper Jones! Also. Left about 6.

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

Gassed less than a week after his 18th birthday

Sonning men were serving their country, and one teenager – only just 18 – had lost his life.

THE WAR
We congratulate Captain G. E. A. Leake on his obtaining his Captaincy. His promotion has been extraordinarily rapid. He was gazetted Captain in the 3rd 4th City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, to date from February 5.

EGGS FOR THE WOUNDED
Miss B Leake has organised at the School a capital system of collecting eggs for the wounded. Anyone who has no connection with the School can send eggs through any of the schoolchildren.

ROLL OF HONOUR
It is with great sorrow that we heard of the death of Private William Henry Hill. He only reached the age of 18 on April 24th, and was gassed on April 30th. He will be remembered by many as a small choir boy, and also for a short time as one of the Scouts. At the time of enlisting at the age of 16, he was a servant at a Club at Guildford, frequented by military men. Mr Leake has received a letter from the Club speaking in the warmest terms of his services, and how he had won the esteem of every one of the officers. His father and grandparents have our deepest sympathy. He was in the 8th Batt. Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, June 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Our Russian Allies have been nobly bearing the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack

Women and children were at the forefront in Burghfield, Sulhamstead and Theale fundraising efforts on behalf of wounded Russians, while efforts were also made in Reading.

Sulhamstead

RUSSIAN FLAG DAY

An energetic canvass of the parish on behalf of the Russian Red Cross Society was mad eon Saturday, September 18th, by an enthusiastic band of workers, organised by Miss B Leake. It is said they met with a bright welcome at almost every house at which they called, or every person whom they asked. All the flags had been sold by 2 o’clock, and givers after that time were content to have no recognition. The collecting boxes were taken unopened to Canon Trotter on Saturday night by Miss Leake, but the counting was deferred, and was not known at the time of going to press.

The St Michael’s Scouts gathered blackberries, which they sold for the Russian Red Cross, and added £1 to the fund from their sale.

Theale

RUSSIAN FLAG DAY

It is interesting to record the efforts made, and the sums contributed, in our parish towards meeting the manifold needs of our Allies and ourselves in this time of War. During the last two months appeals have been made to the Country to assist the Russian wounded and sick, and our own Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Association. On both occasions Mr. D. M. Davies took up the work with zeal, invited the collectors and assigned them their districts.

“Russian Flag Day” was September 18th, and £8 18s. 9d. was contributed. The following collected: Mrs Charles Blatch, Miss Bunce, Miss Cowing, Miss Dance, Miss Ivy Forrester, Miss Pickford, Miss Elsie Janes, Mrs Sly and the Misses Windle.

Burghfield
RUSSIAN FLAG DAY
Our parishioners gladly and willingly responded to the appeal made by the Mayor of Reading to help the Russian Red Cross by buying flags on Saturday, September 18th, and the very satisfactory sum of £11. 13s 7d was realized as our contribution to the good cause. The Rector and Mrs George are most grateful to all the collectors who responded to their appeal, and who spared no effort to make the day a success.

Reading

A Reading church had a special fundraising day in aid of wounded Russian soldiers.

The Vicar’s notes

Our Russian Allies have been bearing so nobly the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack during the last few months that it was only fitting that we should do our best to help their wounded, who I fear, must be numbered by hundreds of thousands. So Saturday, Sept 18th was kept as Russian Flag Day, and the results were splendid; the total amount reaching, I believe, some £2,000.

Sulhamstead and Burghfield parish magazines, October 1915 (D/EX725/3); Theale parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P132B/28A/4); Reading St Mary parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P98/28A/13)

An excellent flier

Four men with connections to Sulhamstead had different experiences in the war.

THE WAR
The flying of 2nd Flight Lieut. Gerald Merton is so excellent that he has been given a permanent appointment as Instructor at the Depot.

Mr George Leake has been given a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd, 4th City of London Royal Fusiliers.

Lieutenant A. Grimshaw is now out of danger. The authorities felt that he must be moved from the noise of London, so he has been transferred to Sutton Place, the residence of Lord Northcliffe, who has placed it as a hospital at the disposal of the Government.

ROLL OF HONOUR
Lieutenant W. Edwards, of the Black Watch, killed in France in the Expeditionary Forces. Lieut. Edwards was formerly a pupil at the Rectory.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1915 (D/EX725/3)

Responsibility – Duty – Sympathy – Self Sacrifice: the watchwords of Empire Day

The war affected schoolchildren in different ways. The Empire Day celebrations at Warfield School involved discussion of the war, while at Aldermaston and Burghfield some teachers and children could not get to work due to the numbers of soldiers in the area. Children at a Cookham school got the afternoon off.

Warfield, 11th June 1915
Empire Day celebrations.

Assembly and prayers including daily prayer for the war.

O God our help in ages past.

March and salute.

God save the King.

Instead of the usual scripture lesson we talked about the four watchwords of Empire Day. Responsibility. Duty. Sympathy. Self Sacrifice.

A postal order of 11/- was sent this afternoon to the Earl of Meath the proceeds of the sale of Empire Certificates for the overseas comforts for brave soldiers and sailors.

Aldermaston, 11th June 1915
Miss Leake resumed duty this morning, and stated she was unable to get from Sulhampstead [yesterday] owing to the great number of troops in the district.

Mrs Bland’s School, Burghfield, June 11th 1915
Attendance fairly good this week but several children were absent yesterday as the soldiers were carrying out manoeuvres near the school.

Alwyn Road School, Cookham, June 11th 1915
The Headmaster gave an address to the children assembled in Hall at 9 o’clock and the National Anthem was sung. A holiday was granted this afternoon in celebration of Empire Day.

Abingdon Girls CE School, 17th to 21st [May 1915]
Empire Day was kept on Friday, the breaking up day. Lessons on the Empire were given, Patriotic Songs were sung, and an Appeal from Lord Meath to British Boys and Girls was read. The National Anthem was sung afternoon before closing school for the Whitsun Holidays.

Warfield CE School log book (C/EL26/3, p. 316); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH3/3, p. 39); Mrs Bland’s Infant School, Burghfield: log book (86/SCH/1/1, p. 189); Alwyn Road School, Cookham (88/SCH/18/1, p. 253); Abingdon Girls CE School log book (C/EL2/2)

Children’s concert in aid of the wounded

The children of Sulhamstead decided to put on a concert in aid of wounded soldiers. The programme combined patriotic songs, popular folk songs and a short play.

CHILDREN’S CONCERT IN AID OF THE WOUNDED

Our children, anxious like all others, to help in some way, proposed to Mr Leake that they should get up a concert for the Red Cross Work. Mr Leake cordially threw himself into their wishes, and an excellent concert to a crowded room on June 4th was the result.

The programme was as follows, from which it will be seen that all the performers, with the exception of Miss Wicks, the accompanist, belonged to Sulhamstead:-

God Save The King, 3 verses.
Britains [sic], Raise Your Banners High School Children
Rule Britannia School Children
Song, Go To Sea Mr Ward
Come Lasses And Lads School Children
The Girl I Left Behind Me School Children
Song, Tipperary Mr Ward
Charlie Is My Darling School Children
Early One Morning School Children
Distribution of Prizes and Clasps and Bars
Song, For The Green Miss B Leake
Song, Thora Rev. E G Drummond
Short Interval
Chldren’s Play, The Teasy Tea Party 6 girls and 2 boys
Song, Annie Laurie Miss Leake
Song, Nelson’s Gone a’Sailing Mr Ward
Somewhere A Voice Is Calling Miss B Leake
Song, The Trumpeter Rev. E G Drummond
God Save The King
Accompanist: Miss Wicks

The net proceeds of the concert amounted to £1. 18s. which has been handed to Mrs Grimshaw, the secretary of the Red Cross in Sulhamstead.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1915 (D/EX725/3)

The children of Sulhamstead put on a concert for war relief

The children of Sulhamstead were keen to support the patriotic effort by putting on a concert to raise funds, as the parish magazine reports:

A WAR RELIEF FUND – CHILDREN’S CONCERT
The children of their own accord have asked if they might get up a concert in support of one of the War Relief Funds. The request has been conveyed to Mr Leake who has shown himself warmly in sympathy with the children’s wish and is doing his best to get them ready by Easter Week. One of the difficulties is to get the children trained in the little play which they wish to perform.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, April 1915 (D/EX725/3)