“We could hardly realise that our popular Big Drummer would never return to help us again”

Teenage boys from Earley had the fun of a camp dispelled by sad news of old friends who had gone to the Front.

CHURCH LADS’ BRIGADE AND SCOUTS

We had a most enjoyable time on the School journey in spite of the weather. A very full account is being published in the “Reading Observer”, and we are hoping that Mr Albert Smith will be able to spare the time to come and give us a Lantern Lecture describing our travels, so we shall not enter into details now. Several of the Cadets and two more Scouts joined us at Hungerford when we spent a most delightful four days, everyone showing us the greatest kindness.

The news of the death of our late Staff-Sergeant George Maskell came as a great shock to us on our return, and we could hardly realise that our popular Big Drummer would never return to help us again. We had a Memorial Service after Matins on Sunday, August 12th, some of our friends from St Giles’ and St John’s Companies joining us for the Parade Service and staying to the Memorial Service. We offer our deep sympathy to the relations and friends of one whom we all loved – RIP.

On going to press we have just heard of the death of another of our CLB Staff Sergeants, John Parker. Jack was one of our very keenest and best CLB workers and we shall miss him terribly. We offer our deepest sympathy to his mother and other relations and friends. RIP.


Earley St Peter parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

Restore oppressed nations to their rightful heritage

A new sympathy and interest were felt in our more obscure allies. It seemed appropriate at the time to look back at our Serbian allies’ historic fight for freedom from Turkey, now our mutual enemy.

The Vicar’s Notes

What is “KOSSOVO” day? It is the day on which, after fierce fighting, the Serbians came under the domination of the Turk (June 28th, 1389), and it is observed solemnly each year by the Serbian people. I hope to have a special memorial service at S. Mary’s on June 28th, at 12.15, very much on the lines of the service held at S. Pauls Cathedral last year. We ought to do all we can to shew our interest in those oppressed nations (at present under the heel of the German) which we are pledged to restore to their rightful heritage.

Intercessions
For the wounded, especially Fred Nunn.
For the missing, especially Charles Mercott, one of our servers.
For the fallen, especially William Stevens (killed in action in France on April 22nd); Tom Gray (died at the front from spotted fever); Edgar Bland and Ernest Lawrence (killed in action); Frederick Welford (Drowned in action)
R.I.P.

For God’s blessing on the efforts being made to save our country’s food.

Thanksgivings
For the progress of the Allied Arms.
For the gift of reasonable weather to help the Crops.

All Saints District
The War

We again have to mourn losses owing to the war and our sympathies will go out in abundant measure to those who are sorrowing. In Frederick Sales we have lost a former choir boy and we shall feel with his father who still has four sons in the Army, three of whom are in the fighting line.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, June 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

A follow up appeared in a later issue:

“Kossovo” Day, June 28th, was largely spoilt by the bad weather, But we were glad to see the Serbian lads once more at S.Mary’s, and we had the support of our Mayor, and of the Principal and Registrar of the University College. The Russian “Kontakion” for the departed was well sung by the Choir; and the service ended with the Serbian Royal Anthem and our own National Anthem. Our earnest prayer is that by next “Kossovo” Day our Serbian friends may be restored to their rightful heritage once more.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

We trust their sacrifice will be accepted

A general memorial service was held in Newbury parish church.

Mattins on the last Sunday in June [24 June] was followed by a Choral Celebration at 11.45, or thereabouts, and there were a good number of communicants as well as others present who did not communicate. The service was in commemoration of those fallen in the War, whose sacrifice, we trust, will be accepted through “the One Perfect and Sufficient Sacrifice”. A similar arrangement of services is being held on Sunday, July 22nd.

Newbury St Nicholas parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P89/28A/13)

Killed by a shell on his way back to the trenches

A Cranbourne was killed in unfortunate circumstances.

We have to record, with much regret, the death of Private Ernest Lunn. He had been in the Hospital and was killed by a shell on his way back to the trenches. A memorial service was held on Sunday afternoon, May 13th. He leaves a widow and two young children with whom much sympathy has been expressed.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, June 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/6)

A shock of personal grief

A Sulhamstead man’s death saddened his church as well as his family.

With deep regret we record the death of Henry Cooper, who was killed in action on February 17th. The sad news came to all of us who knew him as a shock of personal grief, and it seems almost impossible to realise that we shall not see him again in our little sanctuary at Sulhampstead, for he was really one of our Sulhampstead men, having grown up with us in our Sunday School, afterwards becoming a member of our choir, and a regular worshipper at our services. We as members cannot but grieve that we have lost him, and our hearts go out in united sympathy to his sorrowing widow and little girl, his mother, brother and sisters in their sad bereavement.

On Sunday evening, March 11th, Mr. Cole conducted the memorial service. Special hymns were sung, and a very helpful and comforting address was given based upon the text: “There shall be no night there” (Rev. xxi, 25). The beautiful thoughts given to us upon these words should prove a strength and consolation to all.

Sulhamstead section of Trinity Congregational Magazine, April 1917 (D/EX1237/1/12)

“Our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home”

Winkfield remembered its soldiers at Easter.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

In writing briefly to wish you all a happy Easter, there is I feel sure but little need to ask you not to forget our Soldiers and Sailors in prayer on Easter Day. I am sending men from our parish an Easter card with the assurance that we at the old Church at home shall be praying for them at our Easter Communion, and with the following message:

“We send you this card to remind you of the Easter flowers at Home, of our love and prayers for you in your great sacrifice for us, of our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home. Will you join with us on Easter Day in thanking God that He sent His Son to suffer and die that He might open the Gate of Life to all who trust in His Great Sacrifice for them, and that He lives to be our ever present Friend.”

The celebration of the Holy Communion on Easter Day will be at 6, 8.15, and midday at the parish Church, and at 7 at S. Mary the Less, and the names of our men at the Front will be mentioned at all these Services.
Your sincere Friend and Vicar,
H. M. MAYNARD

With sorrow we have to record this month another addition to our Roll of Honour, for Private Edward Holloway of the 6th Royal Berks Regiment died of wounds received in action on February 23rd. A memorial service was held at S. Mary the Less on March 4th, when there was a large congregation, full of sympathy for his young widow and his bereaved parents who have three other sons now at the Front.

Private Edward Fancourt has joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and Private Cecil Brant the Cyclist Corps of the 11th Berks Yeomanry.

Private Henry Clayton, who recently joined the 2nd Hants Regiment, has now gone out to the Front.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, April 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/4)

An expert airman is an inspiration

Evelyn Paget Graves (1890-1917) was one of the pioneers of the Royal Flying Corps. Born in India, he was educated in Sussex and had spent some time as a teenager in Germany. His family home was in Coley Avenue, Reading – the same street where the Record Office is today.

R.I.P.

Evelyn Paget Graves gave his life for his country on March 6th. He had rapidly become an expert airman, and though he was only 26 years of age, had reached the rank of Major and Squadron Commander. He is a great loss to the Air service, but those who knew him speak confidently of the inspiration which his example has been, and will still be, to all with whom he had to do.

Our deep sympathy is with his family, and with Mrs. Ward, whose grandson he was, and with Miss, for many at S. Saviours will remember him from his childhood. There was a Requiem Celebration of the Holy Communion for him on March 14th, at S. Saviour’s.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

“It is nice to think that our friends at home are always thinking of us out here”

There was sad news for some Winkfield families.

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING

It is with very great regret that we have to record the death in action of Lance Corporal Edward Thurmer, Royal Berks Regt. Deep sympathy is felt for his parents who have now lost two sons in this war. A memorial service was held on January 14th.

L.M. Donald Thurmer, R.N. Air Service, has had an accident and has been for some time in hospital at Mudros, but we are glad to hear that he is now nearly recovered.

Pte. William Burt who has been in hospital in France suffering from nephritis and “trench feet” has, we are glad to say, recovered sufficiently to be brought to England and is now in hospital in Aldershot.

Pte. Fred Johnson has just joined the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Berks. Regt.

Mrs. Maynard has received many letters of thanks for their Christmas presents from our men. All seemed pleased with them, and especially appreciate the fact that they were not forgotten at Christmas, and the tenor of most of their letters is summed up in this quotation from one of them, –

“It is nice to think that our friends at home are always thinking of us out here.”

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/2)

Remembering Frederick Lunn

Soldiers were generally buried where they died, but their friends and families often held church services to remember them.

A Memorial Service for the late Pte. Frederick Lunn was held in the Church on December 10th.

Winkfield section of Winkfield district magazine, January 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/1)

The sad loss of one of our very best soldiers

A bride of a few months suffered the loss of the husband she had met when he was recovering from an earlier wound.

Roll of Honour

We have alas to record the sad loss of one of our very best soldiers – Sgt. Archibald Howard Lucker of the 7th Royal West Surrey (Queen’s Own) Regt. Sgt. Luker had been twice wounded and on his recovery was married in August last to Miss Florence E. Poynter, of Cranbourne, Windsor Park. He was killed by a shell explosion, instantaneously, on Nov.8th. He bore the highest character and will ever be remembered by those who knew him and loved him, not least by the Vicar, with real affection. The sincerest sympathies of many in Cookham Dean and beyond, are with those near and dear to him who are mourning their loss. The Memorial Service was held in Church on Sunday, Nov. 26th. R.I.P.

Cookham Dean parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P43B/28A/11)

Kind sympathy for a loss

A Warfield family dealt with the loss of their son.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis and family desire to express their thanks to all those who have written and otherwise expressed their kind sympathy with them on the loss of Sergeant Joe Lewis. A Memorial Service was held in the Church at 7p.m. on Saturday, November 25th.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1916 (D/P151/28A/12)

Honour the splendid dead

The October issue of the Reading St John parish magazine pointed out how important All Saint’s Day was at a time when so many lives were being lost.

ALL SAINTS DAY, NOVEMBER 1ST

This Festival has for us all a very special significance in these days of war. It is fitting that on it we should commemorate all those who have sacrificed their lives ungrudgingly and gloriously on the altar of patriotism and duty, and are now numbered in the great army of all saints, “not dead, but living unto God”.

There will therefore be held in St John’s Church, at 8 pm on All Saints’ Day, a Memorial Service in which we shall remember lovingly and gratefully those who have fallen in the war, and give God praise for that they were found faithful unto death, and have been accounted worthy to join in that great chorus whose mighty voice rolls through Heaven like the sound of many waters. At this service we would wish to remember before God by name the fallen who went out from our own midst, and the vicar would be glad if his people would send in to him the name of any fallen relative that they would wish so to be remembered. Finally, such a service must be worthy of the splendid dead whom we seek to honour; let us see to it that the congregation which gathers in our church on All Saints’ Day is not a small one.

There was a last-minute reminde in the November issue.

ALL SAINTS’ DAY

All Saints’ Day this year is to be marked by a Memorial Service for those who have lost their lives in the present war….

The anthem will be the beautiful quartette and chorus, “O Blessed are the Departed” from Spohr’s “Last Judgment”.

Reading St. John parish magazine, October and November 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

“The very next day they received a telegram announcing that it was all over”

A Winkfield man who had returned to the Somme after being wounded was killed a few weeks later.

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

Again this month we have to record the sad news that another of our men has made the supreme sacrifice and laid down his life for his country, for Pte. George Faithful was severely wounded in the Somme offensive and succumbed to his wounds a few days later. His parents on October 23rd heard that he was wounded, and the very next day they received a telegram announcing that it was all over. Only a few months ago he was invalided home wounded, and he had been out at the front again for only a few weeks before he met his death.

A Memorial Service was held on Sunday evening, October 31st, and heartfelt sympathy goes out to his bereaved relatives.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1916 (D/P151/28A/11)

“They have given their best for their country”

Two Cookham Dean men had died of their wounds.

Roll of Honour

It is almost impossible to keep pace with the additions and constant alterations in our list. Lieut. J. del Riego has been promoted Captain and, alas, George Higgs and Reginald Foster have died of wounds, the former at Salonika and the latter in France. Each bore an excellent record and have given their best for their Country. A Memorial Service for both was held in Church on Sunday evening, October 22nd. May they rest in peace.

Cookham Dean parish magazine, November 1916 (D/P43B/28A/11)

Friends at the memorial service

A Memorial Service was held on Sunday evening, October 8th, for Private William Dowell. A large number of his friends attended the service.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1916 (D/P151/28A/11)