“It is not often that all the anxieties connected with one parish have been so happily relieved”

Having a loved one reported missing was a cause for great anxiety.

THE WAR

Gunner W C Giles, RFA, and Private Rowland Pitheral, 2nd Royal Berks, who were both reported missing since May 27th, are now reported as prisoners of war. Private Ernest Adams, also missing for some time, is now reported prisoner of war. We are thankful that the fears of their relations have been removed in this way. It is not often that all the anxieties connected with one parish have been so happily relieved.

Captain Gerald Merton, RAF, was gazetted Major on July 30th. He has also been mentioned in despatches for work in Mesopotamia. This is the second time he has been so named.

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

Subjects closely connected with the War

Food shortages had led to a soup kitchen for children in Ascot.

The Lantern Services in the Parish Room on Fridays at 7 p.m. are being taken by the Rector and deal with subjects closely connected with the War. There was a very fair attendance at the first service, and it is hoped that it will increase as the services become more generally known.

By the effort of the Teachers a Soup Kitchen is being started as the Schools for the benefit of the children, and we are sure many parents will be most grateful for this help in this difficult days. The Managers have made a small grant towards utensils, and gifts of vegetables, or offers of personal help will be welcomed by the Teachers ….

At a War Savings Conference held at the Reading Rooms, Sunninghill, on Wednesday, February 20th, it was resolve to form a local War Savings Committee for the district to be known as “The Sunningdale and Ascot District War Savings Committee”, its chief object being to establish as many new Associations as possible in the neighbourhood, the ladies and gentlemaen elected being Mr. Percy Crutchley (Chairman), Messrs. H. J. Whitehead and A.J. Merton (Hon. Secretaries), Col. Blackburn, (Hon. Treasurer), Mrs. Ninian Elliott, the Hon. Miss Gordon, Mr. E. Wolseley, Heresy Marchioness of Linthgow, Mr. G. J. Francis, Mr. F. J. Patton, Mr. C.W. Searle, Mr. J.W. Abbott, Mrs. Trotter, Mr T.A. Woods. The Committee was given power to add to its number, and it was intimated that if Sunningdale cared to join up with this Committee, the inclusion of this parish would be cordially welcomed.

The Ascot War Savings Association has just completed one year’s working. The total number of certificates sold during that time being nearly 1000.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, March 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/3)

Hoping to establish as many new War Savings Associations as possible in the neighbourhood

Ascot and local aristocrats contributed financially.

At a War Savings Conference held at the Reading Rooms, Sunninghill, on Wednesday, February 20th, it was resolved to form a local War Savings Committee for the district to be known as “The Sunningdale and Ascot District War Savings Committee”, its chief object being to establish as many new Associations as possible in the neighbourhood, the ladies and gentlemen elected being Mr. Percy Crutchley (Chairman), Messrs. H. J. Whitehead and A.J. Merton (Hon. Secretaries), Col. Blackburn, (Hon. Treasurer), Mrs. Ninian Elliott, the Hon. Miss Gordon, Mr. E. Wolseley, Hersey Marchioness of Linlithgow, Mr. G. J. Francis, Mr. F. J. Patton, Mr. C.W. Searle, Mr. J.W. Abbott, Mrs. Trotter, Mr T.A. Woods. The Committee was given power to add to its number, and it was intimated that if Sunningdale cared to join up with this Committee the inclusion of this parish would be cordially welcomed.

The Ascot War Savings Association has just completed one year’s working. The total number of certificates sold during that time being nearly 1000.

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, March 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/3)

The King orders food economy

The Food Economy Campaign was launched by a royal proclamation read aloud in every church in the country. Two of our diarists were present.

William Hallam
6th May 1917

Up at 8. To St. Paul’s at XI. A bright day- no rain. But a bitterly cold E. wind until the afternoon. The King’s proclamation was read out in Church before the sermon – ordering economy by everyone in the matter of food stuffs.

Florence Vansittart Neale
6 May 1917

Willy [the vicar of Bisham] read King’s Proclamation & preached on Food Economy, & again in evening.

Heard from Phyllis: she on duty straight away. Sleeping in Merton. Meals Masonic Hall!

Diaries of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25) and Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

“To waste food is as bad as to waste munitions”

The War savings movement was not expected to attract much interest in a poor rural village like Sulhamstead, where labourers were constantly on the verge of destitution, and had no savings to invest. But the Rector encouraged them to support the war effort by thrift. Their children, meanwhile, volunteered to weed the churchyard since there was a labour shortage with so many men in the forces.

The Rector [the Rev AJP Shepherd] has received the following official letter:

“PARLIAMENTARY WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE
COMMITTEE FOR THE DIVISION OF SOUTH BERKS

Sir,

We are instructed by our Committee to invite your kind co-operation … in encouraging thrift and economy at this time, and the investment of savings in the new War Loan….

We shall be much obliged if … you think it would be desirable to hold a Public Meeting in your parish….”

In many homes the increased cost of living is proving a great strain upon the amount earned in weekly wages in our agriculture districts. It is thought, therefore, that a public meeting be of little use in Sulhamstead. But the paper circulated in this Magazine may help the cause of some, and these three maxims from the paper “Silver Bullets” issued by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee may be useful to all:

1) Waste nothing; to waste food is as bad as to waste munitions
2) Save, especially in all things which have to be got abroad; that is to say, food and drink of all kinds, tobacco etc
3) Use home products, and use them sparingly

We are sending abroad £1,000,000 per day for the purchase of goods consumed by the country, and it is of the utmost importance that this should be reduced, if possible.

Lieut. Herbert Merton has been gazetted from the 6th Bedfords as Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers.

As a side-issue of the war, the delightful action of the school children, helped and guided by Mr and Mrs Leake, must be distinctly recorded. St Michael’s new Churchyard was sowing a rich crop of weeds owing to the difficulty of obtaining labour to seal with them. The School came to the rescue, and in their play-time, entirely removed all the weeds. The pile of weeds beneath the tree shows the large amount of work done. The children did it as an offering to their church in the present serious issue of their country. The thanks of the whole parish are none the less due to them for saving the situation.

ROLL OF HONOUR
We have just heard, on going to press, with deep regret, that Sergeant James Price, 5th Wilts, has been wounded. No details have as yet been received.

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

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)

Sulhamstead and the wounded

News of new recruits and wounded men dominated the Sulhamstead parish magazine this month, as Sulhamstead House (now the Police Training College) joined the ranks of war hospitals.

THE WAR
Commissions

Mr Norman Watson has been given a commission of Second Lieutenant in the Kings Royal Rifles.

Mr General Merton has gained his “wings” after many months of practice in flying and has been appointed a Second Flight Lieutenant.

The Recruiting Sergeant has been busy in Sulhamstead and in the neighbourhood. At the time of going to press it is stated that nine more recruits have been obtained in Sulhamstead.

Wounded
We regret to hear that Lieutenant Grimshaw has been seriously wounded. Although a cavalry officer, he was serving in the trenches when he received his wounds from an explosion of shrapnel causing 18 wounds. He has been brought to Guy’s Hospital.

Robert East is also amongst the wounded, and is lying at the Hospital at Birmingham.

Lieut. Noel Carter was wounded in the trenches near Ypres some weeks ago, and was taken to the hospital at Fishmongers’ Hall, London. The Scouts will be glad to hear that he has recovered and is expecting to return to France.

CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL: SULHAMSTEAD HOUSE
Sir George and Lady Watson have opened their house as a Convalescent Hospital for the wounded. Fourteen wounded soldiers were sent from the Reading Base Hospital, of whom, ten had left at the time of writing, after more than a fortnight’s stay. They were very loth to leave as they had so thoroughly enjoyed their convalescent stage at Sulhamstead House.

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