A cheery letter from hospital

The vicar of Reading St Giles reported on parishioners serving in the armed forces – plus the death of his predecessor’s son.

Notes from the Vicar

Intercessions list:

E.W. Wheeler, R.F.C.; G.J. Coggs, 3/7, Worcester Regt.; A.Coggs, 14th Batt. Worcester Pioneers; William E. Haynes, R.E.; Harold Merrick, 1st Garrison Batt. Worcester Regt.; William George Rowe, R.E. Eldridge, R. Berkshire Regt.(attached D.C.L.I.); Frederick Harry Goddard, Queens Own Dorset Yeomanry; Norman A. Norris, London Rifle Brigade.

To the list of the departed: Steward B. Nelson Bolton (H.M.S. Indefatigable); Capt. Aubrey N. Carew Hunt (Oxford and Bucks Lt. Infantry) Lieut. Henry Laing (R.N.); J.W. Beechey (H.M.S. Hampshire); A. North (London Rifle Brigade).

To the list of the wounded: Leonard Smith (Canadian Contingent).

As a parish and a congregation we offer our sincere sympathy to our late Vicar and his family in the death of his son killed at the front. I know how very much we have remembered them all in our prayers. We also extend our sympathy to the Rev. H.E. and Mrs Lury on the death of their daughter.

I have also had a cheery letter from Sergt.-Major A.F. Manning who is in Hospital in Leicester and is progressing favourably.


Reading St Giles parish magazine, July 1916 (D/P191/28A/24)

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Horrible news from the Dardanelles

Admiralty official Henry Vansittart Neale and his wife Florence were both distressed by bad news from the Dardanelles campaign.

20 March 1915
Horrible news. 3 battleships sunk floating mines in Dardanelles. French “Bouset” lost whole crew. Ours most saved. Fear our casualties this last week 12,000!! Awful.

Poor H. much overcome [by] bad news about ships….

Wire to send Julian back. Sent him with Croxford to King Albert’s Hospital, Highgate. Bubs motored them in….

Called old North – ill with “flu”.

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

Grateful for help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire committee of the National Relief Fund met on 12 January 1915 and discussed the cases of various needy persons who had applied for assistance.

Hillyer, Windsor. Mr Gardner reported that he had seen Mrs Hillyer and the house agent in this matter, that the agent had accepted the sum of £1.4.6 being 1/3 of the arrears of rent in final settlement of arrears to December 14, 1914, and that the Committee’s last grant had completely cleared the rent to date. Mr Gardner thought that with a little assistance Mrs Hillyer ought to be able to keep the rent paid & that if any assistance were given it should be definitely towards the rent. He pointed out however that Mrs Hillyer had not asked for further help & seemed grateful for what the Committee had done for her. In these circumstances the Committee decided to take no further steps in the matter, at all events for the present.

Ottley. The local Committee reported that this man had obtained work & there was nothing further to be done in the case.

Gunn. The local Committee reported that Mrs Gunn has soldiers billeted in her house and will not require any further assistance at present.

White. In this case a local chemist asked for a loan of £15 as owing to the war his business had greatly fallen off. He stated that a sum of £12 was due to him from the National Health Insurance. After careful consideration of this case the Committee did not feel justified in making a loan. They resolved that Mr White should be asked to make application to the Insurance Committee for payment of his account.

Bouvarlet. The circumstances in this case had not changed & the Committee resolved to continue the grant unless a change in the circumstances of the case was reported to them.

Allen. This case was obviously a Poor Law one & was referred to the Guardians to deal with.

Lempriere. This case was sent to the Committee by Mr Petrocockino but had not been before the Local Committee. The Committee resolved that this case was not one which came within the scope of the National Relief Fund.

Simpson. The papers in this case were submitted to the Committee, but there was nothing to indicate that it was a case of distress owing to the war. The Committee therefore took no action in the matter.

Raynolds. The Committee considered the papers in this case which was unquestionably a hard one, but which had no connection with the war. It would be dealt with by the Mayor of Wokingham who had written to the Committee on the subject.

Jennings. This case was enquired into & it was found that the facts upon the card were in at least one important particular inaccurate. The wages of Kate Jennings, stated to be 7/- a week, were found on enquiry by the Treasurer to be £35 a year. The Committee felt this was a case of normal unemployment & that the applicant should be referred to the Employment Bureau.

Cole. A letter from Mr Fox on this case was read, but the Committee did not in fact feel justified at present in making any further grant.

Miss North, The Nest, Knowle Hill, Twyford was referred to the Local Committee for report.…

A letter from Mr Shepherd with reference to orders for his factory was read. No action was taken thereon.

A letter from the Secretary of the Maidenhead Local Committee was read calling attention to the unemployment among painters. The Committee felt that the unemployment in this case was not wholly abnormal & that nothing could be done in the matter at present.

A letter was submitted from Messrs Gibbens, Abingdon, with reference to unemployment. This letter had been answered by Miss Pott & no further action seemed necessary at this stage.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

Cookham Dean’s roll of honour

As the year drew to a close, Cookham Dean announced the latest roll of honour of parishioners serving their country (carefully listed by rank).  Two (tragically, members of the same family) had already paid the ultimate price:

Roll of Honour
The Roll of Honour has been carefully revised, corrected and added to and it contains, it is believed, a complete list of those who have offered themselves from Cookham Dean and Pinkneys Green for the service of their country.
Major Herbert Clark – London Royal Field Artillery
Major C Crookshank – Royal Engineers
Major J Henderson – Army Ordnance Dept
Capt. Tomlinson – Cavalry Reserve of Officers
Lieut. Reginald Geard – XVth Lancers (Indian Army)
Lieut. Cecil Saunders – Royal Flying Corps
Sec. Lieut. Lawrence – North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales’) Regiment
Sec. Lieut. Hewitt Pitt – Royal Field Artillery
Sec. Lieut. Russell Simmons – 3rd Royal Berks Regiment
Sec. Lieut. John A del Riego – 24th County of London (Queen’s) Regiment
Sec. Lieut. Randall E Hunt – Army Service Corps
Sec. Lieut. Douglas A A Geard – 3rd (King’s Own) Hussars
Sec. Lieut. Frank Snell – 6th Royal Berks Regiment
Sec. Lieut. Robert Kersey – Army Service Corps
Arthur Bampton –5th Gloucester, ASC
Henry Bishop – Royal Engineers
Ernest Blinko – 9th County of London (Queen Victoria’s) Rifles
Arthur Carter – Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
William Carter – 2nd Royal Berks Regiment
Gerald Clark – Royal Engineers (Signalling Squadron)
Donovan Deadman – County of London Sharpshooters
Arthur Dore – Lance Corporal – 4th Royal Berks Regiment
Charles Druce – 2nd Royal Berks Regiment
Cecil B Edwards – 13th County of London (Kensington) Regiment
Bertram Ellis – 28th County of London (Artists’) Regiment
Albert Franklin – Army Service Corps (Mechanical Trans.)
George Franklin – Royal Flying Corps
Jesse Garrett – Royal Berks Regiment
Alfred Grove, RN – HMS Attentive
Thomas Grove, RN – HMS Hampshire
Harry Groves – Royal Berks Regiment
Percy Harris – Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Thomas Hatch – Army Service Corps
Albert Higgs – Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Arthur Horne – Royal Engineers
Harry Hunt – Rifle Brigade (Reported missing since Aug. 26th)
William King – Royal Field Artillery
Alan Lidderdale – Public Schools OTC
Harry Long – Royal Engineers
Archibald Luker, Sergeant, 7th West Surrey (Queen’s) Regiment
William Markham, Sergeant – 1st Royal West Kent (Queen’s Own) Regiment
William North – 3rd Royal Berks Regiment
Albert Owen – Royal Field Artillery
Charles Piercey – 4th Royal Berks Regiment
Gilbert Piercey – Army Service Corps (Mechanical Trans.)
Herbert Prince, Corporal – 3rd Royal Berks Regiment
Frank Sandalls – Royal Army Medical Corps
William Sandalls – 2nd Royal Berks Regiment (Wounded at Mons, but has since rejoined his regiment)
George Skinner – Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
Albert Stubbles – Royal Engineers
Frederick Tuck – Royal Engineers
George Tuck – Army Service Corps
Harley Vaughan-Morgan – Inns of Court OTC (Invalided)
Scott Ware, Corporal – Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Harold White – 4th Royal Berks Regiment
Harry White – Army Service Corps (South Midland Brigade)
Herbert Winkworth – 6th Royal Berks Regiment
James Winkworth – 1st Royal Berks Regiment
William Winkworth – Royal Field Artillery
Frederick Woodbridge – 5th Royal Berks Regiment
Harry Woodbridge – 5th Royal Berks Regiment

RIP
George Carter, killed in action September 14th
Robert Carter, killed in action November 13th

Cookham Dean parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P43B/28A/11)

Bisham Abbey becomes a hospital

The day of Bisham Abbey’s launch as a war hospital for Belgian soldiers dawned. Florence Vansittart Neale’s daughters Phyllis and Elizabeth (Bubbles or Bubs) were among the voluntary nurses.

4 December 1914
Heard no more of Belgians till 10 o’clock. Telegram saying 25 would arrive in afternoon! Tel: motors. Dr Norris & Mr Hill here, turned out dining room. Beds made up! Met 4.40, but arrived 9.30! Dr Downes here till 12 pm. Phyllis & May have Chintz Ward, Bubs & Lottie North. Maud Richardson & Johnson Middle. Gladys Frere & Edie F. Green. Mrs Jay & K. Tovers Hoby Ward! Pry & Browne night nurses. Miss Headington & Mr Hadfield.
Bisham Abbey become a Hospital for 25 Belgians, all with wounds.

Charlie’s furlough of 4 days over. He back to France.

Civilian William Hallam spared a thought for soldiers in wet weather:

4 December 1914

This dinner time I never remember a rougher wetter middle day than it was. In fact for some time now we have had nothing but rough wet weather. It must be awful for our poor soldiers.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8) and William Halalm (D/EX1415/22)