“Nothing has been farther from our thoughts than for the club to be a shelter for unpatriotic or conchies”

Datchet Working Men’s Club was a little defensive about its contribution to the comfort of noncombatants.


“Life is mostly froth & bubble
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another’s trouble
Courage in our own”

Worthy President, Vice Presidents and fellow members,

Such words as these came into my mind after the last years meeting, and as I am sure such a feeling as I had must have taken possession of those present, as each one looked upon the Club’s troubles as his own, and was determined to take courage. We screwed that courage to the sticking point and a successful year was the result. Facts are stubborn things and we are proud that our Wisdom knows no more – We have been through the refining fire, and we are all the better because the dross of “not taking heed lest we fall” has disappeared.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria more

We bow our heads in silence, and connect earth to heaven when in contemplation of our fallen heroes (one this year) who have fought the good fight of justice and honour for the love of home and the Motherland.

Our “Beacon Light” the President is still guiding us and may his flame never dim, and so lead us on amidst encircling gloom and over crags and torrents….

We have not kept open for selfish motives for nearly everyone is assisting in his country’s needs in some form or other. We have been criticized rather unfairly but nothing has been farther from our thoughts than for the club to be a shelter for unpatriotic or conchies. Moreover in addition to our other sacrifices we shall find that the club has been a centre of good, for not only has the Village Hall been let free for everything pertaining to the Nation’s welfare, but “Drivers” have been frequent for the benefit of various Institutions that are doing such magnificent work for our wounded sailors and soldiers, whose every pain seems to cry out to us – To be bemoaning all day long renders that murid, sluggish, and there is wanted a tonic of cheerfulness to keep it working normally – much more abnormally – the club has been a rendezvous for our Boys home from the front, and we have welcomed them these and have had together many a shake hand and a conversation, as have done our hearts good and given us pleasant reminiscences for all times.

We had 51 paying members last year for the whole or part of the year, and there were only 2 who were not actually doing Government work in the strict sense of the word. These were over military ages, and their work had been greatly increased by shortage of labour, so it cannot be said that we have not done our bit. Moreover from the preceding year 12 entered the Service, and about 30 the year previous to that. Therefore the “Fiery Cross” has been responded to and may “Toujours Prêt” ever be our motto in responder to the calls from our “Isles of honour and bravery.”

In conclusion, my fervent gratitude is due to my fellow members, who have oiled my whereto of energy increasingly and thus enabled me to move in every way so as to surmount the difficulties encumbrances and friction.

“Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of Time.”

E.W. Page
Hon: Sec.

Datchet Working Men’s Club annual report (D/EX2481/1/5)


“The Great War in which our whole nation and indeed nearly all the world is engaged”

The anniversary of the war’s start was cause for the parish of Reading St Mary to take stock.


For those just gone to the front for the first time, especially Frank Taylor, our late Sacristan, and Edward Henry Bartholomew, one of our Choirmen, both of whom have gone to France; also Claude Towers, who has just started for Mesopotamia.

For the fallen, especially Richard Page (died of wounds received on June 7th), and Arthur Clements Hiberden.

All Saints’ District
The War

On Saturday, August the 4th (the third anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War) there will be a celebration of the Holy Communion at 8 O’clock, and on Sunday the 5th, there will be celebrations at 7, 8 and 10. Throughout the day the special services will be used, and copies will be provided for the use of the congregation. The collections will be for the Assistant Clergy Fund.


Our deepest sympathy will be given to Mr. R. F.S. Biddulph and his family on the loss of his elder son Richard Herbert Hoel Biddulph who died of wounds in France on July 5th. He was a member of the Canadian Forces and volunteered for service immediately on the outbreak of war.

St Saviour’s District
August 4th

It will not be possible to pass this third anniversary of the Great War in which our whole nation and indeed nearly all the world is engaged, without some special looking to God, and renewal of national purpose. Probably Sunday August 5th, will be more specially kept as a day of United Prayer and renewal of purpose before God, and of thanksgiving too for renewal of purpose to united effort and sacrifice, which he has made, and is still making to us. Let us at S. Saviours come together before God in Church and there in worship, communion and prayer remember our nation, our church, our dear ones etc. and offer ourselves again to him to do and to suffer all that He wills.


John Warren Wells, of the Canadian contingent, has been killed in France. As a small boy he lived in Garnet Street, and our sympathy is with his family and relatives, especially with Mr. George Wells, our sidesman. Among those recently wounded in France is, we are sorry to hear, George Jacobs, of 1 S. Saviour’s Terrace, we hope that his family will soon get news of his good progress.

St Mark’s District

We are glad to have good news of the S.Mark’s lads from France and elsewhere, though we are sorry to hear that Trooper H.T. Chamberlain has been in hospital at Alexandria for some weeks suffering from severe breakdown and shell-shock. We trust he will soon be quite restored to health again.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, August1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

A keen, capable and excellent soldier

One of Cookham Dean’s soldiers was killed during the Battle of the Somme.

Roll of Honour.

We sincerely regret to have to record the death of Sergt. Victor Page (Royal Warwickshire Regt.) killed in action on July 16th. As a boy he was for some years a member of the choir. He enlisted directly the War broke out, and in a very short time proved himself to be a keen, capable and excellent soldier, and was very soon promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He met a soldier’s death fighting for his country and for those dear to him. Our sincere sympathies are with his parents, for so many years regular members of or Congregation.

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

Irregular VADs a spy risk

Lady Mary Glyn had another rant about her difficulties with rival Red Cross work in Peterborough.

New Years Day [1916]

I don’t know what has happened about the town committee but Madame Page won’t speak to me! & looked away with determination when I had hoped to wish them the Good New Year. The VAD which was a sham has somehow also got them into trouble & the trains for the wounded are not allowed to stop here. I had warned them over & over again! As it was no VAD and now Sir Edward Ward has put all irregular VADs to the rightabout & only genuine ones can serve & they must be in uniform. It is self-evident how dangerous they might be & useful for spy knowledge if managed as they were.

Letter from Lady Mary Glyn to her son Ralph (D/EGL/C2/3)