“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)