Making hospital splints in woodwork lessons

A Cookham school had devoted its woodwork classes to supporting the war effort.

August 2nd 1916

The Woodwork Classes terminated today. During the past few months the ordinary course of instruction has been dropped in favour of Warwork.

The boys have been engaged in making splints for Hospital Use – elbow, wrist, finger, hand, leg and foot, and the Liston Special Splint – also bedtables, trays, rests, supports etc. Altogether something like 2500 articles have been completed and forwarded to Hospitals for use. The materials for this work were supplied by the Voluntary War Workers Association of Reading.

The Children in School have subscribed from time to time pence and the money has been expended in buying Timber and making splints and other Red Cross Registers for the Local Hospital at the Maidenhead Technical School.

During the past Winter four subscriptions have been sent to Local Tobacco Fund to supply Tobacco and Cigarettes etc. to the Berkshire Regiment and the School Staff have in most cases sent regular subscriptions to Prince of Wales Fund, Red Cross Fund, Tobacco Fund and other Funds.

Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1, p. 278)

Destitute children and brutally oppressed Belgians

The people of Newbury were encouraged to help those affected by the war, both their own countrymen and Belgian refugees. Th parish magazine was at the forefront of such efforts:

War Emergency Fund
It is earnestly asked that our reader will do what they can to help the above. The society has made an offer to the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund and the Government Relief Committee to provide homes for children who are rendered destitute by the War, and temporary shelter for children of Reservists called to the front who are motherless or unprotected. Help can be rendered in money and food, by making children’s clothing, and by sending any kind of clothing or goods suitable for disposal.

The list of men on active Service, that has been put up in the Parish Church, now comprises seventy names and over, but we do believe there must be more families who would be glad to see the names of their members there: this can be done by the names being given in at the Church House, or to the Clergy, or to any of the District Visitors. We are glad to see that there are now between 300 and 400 men serving from Newbury, but we feel sure that there are a number of young men in town who might volunteer to serve their King and Country in this righteous war: and the more men we are able to send, the sooner the war will be over.

We should like to heartily endorse the appeals which are being made on behalf of our poor neighbours, the distressed Belgian Refugees. Now that their case has been rightly taken in hand by the British Government, the work of caring for them will be done systematically, and doubtless all Newbury people will do their best to assist those to whom they owe so much, and who have been brutally oppressed. Mr. Johnson, at the Pelican, has sent a considerable sum of money to their Relief Fund, and Nurse Coomes has been instrumental in collecting a large number of garments for them. It is quite probable that Newbury will be asked to entertain some Belgian families.

Newbury parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P89/28A/13)

War is an instrument of justice which produces the highest virtues

The vicar of Wargrave had to write an open letter to his parishioners in the church magazine in order to explain some controversial sermons he had delivered in support of the war:

When I last wrote in the Magazine the clouds of war were beginning to gather over Europe, and since then have burst, with the appalling result that most of the civilised world is in a state of war, and it seems as if those few countries living in peace must soon draw the sword on one side or the other.

I feel that my personal views on war are at variance with those of many who write and speak of war as something contrary to the Will of God, and necessarily evil. It seems to me that war is very definitely an instrument of justice amongst nations, and that a ‘peace at any price’ policy would be far more likely to hinder the coming of the Kingdom of God than to help it. I cannot help thinking, too, that there is much hypocrisy in the way in which we speak of the battlefield as if it was a perfect carnival of evil.
Probably more sin is committed in one night in one of our large cities than you would find on all the great battlefields in the world’s history. I rather take the opposite view that the battlefield produces virtues of the highest kind.

I put these suggestions forward in rather a crude form, and necessarily expressed very briefly as some have asked me about certain points raised by my sermons on the subject, and I think my standpoint was rather misunderstood. No one desires or prays for peace more fervently than I do, but I am convinced that in the present case there can be no real abiding peace except through the arbitrament of war.

Yours very faithfully,
B. Staunton Batty.

The magazine also reported less contentious matters relating to the war

Wargrave at The Front
The Vicar has been compiling a list of men from Wargrave who have answered their country’s call in her hour of need and danger. It will be published shortly under the heading “Wargrave’s Roll of Honour”. The number of names upon the list is 47 at present, and there are one or two more to be added.

More men are wanted especially between the ages of 19 and 30. Such an opportunity of playing the man in service of King and Country may never present itself again to this generation, and only the most urgent necessary reasons should keep any man at home from this crisis. The present campaign is the greatest the world has ever seen and to help in the victory will indeed be a glorious recollection to carry through life.

Hare Hatch Notes
The discipline of the war is having a marvellous effect upon our people, in that it is developing in them a sense of the seriousness of life. It is a fine purpose which has been awakened in our people, we have now the opportunity of a lifetime. The call to our young men to join the Army ought not to be neglected, the nation requires them if only for home defence, every young man should see to it now, ere it be too late, to do something in answer to this call. But there is a definite call, a higher call, which everyone must respond to, the call to prayer and mutual helpfulness. We urge upon all classes in our midst the necessity of prayer, simple and self-denying living. There will be much loss and suffering to be borne. None of us will (or want to) escape. We must bear our part in helping one another. Already evidence of this is forthcoming. Let there be no panic, no exaggeration, no selfish seeking of our own. Let us make sure we see God’s hand and hear His voice…

The Mission Church will be open daily from 10 to 1pm for any who care to use it for private devotion and meditation whilst the war lasts. Every Wednesday and Friday Litany will be said at 12, suitably adapted for present needs. Intercession Services, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm. We strongly urge our men-folk to come to the intercession services, as they leave off work. Let our worship and prayers follow those who are fighting for our national honour and security.

Crazies Hill Notes
In order to meet and to encourage a widespread desire among our people to pray for their country in this time of war and anxiety we have arranged the following Services of Intercession. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8.30am and 7.0pm, Wednesday 8.30 and 3.0, Saturday 8.30. Many are using these services already. WE now invite all others to do so, firmly believing that such intercession is not only comfort to those who pray, but have also effects in more distant directions than we can see or even imagine.

In this time of war we must not neglect or forget our other claims. This is addressed specially to the holders of Missionary Boxes. Our missionary services will not be discontinued, but dates will be given them which will be announced later in church.

In connection with the Red Cross Society, Miss Cole has arranged sewing meetings in the Hall at 3.30 on Wednesday afternoons. All workers are invited. We are sure that no one will refuse to respond to the appeal to contribute a little time and trouble to providing small comforts for our gallant soldiers and sailors…

We congratulate Crazies Hill on its efforts to contribute to the various relief funds. We were able to send £5. 4s. 10d., to the Prince of Wales’ Fund, and £1. 16s. 3d, to the Belgians’ Relief.

Wargrave parish church magazine, September 1914 (D/P145/28A/31)

Pusey plays its part in the war

The parishioners of Pusey were contributing to the war effort in various ways: money, making clothes for soldiers, and service in the Armed Forces. The first Pusey man to lose his life far from home was Frederick Buller:

One guinea was sent to the Prince of Wales’ Relief Fund as a result of collections in church on September 20. A number of people in Pusey have made garments for the Red Cross Society with materials supplied by Mrs. Montgomery. Several have also made socks in response to Lord Kitchener’s urgent appeal and helped in various other ways.

Mr Frederick Edwin Buller (nephew of the late Sir William Anson), who lost his life in the Mounted Rifles defending the King’s territory in the British East Africa against the Germans, heads the Pusey Roll of Honour.

Pusey section of Longworth parish magazine, November 1914 (D/P83/28A/9)

Bracknell supports the war

Bracknell was another parish which responded to the war with a combination of prayer, financial support, and needlework, with some preparing to take on nursing work:

The collections in Church both at Holy Trinity and at St. Martin’s on Sunday, August 16th , and on Friday, 21st, were given to the Prince of Wales Relief Fund, and together with what was sent afterwards amounted to £12 9s. 9d.

After Morning and Evening Service on alternate Sundays, and after Evensong on Wednesdays, Special Services of Intercession are being held, and at all Services special prayers for our sailors and soldiers are being used.

The Church bell is being rung every day at 12, and it is hoped that this will remind all who hear it to offer up a short prayer wherever they may be, and so to join with those who can come to Church then for a short Intercessory Service.

Friday, August 21st, was appointed to be observed as a day of Solemn Prayer, and Intercession in the present crisis. Holy Communion was celebrated at 8 a.m., and besides Morning and Evening Prayer, two Special Services were held at noon and 8 p.m.

The call to prayer received a response in some ways satisfactory, but which can still be increased.

Intercession Services have been held twice a week, at 4 p.m. and at 7.30p.m. There was a fair attendance at the Holy Communion on Friday, August 21st.

By the time this appears it is hoped that a sewing party will have been organised and will have sent up garments for our wounded troops. The meetings will be held on Tuesdays in the Parish Room at 2.30p.m.

The work is progressing steadily. Mrs. Sheppee, Mrs. Sargeant and Mrs. Fielden have held working parties, the latter being the head of the needlework. Many are working at home as well. The Women’s V.A.D. are attending practices and lectures, kindly given by Mrs Leggatt, of Binfield, and the men are training new assistants in stretcher work.

Ascot, Bracknell, Cranbourne and Winkfield District magazine, Seeptember 1914 (D/P151/28A/6)