“We gladly take this opportunity of putting their minds at rest”

There was a bit of a spat among women war workers in Bracknell.

We have been given to understand that some of the Bracknell members of Q.M.N.G. have taken exception to Warfield Members having made bandages for the War Hospital in Reading, under the impression that this had been done out of funds entrusted to Q.M.N.G.

We gladly take this opportunity of putting their minds at rest on this subject. Q.M.N.G. Funds were not touched for this and the accounts were kept quite separately. We have similarly undertaken work in response to an appeal from Colonel Burges. But in those cases we have got extra workers in addition to any who may have been members of Q.M.N.G. to help any such urgent case.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, June 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/6)

Gifts for the good cause

Warfield women were inspired to replace gifts for the troops which had been sent to the bottom of the sea by enemy action.

On Wednesday, May 30th, the Warfield “Shower of Gifts” to Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild was held by the kind invitation of Mrs. Shard at Warfield Hall. This was a scheme to provide from home the loss of many of the overseas gifts which had been lost by the work of German torpedoes. Mrs. Shard received the gifts in the garden, and the total amounted to 407. Such a number far exceeding anything that we had anticipated. All the donors were afterwards received at tea in the dining room, including a great number of children from the School who were all armed with gifts for the good cause; after which all the gifts were then packed and sent off to the Bracknell headquarters as a gift to Queen Mary for her birthday on June 2nd, to be distributed by her among our Soldiers and Sailors.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, July 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/7)

Fallen on the field of war

Warfield’s women had contributed large amounts of clothing and bandages for wounded soldiers, while two more of the parish’s men had lost their lives.

Since our last issue we have to record the deaths of Major Alexander Wood and Walter Parsons who have fallen on the field of war. We desire to express our sincere sympathy with their respective widows and families.

It will be of some interest to the parish to hear some account of the Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild in Warfield. Since its institution, in 1914 no less than 430 articles (including vests, sandbags, housewifes, treasure-bags, bed-jackets, gloves, pillows, hot water bottle-covers, shirts, operation stockings, sun shields, surgeon’s coats, slippers, jug-covers, quilts and pyjamas) have been sent to Head-Quarters; also 79 pairs of mittens to Colonel Burgess, and 407 bandages with 156 face-swabs to the Mayoress of Reading for the War Hospitals of that town.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/5)

War charities registered

The County Council’s War Charities Sub-committee had been busy registering local war charities, ranging from bandage making to Christmas gifts for the armed forces.

REGISTRATIONS

Since the last report to the Council the following applications for registration under the War Charities Act, 1916, have been approved, and the Clerk has been instructed to issue certificates and to notify the Charity Commissioners:

No of Cert. Name of Charity Applicant

21 Bracknell War Work Depot (Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild) Mrs Littlewood, Hillside, Bracknell

22 Hanney Xmas Tree Fund for men serving HM Forces H. Leslie Edwards, schoolmaster, Hanney

23 Bracknell Xmas Parcels Fund Canon H. Barnett, Bracknell Vicarage

24 Bradfield District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society C J Haviland, Mead House, Bradfield

25 Bracknell Oaklea Auxiliary Hospital Mrs L A Berwick, Sunny Rise, Bracknell

26 Crowthorne Waste Paper Collection of War Charities Miss H M M Moody, Ferndene, Crowthorne

27 Wargrave Woodclyffe Auxiliary Hospital W. Ryder, The Little House, Wargrave

28 Wokingham Work Guild Mrs H M Lomax, Frog Hall, Wokingham

29 South Easthampstead District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

30 Heatherside Auxiliary Military Hospital Miss E Monck, Aldworth, Crowthorne

31 Finchampstead Belgian Refugees S F Smithson, The Old Rectory, Finchampstead

32 Maidenhead Rural North Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs Carpendale, Pinkneys Green

33 Hungerford Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund E C Townshend, Willows Close, Hungerford

34 Finchampstead Hospital Supply Depot Miss L M Hopkinson, Wyse Hill, Finchampstead

35 Bourton War Hospital Supply Depot Mrs W H Ames, Church Farm House, Bourton

36 Hungerford District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

37 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Hungerford A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

38 The VAD Red Cross Hospital, Barton Court, Kintbury A S Gladstone, JP, Wallingtons, Hungerford

39 Twyford and Ruscombe War Committee Rev. R W H Acworth, Twyford Vicarage

40 Sonning and Woodley Surgical Requisites Association Mrs C Christie Miller, The Deanery, Sonning

41 Mortimer VAD Hospital Miss F M Wyld, Highbury, Mortimer

42 Waltham St Lawrence Prisoners of War Fund Claude M Warren, Old School House, Shurlock Row

43 Wokingham South Rural District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Mrs A M Western, The Coppice, Finchamapstead

44 Registered in error – subsequently cancelled

45 Ascot Military Hospital Miss Nora Collie, Ascot Military Hospital

46 Wantage District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Miss Gertrude Elliott, Ginge Manor, Wantage

47 Binfield Popeswood Auxiliary Hospital Henry E A Wiggett, White Lodge, Binfield

48 Spencers Wood Local Red Cross Fund Rev. F T Lewarne, Spencers Wood, Reading

49 Faringdon District of Berkshire Branch of British Red Cross Society Henry Procter, Gravel Walk, Faringdon

EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES (to 7 January, 1917, only)

2 Burghfield Sailors and Soldiers Xmas Parcel Fund H G Willink, JP, Hillfields, Burghfield

3 East Challow Xmas Presents Concert Fund Miss E B Vince, Manor Farm, East Challow

4 Kintbury Xmas Presents Fund Mrs Alice G Mahon, Barton Holt, Kintbury

Report of War Charities Sub-committee of BCC, 20 January 1917 C/CL/C1/1/20)

Providing hostels for Girl Munition Workers

Women and girls in Bracknell were supporting the war effort in various ways.

G.F.S.

A sum of £26 6s. 5d. has been collected by the Association and Members of the Sunninghill and Warfield Branch of the Girls’ Friendly Society and sent to Headquarters for the provision of hostels for Girl Munition Workers. Of this sum £6 13s. 11d. was collected in Bracknell.

WAR WORK DEPOT.

The work at the depot continues with unabated energy. On March 22nd 300 badges, with accompanying certificates, from Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild, of which Bracknell is a Branch, were distributed to all those who, having worked regularly for the Guild for three months, had thus become eligible. A few days later the Secretary received the following letter from the Central Depot, Cavendish Square:-

The Council have much pleasure in informing you that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to sanction the issue of a Royal Certificate to your Depot, as a Branch of the Central Depot, Surgical Branch of Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. Very few of these Royal Certificates are to be granted, and the list of depots was submitted to Her Majesty, who graciously approved of the recommendation of your Depot. The Council are confident that your Depot will appreciate the honour bestowed by Her Majesty.

The granting of this Royal Certificate has given the greatest pleasure to the Committee, as it came as a complete surprise; and they share with our Workers the satisfaction which we all feel at the recognition by Her Majesty of our united efforts.

There are still a number of Workers qualifying for their Badges and Certificates, and the Committee wish to take this opportunity of saying, that as soon as they have worked regularly for three months for the Guild, they are entitled to apply to the Secretary for them.

Chavey Down section of Winkfield District magazine, May 1916 (D/P151/28A/5)

A Tudor rose

Ladies in Warfield were honoured for their work supporting the troops with their seiwng skills.

Q.M.N.G.

The members of the War Working Party received their medals of Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild on the 23rd inst. and were very much pleased with them. It is in the form of a bar brooch, with the letters Q.M.N.G. on white enamel, with a pendant consisting of crown over M.R. in gilt, and beneath a Tudor Rose with the outer White Rose of York and the inner Red Rose of Lancaster.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Monthly Magazine, April 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/4)

Will the government have enough pluck to shoot those who oppose conscription?

Ralph Glyn’s parents both wrote to him on New Year’s Eve. The good bishop was quite gung ho (and one might think not very Christian) about deporting Germans and even shooting conscientious objectors! Lady Mary was still fussing about her quarrels with a rival Red Cross workroom.

The Palace
Peterborough
Dec 31 [1915]

My darling Ralph

Here is my New Year letter to you…

Things at Salonica [sic] seem doing well – & our forces must be growing there – as we see daily accounts in the papers of “more troops arriving” – and I am glad that the French General has taken the enemy consuls & staff & put them on board of a French man-of-war – so they have got rid of them as spies – & it is good. Tonight’s paper tells of an English cruiser blown up in harbour – “HMS Natal, captain Eric Back, RN armoured cruiser sank yesterday in harbour as the result of an internal explosion”. This seems to me only another reason why we should ship away every German in England & send them to their own country, as it is no use keeping the enemy here to do such mischief as blowing up our ships in harbour – as I should say it must have been done by some bomb put on board by a German.

We have got our conscription so far, & shall hear all about it on Thursday. It is high time the “Government” (so-called) made up their minds to the inevitable – & the “country” will back them up certainly – & now we shall “wait & see” if the Government will have pluck enough to shoot those that oppose them.

Much love – & take care of your dear self.

Your loving father
E C Peterborough

Dec 31 1915
My own darling own Ralph

The news of the loss of the “Natal” has come this evening to us here – and one dreads to think it may be another treachery or labour trouble – but the news is good of the full Cabinet meeting and one feels sure that the country will be sound on the question of these men who have held back…

I hear of Edith Wolverton coming here but not to see us. I think the war makes these women quite queer. They are so anxious to be petite maitresse & do not understand how it is all lost in provincial towns where everyone on the spot wishes to emulate any “star” that wishes to “shoot”. We are very happy with our canteen and it will give us plenty to do and I shall hear I suppose soon about the other crazy emulation over Red Cross. They are all quite sick with anger I have my private workroom and the Sham Committee find they are quite powerless to stop it but I am quite willing to co-operate it when they become real. I am in close touch with Headquarters. Oh! me, when will these silly little fusses be read over by you and where! And it will all seem so silly and so paltry and hard to believe that men and women can be so mean and self seeking over work for the sick and wounded at the Front.

We keep quite quiet and say nothing, but they are spluttering into the papers with their silly complainings. It may have to end in a private official enquiry but Winfrey has managed to save his face by registering one committee under all three – Queen Mary’s Needlework, Sir Edward Ward’s Voluntary Association & the Red Cross! All this with one Fund and the same little creature as accountant that went against affiliation to centre at the beginning & start of all the fuss. I am afraid the expenses are enormous, and that I shall have difficulty in getting the money unless we can get the whole thing put under one authority & one Fund….

Letters from E C and Lady Mary Glyn to their son Ralph (D/EGL/C2/3)

“The crack of bombs and the whistle of the bullets”

There was news of a number of wounded men from Ascot. One, Augustus Turner, wrote an illuminating letter about his experiences under heavy fire in the trenches.

We have to record, with regret, the following casualties during the past month.-
Harry Cooper (R. Middlesex Regiment) wounded, now at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.
Corporal of the Horse Harry Bonnard (1st Life Guards) wounded.
Captain Sidney Clement (5th Australian Bush Regiment) missing.
James Johnson (1st Life Guards) missing.
Rifleman Augustus Turner (London Irish Rifles) wounded, now in Woolwich Hospital, progressing favourably.
Ernest Oran (1st Life Guards) sick.
Thomas John Minns (1st Batt. R. Berks) wounded.

We give some further extracts from Rifleman Augustus Turner’s interesting letter from the Front.-

“In the evening, by which time we had got accustomed to the noise of bullets and shells and conditions in general, I was one of a party to go sapping. This experience will ever remain in my mind. A sap or a trench had already been dug a distance of about 50 yards from our first trench towards the Germans, and it was our duty to dig still further. I entered the sap first, and when a short distance along a star shell was sent up by the Germans. I’d been warned to keep low when any star shells were sent up so as not to be seen. I did bend down, but almost immediately after the star went up a bomb followed and exploded in the air above me. I don’t remember whether I laid full length on my own accord or really how I got down, but after the bang I found myself lying on my spade measuring my height and a little more perhaps, at the bottom of the sap. The explosion was terrific, it shook the ground and me too, but apart from that I was uninjured. This is just another form of a greeting of the Germans, but in a very short while the crack of bombs and the whistle of the bullets from our men and the ‘Germs’ which passed just above my head, had not the slightest effect and I worked on merrily, smothering myself with clay and throwing above that which didn’t stop on my clothes. It seems strange, but it is quite true that one gets accustomed to the worst of conditions in a very short while.

The sapping continued all night, reliefs taking place of course, and at 3.30a.m. on 12th March, I finished my duty in the sap, when an order was given ‘Rapid fire.’ It continued for an hour, and such a noise is hard to beat. An attack from the Germans was about to take place, but was repelled by this deadly fire. A fellow who dare risk being out in the open under such fire deserves V.C.’s all over him. Just before this hail of lead, an attempt to blow up the trench next to ours by mines, was made; the earth blew up high in all directions, in front of the trench. This made another tremendous report. Morning began to dawn, and things quietened down a bit, and at 9.a.m., on the 12th March we went from the trenches back to our base, after having an experience, which I think, none of us will ever forget.

Our stay in barracks was not for long, for on 13th March we were ordered back to the trenches again for a stay of 24 hours. It is pitiful to see some of the houses- which used-to-be. In villages near the trenches it is one mass of ruin; churches, too, are included. All that remains of what must have been a fine old church is half of the tower. An extraordinary thing in one of these wrecked villages is a beautifully constructed shrine by the roadside. It is practically untouched excepting for a bullet hole just here and there. Needless to say, it attracts everybody’s attention. Our Sunday service was conducted last Sunday in a modern theatre, built 1912. Holy Communion was celebrated at 8 a.m. on the stage of this theatre, but there not being sufficient room we had to remove the pit. This may strike one as being very curious, but I can say from experience a theatre can be turned into a very fine church. Our chaplain, who is a very pleasant gentleman, officiated.

The soldiers here seem fine fellows. They all look very fit and not a tiny bit perturbed through the war. Fighting has not the tiniest effect upon them apparently. That ‘Use is second nature’ seems perfectly true. This war is a fearful thing, but it is giving us all such an experience and bringing upon most of us such a fine condition of health that if we are spared to see it through we can never forget it. I am indeed sorry to hear of the outbreak of disease at the Ascot Hospital, but am more sorry to know of Miss Blackburn being a victim. I truly hope it will be very soon suppressed. I trust, sir, that my letter will not be boring to you, and in conclusion, I would like to say that I’m longing for the day when I can enter Ascot’s dear old church and thank the Almighty for deliverance and protection from and through this awful and terrible war.

With best wishes for your health and well-being.

I am, sir, yours faithfully,

AUGUSTUS T. TURNER.”

* *

A WORKING PARTY has been held (usually at the Rectory) from August to December, and is now going on. In the first instance the work and a contribution in money was sent to Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. At the present time we are working for the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (Scottish Women’s Hospitals.) Pyjamas, slippers, and hot water covers are out chief contributions. Units are in France and Serbia. The sun of £41 13s. 3d. has been sent in money: and we have an “Ascot bed” in one of the Hospitals.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine (D/P151/28A/17/6)

Cranbourne’s working party is highly spoken of

Women in Cranbourne joined the national effort to make clothing for soldiers and refugees. Gian, Lady Mount Stephen (1864-1933), a lady in waiting to the Queen, was a relative of the Glyns who was married to a wealthy Canadian peer. She grew up in Uffington, and was the daughter of a Naval officer.

SEWING MEETING.

The working party, in aid of Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild, has now closed for the summer months. It was started last August under the direction of Mrs. Maxwell Williams. She and Miss Maxwell Williams cut out all the garments- no slight task. The cost of the materials was £55 and was given by the Lady Mountstephen, to whom our thanks are given for affording us the opportunity of supplying some of the needs due to the war. About 1100 articles have been forwarded to the Guild Headquarters, which are at St. James’ Palace. There they are dealt with by a large Committee of ladies, who forward the various garments and other work to our soldiers at the front, our hospitals in England, the Maternity homes for the wives of Soldiers, and the needy Belgians.

Mrs. Maxwell Williams will be very pleased to continue meeting in the early Autumn, if it is still needed, and thanks all the members who have worked so hard and attended so regularly. It is gratifying to hear that the work has been much appreciated at the Headquarters of the Guild and highly spoken of.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1916 (D/P151/28A/7/5)

A labour of love

A small group of Burghfield women were busy knitting for the war effort:

QUEEN MARY’S NEEDLEWORK GUILD
A knitting party of about twelve have been meeting at the Rectory each week from 4 to 6 o’clock, and as the result of their labour of love for our soldiers and sailors, a large box of knitted garments, including socks, helmets, body-belts, comforters, etc, has been forwarded to the Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. A letter of thanks has been received from Lady Lawley (hon. sec.), and Mrs George is most grateful to all those who have helped.

Burghfield parish magazine, March 1915 (D/EX725/3)

Good work in Wargrave and district

Time and money for war work sometimes had to be taken away from other charitable endeavours. In Wargrave, those who had formerly knitted socks etc for disadvantaged children and were now knitting and sewing for soldiers, at least gave a monetary gift for the chdren.


The Children’s Union
For the support of Crippled Children Waifs and Strays Society.
Miss Mair begs to thank all the members for what they have so kindly done during the past year. Some members, who owing to the War had no time to work, have sent money instead, this money has been spent in socks and stockings for the crippled children. £3. 19s. 0d has been collected in the boxes – Miss Joan Willis having collected the most. All this has been sent with three parcels containing worked garments and picture books to Head Quarters, and Mrs. Ward Pool begs to send her grateful thanks to the members.

J. J. Mair,
Wargrave Branch Secretary,
January 1915.
League of Mercy, Wargrave
For 1914 £. s. d.
By Subs 24 6 6
Proceeds of Jumble Sale 32 17 9
Total: 57 4 3

H. H. Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, President for Berks, desires me to convey her thanks to all those who have so kindly subscribed and helped the League of Mercy, and hopes Wargrave will again do its utmost to further this good cause as funds are more needed than ever by the hospitals owing to the war.
M. B. Rhodes,
Lady Vice-President

Berkshire Needlework Guild
Two hundred and two warm and useful garments were sent from Wargrave to H. H. Princess Victoria of Schlewswig- Holstein who is now president of the Wokingham Branch, and H. H. requests that her thanks be conveyed to all those who contributed to the splendid collections sent.
M. B. Rhodes,
Vice President.

Crazies Hill Notes
Miss Cole is to be congratulated upon the success of her Red Cross Working Party, which has met every week and laboured with untiring energy. Two large parcels of garments have now been sent to Queen Mary’s Needle Work Guild.

Hare Hatch Notes
Miss S. N. Huggins acknowledges with many thanks to the collectors and subscribers towards our Belgian Guests Fund, the sum of £1. 17s. 11d. “The third instalment”.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

“Your lovely things were a joy to receive”

Two working parties of women in Cranbourne were hard at work making clothing and bandages for wounded soldiers, and for impoverished soldiers’ families.

Lady Keppel’s work party has been very busy since the 19th August, and in a month’s time she has been able to send 808 garments to the Queen. It may be interesting in the future to have a record of these garments. The following is a list up to September 20th.-

222 pairs of socks,

84 pneumonia jackets,

79 bed jackets,

233 nightshirts,

9 pyjama suits,

48 handkerchiefs,

28 surgical case suits,

48 helpless case shirts,

29 children’s garments,

6 vests,

12 nightingales,

6 day shirts,

2 scarves,

1 pair mittens,

1 dressing gown,

12 roller bandages.

Lady Dawson, who is managing Her Majesty’s collections, has written saying: “Your lovely things are a joy to receive.” Many generous donations were received, but the money is nearly exhausted, and as at the present moment dressing gowns – expensive items – are more wanted than anything else, Lady Keppel would be grateful for further donations.

Another working party meets in the Sunday School every Thursday afternoon at 2.30. We understand that the work that is done is sent to the Queen’s Needlework Guild, and the Queen sends the garments to the Sailors and Soldiers, and to their wives and children. We are very grateful to those who have given up their time to this work. One large parcel has already been sent to London and another is now ready to be forwarded.

* * *

A RUMMAGE SALE

will be held in

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL,

On Tuesday, Oct 6th.

The proceeds will be give to

THE BELGIAN REFUGEES FUND.

Cranbourne parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P151/28A/10)