A marvellous escape from an airship crash

Broad Street Church kept in contact with all its men who had joined up.

News has now been received from Air-Mechanic Fred W. Warman to the effect that he is interned at Croningen in Holland. He was acting as wireless-operator in the air-ship which came down there, and had a marvellous escape. We are glad to know that he writes in a bright and cheerful strain, and that he is trying to make the best of things.

Flight Sub-Lieut W. R. Taper of the RNAS has been appointed for duty in Malta. It has been a pleasure to see him frequently in our midst in recent weeks. The good wishes of many friends at Broad Street will go with him as he takes up his new duties.

BROTHERHOOD NOTES

Brother Woolley has consented to continue his good services by acting as correspondent with our members on service. This [is] a quiet piece of work which is bound to have its good results when things are normal again.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR

The list of our men who have responded to the call of God and King and Country. (more…)

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A gallant example: the first war memorial

Wargrave parish church was reopened after restoration following a 1914 fire (believed to have been set by suffragettes) on 23 July 1916. It incorporated what may be the first general war memorial for WWI.

The Roll of Honour

In all the beautiful service of Consecration, on Saturday, July 22nd, there was no more touching prayer than that in dedication of the East Window:-

Bishop
In the faith of Jesus Christ we dedicate this Window to the glory of God and in memory of those who having gone forth from this place have laid down or shall have laid down their lives in this war, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Vicar
Her light was like unto a stone most precious.

People Even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

When we look at the window our hearts are uplifted in the faith that those who suffer with Christ shall also reign with Him in Glory. And we may remember before God the names of those who have given their lives for us: A Roll which has been sadly increased in this last month.

William Francis Perry. Oct. 25th, 1914.
Louis Richardson. May 16th, 1915.
Harry Light. Sept. 25th, 1915.
Cyril Henry. Sept. 26th, 1915.
Sam Sharp. April 11th, 1916.
Albert Nicholls. April 22nd, 1916.
Sidney Jennings. May 15th, 1916.
Herbert Doughty. May 31st, 1916.
Frank Silver. June 20th, 1916.
Cyril Edward Cook. July 8th, 1916.
Eric Arthur Smith. July 22nd, 1916.
William Larkin. July 23rd, 1916.
George Morse. July 27th, 1916.
Norris Heatley Nobie. Aug. 15th, 1916.
James Henry Light. Aug. 22nd, 1916.

We thank God for the gallant example of their lives and we pray God that He may comfort the hearts of those who mourn.

Wargrave parish magazine, September1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

The Broad Street Brothers continue to serve

Here is the latest list of men associated with the Broad Street Brotherhood asociated with Broad Street Congregational Church in Reading:

MEN OF THE BROTHERHOOD ON ACTIVE SERVICE, NOVEMBER 17TH, 1915

Bailey, 1932 Pte E G, 4th Royal Berks Regiment, 83rd Provisional Battery, Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Barrett, 2045 Sadler Sergt W, 4th Hants (How) Battery, RFA, Indian EF, Aden
Bishop, 4003 Corp. T E, No 1 Supernumery Comp., 4th Batt. Royal Berks Regiment, Barton Court, New Milton, Hants
Brant, 68686 Pte G P, RAMC, V Co, Hut 181, Haig Hutments, Tweseldown Camp, Surrey
Bucksey, 2697 Trooper C, 1st Berks Yeomanry, 2nd South Midland Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division, BMEF
Burgess, 100747 Sapper J, D Co, RE, Inner Lines, Brompton Barracks, Chatham
Burrett, 4005 Pte W, 4th Royal Berks Regiment, Arnould House, High Street, Lowestoft
Chapman, Sapper E, RE, Wantage Hall, Reading
Cox, 888 Dr W J, 1st Berks RHA, 2nd South Midland Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division, BEMEF
Cranfield, Pte G, 2/4th Royal Berks, B Co, 162 Upper Bridge Road, Chelmsford
Edwards, 4078 Pte H, Section 1, MT, ASC, 73rd Co, Attached 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Supply Column, EF, France
Elvin, 1702 Pte A C, RAMC, T, 4th London General Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE
Gooch, 2273 Corp. E, B Squadron, Berks Yeomanry, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
Gooch, 1656 Trooper Percy, 1st Berks Yeomanry (wounded)
Gooch, M2/034985, 21st Division Supply Column, 273rd Co, ASC, MT, BEF, France
Goodyear, 69005 Pioneer J, 35th Division Signal Co, RE, Bulford Camp, Wilts
Grigg, Pte C A, RAMC, 16 Radnor Street, Chelsea, London, SW
Hawting, 15775 Pte H T, 1st Batt, Royal Scots Fusiliers, B Co, 3rd Division, BEF, France
Hunt, 9215 Rifleman J, Prisoner of War, 1st Rifle Brigade, English Gefengenem, Solton Colony Konigsmoor, 14P, Hanover, Germany. Letter address only. For parcel address see another entry, No. 37.
Lambden, P134777 Pte F, 9th Co, ASC, MT, Osterly Park, Middlesex
Lay, 1910 Pte W, A Co, No 1 Platoon, 1/4th Royal Berks Regiment, BEF, France
Lee, M2/035034 Driver W R, 345 Co, ASC, MT, 25th Division Sub, Anm. Park, BEF, France
Littlewood, B, RR
Mills, 13026 Pte C, B Co, 5th Platoon, 8th Royal Berks Regiment, BEF, France
Mills, 1621 Sadler Corp. H, 3rd troop, B Squadron, Royal Berks Yeomanry, 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division, Albania Barracks, Cairo
Milner, 2678 Lance-Corp. H J, 1/6th East Surrey Regiment, E Co, Signallers, No 13 Bungalow, Kuldana, Murree, India
Parr, 71372 Sapper F C, Royal Engineers, 20 Lancaster Road, Hitchin
Pocock, 8607 Corp. E C, 4th Platoon, 33rd Division ACC, Hut 29B, F Lines, Bulford Camp
Pounds, Sergt M, Berks RHA, Reading
Richardson, 16895 Pte H J, RMLI, H Co, H3 Room, Chatham Barracks
Rolfe, Driver H E, 181, ASC, B Squad, Dorset Yeomanry, Cairo, Egypt
Smith, 10456 Pte C, 5th Royal Berks. Wounded.
Smith, L V, Friends Ambulance Unit, Army Post Office, S10, BEF, France
Ward, 1026 Pte F, C Co, 2/6th Cyclist Section, Royal Sussex Regiment, Potter Heigham, Norfolk
Waite, 13687 Gunner J H, 16 Eastney Road, Eastney, Portsmouth
Hunt, 9215 Rifleman Joseph, 1st Rifle Brigade, Konigsmoor Bie Tostedt, Kriegsgafangenew Lager, Kries Harberg, Deutschland. Prisoner of war. Parcel address only.
Shelley, 66407 Pte E, RGA
Gooch, Pte Stanley, Royal Engineers, Reading

In Memoriam
George Shearwood, 323 London Rd, who gave his life for his country whilst serving with the New Zealand Contingent in the Dardanelles
Keene, George, who after many months of service at the Front, in France, was killed whilst doing his duty in the trenches with the 1st Batt. Herts Regiment

From PSA Brotherhood
May, Brother V M, 219 Southampton Street, who was killed in action in October, with the 8th Royal Berks Regiment

Broad Street magazine, December 1915 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Because we pray, a bullet may miss

As the war continued, the members of Broad Street Congregational Church in Reading renewed their prayers for their friends who had joined up. Interestingly, one detects here a little scepticism in the veracity of the legend of the Angel of Mons.

PRAYER AND SAFETY

“In Jesus’ keeping
We are safe and they”

The editor has again very kindly invited me to send him a few lines for our magazine, and whilst wondering what they should be, the above quotation from one of our well known hymns came to my mind.
The thought should be, I think, very helpful to us in these most trying days providing we do, as we might, really and truly believe it.

I take it that practically everyone connected with us is thinking of our soldiers and sailors throughout each day, and of the dangers they have been facing so long, and are facing still, and also of the lesser dangers we at home are liable to meet with from overhead, from possible invasions and in other unexpected ways.

And as we “look up” at the beginning of every new day and commend the keeping of these brave fellows – an ever-increasing number – and especially those whom we know so well, to Almighty God, and when again the darkness falls, we repeat with added earnestness the prayer to our ever watchful Father Who never slumbers nor sleeps, I do think we feel the grace and beauty of those eight words. Are we not frequently being told by men who should know that the power of prayer is indeed wonderful? And some of us would very humbly say we have not the shadow of a doubt about it. Some day we may know that because you and I prayed, a bullet missed its object by a brief inch or two and a precious life was spared.

I cannot but make just a reference to the vision of angels seen at Mons and which undoubtedly many of our men there sincerely believed aided them and discomfited their foes, but I do place entire reliance in a very much older record, “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them.”

HFA

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With our fellows facing death, we can’t enjoy a summer holiday

The minister of Broad Street Congregational Church in Reading didn’t think the summer holiday season could be enjoyed as usual. His mind, like many others, was on the men at the front.

MINISTER’S JOTTINGS
August is the great holiday month. Where there are any members of the family still at school this is inevitable. But people are not feeling like holidays in the ordinary sense this year. With so many thousands of our brave fellows facing death in the trenches and thousands of others working day and night in munitions factories and the like, one hesitates to mention the word holidays….

ROLL OF HONOUR
J P Anger, 33 Bartlett’s Cottages, 38th Co. Royal Engineers
D A Bacon, 301 London Rd, 9th Batt. Leicestershires
Douglas Baker, 196 King’s Road, 4th Royal Berks
W Russell Brain, Kendrick House
Horace Beer, 6 Lynmouth Rd, Royal Flying Corps
Frank Brown, 18 Gower St, Royal Marines LI
Fred Brown, 18 Gower St, 5th Midd. Army Reserve
Albert Butt, 111 Elm Park Rd, ASC
Harry Chandler, 7 Junction Rd, 4th Royal Berks
E C E Dracup, 6 Priory Avenue, 4th Royal Berks
Arthur Dyer, 43 Edgehill St, 4th Royal Berks
Oswald Francis, Southcote Rd West, Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Norman Hancock, c/o Messrs Hedgcock & Co
W F Harper, Surbiton, RAMC
A E Hawkins, 19 Liverpool Rd, Army Ordnance Corps
Arthur Hilliard, 60 Watlington St, 4th Royal Berks
Reginald Hilliard, 60 Watlington St, RAMC
G H Keene, 6 Manchester Rd, 1st Herts Regiment
G P Lewis, 23 Jesse Terrace, Royal Berks Yeomanry
Geo. E Maggs, 92 Southampton St, 8th Royal Berks
H Nott, 127 Southampton St, Staffordshires
A C Papps, c/p Messrs Hedgcock & Co, 4th Royal Berks
R Sanders, 158 Wantage Rd, Royal Berks Yeomanry
F Ward, 13 Westfield Rd, Caversham, 6th Royal Sussex
Reginald S Woolley, 85 Oxford St, 7th Norfolk Regiment

In Memoriam
Geo. Shearwood, 323 London Rd, New Zealanders

Brotherhood Members
E G Bailey, Norfolk Rd, 4th Royal Berks
T Bishop, 71 Mount Pleasant, National Reserves
C Bucksey, 10 Coldicot St, Berks Yeomanry
J Burgess, 40 Francis St, Royal Engineers
W Barrett, 29 Cranbury Rd, National Reserves
G Cranfield, 39 George St, 4th Royal Berks
W Cox, Temple Place, RHA
H Edwards, 8 Belle Vue Rd, ASC
Edward Gooch, 12 Stanley Grove, Berks Yeomanry
Bro. Goodyear, 100 Cumberland Rd, Royal Engineers
H T Hawting, 63 Upper Crown St, Royal Scots Fusiliers
J Hunt, 190 Kensington Rd, King’s Royal Rifles
W Lay, 5 Barnstaple St, 4th Royal Berks
W Lee, 3 Essex St, ASC
B Littlewood, 56 Newport Rd, Royal Engineers
V May, 219 Southampton St
C Mills, 23 Eldon Terrace, 8th Royal Berks
H Mills, 23 Eldon Terrace, Berks Yeomanry
H J Milner, 26 St Edward’s Rd, East Surrey Regiment
Bro. Parr, Royal Engineers
M Pounds, 34 Christchurch Rd, Berks RHA
H Richardson, 536 Oxford Rd, Royal Marines
H E Rolfe, 1 Garrard Square, Berks Yeomanry
C Smith, 116 Elgar Rd, 5th Royal Berks
W E White, 20 Highgrove Terrace, Royal Marines

Broad Street Congregational Church magazine, August 1915 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Make the Wargrave Roll of Honour perfect

Many parishes regularly published a Roll of Honour of those serving. One of these was Wargrave, and July saw the publication of Part 2 of their list:

The Roll of Honour for The Parish of Wargrave

Luker, Ernest, VIII Hussars
F Mance, Robert. Army Services Corps.
F Milford, John. R.F.A.
F Morse, George. Royal Berks Regt.
F Nicholl, Charles. Major. Oxfordshire Hussars.
Nicholl, Kenneth. Capt. Welsh Fusiliers
F Nicholls, Albert. Royal Berks Regt
Noble, Eric Heatley. 2nd Lieut. Grenadier Guards
Noble, Norris Heatley. 2nd Lieut. Kings Royal Rifles
F Ogbourne, Harry. 1st Life Guards.
F Over, Reginald. Lce-Corp. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
Parritt, William John. Lce-Corp R.E.
Paget, Colin. Wiltshire Territorials
F Perry, George Edwin. Scotch Greys
Piggott, George. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
Pithers, James. VIII Royal Berks Regt
Plested, Herbert. Royal Berks Regt
Plested, Albert. Royal Berks Regt
Plowman, Thomas Austen. Berks Yeomanry
Porter, Albert E. Army Service Corps
F Pugh, Ernest. Royal Berks Regt
Rhodes, John Edward. Lt-Col. Princess Beatrice’s Isle of Wight Rifles
Rhodes, Wilfred. Major. Provost Marshal on Staff
F Rhodes, Victor. Capt. Late Sherwood Foresters
Remnant, John. Lieut. Royal Berks Regt
Rayner, John. 2nd Lieut. Royal Berks Regt
Reid, George William. Royal Berks Regt
Richardson, Fred. Berks Yeomanry
Rideout, Henry Randall. Expeditionary Force’s Canteen
Rixon, Charles. Royal Berks Regt
F Rixon, Walter. Royal Berks Regt
Rufey, William. Royal Berks Regt
F Shepherd, Henry. Capt. IX C of London Regt
F Schuster, Leonard Francis. Lieut. 3rd County of London Yeomanry
Sinclair, Gerald John. 2nd Lieut. Black Watch
Sanson, Gordon Ralph. Hon. Artillery Co.
F Sharp, Ernest Gladstine. VIII Dragoon Guards
Sharp, Samuel. Lee-Corp. Welsh Fusiliers
F Sharp, William. Army Service Corps
Shaw, George. Royal Berks Regt
F Shersby, Edward. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
Sherwood, Fred. Royal Berks Regt
Silver, Frank. Army Services Corps
Silver, Harry. R.F.A.
F Silvey, Stephen. R.A.M.C.
Slatter, T. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
Slattery, Udolph Wolfe. 2nd Lieut. IX West Kent Regt
Smith, George Frederick. Veterinary Corps
Stanbridge, Albert. Irish Fusiliers
F Stone, Samuel Philip. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
F Swanborough, Alfred. Army Services Corps
F Symons-Jeune, Bertram. Lieut. Army Service Corps
Talbot, Arthur. Corpl. IInd Royal Berks Regt
F Talbot, Anthony George. XCIIth Lancers
F Talbot, Albert. Army Services Corps
Tigwell, Monty. Royal Berks Regt
F Watson, Burton. Major. 107th Pioneers, Indian Army
F Watson, Cyril. Captain. Middlesex Husaars
Walsh, Gordon Herbert. Lieut. Royal Sussex Regt
Wakefield, Caleb. Ox and Bucks Light Infy
Wakefield, Cecil. Royal Berks Regt
F Warby, Albert H. XIIth Lancers
F Webb, George. Rifle Brigade
Weller, David. R.F.A.
Woodruff, Charles Herbert. Xth Regt Cavelry

Warren Row In the Parish of Knowl Hill

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Submarine prevents rescue of sailors from torpedoed ship

Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey notes the latest war news, as well as what was going in Berkshire. One of her friends was, she thought, rather too optimistic about the war.

13 March 1915
Felt annoyed with Maud Richardson, she so positive. Dr Downs came. Jules came down! He to go back Tuesday….

One of our auxiliary steamers torpedoed. 200 lost. Harris the harness maker’s only child among the number. G[erman] submarine prevented others being fished up.

Rupert left midnight, unknown destination.

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

80 bombs over Dunkirk

Florence Vansittart Neale took a keen interest in the wounded soldiers being nursed at Bisham Abbey.

Harding better – stay in bed 3 weeks. Mr S says Merriman came over. Dick brought cigarettes. Etienne Boileau out-patient for massage. Richardson back here again….

Air raid of Germans over Dunkirk – one brought down – dropped 80 bombs.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale, 23 January 1915 (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Remember the brave and true, and give them rest

Bracknell mourned the loss of several of its soldiers, and the serious injury of others.

THE WAR
THE ROLL OF HONOUR.

The following prayer from a Russian Liturgy will be valued by many at this time.

“Remember all those, the brave and true, who have died at the death of honour and are departed in the hope of resurrection to eternal Life. In that place of light, whence sorrow and mourning are far banished, give them rest O Lord, the Lover of man. Grant this O Lord.”

* * *
Lieut. William A. P. Foster, the elder son of Sir William and Lady Foster, has died of wounds received in action at Frankfurt in Germany. He was in the South Staffordshire Regiment and came back from South Africa in September and went out on the 4th of October to join the Army on Active Service. After three or four weeks of strenuous service he was wounded on October 31st and fell into the hands of the enemy, and now the sad news has come that he died of his wounds in November 11th. Since he joined the Army he has served mostly abroad, but we have seen him from time to time when he has been home at Priestwood House, and he was greatly loved, not only by his fellow soldiers, but by all who knew him.

Another of our Bracknell men has fallen, Frederick Butler. He rejoined the Army at the beginning of the war; he had served in the South African war and had two medals. The news of his death reached Bracknell on November 16th but he was killed on October 21st.

We also deeply regret the loss of Sub-Lieut. Charles Van Neck, the youngest son of Mrs. Van Neck, late of Lily Hill. He was a most promising young officer and fell on October 24th. Mrs Van Neck’s eldest son is also amongst the “missing.”

Amongst the wounded form this Parish are Lieut. Warren Mackenzie, who we are glad to say is reported to be doing well; he is at present in hospital in France. George Clarke, who is in the Reading hospital. Harry Hollingsworth, who some weeks ago was reported to be wounded, but of whom no further news has yet come through. H. Downham, who has been in hospital in Newcastle. Henry Barlow, who is at Chatham. Harry Matthews, who is in France, and according to his own account, “going on grand.” Another young soldier, Harry Loader, whose family lived until lately here, is also reported to be wounded; he is in the hospital at Dewsbury.

Mrs. Alfred Isaacs, whose husband was reported to be missing weeks ago, has now received a letter from him telling her that he has been wounded and captured; he has now recovered from his wounds and is a prisoner in Germany.

Lieut. Norman Johnston who was slightly wounded has come home. William Notley is also at home minus a finger, and Arthur Richardson is wounded and in France.

FOREIGN MISSIONS.
There is to be a Sale of Work (consisting of useful articles for Sailors, Soldiers, Refugees and Children) at the Parish Room at the Vicarage on Tuesday, December 6th, from 2.30 to 6 p.m., the proceeds of which will be given to Missions.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1914 (D/P151/28A/6/12)

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)

Making the soldiers happy

Broad Street Congregational Church in the centre of Reading offered entertainment to soldiers stationed in the town.  Those members of the church’s Brotherhood organisation for men who were not themselves in service took a major role in this work:
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A waiting list of hundreds for war work

Before his ill-fated venture to Belgium to work with dogs, Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s lawyer had prudently increased his life insurance. After that venture, he tried to get it refunded, assuming Apsley didn’t take on an equally perilous role elsewhere in the war. That was why Apsley described the fiasco in more detail in this letter, in which he also reports on the situation of Edward Atkinson, another member of Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition a few years ago, who had recently returned from medical research in China.

Sept 17, 1914

Dear Farrer

Thank you for your letter. Goodness knows when, if ever, I shall get a job: but I want to get something official, and my medical is a great difficulty (enlistment etc impossible) while most jobs have a waiting list of at least 4 or 5 hundred. At present I am doing all I can to go dispatch riding – and it looks hopeful, except for my eyes, which may finish me.

As for the insurance, I left England Tuesday August 19th & arrived that day in Ostend. Major Richardson & I went out with the Red Cross from Devonshire House (they gave us uniform & passports) but not under the Red Cross: we were to be an independent unit to work dogs to find wounded, paying our own expenses.

The Red Cross Staff arrived in Ostend 2 days after – i.e. on Thursday Aug 21st – by car from Brussels. Communications were then cut by the Germans.

Sir Arthur Keogh, Chief of the Red Cross Staff, told us that there was no possibility of working dogs, and that his strongest advice to us was to return, which we did that day (Thurs Aug 21st).

…I have had a very cheery letter from Atkinson [a former companion in the Antarctic] who is on the St Vincent. They have a band & keep them running round the decks fast – also playing a lot of deck cricket etc bit running out of balls. He and Dr Leiper found the disease in China all right which was a very good bit of work & the Admiralty was very pleased & offered him several alternative jobs.

Yours very sincerely

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Letter from Apsley Cherry-Garrard to Arthur Farrer, D/EHR/Z8/132

Russians in England: officially denied, but…

As usual, Florence Vansittart Neale’s diary combines national and war news (and her opinions), with news of Bisham Abbey. Her war news was not entirely accurate: not only did she fervently believe the rumours of a secret Russian army training in England, but she also believed the German General Alexander von Kluck had surrendered, which was not the case.

15 September 1914
Maud Richardson, Sir George Young & a girl, Mrs Kersey, & Mrs Lawrence all to tea to see hospital…

Still pursuing & report tonight General Kluck’s army capitulated 14000! Press Bureau deny Russians ever been in England, but believe it still! Crown Prince in a fix. Passing Home Rule & Welsh Church bills!!!

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

A battle 150 miles long

Florence Vansittart Neale had visitors at Bisham, while she followed the war news and rumours.

8 September 1914
Mr & Mrs Wethered came, also Mrs Richardson. Saw hospital. Miss McManus deserted us, & Couts’ nurse ill.

Allies taking offensive. German change of tactics, going back to Paris. Believe Russians in France. Came through England. Battle going on 150 miles!!

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

“We might have as well run a confectioner’s shop as try and work dogs”

Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s venture to Belgium to work a pack of bloodhounds ended almost before it had begun with ignominious failure after only a few days. There is more on the story, and what Major Richardson, the scheme’s proponent, here. He wrote to the family lawyer to report on what went wrong:

Aug 23 1914

Dear Farrer

You will be surprised to hear we are back. It was an awful wild goose chase. From an early stage it was obvious that it could be impossible to work dogs. Then communications were cut by the Germans, we luckily behind. The Red Cross Staff came in by car & told us we had better get back – which we did. We might have as well run a confectioner’s shop as try & work dogs. It is most disappointing, but there it is.

And so I am very sorry that you have taken so much trouble for nothing: but I would like to keep my power of attorney intact in case anything which really seems useful turns up. But I will never be hurried into another job of this kind again – by Treves or anybody.

And I expect to get a considerable sum back from the Life Insurance, to whom you sent a cheque for £315.0.0.

It was a horrid business.

Thank you for the trouble you have taken.

Yours very sincerely

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Letter from Apsley Cherry-Garrard to Arthur Farrer, D/EHR/Z8/122