“He died gloriously doing glorious deeds during the course of our brilliant advance “

Tribute was paid to former students at Reading School who had fallen in recent months.

Killed in Action.

Central Ontario Regt. Pte. F.C.(Eric) Lawes, eldest son of Mr. F.J. laws., of 116, Hamilton Road, Reading, aged 22 years. On August 8th.

Captain Brain, Killed In Action.

The sympathy of the whole town will go out to Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Brain in the loss of their second son, Captain Frances Sydney Brain, Royal Berks Regiment, who was killed in action on the 3rd October. Born IN 1893, he was educated at Reading School and Leighton Park School, and in 1912 he obtained a scholarship at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. At the outbreak of the war he joined the Cambridge University O.T.C., and on February 26th, 1915, was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, being promoted Lieutenant on July 29th, 1918. He proceeded to France in June, 1916, and was recently promoted Captain. The news of his death was received by his parents on Wednesday, and was contained in a letter from the chaplain of his regiment, who wrote as follows to Mr. and Mrs. Brain:-

“I am so grieved to have to tell you of the loss of your gallant son in action on the 3rd inst. He was hit on the head by a shell during the course of our brilliant advance and died instantly. I hope it will be of some little consolation to know that he died gloriously doing glorious deeds. He is a great loss to the regiment, as he was one of our most promising officers. In him I, too, had a friend, and more than a friend, for we were both of the same Varsity, and had mutual friends. I was able to get his body and bring it back to a little cemetery which we started here, where he lies with others of his regiment. We had the service of the Church of England, the last post and a funeral party. My prayers go up that the Almighty will give you strength to bear your sorrow.”


Lieut. H.M. Cook Killed.

Lieut. Howard Mortimer Cook, who was killed on August 8-9, would have been 29 September 1st had he lived. He was the elder son of Mr. John R. Cook, late of Lloyds Bank, Reading, and Mrs. Cook, and grandson of the late Town Clerk of Reading (Mr. Henry Day). He was educated at Reading School and St Edmunds Hall, Oxford, where he rowed in the eight. Although his original intention was to take Orders, at the outbreak of war he was on the point of leaving for Holland to take up teaching in schools, and his passport bore the date of August 4, 1914. He applied for a commission at once, having in the meantime joined a Public Schools Battalion as a private, and in November, 1914, he was gazetted to the 6th Royal Berkshire Regiment. He went to the front in February 1916, being attached to the 5th Battalion, and shortly afterwards was wounded in the head by shrapnel but after a few months at home he returned to the front. He and two other officers were especially mentioned in certain orders of the day as having accomplished some very good work at Cambrai, in which the 5th Berks played so prominent a part. In May last he was transferred to the machine-gun corps. He was killed by the explosion of a mine when taking his section into action during the night. His commanding officer wrote that although he had only been in his battalion a short time he was very popular and his death meant a sad loss to the regiment.

Mathews.

Previously reported missing, now known to have been killed in action on the 31st July, Captain John Waldron Mathews, F.A.F., of San Julian, Patagonia, elder son of E.J. Mathews and Mrs. Mathews, Brockley Combe, Weybridge, aged 28.

Death of Lieut. F.L. Hedgcock.

We greatly regret to record the death of Second Lieut. Frederick Leslie Hedgcock, M.G.C., who was killed in action on Sunday Sept, 29th, at the age of 20, after having served with his Regiment in France over seven months. He was educated at Reading School and Brighton College, and was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hedgcock, of St. Margaret’s, Shinfield Road, Reading. Mr Hedgcock has two other sons serving in the Army, the eldest, Captain S.E. Hedgcock, now on the staff in Mesopotamia, and Lieut. S.D. Hedgcock, recently gazetted to the R.E. Both have been on active service, the eldest at Suvla Bay and the second son twice in France.

A brother officer writes: –

“we were fighting in a very important sector, and had done very well. Your son was shot through the heart, and was therefore instantly killed.”

His Major writes that he was killed while leading his men into action.

“On behalf of the officers and man of the company, I would tender you our heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement. We have lost an excellent officer and you have lost an excellent son.”


Pte. L.C. Shore

Pte. Leonard C. Shore, Lincolns, who died on August 19th of wounds received in action in France, was the son of Lance-Corpl. Shore and Mrs Shore, of 51, Francis Street, Reading, and was 19 years of age. He was educated at the Central School, and at Reading School, having won an entrance scholarship to the latter. Prior to joining up in April, 1917, he was in the office of the surveyor of taxes at Richmond (Surrey). His father, an old soldier, is serving with the Rifle Brigade in Egypt, where he has been for the past three years.

Funeral of Capt. S.J. Hawkes.

At St Bartholomew’s church, Reading, on Monday afternoon, a very large congregation assembled to pay their last tributes to Capt. Septimus J. Hawkes, Royal Berks Regt.

At St. Bartholomew’s Church, Reading, on Monday afternoon, a very large congregation assembled to pay their last tributes to Captain. Septimus J. Hawkes, Royal Berks Regt, who died suddenly in his barrack quarters at Dublin on the previous Wednesday. The Rev. T.J. Norris was the efficient clergyman, being assisted by the Revs. A.T. Gray, B. Mead and H. Elton Lury, C.F., the latter reading the lesson. The deceased officer was before the war, greatly in the boys of St. Bartholomew’s Church, and held this position of Scoutmaster of the St. Bartholomew’s Troup. Educated at Reading School, where he was a member of the Officers Training Corps and of the Rugby xv. He joined the University and Public Schools Brigade. Soon after the commencement of hostilities, and subsequently transferred to the Military College, Sandhurst, where he obtained his commission in the Royal Berks Regt. He soon went to France, and after serving there for some time was wounded and returned to England, and later, with the rank of Captain, went to Ireland. As recently as last month Capt. Hawkes was on leave in Reading on the occasion of the wedding of one of his brothers, at which ceremony he performed the duties of best man. A short time ago Capt. Hawkes successfully passed the difficult examination for the Royal Air Force to which he had transferred just prior to his death.

Reading School Magazine, December 1918 (SCH3/14/34)

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Belgian refugees leave Ascot

A Belgian refugee couple who had found a home in Ascot had moved on.

THE BELGIAN REFUGEES, to whom the Parish has given hospitality for two years, have left Ascot. The furniture kindly lent by friends for their house has been returned. Some of it which is not wanted back by the owners is to be sold, by their permission, at the Rummage Sale on December 1st.

The thanks of the parish are due to those who managed the Belgians’ affairs during their stay among us. We trust Monsieur and Madame Dardin will be happy in their new home in Richmond.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1916 (D/P151/28A/12)

Doctors take leave of absence to help the wounded

Berkshire County Council was prepared to lose its TB and Medical Officers to allow them to provide medical care to wounded soldiers. One of the resulting vacancies was filled by a local woman doctor.

COUNTY MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH AND TUBERCULOSIS OFFICER

Referring to the urgent appeal by Sir Alfred Keogh on behalf of the War Office for medical men for Army Service during the period of the war, Dr Richmond, the Tuberculosis Officer and Acting County Medical Officer of Health, is anxious to offer his services if the Council can see their way to grant him the necessary leave of absence. In view of the urgency of the demand and the importance of providing the Military Authorities with all possible help, the Public Health and Housing Committee do not wish to place any obstacle in the way of Dr Richmond’s acceptance of an Army appointment.

They are of opinion that temporary arrangements for the continuance of the work of the Public Health Department during the absence of both Dr Taylor and Dr Richmond can be made, and suggest that Dr Sisam (Acting Medical Officer of the West Berks Combined Sanitary District) be asked to undertake the principal administrative duties of County Medical Officer of Health, and Dr Carling (Medical Officer of the Berks and Bucks Joint Sanatorium) the duties of Tuberculosis Officer, both doctors being well qualified to carry on the work. The Office staff would be able to deal with routine work.

Dr Richmond’s Army pay will be 24/- a day and under the Council’s resolution, if permission be given to him to join H M Forces, the deduction from his salary would be at the rate of £438 per annum.
Both Dr Carling and Dr Sisam have been approached and have expressed their willingness to undertake the duties provided the consent of their respective Joint Committees can be obtained as they are both whole-time officers. Dr Sisam has declined to accept any remuneration, but as the work would, in many cases, be done in conjunction with his own work as District Medical Officer of Health, and complications might arise in the allocation of his travelling expenses, he has asked that a fixed sum be allowed him for travelling; and is willing to accept £1 10s a week. The Public Health and Housing Committee recommend that his offer be accepted.
With reference to Dr Carling, it is recommended that a bonus at the rate of £100 a year be made to her and travelling expenses in accordance with the Council Scale….

The Committee are of the opinion that Miss Nicholls, the Lady Inspector, could be utilised, with advantage, for some of the home visiting, and recommend that she be paid an additional remuneration for the extra work at the rate of £25 a year.

Report of Staff Purposes Sub-committee to Berkshire County Council, 1 May 1915 (C/CL/C1/1/18)