Greater love hath no man than this

Caversham men’s service was honoured.

ANOTHER DISTINCTION FOR CAVERSHAM.

Hearty congratulations to 2nd Lieut. A.F.C. Hill, upon receiving the Military Cross for gallant conduct with the Salonika Expeditions. This is the fourth Military Cross awarded to Caversham men, the other recipients being the Rev. C.W.O. Jenkyn, Army Chaplain; 2nd Lieut. D.T. Cowan, A. and S. Highlanders; and Sergt.-Major Wilfred Lee, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.

Lieut. E.J. Churchill, R.E., has been “mentioned in dispatches.”

Sergt. E. Canning, of 1/4TH Royal Berks, is one of the two non-commissioned officers selected out of his battalion for the honour of a Commission.

Caversham roll of honour.

“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friend”

Name, Ship or Regiment and address, Date of death
(more…)

Advertisements

A record of which Burghfield might be proud

The war’s anniversary was commemorated on the 5th of August in Burghfield. It was an opportunity to take stock of the impact of the war locally.

THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION OF WAR

On Saturday, 5th August, at the Handicraft Room, Mrs Bland’s School, a well-attended meeting was held to commemorate this anniversary. Sir Wyndham Murray, as chairman, opened the proceedings with a few patriotic remarks which were heartily received; and was succeeded by Brigadier General F. Bridgeman of Beech Hill, late Scots Guards, and formerly member for Bradford, who, in an excellent speech, drew a striking contrast between the great Duke of Wellington and our foe the Kaiser. The well-known inscription on the Duke’s monument at Strathfieldsaye [sic] records that “he was honoured abroad for in all the might of conquest he was always just, considerate, and humane” and “he was beloved at home because he had great power, and ever used it well”. Such a record could never truly be written of the Kaiser. In concluding he quoted the message given to Joshua when he became commander-in-chief of the army of Israel, “Have not I commanded thee, be strong and very courageous, be not afraid neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee wheresoever thou goest”. He moved the following resolution, “That this meeting of the parishioners of Burghfield expresses its inflexible determination to continue the struggle to a victorious end”.

Colonel A. Welby, late Scots Greys, Secretary of the Patriotic Fund, and formerly member for Taunton (who said that he remembered camping on Burghfield Common in 1872 at autumn manoeuvres), seconded. He gave a stirring account of the performances of our Army and Navy, and spoke hopefully of the war.

The resolution having been put, and carried unanimously, Mr Willink, in proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman and speakers, which was played by the parish in relation to the war, and particularly to the 240 names upon the Roll of Honour. These names were nearly all names of persons residing in Burghfield at the time of enrolment (not counting those rejected as medically unfit); some however were names of men who, though they had left the parish, had been born and bred in it, and were fairly entitled to be included. It was a record of which Burghfield might be proud. (Mr Willink hopes that parishioners will study from time to time the Roll of Honour, now hanging in the church porch, and will tell him of any omissions, or misdescriptions, or alterations, which ought to be attended to.) Mr Lousley, seconding, paid a warm tribute to the services of women in Burghfield, both on the land and in war work of various kinds. Nor were the Scouts forgotten, nor the 600 hospital appliances made on that very room, nor the eggs and vegetables sent to the hospitals in abundance.

The proceedings ended with the singing of the National Anthem. The resolution has been duly sent to the Committee for Patriotic Organisations, to be added to the numerous identical resolutions passed more or less simultaneously at similar meetings throughout the country.


Burghfield parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

“Very severely wounded in many places by a bursting of a bomb in the trenches”

More men from Winkfield were headed to the Front.

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

The following have joined His Majesty’s Forces during last month:-

Gunner Albert Jones, Royal Berks. Horse Artillery.
Pte. William Chater, Scots Guards.
Gunner Bernard N. Greatham, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Pte. Frederick Jackman, Royal Engineers.

Let us especially remember just now in our prayers the following who have just left for the Front:-

Pte. Edward Thurmer, Pte. Sidney Thurmer, Pte. Alfred Shefford. Also L.M. Donald Thurmer, who has recently sailed for Mudros, and Pte. Bernard Greatham who has sailed for Garrison duty at Hong Kong.

We regret to announce that Pte. Wilfred Church has been invalided out of the Army; we trust he will soon recover his health and be able again to take up useful work.

Pte. Walter Woodage, 1st Royal Fusiliers, was very severely wounded in many places by a bursting of a bomb in the trenches. He is now in hospital in England and recently wrote to the Vicar saying that he was getting on well, so we trust his recovery will now be rapid.
We are sorry to hear that Pte. James Moir was severely wounded in the campaign in East Africa, but he is now reported to as doing well. His brother, Pte. Joseph Moir, we welcome home on a well earned leave of several months and look forward to having the benefit of his services again to the choir.

Winkfield section of Warfield District Magazine, July 2016 (D/P151/28A/8/7)

“When oh! when? Not a glimmer of an ending yet!”

Violet, Countess of Mar and Kellie (1868-1938) wrote to Ralph Glyn with news of a royal romance. Nada (short for Nadejda) de Torby (1896-1963) was a cousin of the Czar of Russia and through her mother a descendant of the mixed-race Russian poet Pushkin. Prince George of Battenberg (1892-1938) (later the Marquess of Milford Haven) was the uncle of Prince Philip and brother of Earl Mountbatten, and is buried in Bray. The happy couple would get married in November 1916. But Violet was also worried about her own sons, aged 17 and 20, when the war seemed unending.

May 13, 1916
Alloa House
Alloa, NB

Dearest Ralph

Jock [her son John Erskine] was up here for his 21st birthday on Ap. 26th & he had a good many boys & girls here to give him a cheery week, but Portia & Cynthia Cadogan have spent the last three weeks just missing Pneumonia following Flu, and the 1st is up & creeping about the house, & Cynthia will not get out of bed! So I have had a busy time in addition to all my committees & war work.

Nada Torby & Prince George of Battenberg got engaged up here on Ap. 10th. Then New Zealand & Australia in a fog rammed, so he got leave (New Z. his ship), much to Nada’s joy. They are radiantly happy, & are both very lucky I consider. Beatty has a fine command up here, 2 new flotillas – & the “wobbly eight” departed lower down…. Rumours of 5th Bat. S coming to this part. Q. Eliz. & co. Hope you understand all these hieroglyphics.

Edward Stanley’s thigh wound not serious I hear, but fear Harry Ashley very severe in spine. He may not recover, & if he does may be always paralysed – too sad. Only just 22, & his mother’s only child & adoration. She is gone over to France to be with him.

That Irish business too awful. I heard of 16,000 casualties but can hardly believe that. Dillon’s speech even more disloyal than reported in yesterday’s papers (12th) & has had a bad effect in Ireland! Much better leave Maxwell in entire command there for a bit. Asquith, Birrell & Co should all mount the scaffold!
Expect you saw a bit of the P.O.W. He is back here, & I suppose will go to France again soon. Do you ever see Scatters Wilson? He is coming home on leave about June 10th. Neil Primrose I shall not see, as he cannot get south before middle of next month for a fortnight or so. Jock’s Medical Board may pass him for active service next month, but I doubt his inside letting him stay out for long. He cannot walk 4 miles!

Tommy [possibly her younger son Francis, born in January 1899] joins the Special Reserve of Scots Guards in Sept. till end year. When oh! when? Not a glimmer of an ending yet! He will be 17 ½. I can hardly believe it!…

Yours ever
Violet M.

Letter from Violet, Countess of Mar and Kellie (1868-1938) to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C21)

“The last job they would ever need done for them”

An Ascot man serving with the Canadians shared some of his bleaker experiences, including the burial of dead comrades.

THE MILITARY HOSPITAL at the Grand Stand re-opens this month.

THE WAR.

Gunner George Cannon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cannon of Swinley was drowned off the Dardanelles on April 17th, when the Transport Maniton went down. Captain Denison, Commander of his Battery, writes to us:-

“I am very sorry to lose Gunner Cannon, as he was a first class man and an excellent soldier … The Battery is doing well: but I am afraid that will not make good the loss to his own people.”

He was an excellent young man: and our most true sympathy goes out to his parents. RIP.

Mr. W. Francis, our much respected parishioner, of London Road, Ascot, has received a letter from the King, in which his Majesty writes in terms of warm appreciation of Mr. Francis’ four sons and one son-in-law in the army. One of these sons died of wounds in South Africa early in the war.

“If GOD is for us, who can be against us? If GOD is not for us, all our munitions, all the heroism of our men, will not avail to secure the victory. It may not yet be patent to all, but it is undoubtedly true, that at this moment the whole fate of our Empire depends upon this – whether we have among us, in the Churches or outside, enough spiritual might, spiritual power, spiritual decision, to grasp firmly the Unseen, and to use the forces that GOD holds out to those who put their trust in Him.” (R.F. HORTON)

THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS from one of the heroic Canadian Contingent (and Ascot parishioner) will be read with interest:-

“You will see by the papers how the Canadians have done, and the men we have lost. We ourselves took 2 lines of trenches from the Germans last week. But we lost a good many men, and then we had to stay there and hold them under fire all the time, until we were relieved by the Gordon Highlanders. I saw my old lot that morning, the 5th Battalion. They have lost all but 6 officers: and there are only 97 of the old men left who went out to France with me… They will have to give us more men to make us up to strength, or we shall soon be all wiped out. But these must do the best they can: that is what we are here for. The Tommies call us the “mad Canadians.” …

I was in one of the German trenches last week and there were a good many bodies lying about, so some of us volunteered to go out and bury them. I went, and the first body I went up to was one of the Scots Guards. He had been dead for 5 days. I took his card off, and buried him as well as I could, and marked his grave up with a Cross. I shall report him to his regiment. Then we set to work, and buried at least 40 more, Guards, Welsh, Warwicks and Germans. Poor fellows, they had been lying there for a week. It was the last job they would ever need done for them.”

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, July 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/5)

RIP Gilbert Houldsworth

Family and friends of the Vansittart Neales were doing their bit in various ways. Florence’s daughters were getting vaccinated in order to become nurses, while one family friend had already made the ultimate sacrifice. William Gilbert Houldsworth, a 23 year old Lieutenant in the Scots Guards who had joined the army in May 1914 just after graduating from Oxford, was severely wounded at the Battle of the Aisne on 13 September, dying ten agonising days later.

23 September 1914

Both girls inoculated…

Jamie Balfour wounded – hope slightly. William went off to Malvern to join the Worcesters. Gilbert Houldsworth died.

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