“We could hardly realise that our popular Big Drummer would never return to help us again”

Teenage boys from Earley had the fun of a camp dispelled by sad news of old friends who had gone to the Front.

CHURCH LADS’ BRIGADE AND SCOUTS

We had a most enjoyable time on the School journey in spite of the weather. A very full account is being published in the “Reading Observer”, and we are hoping that Mr Albert Smith will be able to spare the time to come and give us a Lantern Lecture describing our travels, so we shall not enter into details now. Several of the Cadets and two more Scouts joined us at Hungerford when we spent a most delightful four days, everyone showing us the greatest kindness.

The news of the death of our late Staff-Sergeant George Maskell came as a great shock to us on our return, and we could hardly realise that our popular Big Drummer would never return to help us again. We had a Memorial Service after Matins on Sunday, August 12th, some of our friends from St Giles’ and St John’s Companies joining us for the Parade Service and staying to the Memorial Service. We offer our deep sympathy to the relations and friends of one whom we all loved – RIP.

On going to press we have just heard of the death of another of our CLB Staff Sergeants, John Parker. Jack was one of our very keenest and best CLB workers and we shall miss him terribly. We offer our deepest sympathy to his mother and other relations and friends. RIP.


Earley St Peter parish magazine, September 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

The exigencies of war are taking constant toll on the Scouts

Three leaders of a Scout troop in Reading were called up.

The exigencies of war are taking constant toll of our workers. During recent days the Scouts have been most seriously affected. First came the news that the two assistant Scoutmasters (Messrs Leslie Pocock and Brian Moore) would have to go; and now we hear that the Scoutmaster (Mr Arthur Pocock) must go too.

Mr Pocock has been admitted to the Inns of Court OTC; Mr Brian Moore has become a Motor Driver in the RFC; Mr Francis is likely to obtain an appointment in connection with the RNAS. Whist we are terribly sorry to lose these friends, we feel deeply grateful to them for their splendid service in connection with the Scouts, and our best wishes go with them as they respond to the call of King and Country. We shall hope to have them back at the end of the war.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, March 1917 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Hearty good wishes from the Scouts

Two Earley Scout leaders joined up.

The Scouts Patrol have begun their year with the loss of their excellent patrol leader, Mr Bruce Wing, who is now called up to serve his country and carries with him our hearty good wishes. Mr Fry, who wished to help us in this work, follows his example and must leave us. His personality and knowledge of scout work will be missed. Mr Crapp has come to our assistance and has most kindly made the interests of the patrol his own.

Earley parish magazine, February 1917 (D/P192/28A/14)

Praying it may please God soon to grant us a just and lasting peace

The young men of Earley who had graduated from the Scouts and Church Lads’ Brigade in the decade before the war to serving their country overseas were not forgotten at home.

CHURCH LADS’ BRIGADE AND CHURCH SCOUTS

January 29th was the ninth anniversary of the enrolment of St Peter’s Earley Company of the CLB, and December 17th the seventh of our Patrol of Scouts. At the Corporate Communion on Sunday, January 21st, the long list of names of past and present members who are serving in His Majesty’s Forces was read out and special prayers offered on their behalf.

Since our last anniversary two more of our first members have been killed in action, Percy Howlett and Alfred Bolton, and another, Frank Snellgrove, reported wounded and missing. We offer our deepest sympathy to their relatives and friends…

We know many of our comrades past and present are regular readers of this magazine, so we take this opportunity of sending them our very best wishes and earnest prayers that it may please God soon to grant us a just and lasting peace and that they, our members who are serving, may be safely restored to us.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, February 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

“A fine example of courage and coolness”

The vicar of Wargrave was optimistic that the war would end soon, as the parish celebrated the heroism of some of its men, and mourned the loss of others.

1917:

Another year opens under the cloud of War, but the very length of the shadows behind us should give new vigour to our hopes for the future. The War cannot last forever. The original plan of the enemy has certainly failed. The strength of the Allies grows greater. There is every promise that the Government will express the mind of the nation and that the people will gladly respond to the demands which may be made upon them. The conviction that our cause is righteous has possessed the soul of the nation and given character to our manner of fighting. The appeal to God for Victory is based upon submission to His Will; sobered by the realization that Victory must be used to the praise of His Holy Name; and inspired by the certainty that He, who ordereth all things in heaven and earth, is working His purpose out, and will over-rule the conflict of the nations to the advancement of His Kingdom and the greater happiness of mankind.

So with renewed hope let us take heart to utter the familiar words, and wish one and all a Happy New Year.

The Military Cross

Lieut. F. Kenneth Headington, 1st London Brigade, R.F.A. has been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in the field. We offer him out heartiest congratulations. It is indeed a happy thing when from the midst of the sorrows of war there comes occasion for the sympathy of joy. Their many friends will rejoice with Mr. and Mrs. Headington, and with all the family, in this good news of well deserved recognition.

We would like to mention the following commendation which Sergt. James Iles has received:-

“This N.C.O. has shown a high standard of efficiency throughout the campaign. He has been under direct observation of his squadron leader during two engagements. At Nevy, on September 1st, 1914, where he was wounded in the wrist, he continued to endeavour to use his rifle after being wounded, and when compelled to desist owing to hand becoming numb, he helped to bandage several more severely wounded men. At Potize, near Ypres, May 12th, 1915, he had all the men of his troop except himself and one other become casualties owing to shell fire. He still remained in his portion of the trench and showed a fine example of courage and coolness to the remainder of the squadron.”

We would like to mention that the Military Medal has been granted to the Sergeant.

Hare Hatch Notes

We deeply sympathise with Mrs. Pugh in her second sad bereavement. Her son Charles has given his life for his country, he was seriously wounded whilst mine sweeping and had a relapse after being admitted into the hospital at Shotley, near Harwich, which proved fatal. His body was brought home and laid to rest in our Churchyard. The service which commenced with the hymn “Eternal Father strong to save” was most impressive. As the Naval Authorities were unable to send representatives, the soldiers at the Wargrave V.A.D. Hospital attended and some acted as bearers; “Honour to whom honour is due.” This loss coming so soon upon the death of Mrs. Pugh’s beloved husband, who was greatly respected and highly esteemed, must be hard to bear. We trust that our expressions of sympathy and our prayers may afford the family great comfort.

The deepest sympathy is also felt for Mr and Mrs Hunt, Tag Lane, whose son Arthur was killed in France on November 19th. As a member of the Sunday School and the Mission Choir he was most regular and attentive, he attained very high honours when a member of the Wargrave Scouts. He worked for several years with his father at The Lodge. We greatly regret his loss, the remembrance of him will not quickly pass away. He gave his life for a noble cause.

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

We must cheerfully submit to any inconvenience and privation that comes to us through war

The organist at Holy Trinity, Bracknell, joined up, while other Bracknell men ould not be coming home.

Mr F. C. Faulkener, our Organist, has been called up to join H.M. Forces. This will be a great loss to us in the Church, and we shall greatly miss Mr. Faulkener’s beautiful playing and the efficient training that he has given to the choir. However the country has the first call on his services, and we have in this, as in many other ways, to cheerfully submit to any inconvenience and privation that comes to us through war.

Mr. F.W. Hunton, who was organist for many years, has most kindly given us his help, and Miss Emery, a lady on the Heathfield staff has also signified her readiness (with Miss Wyatt’s concurrence) to do what is possible to supply Mr. Faulkener’s place during his absence. If the result is that the congregation join in more heartily with the singing, perhaps we shall get some useful results even from our difficulties, and we must all do the best we can to make our services worthy of Him to whom they are offered.

THE WAR.-

Amongst those who have fallen we deeply regret to have to number Albert Searle, aged 22, Corporal in the Royal Berks. He was wounded when going into action at the head of his section, but kept up with wounderful courage and cheeriness. He died at the hospital at Rouen. Few young men could have won more affection and esteem than he. His work as Scoutmaster was typically thorough, energetic and unselfish.

Kenneth Grant, 2nd. Lieut. Seaforth Highlanders, was for some time a member of the Chavey Down Choir.

In our last number we mentioned that Sergt. G.W. Morton, of the Black Watch, had been killed in action. He fell on August 18th, and the following is an extract from a letter written by one of his officers.

“I personally led the attack and especially noted the late Sergt. Morton, for his bravery and the gallant way in which he handled his men both in and out of action; he was an excellent soldier and was very much liked by officers, N.C.O.’s and men of his battalion.”

Sergt. Morton was only 22 years of age, and had been on active service for 2 years.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, October 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/10)

Sad news of a teenage Scout

A Sulhamstead teenager fell in action.

ROLL OF HONOUR
We all remember Percy Kimbrey – our school boy – and our scout. Amongst the sad news that the papers bring us daily, is the statement that he was killed in action. No particulars are given. He was only 18 years of age.

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

The men at the Front will bless Earley Scouts

Boys in Earley donated some of their money for the benefit of PoWs.

THE BISHOP’S MESSAGE

The following extracts are from the Bishop’s message in the September Diocesan Magazine:

Your prayers are specially asked
For the good hand of God upon us in the war.
For the preparation for the National Mission…

CHURCH LADS’ BRIGADE AND SCOUTS

The short camp at Newbury from August 5th to 8th passed off very successfully. Twenty of us from Earley were able to go and I think we all enjoyed ourselves very much…

We have just sent up some more money to the Million Shilling Fund and the C.L.B. Prisoners’ Fund, and print the letter received in reply:

“Dear Mr Wardley King,

Thank you very much for your cheque of £5, 1 of which I have put to the Prisoners of War and the other 4 to our Million Shilling Fund. I am very grateful also for the socks. St Peter’s Earley has done magnificently. I enclose your receipt.

It is very good hearing that your Scouts have done so well with their magazines. I am sure the men at the Front will bless them.

Yours sincerely

Edgar Rogers
Headquarters Chaplain.”

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional name has been added to our prayer list:
David Evans.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Sick: Edward Marshall.
Wounded: John Smit, Charles Seely, Enoch Webb.
Killed: George Winsor, Ernest Cook, William Hooper, Thomas Bricknell, Alfred Jerome, George Forge.

Earley parish magazine, September 1916 (D/P191/28A/31/9)

“It is unpatriotic and wicked to waste money”

Burghfield parishioners were encouraged to support the war with their savings.

THRIFT

His Majesty’s Government have just appealed to all classes to make a new and special effort to save every sixpence they possibly can and to lend it to the Nation to help to bring about what we all desire – a speedy and victorious termination of the war. We can all surely do a little in this way to help send out the munitions to our brave sailors and soldiers. It should be distinctly understood that it is unpatriotic and wicked to waste money or to spend it carelessly just now.

We can all do our bit to help to bring about a speedy victory by lending our money, and the best way for most of us to do this is to purchase at any Post Office a War Savings Certificate. It costs 15/6 and the Government will pay a high rate of interest for the loan, for they guarantee to return £1 at the end of five years for each 15/6 thus lent. Meanwhile the money is quite safe, and can be drawn at any time if necessity arises, with interest.

During the last winter the Scouts used part of their time in preparing splints for the wounded soldiers, and were able to send 12 hand splints, 8 leg splints, and 16 arm splints.

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

Helping to look after our splendid troops

The Boys of St Peter’s, Earley, normally borrowed camping equipment from the army. It was of course all in use during the war.

CHURCH LADS’ BRIGADE AND SCOUTS

We are hoping to have a three days’ camp at Newbury from August 5th to 8th. We shall be obliged to sleep in schoolrooms, &c, as tents are not allowed, and we shall have to take our own blankets, &c, as it is quite impossible to get any from the military stores.

ST PETER’S HALL

The Hon, Treasurer appeals for help as the funds are now practically exhausted, and opportunities for assisting these are, in the difficult times we are passing through, few and far between. In normal times various entertainments and other schemes were carried through successfully by the Committee to augment the receipts, but other interests have crowded these out, and yet the Hall must be kept going.

We most earnestly appeal to our readers to help the funds of the above Hall. The Hall has been invaluable during the war, for, in addition to all the ordinary work carried on in it, we have used it constantly for entertainments for the M.T.A.S.C. and the wounded soldiers, so that those who subscribe to the Hall will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are also helping to look after our splendid troops.

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
William Ellis, Thomas Neilan, George Barnes, Frank Williams, Richard Smith, Archie Morris, Alfred Levens, Henry King, William Cook, Reginald Wyer, Leonard Rixon.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Sick: Jack Parker.
Wounded and Missing: Bernard Tait.
Wounded: John Rosser, Joseph Powell, Charles Barton, Charles Bolton.
Killed in Action: Allan Brown, Dick May, Hereward Sadler.

Earley parish magazine, August 1916 (D/P191/28A/31/8)

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)

Vegetables and savings

People in Sulhamstead were urged to support the war by sending home grown produce to feed wounded soldiers, and by transferring investments to special government bonds.

THE WAR

ASSISTANCE TO THE WOUNDED
Now that the period of the year, when the supply of vegetables in our gardens is lowest, has passed, it may be possible that the hamper which was purchased for the purpose of sending vegetables weekly to the Hospital may be again filled. So long as the School is open, the Scouts will take charge of any vegetables and see that they are despatched on Tuesdays to the Care and Comforts Depot in Reading.

WAR SAVINGS
The government is appealing urgently to the people, whether rich or poor, to invest their savings in the War Saving Certificates. In the Post Office Savings Bank the interest is £2 10s per cent each year, or 6d in every £1. In the War Savings Certificate Scheme the interest, if left for five years, is £5 4s 7d, or a little more than 1s a year per £1. The money can be withdrawn at any time. If left for fifteen months the interest is £2 11s 5d per cent, and increases the longer the money is left; 15s 6d is the smallest sum that can be lent to the Government. War Savings Stamp Books can be obtained from the Post Office, in which stamps can be placed until 15s 6d is reached, when it can be exchanged for a certificate.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Gassed less than a week after his 18th birthday

Sonning men were serving their country, and one teenager – only just 18 – had lost his life.

THE WAR
We congratulate Captain G. E. A. Leake on his obtaining his Captaincy. His promotion has been extraordinarily rapid. He was gazetted Captain in the 3rd 4th City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, to date from February 5.

EGGS FOR THE WOUNDED
Miss B Leake has organised at the School a capital system of collecting eggs for the wounded. Anyone who has no connection with the School can send eggs through any of the schoolchildren.

ROLL OF HONOUR
It is with great sorrow that we heard of the death of Private William Henry Hill. He only reached the age of 18 on April 24th, and was gassed on April 30th. He will be remembered by many as a small choir boy, and also for a short time as one of the Scouts. At the time of enlisting at the age of 16, he was a servant at a Club at Guildford, frequented by military men. Mr Leake has received a letter from the Club speaking in the warmest terms of his services, and how he had won the esteem of every one of the officers. His father and grandparents have our deepest sympathy. He was in the 8th Batt. Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, June 1916 (D/EX725/3)

A single cabbage helps the war

Sulhamstead people were supporting the war effort in their vegetable gardens, while rejoicing in good news of local soldiers.

THE WAR
Lieutenant H. A. Grimshaw has been mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. This makes the second time that he has been so honoured. He has also been awarded the additional honour of the Military Cross.

It is with great thankfulness that the news has been received that Lieutenant Albert Marsh, RNR, of the “Tera”, sunk in the Mediterranean Sea, is safe, although held a prisoner.

ROLL OF HONOUR
George Derring, second footman at Folley [sic] Farm when the war broke out, was killed by the bursting of a shell at the Front in France.

VEGETABLES FOR THE SOLDIERS’ HOSPITALS
It is a bad time of the year for vegetables, but the Boy Scouts are trying to send a hamper to Reading every week. If any have got vegetables they would like to give to the hospitals, and would send them to the School on Mondays, or leave word at the School in the previous week, a Scout would fetch them. The hamper goes on Tuesdays. A single cabbage, half a dozen potatoes, etc, soon swell the contents.

THE LIGHTING ORDER
This order will not affect our Lower End Service as the room is furnished with dark green curtains, but it will prevent services being held on week days in Lent in the Church or School, and accordingly special meetings will be held in the large room at the Rectory on Thursdays at 7 pm.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, March 1916 (D/EX725/3)

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

The parish of Earley was saddened by the death of two of its men, both heroes in different ways: one a regular soldier, the other a teenage recruit who died trying to save a friend’s life.

In memoriam

We record with very great sorrow the death of two of our old Guild boys. The first, Leonard Love, son of Mr Love, 49 St Bartholomew’s Road, was a soldier of many years standing. He served in the Royal Field Artillery and so distinguished himself at Gallipoli that he was offered a commission and had accepted it. He died within two days (apparently) of the evacuation of the peninsula. He had been in close contact with his brother William Love who was among those who fought the rearguard action of the time. His brother Frederick Love is serving in France. From such particulars as have come to hand Leonard Love was in excellent health. On the day of his death he returned to his dug-out after breakfast, and shortly after a shell struck the roof of the dug-out, and his death was instantaneous. He had borne the many hardships of the Gallipoli campaign with never a word of complaint in his letters home. Always cheerful he is reported to have been the life and soul of those about him, and his comradeship will be greatly missed by his many friends. He has left behind him a fine example of Christian courage and manliness.

The other is of a wholly different type. James Benjamin Butler, son of Mr B H Butler, former churchwarden here, was little more than a boy in years when, with his younger brother Charles, he offered himself for service 8 months ago and joined the 605th Co. of Motor Transport. The two brothers had been members of our Scouts Patrol whose rules oblige the members of it to look for opportunities of doing kindnesses, and to embrace them when they occur. His training ended, he left England at the beginning of the year, having made his last communion in this church on Christmas Day. He sailed in the “Palermo City” and in the Mediterranean the transport appears to have struck a mine and floundered. James Butler was a powerful swimmer, but his friend Harold Newbold, who had been a long time billeted with him at his home in Reading, could swim but little. Butler was last seen side by side with his friend in the sinking vessel inflating an air pillow in the hope that it might be of service in the water. He himself could (without unforeseen mishap) have remained in the water a long time and been picked up, but there is little doubt that he determined to remain by his friend, and sacrificed his life in attempting to save him. “Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friend” and better to die young and to offer one’s life for king, country and friend, than to live at ease for many years and accomplish little. Two more honoured names are added to our roll: the mature soldier and the brave lad of nineteen summers. May they rest in peace.

Earley parish magazine, March 1916 (D/P192/28A/14)