“Everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government”

The people of Wargrave were impressed by the call to help the war effort by placing their personal savings in a Government scheme.

War Savings Association

The Wargrave War Savings Association was very successfully started at a well attended Public Meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, 1917.

Mr. Henry Bond presided, and was supported by Mr. W. C. F. Anderson, Hon. Secretary for Berks, Mr. G. G. Phillimore, who is Secretary for a local branch, and the Vicar.

The Speakers explained that everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government. The Government gives 5 per cent, interest, so everyone can help himself at the same time as he helps the country. The man who saves now is helping our soldiers by going without something himself. The less we consume from over the seas, the more room we leave in the ships to carry necessities and comforts for our soldiers.

A resolution to form a Wargrave War Savings Association was unanimously passed.

Mr. Henry Bond was unanimously elected Chairman and Hon. Treasurer. The Vicar was elected Hon. Secretary.

The following were elected to the Committee of Management, with power to add to their number.

Wargrave: Mrs. Groves, Messrs. H. Butcher, W.H. Easterling, F.W. Headington, and E. Stokes.
Hare Hatch: Mrs. Oliver Young, Messrs. A. E. Chenery and A.E. Huggins.
Crazies Hill: Messrs. J.T. Griffin and T. Moore, the Rev. W.G. Smylie.

The Office of the Association is at the Vicarage. The Certificate if affiliation to the National War Savings Committee, the Rules and Statements of Accounts will be exhibited in the Parish Room.

Office Hours at Vicarage, SATURDAYS 9.30- 10.30 a.m. and 5.30-6.30 p.m.

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

A P & O ship strikes a mine and passengers take to the lifeboats

Two Anglican Sisters from Clewer had to take to the lifeboats on a dangerous voyage home from India. The incident was hushed up, and the ship repaired.

17 December 1916

Sister Katharine Hope & Sister Georgina arrived about 1 pm having come overland from Marseilles. Their ship, the Caledonia P&O, had struck a mine when about 1 ½ hours journey from Marseilles. Though she did not sink & eventually reached Marseilles, all the passengers had to take to the boats. Our Sisters were taken off the life boat by one of HM destroyers and brought to Marseilles. The only lives lost were those of 2 of the crew.

The P&O particularly requested that this accident should not be publicly spoken of, for fear of the news reaching German ears.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

The greatest naval war the world has ever witnessed

The Dodeka Club rejoiced in the successes of the Royal Navy since the start of the war.

Friday March 5th

Johnson opening the discussion of the evening with a paper on “What the British Navy had done”. He stated that the greatest naval war which the world had ever witnessed has been in progress nearly seven months. It had been marked by no engagement of first class importance, there had been no battle in which battleships of the latest types have been opposed to one another.

Nevertheless the British Fleet, not alone in one sea, but in every sea, had achieved a series of victories of great importance. Reviewing the course of events in broad outline, he summarised what the British Navy had achieved since August 4th 1914.

1. The High Sea Fleet of Germany had been contained in its home ports without respite, not a single German battle squadron had been at sea.
2. Five & a half million tons of German & a million tons of Austro-Hungarian shipping had been driven off the seas or captured.
3. The overseas trade of Germany & Austria had been strangled.
4. The German colonial Empire had been almost entirely destroyed.
Then. Too, at the outbreak of war there were at least – at the lowest estimate – one million Germans & Austrians of military age, resident in foreign countries who were prevented from crossing the seas to fight against us.

By way of contrast Johnson went on to show
1. That British shipping had been as active in war time as in peace, & had suffered but very little loss.
2. British overseas trade, except with the enemy, had been maintained.
3. Not a single British dominion, colony or dependency had been invaded, the German incursion into South Africa excepted.
4. Forty-five millions of inhabitants of the United Kingdom have been amply fed day-by-day & all owing to the Navy, which shows that our sailors are more than maintaining the splendid traditions of the past, & their skill and heroism leave nothing to be desired, and all honour to them.

It was getting towards the bewitching hour of midnight before the meeting broke up.

Dodeka Club minutes (D/EX2160/1/3)

Germans will blow up neutral ships

Florence Vansittart Neale noted the German decision to attack neutral shipping:

5 February 1915

Germany declare blockade of England & if they come across neutral vessels will blow them up. To begin Feb. 17th.

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

Not allowed to board ship due to the war

The Sisters of St John Baptist, Clewer, regularly travelled back and forth to India, where they worked in various capacities. The war began to disrupt their travels in November 1914:

21 November 1914
Sister Jane Frances, Sister Kate Mary & Sister Norah started just after 9 a.m. for Tilbury Docks to embark on the P&O “Caledonia” [heading to Bombay]. Sister Margaret, Sister Gertrude, & other Sisters saw them off from the docks but were not allowed to board the “Caledonia” on account of the war.

[The Sisters reached Bombay on 15 December.]

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist (D/EX1675/1/14/5)